Saturday, July 29, 2023

Bibliotheca July Prompt: Dolls

 Long time, no post! I've been quite busy lately, moving across the country to a new area of Japan, starting a new job, and traveling to new places! But as always, this blog is never abandoned, and I am back again!

This post is for the July prompt of "Dolls" for Bibliotheca! I had to jump in a create a post about mori dolls as soon as I heard it! There haven't been many mori dolls over the years, but I still had fun researching and finding some adorable dolls to share with you all. So, let's get started!


Momori Doll (モモリ)

One of the most well-known mori dolls you might find online is the mori-inspired Pullip doll named "Momori". The doll was produced in 2019 and sold on the official Pullip website.  The doll featured a floral and lace dress, cream colored cardigan, a fur collar, brown leather boots and bag, and a large lace and floral headband.

Pullip dolls were originally created in South Korea but have been marketed in Japan and worldwide. You can find more images and information about her here, or watch an unboxing of the doll by my dear friend Miwako!


Dear LeLe Girl (ディアレレガール)

Produced in 2010 by Blythe, Dear LeLe Girl was a doll directly inspired by the natural fashion trends of the time, mori being a clear inspiration. Although not officially marketed as a Mori Girl, her box description and clothes clearly resemble mori fashion trends.

The doll features long red hair, a green dress with lace trim and large sleeves, a floral, embroidered apron, pink leg warmers, and brown shoes. She also has a flower headband and accessories.

Blythe Dolls were originally created in America but saw their largest success when revamped and sold by the Takara company in Japan. 


A Blythe Mori Girl theme was also produced for Android phones, although it is unclear if the doll featured was officially sold, or not. 

The doll featured had long blond hair, a white asymmetrical dress, a brownish green cardigan with lace trim, and large fur boots. The theme itself had various nature motifs and animal images. 

Maniac Mary

Maniac Mary is not a specific doll, but rather a creator of clothing and doll designs for various Dollfie Models. These days they produce more Lolita-inspired clothing for their dolls, but you can still find many images of their creations online, as well as on their Twitter profile.

Maniac Mary created various outfit sets inspired by mori fashion until 2014, selling them at various conventions and on an online store. Their designs feature lots of lace, layers, and small details, and often seem to draw inspiration from Cawaii brand photos, Pink House dresses, and other natural fashion brands and trends.

Dollfie dolls (ドルフィー), created by the Japanese Volks company, are one of the most collected types of Ball Jointed Dolls. Maniac Mary seems to favor various Dolfie Dream models, in particular.

Honorable Mentions

Kurhn Toy Doll 

A mori girl doll was produced by Kurhn Toy, a Chinese doll company. The doll can be found occasionally on Chinese wholesale sites, such as Aliexpress. However, not much can be found in English about the doll company. 

The doll itself is small, resembling Barbie dolls or Licca dolls. It features a large, voluminous pinafore-style dress with lace trim and matching pair of boots, a cream-colored undershirt, a small headband, and a brown and lace bag. The doll also comes in four color schemes, red, pink, purple, and blue.

Mori Girl styling of a Licca Doll by きせかえごと

An adorable styling of a mori girl Licca Doll was created in 2016 by still active doll styling blog, Kisekaegoto (きせかえごと). The doll's long, wavy brown hair is tied with two white ribbons, and she wears a lace and gingham dress, a white cardigan, brown boots, and carries a straw handbag.

Licca Dolls, also known as Licca-Chan (リカちゃん), are a popular type of doll created by shoujo manga artist Miyako Maki in the late 1960s. They remain a popular doll to style in Japan to this day.

Mori Girl BJD styling by ベビベビニッキ

Another adorable doll styling of a mori girl doll was done by still Baby Baby Nikki (ベビベビニッキ). This time, the doll is another Dollfie doll, and was exhibited at a toy exhibition in Tokyo. It wears a layered and asymmetrical dress of brown, white, and various kinds of lace, as well as a pink lace cardigan, and a brown bow necklace. Her long, wavy blonde hair is also pulled back with a headband.

Envisage "Mori Girl" Outfit

Although not directly related, a BJD doll called Envisage, created by Danny Choo, was marketed recently as having a "mori girl" outfit upon its release. However, the outfit itself is only very loosely inspired by mori fashion. However, the mention of the style by the doll's creator is worth a brief mention here!

I hope enjoyed seeing these lovely mori dolls! I have always loved BJD dolls myself, and hope to someday have one. How about you? Do you enjoy dolls? Have you ever seen any other mori-inspired dolls that I missed here? Please comment them below! Until next time, my deers!

