J-fashion brands, especially smaller independent brands, don’t advertise in the same way that mainstream fashion brands do. They don’t get billboards in major cities, they don’t have a marketing blitz across all social media, and if they do appear in magazines, its niche magazines that circulate to a handful of people. That doesn’t mean that they do NO advertising and the j-fashion buying public is not immune to the influences of such ads.
Le Fantôme de l’Antiquaire
Case and point: when I saw the product photos and videos for Spanish lolita brand Violet Fane’s Le Fantôme de l’Antiquaire (Tapestry Series), I lost my mind. The plush velveteen, cotton cluny lace, and the floral patterned gobelin grabbed me, turned me upside down, and shook me until my wallet fell out. I did not stand a chance.
The tapestry collection is part of a new direction for Violet Fane that focuses on luxe materials, time intensive or complicated details, and interesting silhouettes. Their last collection featured some wonderful and weird Edwardian jackets, as well as some simple but beautiful applique. I deeply love their prints, but the new direction is very exciting.
On October 15, I placed my order with Violet Fane. I woke up on October 17 to an email letting me know that my order had shipped. By October 24, my order arrived from Spain to Los Angeles. Based on Violet Fane’s social media, I think I’m one of the first customers to receive my order!
I ordered a tapestry skirt in size S-L, which had a size range of 72 cm to 90 cm waist. I also ordered a bustier in size S-L bustier, which had a size range of 75 to 115 bust.
Even just pulling these items out of the package, I knew I was going to love them. The skirt is made from a synthetic gobelin fabric with a cotton velveteen at the hem. The waist has an invisible zipper with a decorative button closure. There is also partial shirring in the back. The thick gobelin fabric has wide box pleats that hold their shape well. The dress is lined with a freehanging satin polyester. Violet Fane’s attention to detail is impeccable and all the lace choices are immaculate.
The bodice is made from a cotton velveteen. The front and back have adjustable lacing (though the lacing is definitely decorative, as the lacing holes are quite delicate) and there is shirring in the back. There is lace on the princess seams and lace ties on the lacing on the front. The bodice also has plastic boning on the side seams to keep it’s shape.
I know that this is going to become a favorite set of mine. The skirt and bodice combo mean I can swap out pieces with ease. Different blouses and outerwear (like the Axes Femme jacket I paired it with here) lend a totally different vibe to these pieces. I also own so many pieces in bordeaux, so this bodice is going to get used for so many of my dresses and skirts.
Quibbles on design choices
I do have some minor design choice quibbles, though they’re nitpicking more than actual problems. First, the bodice doesn’t have an opening, so you have to wiggle inside through the bottom. Though I fit the measurements of the bodice, it is awkward to put it on myself.
Next, given the luxurious feeling of the materials, I was a little surprised that the lacing for the front and the back of the bodice is twill tape. Since the twill tape is somewhat rough, it catches on the delicate loops of the lacing, making it difficult to adjust. It is easy enough to replace, and I think a satin ribbon would look nice and lace easier.
Finally, front of the bodice has two decorative lace ribbons that are permanently attached to the row of lacing. The cotton lace doesn’t hold it’s shape very well, so the bows look a little limp when tied. This could be fixed with a little starch, so I may experiment to see how it looks.
To be clear, all of these are design choices and not something wrong with the pieces. Another person may think that these details are what this release perfect!
Check out Violet Fane
Overall, I am absolutely in love with this release. The pieces fit well, they’re in my favorite colors and together they create my favorite types of coordinate in classic lolita. I cannot wait to see what other people do with these pieces!