This New Year: Dare to Dress up Kawaii

This New Year: Dare to Dress up Kawaii

IN 2014, I started dressing up in J-fashion inspired clothing.

I wore it to events, wore it to go out shopping, wore it walking down the streets, along my neighborhood, in the wet market, riding a bus, riding a jeep, just to do groceries…

I dressed up when there was every reason to, and also when there was no reason at all.

I find a lot of different types of fashion appealing. While I mostly like to dress j-fashion inspired, I also like to take cues from vintage, pin-up and retro. I’ve always admired photos and models and icons of them, and in 2014 I finally decided to go out and brave it and dress up how i’d like to.

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I made my own lolita ensemble by making a skirt and petticoat and coordinating it with a thrift store blouse and knit cardigan. Everything, except the skirt, were things that I already had in my closet. The blouse is even my mom’s or my sister’s, and I just resized it. I have a tutorial for the skirt uploaded in this blog, albeit outdated and needs to be polished with finer sewing techniques.

I wore it to a local anime-themed convention, and the response was heart-warming. People liked it, some people asked for photos, or asked about what I was wearing. Don’t get me wrong–I wasn’t swarmed by people, these are just a handful–but it’s always heartwarming when people appreciate something you picked and put together, a reflection of YOU.

And more importantly, I was happy with myself, and what I wore. I made another dress. I bought cute pieces that were out at the store. Expanding a wardrobe is a pain on the wallet, so I would also scour through thrift stores (ukay-ukay) and offbrand stores and bazaars. It helps that I can use a sewing machine fairly well, make alterations, and tear apart things to make something new out of them. I put them on and complete a look from head-to-foot, even matching my wigs and makeup. I started going out all dressed up as if there would be a convention or like I’m someone walking the streets of Japan, and not the Philippines where, honestly, dressing up isn’t the norm.

I get glances and stares, and of course I feel so out of place and overdressed, but I don’t plan to stop this year. (In fact, I felt rewarded for all that when at the end of the year, I got the chance to model for lolita brand dolldelight.)

It’s not easy for me. I live in a depressed area so it’s not like I just get into a car and go shopping at Aura and The Fort and Makati. Going out all dolled up is not that convenient for me. I have to walk for a good ten minutes up steep slopes and even a palengke (wet market) to get to where I ride a JEEP to get to anywhere. I commute in my “kawaii” clothes, so to speak. (For those curious, I live in Bagong Silang, which is notorious as a place for ex-convicts and gangs. It’s not entirely as bad as people make it out to be, but it’s also not the place where you’d expect someone in the fashion hobby to come from.)

I’ve heard girls hesitate dressing kawaii or in j-fashion because it doesn’t fit their lifestyle and feel it’s just for people who are among the elite, or shop in top “rich kid” shopping spots where dressing up wouldn’t be too out of place. It’s more convenient for them, that’s a reality, but I hope you don’t make it an excuse for you to not try it yourself.

You’ll most likely get asked questions. “Why are you dressed like that?” is common. “Is that your real hair?” is even more common for me! I just smile and respond appropriately, saying that’s just how I like to dress, and yes, it’s a wig. xD If jejeweebs other people make wrong assumptions or remarks (“hey look she’s cosplaying!” “omg bro look it’s cosplay!” “hey look it’s *insert mainstream anime character here*”) about how you’re dressed, don’t take it to heart. You can politely correct them, but since I think that’s too much of a hassle, and could arise in conflict, I just laugh it off. Remember, not everyone knows about the fashion you’re dressed in, so don’t hold them grudges for what they don’t know. It’s not anyone’s fault that they aren’t educated in fashion and what subcultures are called, so don’t blow your top over that one.

Scared of the critics, the people that are actually pointedly trying to be rude to you? Learn how to take them all in stride. The number of people who would say rude things is a very, very SMALL minority. And you can usually tell that their rude remarks are fueled by their own personal insecurities, so I just feel bad that they have such a miserable life that they have to make such a big fuss over someone who’s just dressed differently.

The majority of the people will, instead, smile.

“Kawaii” and doll-inspired fashion is powerful in the way that it’s so light and fun and colorful or whimsical that the natural reaction for most people to it would be to smile or find it interesting. I think it speaks to the child in all of us, and no matter how jaded and old someone gets, a lot of people are still able to appreciate all the fun and innocence that gets reflected in what you wear.