Monday, December 5, 2022

Bibliotheca November Prompt: Food | Let's Talk about Q-Pot

November's Bibliotheca prompt was food. Although I'm late to the party (as always) I wanted to get in my post because this prompt immediately made me think of a relic of Mori Kei's past, the still popular accessory brand Q-Pot! 

So, come along with me and let's look at the charming world of Q-Pot accessories and it's impact on the mori community!

What is Q-Pot?

Q-pot is a popular accessories brand created in 2002 in Harajuku. The project was created by the designer Tadaaki Wakamatsu, focusing on accessories with sweets themes.[1] According to a press release, the designer hoped that his designs would help to connect people.[2]

The cute and novelty items created by Q-Pot have long been popular in J-fashion, and were often seen in Harajuku fashion snaps. From what I can tell, they are still popular as they've ever been; with a thriving website and even fairly recent search results for street fashion snaps on Tokyo Fashion.[3]

The brand has made many collaborations, and accessories in all kinds of themes. All kinds of sweets can be found lovingly recreated in rings, necklaces, and other accessories.

How does Q-Pot relate to Mori Kei?

Q-Pot once circulated amongst mori communities as one of the most recommended accessories brands. Although Q-Pot is not strictly mori, and often falls more into the realm of Lolita fashion, the brand was still widely popular. It was even mentioned in Choco's Fashion and Style book and even in the infamous Choco's List!

In particular, the Alice and Wonderland themed set was very popular amongst mori folk. I remember seeing many a post about it way back in the day on livejournals and blogs. 

Have you ever heard about Q-Pot or owned any of their pieces? I'm personally not big on accessories so I've never owned any of their pieces, but I think they are very charming and cute!

If you are interested in learning more about Q-Pot, you can check out their Instagram and online shop!

(Picture sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Mori Kei 30 Day Challenge: Day 30

Day 30: If you were a mythological creature, what kind of creature would you be? (ex. an elf, a centaur, a witch, etc.)

Hands down, no hesitation, a hobbit. Your girl is fairly short, as far as US height goes, has wavy/curly hair, loves to eat, dreams of living on a farm or somewhere similar, is an absolute homebody, and the list goes on. 

Plus I have a huge love for the Lord of the Rings and everything Tolkein. Which may make me biased toward his creations.

Also, their fashion! So cute, and the layers are kind of mori.

And with that, we've finally reached the end of our 30 prompts! It's been fun to chat about mori things again. I hope you could enjoy it too!

If you try out the prompts, please link them to me and let me know! I would love to see everyone's answers.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Mori Kei 30 Day Challenge: Day 29

Day 29: Have you made any mori friends? If so, how did you meet them? Let's share where we can meet with other mori folk!

I've made a lot of mori friends over the years. Sadly, many of them have left the style, but I still remember them fondly. Currently, the most active mori place online is our discord! I can't offer a permanent link but if anyone is interested in joining you can comment here and I'll send you a link!

On the discord, we chat about fashion, lifestyle, food, and anything and everything. Like most mori spaces on the internet, it's a chill and friendly environment. 

How about you? Where have you met most of your mori friends?

Friday, November 18, 2022

Mori Kei 30 Day Challenge: Day 28

Day 28: What is your biggest tip or trick about wearing mori? Any style hacks, shop suggestions, or so on?

In no particular order, here are some things that really benefited me when wearing or building my mori wardrobe!
  • Match your colors when you are buying pieces! Stick with a similar color schemes (for example, mainly blues and greens) so that more of your pieces can work together with other pieces. Your wallet will thank you.
  • Don't buy things just because they look mori if they don't fit you well. You won't end up wearing them and it will just sit in your closet sadly. Just don't. Let someone else buy and enjoy them.
  • Mind your layers! Don't overload one part of your outfit with too many layers. It will make everything feel off and a little frumpy. Try to evenly space out your layers instead.
  • Check thrift stores often! You can always find things that work at thrift stores and it is way cheaper than brand pieces. It's also better for those of every size.
  • Learn basic sewing skills or crochet/knitting! You can make your own details that make your outfits pop and fill in the gaps of what you can't buy for your wardrobe.
  • Lean on the basic colors. I know, beige is boring, but it's also versatile and can be used in any outfit. So use those beige and brown colors to your advantage!
How about you? What are your mori tips and tricks?

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Mori Kei 30 Day Challenge: Day 27

Day 27: What is the most difficult thing about wearing or participating in mori for you?

