Along with letting me photograph the mon Lily store in Ikebukuro P’ Parco, the mon Lily staff kindly agreed to pose for shop staff snaps for the blog. I’m glad I got to photograph them. I feel like their style is more reflective of everyday Larme girls. Swankiss seems to get the reblogs and hype with good reason. But Larmekei and Larme Magazine aren’t really about just flashiness or flounces.

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The angel wall proved the perfect place to take photos of them. I really need my own angel wall!

Since it’s a new store I guess there wasn’t a shoe requirement. It usually depends store by store if the brands make the shop staff wear their own shoes or not. I wonder if the girl on the left was a rock style lover?

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Lovely close-ups of their outfits. Everything looks very nicely tailored on them. I really like the interesting fabric/texture on the girl on the left’s romper (found here).

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They’re actually in matching tops with little hearts cut out of them (seen here).

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Outfits suited to two angels.

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Recently Larme is trying to focus less on eyelashes (judging by their current magazines makeup sections). She decided to forgo them and just focus on circle lens and liner. She also decided on a pink-red shadow under her eyes instead of sparkly for eye definition. This is an upcoming trend about how to deal with eyebags and definition. Using colored shadows instead of sparkle to give the eye more impact.

When you scroll up to the other photos her eyes are definitely making an impact in the shots not as close-up. So surprising without eyelashes and darker shadows.

The other shop staff went the eyeliner and eyelash route, so both are working for the brand.

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You can see her red-pink under eye shadow from this angle better. I’m unsure if it would work for my eyeshape, but the trend is neat.

She’s also in simple Seiso hair with a trend velvet ribbon. Little velvet hair ribbons were big this Winter across most genres. I love how the collar frills and stands up so well. I may have to get this top.

mon Lily in Larme magazine

Sorry about the quality of these pics. I just don’t have the time right now to take better pics and my back dies each time I scan so that’s off the table. I’ll try to do some better shots of other parts of Larme later. Definitely when the Larme series continues.

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Larme issue 13 did retro style icons mixed with current clothes. They used Yui Kanno x Jane Birkin and a Monlily dress styled as a top and dress.

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Then Maria x Brigitte Bardot which is tons of great inspo

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All the possible outfits. Love the knee length Larme feel.

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The blue apron dress on the right is a Larme x MonLily collab.

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Another Larme collab. This cute coat.

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Adorable shoes and barrettes paired with more pricey items from Isbit Daikanyama (another store featured lots in Larme magazine).

In case you missed it this is a three part quick series of posts about mon Lily and Yumetenbo. 

Part one: Yumetenbo’s niche fashion forrays and mon Lily’s Ikebukuro store

Part two: mon Lily review and picks to buy now for Spring 2015 

Part three: mon Lily Ikebukuro shop staff and images of mon Lily from Larme magazine (this post)

 

A post tomorrow for Christmas all about Christmas photos from Japan and then a break. But hope you enjoyed this full peak into the brand and more Larme in the blog  :loveword:

 

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Mon Lily by Yumetenbo like in the earlier post is one of the new actual stores by webstore Yumetenbo. With its collaborations with Larme magazine the new brand really piqued my interest. In those post I’d like to talk about their style for Spring 2015 and also how they’re not typical Yumetenbo.

 

Discount meant bad quality

I first bought from Yumetenbo back in 2008. I was back in the States and thirsting for some gyaru clothing. Their price point was cheaper than gyaru brands so I took the plunge. I ordered three items and when they arrived with some other gyaru brand items combined in a shopping service (before Yumetenbo had an international store). Looking at the items vs what I had ordered from other brands I couldn’t help but feel disappointed.

Sure my items were cheap but everything looked cheap. Hazy prints, cheap buttons,threads not properly cut, the cheapest lining, if any was provided on sheer items. The quality was bad. I wore once or sold most of my items. Partially it was my fault for buying too trendy, but the rest was just crap. I never bought from Yumetenbo again. I’d rather pay the $10-$20 US more for something nicer.