The most priceless remarks I hear are from children. In my neighborhood, a lot of the kids know me, and I like it when the little girls greet me and say how they like what I’m wearing, or I “look like a doll”, or say they like my cookie necklace or some other interesting accessory. Even kids in the malls will call their siblings to point at me, (“look! I like what she’s wearing!”) or will call their moms (“mom the girl behind us looks cute! look at her!”) and all the honesty from them is just so heart-warming. Adults (usually ones with kids, I find) will also give compliments once in a while, or try to show you to their kids, which I think is cute. I’d like kids to grow up and not be afraid to keep all the whimsy and cute from their childhood, so it’s very touching when parents point out to me and tell their kids there’s nothing wrong about still being a kid at heart even when you’re all grown up.

I feel like how we dress up also affects how we act and treat others in public. Dressed up all cute and fun, I feel like I’m even more fired up to be positive and make my day fun and not let anyone rain on my parade.

If you’ve always wanted to wear your fashion in public, but you get scared or shy, I encourage you to start and make this  year your year. I started it in 2014 and as I’ve told you, there’s more ups than downs. There’s the slight chance that you’ll make someone else’s day and make them smile, but what’s most important is you yourself will be happier.

This 2015, I plan to open up my own personal style website. I always wanted to separate my more fashion-oriented content from this website ( since this one is more oriented towards crafts and cosplay. I don’t plan to stop dressing up kawaii this year!

What about you?

Looking forward to seeing your own coords and ootds for 2015!


Doll for a Day! The Dolldelight Lolita Experience

Doll for a Day! The Dolldelight Lolita Experience

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(Photo Credit: Jumpshot Photography)

One of the best, most memorable experiences in my 2014 is that I got the chance to model for internationally-known lolita brand, dolldelight, even for one day!

Dolldelight, owned and ran by Filipino-American designer Cyril Lumboy, has been a brand that I looked up to as a newbie interested in lolita fashion. I liked the intricate details in every dolldelight original dress, and that they had prints and silhouettes that were not just for the usual, more-commonly found sweet lolita.

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I only started dressing with hints of j-fashion this year, so I’m a total newb and first-timer. When Cyril got in touch with me for modelling for dolldelight for the World Bazaar, I was soooo excited~!

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Backstage. Cyril giving a briefing on the stage setup. She’s truly hands-on and really involved with the models, and kept things going on smoothly despite all the management’s changes in schedule. I was ALMOST late because I didn’t know that they moved up the show to two hours earlier… T.T
 photo Pink-Ranger1_zps5ddc91a1.jpg(Photo Credit for Right Photo: Jumpshot Photography)

I had the honor of wearing the Pink Ranger outfit, which is so pink, frilly, and poofy! My cousin said I looked like a cotton candy haha~!

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The show went on smoothly without a hitch. I met the loveliest girls and enjoyed a lot of our time trying to calm down and relax our collective nerves. They were so pr0 walking and posing at the stage~! I was so nervous and n00b OTL

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Took some photos outside the dressing room/near the backstage with bazaar-goers~ We have the lovely Barbie, Ehren, Mayumi, me, Patrice, and Maya~! (from left to right)

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(top right) With designer Cyril, who’s so talented and such an inspiration. (top left) With Maria. (bottom right) with Mikkitty. (bottom left) with Patrice.

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With Nikki and Maria~

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Was accompanied by my mum~ Am so happy/lucky/blessed to have a supportive family when it comes to my hobbies, dressing up, and lifestyle. I know some girls have problems getting their family to be accepting of a hobby, whether it’s dressing up in lolita or cosplaying. My advice is to just keep being a responsible kid and love your family! Never let your hobbies bring down your priorities like schoolwork, and don’t put the burden of buying your hobby stuff on your ‘rents.

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Group pic~~! Thank you so much dolls~! Thank you so much dolldelight! This shall go to my 2014 highlights for sure! This is one of the things you can’t just forget. <3

Don’t forget to follow dolldelight on facebook for lolita and dolly fashion if you’re interested in learning about it~! More of our photos can also be seen on Jumpshot Photography‘s page!




All things Cute at Kawaii in Manila 2! (Event Report)

All things Cute at Kawaii in Manila 2! (Event Report)

Hello everyone! Here’s a little post about Kawaii in Manila 2, which was a much-awaited event for the local Japanophiles for months now! I’ve been very, very excited for it myself. While there are cosplay conventions popping up left and right, there isn’t really a dedicated event for Japanese Fashion and culture, so it was just about time that Kawaii in Manila 2 arrived! This blog post is more of a personal take on the event instead of a coverage. (Partly because I brought my camera but forgot the memory card, haha—Some of these photos are cross-posted on my sister’s blog at, since the camera we used was hers. ^^)

We arrived just in time to see local j-fashion brands La Princesse Tea Doll and Dorotee Sweetlips walk down the catwalk. 

 photo kim2_4_zps2eb1d404.jpgDorotee Sweetlips’ collection had visible gothic and punk inspiration all throughout their collection, with blacks, reds and a consistent UK flag print. It’s definitely for the edgier lolitas out there. A favorite piece of mine (not pictured because yes I forgot my memory card) was the dress that had a parasol decked with playing cards walking down the catwalk.

