2019 Retrospective

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Hello everyone !

It’s crazy how time flies. We already are at the end of the year ! So it’s time to write my usual retrospective post.

Last thing we did last year, is to go to London to see the Hadestown musical. So what is the best thing to do to start a new year ? Go back to London to see Hadestown again !  °˖✧◝(⁰▿⁰)◜✧˖°

Now if you are in New York, I strongly recommend you to go to the Walter Kerr Theatre to see Hadestown. You will immediately understand why they won so many awards !  <(❛ヮ❛✿)>
I’m very happy to have bought the original Broadway cast recording, so I can listen to these fabulous songs forever.

Shop and blog

There was one huge change to the shop and blog this year : We changed the name. Many people have been quite surprised.

I have to say that since I left the Lolita fashion community in 2016, the « Bonbon Maléfique » name immediately started to be a burden. It was just not me or what I do anymore.
Of course it was a funny and nice name for a brand of handmade fashion jewelry and accessories aimed at a teenage girls audience, but not a good name at all for vintage clothes or decoration items.

When my shop was still called Bonbon Maléfique, many people were mocking me or did not take me seriously. And the worst with it, is people who thought it was my nickname and called me « Bonbon ». It was horrible. And it was even more horrible as I did not like this name anymore. We absolutely needed a new name.

(ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻

So with Julien we finally found the perfect name and decided to rename our shop « Alphonsine Design et Vintage ». It is a reference to fashion designers in France in the early 1900s who often used their first name as a « business name ».

Don’t forget to take note of our new social media URLs ! So you won’t miss any of our adventures.

www.instagram.com/alphonsinevintage
www.facebook.com/alphonsineboutique

Like I said last year, we worked a lot on our interior design items. We also added a few more things to our decorative plates items : Magnets, keychains, picture frames and even cosplay props !

Our convention booths were very successful, and the 2020 events calendar is already pretty full !
Take a look to our calendar page  !

We travel all around France but also some other European countries.

About the blog, I did not write a lot of posts this year, even if I have a bunch of drafts. It’s mostly because of the fact we bought a house and we had some work to do in it. Now that everything is done, I will have more time to write vintage fashion posts.

Fashion and personal life

Now I am sure of something, my favorite fashion decade is the 40s. It has everything I like : it is simple and practical.

When I was younger I liked all the frilly stuff, big dresses, accessories, but this is not my thing anymore. I prefer something simple and comfortable. 40s fashion is perfect for this kind of outfits.
I also don’t want to spend too much time doing my hair and make up, this is just not me.
It is also for these reasons that I was pretty surprised to win beauty/fashion pageants, and even more for the national title, because I was the less « dressed » in the bunch.

By the way I got asked several times if I wanted to participate again in the Miss Pin-up France contests.

The answer is no.

Even if I met some really great people, you might have noticed that I was wearing the sash very rarely, did not make a lot of photos with it, and did not come to related events.

Why ? Simply because I think it is not for me.
I took part of the contest for fun.
I don’t think it was a mistake, because at the beginning the person who wanted me to get into it said that they wanted people with authentic historic style (so Vintage, and not « Pin-Up »).
But at the end I did not feel that it was for me. I was feeling very different from most of the others. So I felt better when not wearing the sash.

I won’t blame people who say that I am a « Pin-up », because a lot of them use this word to talk about a woman from the 40-50s because they need to put a name on the style (even if it is just a normal woman from back then).

So this is why I will not take part of any « Pin-Up » contest ever again.
But I will participate in other contests : Cosplay contests !

With Julien we went to our first cosplay contest at Japan Addict in Strasbourg in June, and we won the judges favorite prize with our mythical Captain America / Peggy Carter couple cosplay.

Here is the video of our performance. Believe me it was so hard not to laugh. Everything is live, no playback ! (ノ^∇^)

To explain the joke because it is in French, we made a parody of the well known 80s Tom Sawyer cartoon theme song. The song is about Tom Sawyer, the boy who is described as the « american symbol of freedom » and lyrics are like « He is afraid of nothing because he is american » and « he likes to go on adventures with all of his good friends »… We rewrote the song and replaced Tom Sawyer with Steve Rogers (ノ^∇^)

I guess we found how to combine vintage and Geek culture  (*^▽^*)

To end this post on a more personal note, I wanted to talk about something I wanted to keep for myself at the beginning. I kept everything secret, but many people noticed that this summer I was wearing sunglasses all the time even inside, particularly at Japan Expo, and even late at night, which could look pretty weird.

Many said that « nobody noticed », but I had a strabism since I was a child.
When I started to really see it in my late teens, I wanted to have surgery because it is the only way to get rid of it. But everyone around me even doctors stopped me by saying that « it is nothing » « nobody notices it » « you are just tired » (hey breaking news, strabism causes eye fatigue….)
Nobody notices ? So why are people laughing at me huh ? (;¬_¬)

Then I got bullshit about the surgery : « It’s dangerous and fails almost all the time » « It hurts a lot and is very dangerous » and they blocked me from seeing an expert. (In France you cannot go to the expert yourself, you need a letter).

And worst comment ever : « It looks nice, at least you are unique »
Great uniqueness, with free headaches included because of constant effort… (´◣д◢`+)

Then thanks to a great new doctor who directly saw it at the first appointment, I got my letter and appointment with an expert, who luckily is in Strasbourg.

I was fighting since years to get this opportunity.

30 minutes changed my whole life.
All the photos you see in this post are post surgery. For me there is a huge difference, because in the past it was impossible for me to take a picture in which I was looking at the camera.
The most horrible thing was also group pictures, or spontaneous photos such as fashion shows, because I looked ugly on all of them all the time. It was very difficult for me, I could not share most of the photos.

I don’t regret the surgery at all because I am very happy of the result. Of course it is scary, particularly because of people saying stupid things all the time and say that it will fail.
The only thing you should not do is look in a mirror 10 minutes after the surgery. Except if you like the comics villain style, a mix between Batman’s Double Face and Punisher’s Jigsaw.

But after a week when the redness starts to fade, it is a great boost for self confidence.

The most difficult thing is the fact that you cannot stand any light for a long while, over a month. This is why I was wearing sunglasses all the time. And also evaluating distances and orientation is weird for several months.

I started to sew and do stuff 2 days after surgery, because I just cannot stop.

I am very happy that I did NOT let people stop me, because now this problem is part of the past.

This is it for this year’s retrospective, and I wish you all a happy new year !

Estelle,


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