19 September 2011

My New Love Affair

It has been a very long time since I've update this blog, the single excuse is I haven't felt inspired, but that's change. I have discovered a new fashion... Dolly Kei. Dolly kei is a hodgepodge of fashions really, it is mostly centered around vintage that is layered to achieve a romantic, gypsy witch, Grimm fairytale look. Like its sister, Mori girl, Dolly kei originated in Japan. Though I believe that this style was around for years and years, and it does have an old world, east European aesthetic. Now do not think I have abandoned Lolita, of course not, I am simply adding to my repertoire of looks. I've always believe that fashion was meant to be fun. Having more styles to work with is like having more toys. I leave you with a look at the lovely maze that is Grimoire, one of the leading boutique for the fashion, and some of my favorite street shots.

06 May 2011

Otome Kei

I am a romantic, at least when it comes to fashion. So it is easy enough to figure out why I fell head over heels for Otome kei.

According to dailyotome, a Livejournal community:dailyotome, a Livejournal community.
Otome (乙女) means "young lady" in Japanese. Otome-kei (乙女系) is a Japanese street style that focuses on details like bold colors, unusual mixing (but not necessary- can match) of colors, fabric ruffles, embroidery, and ribbons. It can be classified as a substyle of lolita. A lot of the clothing can be used with lolita, but the silhouette is a little different. Petticoats are often unnecessary. The look of otome is romantic and girlish; it can even be described as the more mature version of lolita. Unlike lolita, there are no strict guidelines for this style. Typically, the look one tend to want to achieve with this style is a "refined young lady"; most often, you get the late 1950-1960's feel from the clothes. Some have even called this style as casual OL (office lady) style.

Of course after carefully dissecting many otome style outfits, I came to the my own conclusions.
I would not call otome a substyle of Lolita fashion (another fashion I also indulge in). Otome is a style on its own. If it had to be classified as a substyle I would place it under vintage fashion more than Lolita.

To achieve the look:
Otome kei, or maiden fashion, draws from the fashions of young ladies fashions from 1930s, 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. It has a very innocent look to it, It is wholesome and clean. Simplicity is a must. Jewelry and other accessories should be used minimally. Saddle shoes, oxfords or simple Mary janes (no chunkiness here) would be good footwear.

As for beauty and hair, again simplicity is the name of the game. Simple ribbons tied in a small bow or simple barrettes, or for cooler days a beret should suffice. Make up should be natural and soft, and accentuate the eyes. Lips can be colored with soft pinks or left their natural color with a lipbalm to give them a supple look.

16 July 2010

Ma égérie: Marie Antoinette

Salut mes amis, J'espere que le jour te trouve bon humeur.

I sincerely believe that inspiration comes from everything and every direction. Life is a boundless source for muses one just has to be willing to open ones eyes and see beauty even in ugliness.

Among my many muses is the famous (until this century infamous) tragic french queen, Marie Antoinette.

I am in love with all things 18th century, and she is the icon of fashion before the outbreak of revolution.

Though it is still argued how much she has to do with creating the deficit, I still believe much of what was charged against her (not all but a good portion) can be attributed to bad publicity.

Yet beside the debate about her roles as queen, she is still admired for her beauty, style and joie de vivre.

A film that is particularly sympathetic to the queen is Sophia Coppola's Marie Antoinette.
Though in dialogue in the film is lacking, it is a visually beautiful and worth watching if simply to gaze upon the costumes and settings.

30 June 2010

Quaintrelle et la mode

As season roll in and roll out and designers showcase their spring and winter lines, fashion is an ever evolving beast with many facets and many appeals.

So how is the quaintrelle supposed to dress?

... Any way she wants.

It is my firm belief that a quaintrelle has many liberties in the manner she expresses herself. In fact she can quite easily become a style icon without much effort, because instead of dressing for the world she dresses for herself and that makes the world take notice and follow suit.

For the aspiring quaintrelle the problem isn't what style she chooses, it is that she have the courage to wear that style, no matter how the world will receive it.

Confidence is a trait all quaintrelle should have in their arsenal of weapons. To live a life of passion she must not dwell on insecurities or negative criticism. She must always trust herself and wear what feels and looks good to her, no matter what others think is "fashionable" or chic.

The quaintrelle is a woman of style not fashion

25 June 2010

Low Tea vs High Tea

What is the quintessential quaintrelle activity?
A tea party would most definitely make the list. Today a tea ceremony with all its pomp and protocol has become much to impractical for the daily hustle, yet for the quaintrelle it is a luxury she must afford herself even if mean just once in a long while.

In the days of yore, the difference between and high and low tea were common knowledge, as time progressed and tea time passed into a state of uncommon occurrence, the details have fallen to novelty knowledge much like knowledge of the language of the flowers and hand fans. Today many confuse high tea with low tea, a grave mistake for an elegant quaintrelle to make.

So what are the difference? I have researched the subject and found.

High Tea also known as Meat Tea is more like a dinner. Tea is served alongside other "heavy" dishes like cold meats, fish, beef etc , etc. High Tea is usually traditional among the working classes and set after nightfall.

Afternoon Tea, which is often confused as High Tea but is really Low Tea, is the stereotypical tea party. Tea is served alongside pastries, scones and finger foods (i.e. cucumber sandwiches). Usually held in the afternoon, there are three styles of Low Tea
  • Cream Tea: tea served with scones, jam and cream
  • Light Tea: tea served with scones and sweets
  • Full Tea : tea served with scones, sweets, savories and dessert

I hosted an Afternoon Tea a while back and tried as best I could to pull off a full tea but end up making a light tea instead.

I served Castille Rose Tea, with plain scones (I didn't add the currents and 1/2 the amount of baking powder), clotted cream, cucumber sandwiches and clotted cream blackberry kiwi concoction (invented on the spot, layer clotted cream kiwis and blackberries on top of each other).

I am going to hold another Afternoon Tea in July and will try again for a full tea...I need more recipes for savories.

23 June 2010


I am passionate about my handicrafts, and by definition a quaintrelle should live her life with passion so it is my belief that any good quaintrelle should dedicate a portion of her time to making some sort of beauty. I have many passe temps that take care of this requirement for me.
One is crochet, a skill many would describe as difficult but I say it just takes some time and patience to perfect.

I am a visual learner myself and have grown addicted to Teresa's tutorials. Teresa really has a knack for making crochet quite simple and beginner can truly catch on quickly. She also makes tutorials for lefties, so no one has a reason not to try crochet for themselves.

Once you're mastered the hook and yarn, and terminology you can head over to Crochet Pattern Central, a data base for all free patterns available on the web.
You can find patterns for almost anything from a cute scarf to a kawaii amigurumi.

15 June 2010


Bienvenue dans mon weblog, mon petits.

It is my pleasure to meet you and it is my honour to write for you.

Let's begin with formalities.

Je suis Mademoiselle Yajaira the writer of this blog and aspiring quaintrelle.

What is a quaintrelle, you may wonder.

Well... the definition is quite simply complicated and open to interpretation, like many things in life.

According to the gents at wikipedia a quaintrelle is a

"A woman who emphasises a life of passion expressed through personal style, leisurely pastimes, charm, and cultivation of life’s pleasures. Quaintrelles are not female dandies; rather, they share the same philosophical underpinnings of dandies, developed within feminine nature and styles"

And why am I am aspiring quaintrelle, because I have to crave out my niche in the that lifestyle.

I sincerely hope you enjoy my articles and begin your own passage in to the life of a quaintrelle.

Much love and au revoir,