So when Yumetenbo announced they were doing a collaboration with Larme magazine and opening an actual store I wasn’t too excited. I mean sure I could see the clothes in person but cheap lining and bad quality were going to be even more apparent in person. And that seemed to go against what Larme magazine is about.

 

Larme and Yumetenbo odd partners

 

Larme magazine features a bunch of brands that are in Sweet magazine that are known for accepting a high price tag for higher quality. Like Mercury Duo, rosebullet or Dazzlin. Or they’re what are known as DC Brand in Japan,  brands founded in Japan and people know they’re paying a high price tag for original designs. (I’ll talk more about DC Brands when I make another Japanese fashion history term post). Like brands such as Milk, Cannabis, Honey Salon by Foppish or lilLilly.

Sure there’s the occasional Galstar item or such, but Larme isn’t really focusing on discounts. More a quality core wardrobe that fits a lady.

In my mind there was definitely a gap between Larme’s look and Yumetenbo. I mean money rules all so I figured a magazine could overlook its price point and stoop down to cuddle with a discount brand. Instead I was surprised to find quite good quality from mon Lily.

 

mon Lily clothing review

 

mon Lily price points

Winter prices averaged. Summer is usually cheaper. Liz Lisa’s average price points in parenthesis for perspective.

Onepiece: 3,000-8,000 yen with the occasional 2,000 yen onepiece. Medium price 4,500 or $42 (LL 9,000 yen $88)

Tops: 2,000-7,000 yen. Higher price is usually a sweater or cardigan. Average 3,000 yen for a shirt $28 or 6,000 yen for cardigan $56 (LL 6,700 yen $64)

Pants: 2,000-4,000 for shorts. Average 3,500 yen or $35 (LL 7,000 yen $68)

Skirts: 4,000-7,000 yen with the occassional 2,000 yen skirt. Medium price 4,500 yen or $42 (LL 7,000 yen $68)

Shoes: 6,000-8,000. Medium price 7,000 yen or $66 (LL 11,000 yen or $106)

It seems they’re doing a hybrid between super discounted and pricey Liz Lisa.

 

mon Lily sizing

the brand sizes it’s items as Japanese Medium and Large. These sizings are consistent with an American or Euro X-Small to Medium, depending on vanity sizing. Sometimes the sizing is only Japanese Medium meaning a US Small.

The skirts and dresses often have elastic in the waist and flare in the hips allowing for variable sizing. However some of the dresses and skirts have no elastic and waists stop around 68 cm for those.  Being a web brand they have kindly listed very detailed sizing if you’d like to take a peak. Also listed on each item is whether there are pockets, what type of fastening and buttons.

 

mon Lily purchases

 

 Purchase one – Puff Sleeve Ribbed Knit

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 The full name of this shirt and I’m not going to lie is the “Fluffy Puff Poodle Rib Cut-Sew Top” (link)

I bought the Off White color like Larme’s Risa is wearing.

Personal Shots of the item

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Mon Lily have these nice sewn in tags that are gauzy and not irritating.

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The tags are held together by a non-plastic and the tag itself is a pleasing shape. It was a 10% sale at the time (Pre Christmas wind up) and I paid 4,140 yen before tax which translates to $34 USD right now.

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Ugly photo but it shows two of the things I really like about this top.

1) How nice and detailed the ribbing is.

2) The elastic band under the puff rib to sit on your arm right and actually make it puff.

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The poodle part is quite layered and shimmery without being flashy.

I think I will get a lot of use out of this in Spring when I don’t have to cover up the sleeve details with a coat.

Purchase Two – Fluffy Cardigan

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Officially called the “Fluffy Tunic Cardigan” (link) I call it my bear cardigan. :rila:

Personal shots of the item

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Laid out it’s just like rolling through pink meringue peaks.

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They put the tag nicely on the side and it’s inside the seam so no tag issues.

It was 6,000 yen but again I was there for 10% off so 5600 yen so $47 USD. I would’ve paid so much more. It’s both warm, cute and soooo comfortable. It feels so soft. I wore it on the plane ride home. On chilly nights I put it over roomwear. And I do occasionally go outside in it (insta coordinate of it). And bonus it makes a pretty background for insta photos.

