Cygnus OP – The Black Ribbon – Indie Brand Review

 In late December 2022, California indie brand the Black Ribbon began teasing a gothic capsule collection focused on clearing out their fabric stash. The teaser images featured spotted mesh, braided trim, textured tapestry prints and fluffy taffeta and promised a variety of garments and sizes. I was sorely tempted by the black waists, but the item that stole my heart was a one of a kind one piece, the Cygnus OP.

If you’ve read my blog for more than a day, you’ve probably heard me talk about how much I love indie brands and the Black Ribbon in particular. Their cuts are flattering and easy to wear. My other one piece from TBR is my go to lazy dress. With its generous shirring, comfy elastic sleeves, and lightly boned bodice, it strikes the right balance between dressy and ease of use. It was even the lolita dress I chose to fly in on a particularly chaotic weekend. I knew that the gothic OP would fit just as well, but with an elevated twist.

The gothic capsule collection dropped on December 26. As always, their shopping cart system through Big Cartel is easy to navigate. I managed to snag the dress on my phone while taking a beach walk on an seasonably nice Boxing Day.

The dress shipped on December 27 and arrived to my home in Los Angeles on in less than 5 days. The Black Ribbon usually packs their dresses in a sealed bag inside a sturdy box and this package was no exception. Inside, they’d also tucked a few candies and a note requesting twirling videos.

While the Black Ribbon’s stock photos are good, the dress is dazzling in person. The bodice has a subtle, raised velvet design and skirt is made from some truly impressively stiff taffeta. It is easily the loudest dress I own, with the skirts making a “shwish shwish” noise every time I move. The taffeta doesn’t drape as much as it stands at attention. Even without a petticoat, the OP is plenty poofy.

Photo by Alberto B. Romero

As with my other OP, this dress has a lined skirt and bodice that has some light boning inside. The sleeves are the same taffeta as the skirt and have generous elastic to gather them. There is a quarter shirring panel in the back and an invisible zipper on the left side. On the right side, there is a generous pocket that held my phone, a Fujifilm A X-3 camera, my wallet, and a lipstick.  

Photo by Alberto B. Romero

One pieces are notorious for being hard to coordinate. However, I find myself wildly inspired by this dress. The shirring and zipper make this dress a breeze to throw on and look instantly elegant. That means I’ll reach for it often. I wore it first with a thin, lace blouse under and it looked incredible. It’ll also look great with my crocheted collar from Our Widow, as the wide neck line will show off that piece. I think this will also look great with my Voodooodolly clasped hands belt, my Teja Jamilla tights, a Puvithel waist chain…honestly, the possibilities are exciting!

Photo by Alberto B. Romero

There’s no mistaking it, this dress is gothic, which is definitely outside of my usual looks. However, the ease of wear and sheer number of ways to coordinate mean that it’s going to be in constant rotation. Get ready to get sick of seeing this dress.

If you’re like me and you struggle with one pieces from Japanese brands, I highly recommend trying one from the Black Ribbon.

You can find the Black Ribbon on Instagram, Facebook, and their website. You can also find them at inperson events all over the country, especially those hosted by the Bay Area Kei.

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