This is going to be a bit emotional for me to write, and a little vulnerable. But I've been meaning to speak on it for a while now, so why not here? I suppose I could say it's wearing mori in the heat and not sweating, or finding mori pieces, but there is something else that has caused me to avoid wearing mori in recent years.

TW for discussions of weight and light discussions of fat-shaming societal expectations in Japan

When I started wearing mori, I was a young high school student. And as such, I was a lot thinner. I've always been a curvy girl. I have big hips and big boobs. It's a fact of my life. But now I'm in my mid-20s, living abroad and more than a little stressed out about my job and the state of the world, and I've gained weight. I'm not plus-sized by US standards, but by Japanese standards, I definitely am.

Gaining weight for the first time was strange, to put it lightly. Growing out of my clothes, and having to get rid of pieces I loved, was really hard for me. My silhouette changed with my weight too. The way I used to dress didn't look cute anymore and I had to adjust what I wore and how I wore it.

I'm not ashamed of my weight. I don't hate my body. But I do live in Japan. And Japan is a skinny society. Way moreso than America ever was for me. People here are tiny, and plus-sized clothes are almost impossible to find. 

In America, sure, sometimes stores have limited plus-sized items, but you can find some kind of plus-sized piece anywhere. And sizes overall are larger than in Japan. I never felt like I couldn't find clothing in the US. Here in Japan, the average L size is closer to a US M, and plus-sized clothes are hardly ever present in stores. A lot of stores don't even stock their plus-sized clothes in-store and you have to go online to find their larger sizes. It can be kind of humiliating to walk through the mall and know you are too heavy to wear anything.

I want to be healthier from a literal health standpoint, so I've lost some weight recently. (I've been biking with the Conqueror Lord of the Rings challenge and I'm currently working towards my second medal! I love it and have a lot of fun biking!) But I'm not interested in being hyper-concerned about my weight to fit the standards of a "normal" Japanese body. Which isn't normal, by the way. Plus-sized people have always existed here. They just get shoved to the side.

All this to say, finding clothes here is very hard. So once I've outgrown my mori pieces, I can't find replacements. It's not only limited my wardrobe but also discouraged me from finding new pieces and wearing mori again. It's a sad cycle.

I'm trying to break the cycle on my own. I try to not compare myself to standards that I could never reach anyways (heck, my bone structure alone is wider than "standard" Japanese sizes). And I'm also trying to love myself no matter what my size is. But it's been hard. 

So, trying to be kind to myself, I've started wearing mori sometimes again. There are a few of my recent casual outfits I've worn. I see it as a simple way to love myself again. 

I hope no one else can relate to my story, but I know that so many people do. So I want to close with this. You can be happy at any size. Your worth isn't based on your body or your weight or how you look. And you can enjoy wearing cute clothes at any size and you shouldn't let anyone stop you, even your own self-doubts. 

Thanks for listening to me and letting me be a little vulnerable if you've read this far. I'm grateful to have you here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Mori Kei 30 Day Challenge: Day 26

Day 26: How do people react when you wear mori? Are reactions mostly positive, negative, or a mix?

I don't wear mori as much as I used to, but when I did wear it almost every day I had a huge mix of reactions. Let me tell you about a few that stand out to me.

For negative, I don't have many, but I did have one experience that was so odd it made me laugh out loud in public. I was in the United States still at the time, and I was inside a Walgreens picking up some medicine. I wasn't even dressed over-the-top, I was wearing a more casual mori style than anything, but at any rate, I guess it was noticeable enough. 

As I was shopping, I felt like someone was looking at me. I looked up to find a woman full-on staring me down, or rather my outfit. She didn't stop looking at me either. She kept looking for an uncomfortably long period of time, before suddenly looking up into my eyes with this strange look of disgust and shock, and then just walking away and out of the store.

I kind of stood there shocked for a moment but after that, I just started laughing. It was so odd! Who gets offended by clothes??

On a positive note, I've had a ton of people come up and compliment my outfits before. But my favorite was once when I went to a Starbucks and a random lady came up to me and suddenly told me I looked like a fairytale princess. I was super flattered and she was very kind. I'll never forget that.

Overall, people's responses are usually positive. Most people are excited to see someone wearing mori, and due to the style's fairly conservative nature, it usually doesn't offend anyone. I always encourage people to wear what they want. It's not as scary as you think after you wear an alternative fashion out for the first time. You'll find that most people are excited and positive to see it.

How about you? What are your most memorable experiences wearing mori kei or other alternative fashion styles? I'd love to hear about your experiences!