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La Princesse Tea Doll is a new local lolita brand and their collection in the event was mostly floral prints in Rococo-influence silhouettes that would resonate with Classic Lolita gals–or even Sweet ones with the mostly pastel pink colors. I see it as a marriage of the Classic and Sweet styles. The photo above is one of me and my sister’s favorite for the day, from La Princesse Tea Doll. It’s more inclined to my currently Classic tastes. This is just so classic and rich. I’D BUY THIS. <3

 photo kim2_10_zpsb13ab51b.jpgLocal Mori-kei brand Forestale Shop also showcased their collection, but we arrived just as it finished! D: But I got a photo together with Jeyel and Kyo, who modeled Forestale’s “Don’t Eat the Candy” collection. I first met them in 2010 and we all debuted our first cosplay the same time that year. Over the years they have just improved so much and I look forward to seeing their costumes in events. It was refreshing to see them in J-fashion this time! please feel free to crop me out my color scheme is so out of place with them xD

seeing them all the time makes me wish I had a significant other who’d dress up with me

 photo kim2_11_zps009edbcd.jpgI ran into Katz (Nekomi-Kasai on Facebook) who was in her anthro/human version of Catbus from Totoro, with Sammy as Totoro~ They’re real sweethearts. <3

 photo kim2_12_zpsaab7b220.jpgAJ Cross Cosplay came as Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle. I love how the Ghibli group came in cosplay that’s still very relevant to the event. I may even go so far as to say that Studio Ghibli works is an own subculture in itself, haha! Sese Cosplay was also there as Sophie, but their group seemed pretty busy getting together for a shoot so it was awkward to be interrupting them. ^^;;

 photo kim2_6_zps92ffb9cf.jpgWe checked the art gallery next. All the pieces were just bursting with kawaii-ness and skill. I hope next time the artworks are bigger and we have a wider space for the gallery too!

 photo kim2_3_zpsbf31b177.jpgThe kawaii life is also all about DIY–decorating and blinging out stuff is really popular among the girls of Japan! It’s nice to have live DIY workshops in events, in this photo they’re having a polymer clay workshop. I picked up some of the clay they were using, which is a fairly new brand that I haven’t used before called Flexi Clay. Will post a review of it soon. ^^

 photo kim2_13_zps59f54746.jpgLucyPop neckties! <3

There were all sorts of shops which have taken up booths in the event, and you can walk out there with your complete dose of cuteness or with a totally new look if you wanted!

 photo kim2_14_zps3878f940.jpgFrom Spring Marionette‘s shared booth. ^^

I love how you could sense the passion even from the sellers in the booths here. The great thing about booths like these is that they’re manned by the artists and owners who are also passionate about the kawaii movement, even dressing up to match! Even sellers were decked in their best kawaii outfit!

 photo kim2_9_zps753aa7bc.jpgFrom Abbey Sy’s booth–my brother attended their lettering workshops before. ^^

Kawaii in Manila also gave out “bingo cards”–flyers that get stamped whenever you visit the booths listed. If you bingo, you get a raffle entry! I like how it encourages people to go around and meet the shops and booths. The venue was just right for the number of attendants. While there’s congestion here and there which is unavoidable, it doesn’t get to “omg dying” sort of frustration which is what happens when organizers try to pack too many people into the event.

 photo kim2_7_zps7ea26365.jpgLolita with an attitude (the good sort)! I wonder what print she’s wearing? And those bags are just perfect!

 photo kim2_15_zps57eaf02e.jpgDolldelight designer Cyril with her good friend, also modeling Dolldelight.

 photo kim2_2_zps1dfaa4c0.jpgomg lolita senpais noticed me—-*fangirls* I feel so underdressed next to them! xD I’m a fan of dolldelight creations since I found them on facebook, and it’s a pleasure to meet Cyril in person! Cyril has started a group for dolldelight fans in the Philippines, so please check out the group and join if you’d like to be in the loop!

