Jan 222014
 

Miss Harajuku is a US-based lolita secondhand and consignment shop that opened just last year. They held a giveaway on Tumblr and Facebook to celebrate their opening. I don’t usually try for giveaways, because I’m not a really lucky person, but the coordinate was so cute that I couldn’t resist! They offered five possible ways to enter, and I ended up entering three times.

Sadly, someone else won… but didn’t claim the prize.
So they drew again… and the next winner didn’t claim the prize either! What the hell.

And on the third try, my name was drawn! I couldn’t believe it. ;w;
Almost immediately after the announcement, the shop owner sent me a Facebook message to ask for my mailing address. I was moving into a different apartment at the time, so I gave her my mother’s address instead (so I could pick it up when I visited a week later). Of course, stupid me mis-typed the street number because I was so excited. Luckily, the USPS website rejected it as an invalid address, and the shop owner notified me so I could correct it.
She shipped the parcel out that day via Priority post, and it arrived two days later.

The items were packaged neatly in tissue paper and a cellophane wrapper.

I loved the little sticker they put on the parcel! Little thoughtful things like this make such a nice impression.

I won BtSSB’s 2012 Karami Triple-Tiered JSK, a white BtSSB headbow, and some striped OTKs from We Love Colors to tie the set together. Everything was in excellent condition- the JSK was freshly laundered, the socks were new, and the headbow was remarkably crisp and clean for being such an old piece. The dress was also true to the measurements provided by Miss Harajuku, which can be pretty important when it comes to buying these sorts of things online.

I’m still so thrilled to have won this set. It was an extremely generous giveaway, and seeing what great condition the items were in- as well as experiencing such professional service- really gives me a lot of faith in Miss Harajuku as a retailer. I’d definitely recommend them to anyone planning to buy, and to anyone who might be thinking of entering their current giveaway!

Here’s the coordinate I planned out around the items I won. I’m just waiting for an occasion to wear it now!

Overall ratings:

Quality: 5/5
Items were all true to their descriptions and in excellent condition.

Communication: 5/5
Nothing but pleasant service and professionalism. I really appreciated how promptly messages were sent or responded to, and that they double-checked with me about my address typo!

Packaging: 5/5
The items were all folded neatly and packaged securely, with a cute sticker to boot.

Shipping: 5/5
They used a reliable service and shipped when promised- the parcel showed up in record time.

Total score: 5/5

Miss-Harajuku.com

Jan 042014
 

All of the shops featured in this guide are located in the 4th and 6th arrondisements of Paris; I found that they were all a short distance away by foot from the place I stayed at in Le Marais (4th arr.). Le Marais is also close to the Louvre, Champs-Élysées, and the Musée d’Orsay, and is home to the Bastille and the Picasso Museum, but I decided to focus primarily on lolita shops for this guide because there’s plenty of information to be found about famous landmarks elsewhere. I wanted to highlight both lolita-focused boutiques and places that might be of interest to lolitas.

RUE KELLER – BLACK SUGAR, BODDYWOOD

BABY, THE STARS SHINE BRIGHT

PRINCESS CRÊPE

HARAJUKU

GUIQ’ CHAQ

LADURÉE

Other shops of interest:

ANECDOTE Axes Femme

Parapluies Simon

I visited Paris in July of 2013, so some of the information provided may be slightly out of date! I’ll try to keep this guide updated to the best of my ability, and if anyone wants to provide corrections or point out places I may have missed, I’d really appreciate it.

As of January 4, 2013, Boddywood and Harajuku have closed.

Jan 042014
 

Rue Keller seems to be the hub of Japanese pop-culture shops in Paris. A good number of the stores are devoted to manga, anime collectibles, costumes, and alternative fashion; there isn’t a very strict focus on lolita clothing, but there are a few places where you could pick up interesting pieces to supplement your wardrobe.

To get there:

Starting from the Bastille, you’ll want to head down Rue de la Roquette, passing by Starbucks.
Continue down Rue de la Roquette for about three blocks- you’ll notice that there are quite a few Japanese restaurants and bars along the way, and a couple of vintage clothing and goth/punk stores as you get closer to Rue Keller. Rue Keller will be on your right.

Once you get onto Rue Keller proper, you’ll notice a lot of storefronts like this:

And this:

Contrary to their advertising, the clothing this shop sells is not lolita, nor is it particularly gothique.

But there are still some neat things to be found, and if you’re an anime fan, these shops would be worth a look.

