DO IT OURSELVES: the importance of shared knowledge in Chronic Illness and Disability Communities

(TW// Mental health: anxiety, depression, delusions, breakdown, mentions of serious illness.)

As a neurodiverse person without a diagnosis, I struggled endlessly to find a sense of community in which I feel like I am not about to be turned away or judged for having a vaster understanding of my own neurological differences than medical professionals have yet cared to investigate. Perhaps it’s always been my fault for seeming mostly able to cope, even when I am at the end of my tether and can always feel a sort circuit and full shutdown is mere seconds away. Never mind that before I was prescribed my current medication, there was not a single day of my life that I did not burst into tears for the smallest things through feeling overwhelmed and overstimulated. That at 27, I still struggle quite badly with food smells, tastes and textures. That I’d been a really bad hypochondriac throughout university (believing I had throat cancer, breast cancer, mould in my lungs etc. all at different points throughout university). That the minute I removed the thing that was causing me the most cognitive distress (attempting to play the bassoon at reasonably professional level – something I only realised, after 12 years of being convinced I could get to, I’d never actually be able to achieve), things suddenly got much clearer…

You get the idea. I’ve always known I was different. At 22, when my delusional breakdown took me out of university for 8 months, I came to realise that I was very definitely not neurotypical. Especially when, after therapy and being on medication for a while, certain characteristics I often thought were part of my chronic mental health issues (anxiety and depression) that I’d been suffering with since a teenager or even before were still profoundly affecting me. I’d still get frustrated with certain motor skills, and I’d become withdrawn still if I had to be in an uncomfortable social situation for long periods of time. My globophobia got worse as years went on, as well as the intensification of social issues, organisation issues, and hyper-fixation.

It wasn’t until I was struggling socially in adapting to my new work environment at age 25 and the fact I realised that for three years I’d been deluded in the belief I could become friends with one very specific individual that I decided to get referred to be tested officially for neurodiversity, in order to gain some form of proper clarity in what I am dealing with. A year and a half later, I am still waiting. I’d like to go private…but money.

QUEUE MY DiO INTERVENTION ❤ (Thank you, Matty!)

Last autumn, my friend Matty invited me to attend a livestream on Twitch which he mods. It was very different from the gaming streams I had become used to attending in the few months prior to my introduction to Do It Ourselves…but if anything, as Matty had said, it was a nice change. He linked me to the stream, and the carrd. I remember the first thing I read about Do It Ourselves: Diagnosis or not: ALL ARE WELCOME! It felt like there might be finally somewhere for me to cultivate relationships with people who struggled in similar ways to how I did.

Do It Ourselves logo designed by the lovely Andrew

Do It Ourselves and the Power of Collective Knowledge and Support System for Chronic Illness and Disability

Do it Ourselves (thus named because of the goal to self-empower people with chronic illness and disability to, as well as seek diagnosis, share experience and give advice on ways to improve life while managing chronic illness and/or disability) is a livestream taking place usually on Monday and Thursday evenings on Twitch, in which brilliant Amy (sometimes accompanied by the lovely Tim) hosts and facilitates an informal and candid discussion on matters pertaining to chronic health conditions, both physical and mental, while giving insight upon personal chronic illness experiences. Though Amy has much experience as a peer support worker, and is a strong self-advocate as someone who lives with chronic illness herself, the discussion is a collective dialogue between chat and host (moderated classily by Matty and Andrew), often surrounding a specific topic, or (especially on a Thursday) chilled, random chat in which creative outlets, self-care and sharing experiences is always encouraged.

Being seen, Feeling valid

Everyone’s voice is encouraged to speak, is heard, and is upheld as valid. In a society where we are all too often taught that ‘everybody struggles with something’ and in which we are therefore forced to repress the issues we are going through (often exacerbating specific issues like social anxiety), this stream is a beacon of hope for those who attend. Through my own research and feedback kindly made available to me by Amy herself, I was able to obtain short testimonials from attendees of these streams. I will share a few below, along with some of my own thoughts:

DIO came at a great time for me. I’d recently been diagnosed with anxiety and – what with lockdown- was feeling isolated. The community are so welcoming and I feel I can participate despite my social anxiety. Amy keeps a great balance between talking about her own experiences and allowing us to share. When I was (even more recently) diagnosed with depression, I felt comfortable reaching out to chat and have felt supported and valid…’ – Liz

How important it is that we have a place that we feel heard, empowered and wholeheartedly accepted! With an absence of physical support systems at this moment in time, DiO streams have become such a crucial lifeline for so many of us with the additional load of chronical illness to bear. Indeed, many plan their time so that they are able to make sure they can attend Amy’s streams, such as the listener who wrote:
‘Amy has not only created a place where people can ask questions about their chronic illness issues and then leave again she has created an actual community that has been going strong for multiple months now. It’s something I’m forever grateful for and makes it so that I genuinely look forward to every single stream and will plan everything in a way so I can make it. This is something that is so special and something you don’t find often on the internet but the fact that I found it, that everyone in this community found it just makes me so incredibly happy and especially in a time like the year 2020 it’s just something I can truly say helped me a lot, both in advice that is given in the stream (either by Amy or by chat) but also in receiving and giving support to anyone who needs it! What a wonderful group!!
‘ – Ilse

