Sunday, February 6, 2011

Applying the Science of Hime-kei

My TV....

It died recently....

What?? But I just took it out of the box like 5 months ago!!
Turns out, that brand of television is known for breaking down, usually right after warranty runs out.

It didn't make a difference much in my case, since it was bought quite some time ago. It's long been out of warranty, but I only just took it out of the box....

I switched to it, because my old TV couldn't go past channel 44, and it took it about 30 minutes to warm up so that it could properly display channels past channel 22.

Currently, I'm negotiating the price of another TV that a friend is trying to get rid of. I may not watch too many shows, but I do play my systems a lot.

*sigh* I just fixed my PS2 system too, though that may be a temporary fix. I don't want to go back to the old TV, there's too many channels past 44 that I like!

Never get a Westinghouse TV.  Ever.

Anyway, the roads were perfectly cleared the day after the storm.   It was some quick work.  But it left these little mounds of snow blocking our driveways.  It's to be expected, however.

My grandma was trying to get to work.  She thought she could make it....

The snow mound was 2 feet wide and about 1.5 feet tall....  Of course, she got stuck.

Our neighbor saw and tried to help.  She eventually came in and woke me up to help as well (not sure what *I* could have done, what with me being 105lbs of bone and air).  We tried shoveling.   We tried pushing.   Even some big, burly guy showed up to try to help, but she was super stuck.  Eventually, my grandma called a towing service.

So, why am I telling you all of this?
Well, as a thank you to my neighbor (and also because I was pretty useless with my grandma's car), I decided to help him dig out his little mound of snow so he could drive out.  I may be a Princess Apprentice© but I'm no priss!
....Do you see where I'm going?

I felt fine at first, albeit a bit dizzy because I hadn't eaten yet (well, I did just wake up after all), but no problems came up.  Took my bath, had a light snack, watched my favorite LPer.  It wasn't until I went to sleep that night and woke up the next day....

I could barely move!
My back was so sore, I couldn't even get up for a while.  I couldn't even turn to my side!  In the words of Bugs Bunny, "Oh agonyyyyy, agonyyyyyyy!"
Eventually I had to get up to eat.  A little movement did lessen the pain a bit, but I won't be salsa dancing for the next few days, lol.

A nice, light cucumber sandwich, with a bit of olive oil, lemon, and minced garlic, and topped with a sprinkle of cracked pepper~  It was well worth the trek.

Currently, my back still hurts a bit, but probably only half as much as it did before.  By Monday, I should be mostly fine if not completely better, but boy, was it painful....

What with me being somewhat bedridden, I started doing a bit of research, as I tend to do on my favorite things.

A bit bored without my systems to play, I was suddenly reminded of a website I used to frequent during my heavier Lolita days.  I had always wanted to buy from FanplusFriend.

It still comes up when I press the letter 'F' in the address box, so I checked it out, to see what new things have come onto the scene, and if anything could be translated to Hime-kei.

They certainly have a wide assortment of accessories that would work, but I wanted to know about the dresses themselves.

Like I said, I like to think I've learned a lot from my year of studying the style.
Hime-kei tends to favor either square or scoop necklines (and occasionally a square/sweetheart mix) on dresses and tops, and the skirts, while flowy, aren't as wide as a Lolita dress.  An A-shape in dresses is favored, and if a petticoat is worn, it's usually thinner and is straight, not tiered.  Too fluffy, and you're in Lolita territory.  Things like cardigans and jackets may have T-shirt necklines or a V neckline.  Puffed sleeves aren't common (and are usually very subtle if done since larger puffs are very kiddy), but they tend to go for the straight, fitted sleeve or straps.  The amount of 'girlish-ness' (stuff like bows, ruffles, and lace) seems about even, not too much to be overdone, and the length of hime dresses seem to be fingertip length (mid calf, but not too short).  I haven't noted too much on fabric patterns.  Some have huge print, some have small.  I guess something I did notice, besides Hime dresses favoring floral, is that they tend to be one print throughout, whereas Lolita dresses may have a small print up top and at the hem of the dress, have a large pattern.

Lol, lots of research, huh?
Sometimes, the differences were subtle, like the dress width, but I always take note of everything, so I'm not mistakenly calling something 'Hime-kei' when it's 'Gal-Loli'.
And no, this isn't the end all to be all guide or anything, so please don't come storming in with "But this dress is Hime-kei, and it doesn't follow ANY of that, idiot!!" because there will always be exceptions.  These are just the trends I've notice the most!

Anyway, taking all of that in mind, I think I found some nice dresses that fit very closely with Hime-kei.  What do you think?

All photos taken right from the FanplusFriend site, go there if you want to see more angles.
I think you can see what I mean by how the dresses are wider in Lolita styles than in Hime-kei.  No, it's not because of the pannier, but if you really compare the kinds of dresses, you should see the difference.  Anyway, I love how clean this dress looks.   I think I would shorten the dress a bit for Hime.  This one looks like it would be pretty close to knee length.  Yeah, it has puffed sleeves, but they don't look nearly as severe as some of the ones I've seen.  Bet I can probably take that front bow off too, and add it up near the neckline.
This one has a fake tiered dress panel in the back, which I've seen around recently, but usually in chiffon.  Another dress I'd shorten a few inches.
Ignoring the headpiece, I like that sweetheart neckline.  I wonder if I could have it made into a halter type.  Good Hime-kei length, I think, but I'd take that bottom part.  I'd personally prefer the ruffles to be under the hem, not over.
Ignoring the headpiece again, and definitely taking out that shirring at the bottom, this dress is just gorgeous~  Take off that pannier, and I think even with its width, it would work straight away!
 I love that extra lace detailing on the neckline and shoulders.  Shorten again!
Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!   I wouldn't change anything.  Well.... I'd get it in pink and white, lol.
Another piece I wouldn't change, even with how long it is.  I think this would be great on a nice, spring day, with pigtails!
This goes over a dress, and I kind of liked it.  Maybe it can go over the dress above, if in a different color (this one was the only picture they had of the piece alone and not on top of another dress).

Well?  Did I get pretty close?  Am I completely blind?  I can see any one of those dresses working out.  That's what I love about Hime-kei.  We can dip our fingers into the Lolita pool and take out a few things, with a bit of altering.  It doesn't work too well the other way, lol.

As for FanplusFriend, I still would like to shop with them someday, especially with me fitting perfectly under their size 70, and therefore probably getting to worry less about alterations.

Ah well, every day, I'm studying.  I like finding alternatives to Jesus Diamante, because I just don't think I want to spend several hundred dollars on just a dress....  Maybe a purse, but not a dress, lol.

Better settle in for bed.  I slept a lot, but my grandma made some really hearty soup, so I'm a little tired, lol.  Celery, carrots, potatoes, and broth.  It's like soup basics!

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