However, I was much more interested in:

BLACK SUGAR
27 Rue Keller
Open Monday through Friday, 1:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Saturdays, 11:30 AM – 7:30 PM
Shop info page
Online shop

Black Sugar is a general J-fashion and cosplay shop, with a wide variety of styles and items represented. Prices are a little higher than you might usually find these items retailing for online, but being able to see them and try them on in person is really convenient.
The shopkeeper speaks some English and was kind enough to let me take photos of the interior.

The best part about Black Sugar is definitely their shoe selection. Most of the lolita shoes were from Custom House and An*tai*na, and they had a nice variety of colors in stock- pink, red, wine, sax, lavender, and black and white. They also offer affordable parasols and socks.
There’s a lot of lolita-styled clothing on the rack beneath the shoes, but I found that most of the dresses weren’t of the best quality. They’d be better suited for clubwear.

Cute totes and colorful petticoats, available in several lengths.

This rack in the back of the store has a ton of DreamV-style hoodies for more casual looks, as well as a nice assortment of lolita blouses, capelets, and bloomers. Their quality was similar to garments you might get from Fan+Friend or Anna House; much better than the dresses near the front of the store.

Other than that, you can find some decent wigs here, plenty of jewelry and hair accessories, and even some cute rolling suitcases (which I never managed to get a close photo of).

Overall, I think Black Sugar would be the place to go in Paris if you want a good pair of lolita shoes for less than you’d pay for brand. Their clothing can be hit-or-miss, but they have a nice selection of affordable accessories and also cater to other J-fashion substyles.

Across the street from Black Sugar you’ll find L’Indien:

Plenty of goth, punk, steampunk, and rockabilly items for men and women to be found here, especially shoes.

Shoe brands represented include TUK, Iron Fist, Demonia, and Doc Martens. They had plenty of Iron Fist pumps from past seasons that were all sold out in the States- if you’re looking for a pair you missed out on, you might want to check here.

The steampunk clothing is of decent quality, and they have a huge selection of corsets, most of which seemed solidly constructed with steel bones and busks. There are also some gorgeous underskirts for classic or gothic lolita, or anyone who might want a bit more coverage under a short lolita skirt.

And off to the side I found a Fan+Friend coat!

Please note: As of January 4, 2014, Boddywood’s Rue Keller branch has closed.
I’ll keep the review up for posterity.

Continuing down Rue Keller, you’ll pass by a few independent boutiques and galleries, as well as a few more manga shops. Just keep an eye out for the eyeball posts:

Because when you reach them, you’ve found…

BODDYWOOD
15 Rue Keller
Open Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00 AM – 2:30 PM and 3:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Shop blog + info
Facebook
Online shop

Boddywood was the official Parisian retailer for Angelic Pretty, and carries items from otome brands like Milk, Tralala, and Liz Lisa. They also offer clothing from Western alternative brands like Iron Fist and Hell Bunny, and accessories from Q-pot, Swimmer, and 6% Dokidoki.
One thing I really liked was the small consignment section near the back of the store- there were secondhand dresses from Alice and the Pirates, Emily Temple Cute, and Innocent World at reasonable prices. Consignment stock is obviously unpredictable, but it would be a good place to find a deal on brand clothing.
The only issue I had with the store was that it opened quite late. I initially stopped by at noon on a Wednesday, but it was closed; I shopped around Rue Keller for an hour and came back, but they still hadn’t opened the doors. Finally, I went to get lunch and came back at 4:00- at that point the shop had just opened, and I was finally able to go in and browse.

Photos weren’t allowed inside, unfortunately, because the interior was amazing. It’s a small shop divided into two halves- kind of like Harajuku Hearts in San Francisco- with one side devoted to Angelic Pretty merchandise, with white armoires and shelves decorated in flowers and candy jars and vintage rubber-faced toys (like the one shown); the other side was darker, with strings of lights hanging from the shelves to display the other clothes in stock.

The shop got extremely crowded after it opened, likely because they were having a huge sale. They had a good selection of Angelic Pretty items- the Dream Sky and Milky Planet re-releases were in stock, and Day Dream Carnival accessories, as well as pieces from Candy Fun Fair and a few other less popular print series. I narrowly missed out on the French Doll JSK (on sale for 30% off!!) and am still pretty sad about it.

Unfortunately, Boddywood’s partnership with Angelic Pretty ended a few months after my visit.

Once you’ve finished up your shopping on Rue Keller, it’s only a short walk to Baby, the Stars Shine Bright!

Back to A Lolita’s Shopping Guide to Paris.