 photo kim2_16_zpsf37a48ad.jpgCute photo-op walls in the venue. ^^ A pet-peeve of mine is the wrist-stamp though, I always hate it when I’m in a nice coord or costume and then in my photos I always have some stamp on my arm showing—xD

I came in a little classic-lolita coord that was self-sewn in two days… with my sewing machine needle breaking just when I was about to finish it. D: It’s far more casual than any of the lolita coordinates in the event.  xD

I love lolita, and while I don’t dress in the other subcultures, I enjoy seeing them all the same. But I am not in close contact with other people who enjoyed Japanese fashion or culture in general and just “got it”. Kawaii in Manila 2 was a true eye-opener and experience from me in the sense that from one event, you just knew that there were others like you who were passionate about the same things. And even if the subcultures in the event were many and varying, it was refreshing and there was just a feeling of community from just being there.

I hope Kawaii in Manila becomes an annual event, and comes back bigger and better next time. It was a huge success and I’d like to congratulate all the organizers for all the passion they put into this event.

See you in Kawaii in Manila 3!

 photo kim2_0_zpsb97226c5.jpgMe and my sister. Thank you sis, and my family, for putting up with me, lace and frills and all!



Get Dolled Up! SM’s Doll Glam Event Recap

Get Dolled Up! SM’s Doll Glam Event Recap

Hello everyone! Today I’ll be posting my recap of SM’s Doll Glam event held two weeks ago, which was a fun gathering of gals of all ages and walks that are interested in Japanese-inspired “doll” fashion. I really wanted to go to this event right when I heard about it–I always get excited about things J-Fashion related and am super happy that the interest for it is growing leaps and bounds. And I know I’m not the only one happy that Japanese makeup brands that are perfect for this look are finally being brought to the mall shelves! Its about time!

 photo 10474500_10203935474929145_3548905526565664931_n_zps4f495378.jpgBrands like Palty and BeautyLabo for hairdyes are finally around locally. You get free haircolor application when you buy items from them.

 photo 10577061_10203935452888594_1276274828609077064_n_zps74586cbd.jpgThe much raved about Dolly Wink can be finally bought off store shelves! It used to be you can only get them from Japan or ordering from Japanese sites. The good news is the local prices of Dolly Wink here aren’t much different from the prices in Japan, so its just like buying the items from Japanese stores! (Minus the airfare to get there lol)

 photo 10338228_10203935473289104_1398932950275065140_n_zps786772b8.jpgHeroine Make is another brand that is much raved about–and their packaging is sooo cute! Could not resist taking selfie with their life-size stand “heroine” icon. (why don’t I have a proper photo of the booth OTL)

 photo 10349217_10203935455088649_361059792847576696_n_zps5b523c36.jpgThere were free makeovers and product trials everywhere! Hadn’t I wanted to cover the event I would have gotten my hair dyed haha. This gal’s getting her eye makeup retouched in the Maybelline ColorShow section.

 photo 10477119_10203935470529035_5055128700201885781_o_zps5ef790ba.jpgLiving mannequins/roving models around the area, each representing how you can incorporate dolly makeup into common style pegs.

 photo 10533734_10203935453408607_7552614722052352036_n_zpsdca1dd35.jpgThis event also brought together two icons when it comes to the Dolly style–style blogger Tricia Gosingtian and cosplayer Alodia Gosiengfiao. The gals were real sweethearts and it was cool to hear both of them gush about makeup and personal style. They did a makeup demonstration on two models as well, demonstrating how to get the dolly look. Its all about eyes in the dolly look, so it all boils down to good eyeliner, mascara, and false lashes! Circle lenses would be great as well.

 photo 10535787_10203935465208902_8257552506139005936_o_zpsb7bb6e4a.jpgTen best dolled up from the audience!

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Met up with Jiandra of M’Lady Bags–check out her shop page if you want a cute bag just like hers which are perfect for the dolly look!

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Hello fellow lolita, may the frills be with you! (dude I want her shoes!)

Gals dolled up just for the event! They had a “Best Dressed” from the audience contest too, but unfortunately the gals were onstage so I wasn’t able to take photos of them or their coords. (I also was unable to win in the event boohoo because when I got there the winners were already decided boohoo I wanted the makeup)

 photo 10421391_10203935451768566_7060848053643562385_n_zpsd934b7b0.jpgNo one just wants to stick to ordinary black hair, haha. xD

 photo 10498335_10203935543650863_4579847749733171737_o_zps833d53d6.jpgMy own coord was just based off a more casual dolly look–did my best to resist going on full-on Lolita because the event was mostly for Gyaru, which is a more wearable fashion compared to my beloved frilly j-fashion. I went for a strawberry themed casual coord with a strawberry print skirt (which I made!) and matching strawberry necklace and earrings. I went to the event with my bro, who dropped me off  before he went to art school nearby.

 photo 10296122_10203935450728540_5434356071735471134_o_zpsf13e2356.jpg
 photo 10547062_10203935458048723_9161671320691865117_o_zps81e46b32.jpgAfter the event my bro and I met up at Vanilla Cupcake to chill out before heading home!

