Saturday, January 30, 2010

Visit to Victorian Maiden Press Room

The "Victorian Maiden" head shop is in an apartment building in the middle of urban Osaka which seems totally weird. They seem to have another apartment in the building which I guess is their office where they run the business, so the shop is their special show room.

I had sent them an email (in Japanese) saying when I would like to visit their shop but they didn't reply which was a bit upsetting. I didn't know whether they expected me or not. We decided to go the shop anyway but the directions on their website was in Japanese and really confusing even after translating. So we went out to the place on the map which was tricky in itself and followed the directionts to the highlighted building, but it didn't seem right. In fact we went up the correct apartment and it just seemed like a normal apartment. Then we went to about 3 other local apartment buildings looking for the right one. Eventually we decided to have a break and get a coffee. In the shop, I was looking at the map and asked the waitress if she knew where to go, she got her manager who knew about it and led Charles outside to point to where to go.

Here are some directions on how to get there for anyone else who would like to go.
Take the JR Tozai line from Osaka station to Osaka-jo Kitazume station. Take exit 2.
Cross the road using the big pedestrian crossing in front of you, go right and walk down the street.

A few blocks later you'll see a coffee shop (called Coffee Kan or something) and a hairdresser next to each other. Turn left at the road after the hairdresser, and then right, so that you're behind the block of flats. Walk a little bit, and you'll see Osaka castle on your left through a vacant lot. There's an apartment block on your right, where there should be a little VM sign on the letterbox. Use the intercom to call room 601, which is where they hang out, and then go up to room 201 which is the shop. There are signs in Japanese telling you this.

When I used the intercom, the girl asked if it was Christina so she did know I was coming. We went up to floor 2 and she came down from floor 6 and opened up.

At the VM shop, there was a small ante-chamber where there was a mannequin and some bits and brochures. The main room had several racks of clothes, two small tables and a display cabinet with beautiful hair things and jewellery and ornaments, a fitting room, and the soundtrack was Easy Piano Duets (a book I know well). Frilly parasols adorned every other place. Everything was old-fashioned and pretty. The shop girl was extremely cute and helpful, although she couldn't speak a word of English. I tried on lots of clothes, many were too big for me. Every time I was interested in a dress she went and got a different colour for me in case I was interested. She was most helpful!

Here is a list of all the clothes I tried on:

Noble Stripe Pintuck Blouse in both brown and blue. It fit like a glove. I didn't like the brown so much, but it was hard to find something nice that went with the blue one. It's made of light semi-silky fabric which is slightly striped.
Tulip Garden Scallops Skirt in the dusky colour. This skirt fit well because it had lacing at the back. It is lined and the fabric feels delightful. I liked this skirt.
Charlotte Mermaid Skirt in black (they didn't seem to have the cream). I really loved this on the website, but in real life it didn't fit me at all. I don't get it, it just looked completely wrong. Too big for me, and so it sat too low on my waist, and so it ruined the hipline.
Christina Dress in black. Everyone knows how much I love this one. The girl got it out for me especially because she realised that it is NAMED AFTER ME. I had high hopes, but it was too big. It should be called the Slightly Bigger Than Christina Dress. The collar was cool though, I would have liked another like that.
Ribbon Mielche Dress in red flowery. It was pretty but a bit overwhelming and too big for me.
Lady Check Mermaid Dress in black and white tartan. It was a totally weird fit. Looked cool on the website!
Reginental Stripe Frill Dress in light grey. This was really beautiful. It fits well and has a nice shape. The fabric is beautiful. I can imagine myself wearing this one to work!
Dorothy Dress in pink. What a lovely dress! It fit well and suited me, and had the look of a collar at the top - all pintucks and lace edgings. Super lovely. I might buy this another time.
Adele Bustier Dress in black patterned. This was really nice, I tried it on twice actually, once with my blouse and once with the VM blouse. It was really pretty and fit perfectly.

In the end I bought the pintuck blouse in blue, and the tulip garden skirt in dusky. They go well together and I'm so happy with them!

I spent a good hour and a half in the shop, because I wanted to be sure about my purchases. When I bought them, the girl also put two postcards and a lovely VM phone strap in the bag too. She told me they were presents and we had a small conversation. Charles told me later that she'd been writing me a postcard every time I was in the changeroom (often) using a little translator which beeped (I had been wondering about the beeping) and she'd asked him which colour phone strap I'd prefer. Then Charles took a photo of her and I together in the part of the shop where photography was allowed. She told me I was cute! The cutest girl in Japan told me I'm cute! I didn't stop smiling all day.

She looks a little bit shocked, but that was nice.


Bag!


The presents I was given.Me playing tower defence on the iphone in our tiny hotel room. I'm a bit messy because I'd just had a shower and it was midnite.

In the hall with my new shoes on. These are just teasers, I'm sure there will be many photos to come.

9 comments:

  1. Linked here from EGL. Thank you for the detailed review on the press room, I really want to go now!

    If you don't mind I'll be following your blog from now on. =)

    By the way, you mentioned a hairdresser in Japan who you really liked in a previous post. Where is this guy? I want to try going too when I next travel. Thanks!

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  2. Ooo, interesting! Shops behind closed doors make me nervous, so I'm glad to read this.

    Badass shoes, also.

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  3. Thanks! That hairdresser is in a small town outside of Nagoya that hardly anyone has heard of. He didn't give me an especially amazing haircut, it was the lovely Japanese Haircut Experience which was so different from an Australian one, that I loved. Given that all girls in Japan have rad haircuts, you could probably go to any hairdresser and get an equally good, or better, experience :-)

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  4. Thanks for your great review of the press room! :) I was thinking of getting the Charlotte Mermaid Skirt and was wondering if you could expand on your comments of the skirt. VM's website lists the waist at 64.5cm - did it fit weirdly on you because your waist is smaller thus it sat lower on you and the hips were off? Or is it something more like a design flaw? I would hate to buy the skirt and have it not fit right on me! Thanks! :D

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  5. Thanks for all the comments! Bee: I think both my waist and my hips were too small for this skirt. My waist is 60cm and my hips are 80cm, so it didn't sit high enough on me and the skirt's hipline was down around my thighs. I'm sure that the skirt is not a weird shape, so if your waist is the right size, it will probably fit you at least better than it fit me. I was so upset about that! So I'm going to try to make one. Please let me know how you go with it!

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  6. Thanks for your reply - your comment does help me a lot! I think the skirt could fit me better as my waist is a bit bigger than you but if I had the skills to sew it I definitely would! It is a bit expensive for a not-so-lolita (although very lovely) skirt even if it is VM. (I love the matching jacket and the Frill skirt too. If I got all three things together that would be a lot. @_@) I'll let you know if I end up getting the skirt!

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  7. Bee - I forgot to say - I hope your hips are bigger than mine too, because if the skirt is too big at the hips it will look puffy and empty. It's expensive, but so pretty. I feel happy knowing that there's a VM outfit in my cupboard even if I'm not wearing it. I'm even happy that I don't own any other brand!
    The frill skirt was too big as well >_<

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  8. Thanks for the info Chrissy! I will definitely remember to measure my hips and figure out if the items fit before buying. >_< That would be a waste of money if it didn't fit! VM is also the first brand I ever purchased.. I have been buying things through Tokyo Rebel (tokyorebel.com). I also have one dress so far that's sitting in my closet that I just like to admire every once in a while. You sound very slender - it sucks that brands usually don't make multiple sizes. :(

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  9. ooo that outfit looks gorgeous :3

    x
    tedous

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