This year I had the pleasure of being a model at Fanime Con in San Jose. Two of the looks from designer The Black Ribbon were from the upcoming “Konbini Market” release. The designer had teased the prints on Instagram, but seeing these dresses in person I fell in love.
On June 18, 2022, the preorder for Konbini Market opened and I snagged one of the onigiri blue JSKs. The dress was available in three colorways (a blue and a pink “oyatsu” design and a blue onigiri design) and three sizes. I had a seriously hard time deciding between the colorways (the oyatsu blue was also extremely tempting) but ultimately the bright colors of the onigiri print just knocked me out. I also place an order for the matching bow, which the Black Ribbon doesn’t always offer with their prints.
Indie brands and production delays
The Black Ribbon ran into some production delays for this release and posted updates on both social media and via email. I think it’s really important to remember that indie brands are often one or two person teams who do everything from production to shipping. One snag in any part of the process can mean that that one person’s attention is now devoted to problem solving instead of fulfilling orders. That doesn’t mean that indie brands shouldn’t provide excellent customer service when problems crop up, but small businesses aren’t big box stores. They don’t have the personnel or resources to throw at every problem.
In this case, the Black Ribbon explained the delay, offered a new timeline, and ultimately offered some goodies to thank customers for their patience. In my book, that’s a great resolution!
I got a shipping notification on November 9. My order arrived in November 12 to Los Angeles. It was packaged in a waterproof mailer and inside a resealable waterproof bag. In addition to the dress, the Black Ribbon included some snacks and a really cute onigiri patch!
Unboxing a delicious dress
This JSK is a dark blue (somewhere between royal blue and navy) with evenly spaced onigiri treats in a grid shape. It is lined with a blue satin. It had lace on the hem and on a few inches from the bottom. There is a white bib with pin tucks, decorative buttons, and is trimmed in white lace. The dress has belt loops and a removeable red striped ribbon. There are bows made with matching ribbon. The straps are adjustable with buttons and button holes, allowing the wearer to shorten or length the length of the bodice. It closes on the side with an invisible zipper.
For additional sizing adjustments, there is shirring in the back. The bodice is boned to help it keep its structure (one of my favorite features of the Black Ribbon’s dresses). And of course, there is a generous pocket (large enough to fit my iPhone 8 inside).
Despite cotton’s reputation as a material that wrinkles easily, this dress looked great right out of the bag. It looked great over my “daily” petticoat (also from the Black Ribbon) without weighing it down. The whites on the print are bright white, which made my clean “white” blouse look a little dull in comparison. I think this print will look great with colors other than white, like red, black, or even yellow or green.
A perfect fit
I always talk about this when I talk about the Black Ribbon but I just can’t help it: these dresses fit without a fuss. Even the beloved Japanese brands who make dresses that match my measurements can sometimes have quirks that I don’t love dealing with. Sometimes the straps are too short or the zippers are cheap, the shirring is generous but the princess seams are shallow. With the Black Ribbon dresses, I know that the bodices will look flattering because of the boning and the straps will stay buttoned. I reach for them so often because I know I can rely on them. I feel like that’s the best compliment you can give a dress!