I am glad that there was an event like this, and hope for more from SM in the future! It’s amazing that j-fashion and japanese makeup brands are finally setting foot here in the country, and I hope it only keeps going on! The dolly look is fun, feminine, and empowering with its cuteness, so I hope more gals get interested in it, along with finding their style. If you ever want to try it out, our favorite Japanese makeup brands are finally at SM department stores so just head out there and try it out!



3SK Craft Area Tour!

3SK Craft Area Tour!

Hello fellow kittens! Welcome to  our brand spankin’ new website too! Parts of it are still in the works, but for now I hope you liketh! My brother, Joey, worked hard for this lovely site and even got me this site on my birthday. So I hope the 3SK becomes bigger and better and helps you all more~!

With that being said for today’s post I thought I’d give you all a little craft area tour. ^^

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All the Three Smitten Kittens magic actually happens in a small room I rent that’s just right beside our house. It’s my room and office, and having it really helps me concentrate on work. I just moved in here a month ago (and my brother moved in next door) so it’s not too tidy, but I hope it gives you a sense of how I do what I do!

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My main space really is on this table. This is my work table and craft table in one. It’s an old thing that’s been with us for years, and I’m saving up for a new table for the computer. The computer is my all-in-one Acer computer, which is from hard-earned money from 3SK.

Beside it I keep a tray filled with crafting and packaging materials. Tapes, tapes, more tapes, jewelry pliers, and then mostly liquids on top–Diamond Glaze, superglue, water, glosses, Fabri-Tac and what-have-you.

My cat, Kid, really likes to jump in through the window when my door is closed, so sometimes I find things toppled over in the morning. Boo.

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Inside my table drawers are more craft supplies. This wide drawer has most of my metal findings inside.

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Lots and lots of metal findings, resin cabochons, acrylic rhinestones and whatnot. These aren’t all of them! D:

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In my other drawer I have most of the clay I put up for sale. They’re sorted by color and brand. I have Sculpey III, Premo, Nendo Firm, and FIMO here.

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I keep the opened clay packs in an old container with lots of dividers. I do my best to use up everything in here before opening a new pack. These aren’t all my clay! I have a box of more clay somewhere here.

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We often move lots, so instead of big furniture, I keep most of my stuff in plastic boxes like this. This one has mostly packaging materials inside. I get my cute boxes from Quiapo.

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There are some built-in cupboards in the room, and I use them to store more craft stuff. Food isn’t anywhere here actually, haha! The amout of craft materials to the amount of food is not proportional. I have more liquids here like Mod Podge, Resin, and Silicone Putty.

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I have an secondhand Eastern Zenith sewing machine against the wall. It’s a steal at P2500, and mom and I got it a little over a year ago. It’s truly been an investment piece for me–ever since I had it, my sewing skills had improved and I could sew my costumes and lolita clothes. When I’m not working, I try to destress by sewing.

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All sorts of things go on in this craft area! I even take self-taken OOTD portraits here, haha. Or sometimes my brother sets up the tripod and plays photographer while I dress up.

3SK has been a dream for me, and has been all about doing what I love for a living, and waking up everyday surrounded by things I love, even in my little room. I hope the things I blog about and the items I make for others give them a small piece of their dream come true too.


Xarin Zuther

Birthday + Moving Out!

Birthday + Moving Out!

I missed posting last week! Real life has been keeping me busy, and February has always been a special time of the year for us. My brother Joey and I celebrate our birthdays on this month, and he and I bonded over trying to find ways to celebrate together. While this blog is mostly craft-centric, allow me to share a slice of real life every once in a while. ^^;;

According to WordPress, I’ve had this blog for four years, so I started it when I was eighteen and was pretty young and impressionable. Time flies by so fast! It’s another birthday for me, and I’m pretty old. D:

We usually celebrate our birthdays pretty simply; we just like to eat out as a family. That day my mother was out in the province so I went out with my brother and sister instead

We had sundaes for snack at Iceberg’s, dinner at Adobo Connection (which we are regulars in) and bringing home cupcakes from Lovin’ Oven.

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