The material fuzzed the first day I used it and it did transfer some fuzz to my clothes, but every wear after that I was good.

So my total was around $80 USD I bought two things I’ll wear for a long time. I’m extremely satisfied with the quality and details of mon Lily.

While I don’t know if the rest of Yumetenbo has changed I know for sure this brand’s items are really nice. Their clothing is more simple than Liz Lisa, but I think the quality is same or better than Liz Lisa. And since mon Lily has an international shipping site through rakuten I will probably buy much more.

mon Lily has Spring trends

I always think now is kind of an odd time to be shopping. Sure it’s cold and Winter is still going to be around for a while. But brands have done their Spring exhibitions and will start rolling out parts of their collections January 1st. Luckily this brand already has some items in stores that could make great pieces layered under winter items, but ready to shine on their own in Spring.

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Just a peak into Spring looks. I expect gingham to be popular again. Every brand I think will feature an off shoulder top or dress. Especially like the one shown with a gathered waist and tiered top. That is the biggest universal trend I’ve seen thus far. Although with instead of Midi skirts for summer there’s a lot of knee-length styles peaking out for Spring. Lots of floral printed skirts too knee and midi.

Although its key focus in Larme style, I feel this brand is very Seiso with its simple looks and calm colors. And I wonder how much of clientele is there for the Larme style and how much is there for the Seiso look, admittedly I feel there is an overlap.

 

In case you missed it this is a three part quick series of posts about mon Lily and Yumetenbo. 

Part one: Yumetenbo’s niche fashion forrays and mon Lily’s Ikebukuro store

Part two: mon Lily review and picks to buy now for Spring 2015 (this post!)

Part three: (tomorrow) mon Lily Ikebukuro shop staff and images of mon Lily from Larme magazine

 

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Mon Lily ikebukuro

I’ve talked about Yumetenbo / Dreamv(international store) in the past and it should be a well known name to those who like Japanese fashion. However they’ve really been changing lately. Mon Lily by web megastore Yumetenbo / Dreamv and has many collaborations and close ties with Larme Magazine it can be easily called Larme-kei as its main style. Larme-kei is part of the niche fashion markets that Yumetenbo is trying to cover. In this post I’m going to talk about their niche styles and more closely about their brand mon Lily.

Yumetenbo’s Past Market Model

Yumetenbo is known for latching onto trends and producing cheap second wave fashion from popular gyaru brands. High brands inspire gyaru brands who in turn inspire Yumetenbo/Galstar and other discount brands. It’s a cycle that has been happening for years. Personally I think they’re one of the reasons La Parfait shuttered its doors since they produce lots of hime items for cheap.

They’ve also tried to grab onto any new trend back with Mode Gyaru and Mori Gyaru. But recently they’ve decided to go a different way.

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Very watered down version of the fashion cycle. Yumetenbo has been on that Discount brand ledge. Now they’re on a whole different one for many of their niche brands. Niche meaning they don’t have to appeal to everyone or even copy what high brands are doing. Instead they hope to find a core audience looking for a specific style.


 

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Yumetenbo Produced Brands for Niche Fashion Markets

Instead of replicating what gyaru brands have been doing they’ve decided to create their own. And it’s not mass appeal but through niche fashion and being the producer. Below are some of their small style groups they’re trying to profit from.

Niche fashion forrays by Yumetenbo

:bow: Classic Yumetenbo Himekaji brand Dear My Love

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Diable Baiserr’s newest coordinates.

:bow: Former agejo now Oneegyaru brand Diable Baiserr

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Plumprimo trendy newest styles. From Onee to Ank Rouge styles.

:bow: Plus size brand Plumprimo which is still going strong.

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:bow: The very popular dance and idol style with JK (junior high) girls now has a kid’s brand called Prismstone. Interestingly they say “look like an anime heroine” as their tagline for Prismstone. The sizing is done in kids sizes which is 120cm to 160cm. I’d talk more about this brand but I don’t think it fits my core readers. But still, interesting!

