Orchard JSK – EMIM – Indie Brand Review

The Trunk Show at Fanime was an overwhelming collection of j-fashion goods from all over the world. Local designers from California, like the Black Ribbon, Sudibear, and My Morning Tea were rubbing shoulders were selling alongside items from Korean designer Haenuli and Japanese lolita brand Metamorphose Temps de Fille.

I came with a budget and a plan to check out some of the indie Japanese pieces that Flores Astorum provided for the event. Of course, you know what they say about the best laid plans…

My plans began to unravel when I saw a beautiful forest green dress from European indie brand Eat Me Ink Me. Their classic, medieval painting dresses have been a design I admired from afar for several years now. I was immediately drawn to the Orchard Dress. Its rich colors, long length, and tapestry border print were all too beautiful to pass up.

A warning: if you ever attend a Bay Area Kei hosted event, the team will be enthusiastic cheerleaders in their trunk show and they will encourage you to buy everything. The Black Ribbon designer saw me looking at it and encouraged me to try it on. She said, and I quote, “Come on, you know you want to.” (I did not need very much convincing).

Try before you buy

The trunk show was set up with a changing room for buyers to try on items before they bought. On Saturday, the line was at least 5 people deep, with most people trying on Metamorphose dresses! Luckily, on Sunday, when I was doing my shopping, there was no line. Something magical happened when I tried on the dress. While the dress looked nice on the hanger, it was absolutely stunning on me. I’ve talked before about how special it is to try on lolita before you buy it. So it was truly special to get to see people to touch, hold and try on “brand” before committing. I knew that I was going home with this EMIM dress.

Orchard Dress

This EMIM dress is a JSK made of a thick green polyester. It is lined with a black satin fabric in the skirt. It has detachable, adjustable straps. The straps were attached in an “x” across the back. This is somewhat unusual for lolita dresses, but it fit me best this way. There is partial shirring in the back and corset lacing with a black satin ribbon. The bodice is lower than many of my other necklines and plunges into a “v” shape. The neckline is trimmed in a white floral applique. The skirt is arranged in large box pleats. The bottom of the skirt has a reproduction of a medieval tapestry. The hem is trimmed in white lace.

The crossed straps and v shaped neck line definitely made me a little hesitant to try on the dress and had I only seen it on a mannequin, I might have passed it up entirely. However, on my body, the neckline doesn’t show cleavage, but mimics the neckline of 14th century European garments, especially the cotehardie. In combination with the longer length skirt, the dress reads historical, even if its not a recreation of an actual historical garment. As an avid Ren Faire fan, this dress makes my little Rennie heart happy.

The dress also had an interesting feature I’ve never seen on any dress before: there was a loop of elastic and a button inside the zipper at the waist. Closing this button took some tension off the zipper, making it easier to get past the waist. My one gripe: the dress has a side zipper installed on the right side of the dress, which makes it very difficult to zip up myself. I’ve never realized that there is a “right” and “wrong” side to a side zipper, but all of my other dresses have zips on the left side.

Renaissance Flair

I styled this with some of my renassiance faire accessories, including a hat, veil, and earrings that I wear as part of my garb. This billowy blouse echoed the shirts or chemises one would find at faire. I would love to find a metal link belt to really play up the historical influences of this skirt.

I am delighted by my purchase, even if it wasn’t the dress I expected to leave with. You can find EMIM on Instagram and Facebook and find their garments in their shop



  1. Zeloco says:

    Thank you so much for the review! I’m so glad you’re happy with the dress and definitely taking critiques into consideration! ♥

  2. The JSK really looks stunning on you! And what a cool thing with the button and loop at the zip, I might see if I can add something like this to some of my dresses. I wonder if the designer of EMIM is left handed, that could explain why the zip is on the other side (unless it was just a sample error xD)

  3. Zixizel says:

    Okay, your review has gone up much more quickly than mine… I took photos of my OP back in January and then LIFE and I haven’t written the review yet! I’m glad you love it – I really love the way EMIM has made such different dresses around the same print, with your green JSK and white lace, my long gothic OP, and the original JSK release. Such creativity!

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