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LNK for NeoGal was their first Western-style lookbook shoot using only white models. Ways they’re trying to replicate the NeoGal look. Different from Yumetenbo’s usual method of using Japanese models for webstore catalog shots.

:bow: Their newest is their LN-K brand for NeogalWhich adds yet another brand to Neogal. Unsure how this unproducer backed brand will thrive but the items look cute if not slightly K-Pop style rips.

:bow: And Larme Magazine collaboration brand “mon Lily”  Which this whole post was supposed to be about…


 

 

From Net to Brick and Mortar

Japan has a very confusing relationship with technology.

For example, Japanese cellphones in the beginning were the more diverse, personalized and functional in the planet. I left for Japan in 2007 with a Razr. In Japan there were QR codes and even paying with your cell. But the iPhone and Android have completely taken over and yet you’ll still see a lot of people in Japan with flip phones.

On the website end in 2007 a ton of websites made themselves completely mobile friendly and it was the main way of browsing the net for a lot of Japanese. Net shopping became huge. But the iPhone swept over Japan very quickly and yet shopping websites were slow to change. Two years ago I could go onto popular gyaru brands and only get their very retro and extremely limited mobile site.

Now brands are embracing technology and even the last two gyaru brand hold outs OneSpo (fashionwalker) and DIA (mobacolle) are now on big fashion webstores. 

So what is interesting to me is Yumetenbo has decided to open brick-and-mortar shops.

The first one is called the webshop’s name: Yumetenbo (actually called by kanji 夢展望) in HEP 5 in Osaka. I curse myself for not stopping by when I was in HEP 5 3 weeks ago. But instead enjoy photos from the official hep5.

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Quite a large store housing all brands from Yumetenbo. Looks about the size of many WEGOs for comparison. I do think they hope to battle WEGO in size if they can for a different market of buyers.

 

The second one is mon Lily in Ikebukuro P’ Parco which opened in August of this year. Which is why I started writing this post and from now I’ll only talk about it and continue with it for the next few days.


 

 

Mon Lily in Ikebukuro P’ Parco

mon Lily was launched last year with the Larme magazine audience in mind. Larme has done many collaborations with brands but mon Lily is its biggest cohort in fashion.  When mon Lily opened their first actual store in Ikebukuro Parco a Larme model event was held and there was a Larme collaboration novelty given away for those who purchased enough.

I find this to be a very interesting step in Japanese fashion, it’s about as close as a magazine and a brand have gotten. But they still seem to be separate with Yumetenbo running the show.

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Ikebukuro P’ Parco itself is an interesting venue. I’ve previously snapped a Candy Stripper shop staff there. The mall itself is separate from the train station and a bit behind it away from the popular Sunshine Street walk. P’ Parco is trying to revive itself with a Nico Nico cafe and trying to attract more stores, especially those with a aomojikei feel to them like Candy Stripper, Jouetie and others.

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Outside the main Parco building in Ikebukuro signs trying to direct people to the updated P’ Parco including Mon Lily.

Mon Lily is located on the second floor of P’ Parco and the shop staff kindly let me take photos of the shop.

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The entrance to the very small shop.

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A view of the full layout of the store. Just three clothing racks and a flat display for shirts.

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All the sweet and soft colors of Mon Lily for fall.

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Some of their dresses and cardigans neatly hung up. Their flatform shoes have been one of their best selling items.

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Their Christmas display along with Larme issue 13 open to the Mon Lily layout.

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Another angle of the Christmas tree because I thought it was so cute and replicable. I can’t have a Christmas tree this year because I have a kitten, but I really want to do it next year when Olaf calms down.

 

This is going to be a three parter on mon Lily that will continue tomorrow. The second part will be about their clothing and styles for Winter and also a review of the pieces I bought along with shots from the current Larme magazine featuring mon Lily. The third will be shop staff photos.

Why don’t I blog as often? Well every Lego game on the XBOX and I keep writing these incredibly long posts that I work on for several days. So I may be slower but hopefully more thorough?

 

 

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