‘It was wonderful and so informative, thank you Amy! It definitely struck me that everyone there last night was there for the same reason – to share and learn, and very grateful for you facilitating it.’ – anon

The thing that is cropping up again and again in these testimonials I have received from Amy is this idea of empowerment through shared experience. The message that everyone’s life and understanding of themselves is much more important than the thoughts of institutions that put up barriers and that seem determined to inhibit one’s ability to gain understanding about the truth of themselves, their condition etc. That although the irony is that as people with chronic illness we don’t necessarily have the energy to fight for rights, diagnosis, etc., that through gaining a better understanding of symptoms, struggles etc. through the voices of others in a community, we may actually receive a better fighting chance of achieving those things. Of making those changes. Of building better futures for ourselves and people like us.

‘The sheer relief I get just hearing other people realising they are not alone with their symptoms or their situations makes the world a MUCH better place. Screw those clinical staff not wanting us to talk freely!‘ – Theresa

‘Thank you for talking about what you do on your streams ❤ Ive been looking for something like this for a while since I dont really have anyone to talk to about stuff like this in real life :)’ – anon

An all-too-common dilemma for people with chronic illness is the inability to talk freely about the things they struggle with/that no one is listening to them properly when they do talk! There is literally no such thing as overshare within this little community that Amy has facilitated. There is a level of comfort in being comfortable with voicing one’s own issues aloud, finally, without being chastised, judged, or doubted.



THIS IS WHY WE STAN AMY AND DOITOURSELVES ❤ It has been an absolute joy to be among like minded people who are genuinely caring of the lives of those they have befriended through DiO. Seeing people feel inspired to care for each other, to organise their medication, to practice self-care and self-empathy etc. is just so humbling and I am cherishing the moments in the streams I manage to get to when I too feel listened to, validated and often, advised by those (virtually) around me in a way I am able to use moving forward to make my own life better!

Thank you so much, Amy!


If you are someone who feels they could benefit from Do It Ourselves, check out timetables by clicking > here < Monday evenings 7-9pm and Thursday evenings 8-9pm ❤

SOME OF MY GREAT SKIRTS: EGL Wardrobe post 2021 part 2

I really prefer skirts in EGL fashion over JSKs or OPs. As much as I love the latter two, skirts are simply a more versatile garment. In this wardrobe post, therefore, I am going to show you just a few of my collection of EGL skirts! ❤ Let’s get started!

  1. Floral Print Frill Lace Skirt – Metamorphose – 2003 – acquired in 2018
    I got this skirt from Wunderwelt and I just love it – I have several coords planned this year with it. It’s made from a corduroy material (always a favourite of mine in lolita) and is even cuter in real life! It reminds me of so many iconic street snap outfits ❤ It’s such a heavy item for such a small, little skirt. I adore it! Very cute and girly!
  2. Floral Lace Heart Skirt – Angelic Pretty – 2004 – acquired 2020
    This skirt was a dream item of mine for some time. I just find it such an iconic piece and so when my friend Autumn in the oldschool discord was selling it, I knew I had to have it. Fun fact: Dita Von Teese was selling this on depop for HUNDREDS of dollars last year. Glad I definitely did not have to pay that much to obtain it! XD I am so pleased to have acquired it, and in such fine quality!
Me in the above skirt, styled in a 90s jfashion aesthetic outfit!

3. Flocky High Waist Skirt – Angelic Pretty – 2003 – acquired 2020
This is another wonderful find from Wunderwelt that I acquired last year. I just love the way it’s small-square gingham with applique-style roses. It reminds me of some things that Meta were also doing in prints around this era. The high waist also reminds me of one of my earliest lolita skirts that I sold off that sat beautifully on me…so that’s a big win!

Worn picture ❤

4. Embroidered Toe Shoes Skirt – Emily Temple Cute – 2008 – acquired 2020
Yet another item purchased last year from Wunderwelt. As someone who loves to embroider myself, and also loves it as a detail on clothing, this skirt was a particularly sweet one to add to my collection. It is also really comfy to wear! It has a tulle layer and a build in petticoat, making it a bit like a ballet skirt – an extra charming touch to match the adorable embroidered ballet shoes! It also has a cute scalloped bottom hem, which I am a sucker for!

5 and 6. Crown Embroidery skirt (Black and Bordeaux colourways) – Black Peace Now – 2011 (acquired 2019 and 2020)
In 2019, the black version of this skirt sat in my Wunderwelt cart for month and months before I decided to purchase it. This was not my first foray into punk lolita, however it was the first time I ever purchased a piece from Black Peace Now! The bordeaux popped up on Closet Child last year and I knew I had to have it, as the black one is really versatile in old-school outfits! They work really well with my gobelin Victorian Maiden bustier. ❤

7. Tartan Skirt with Pochette – Baby the Stars Shine Bright – 2006 – acquired 2017
Now THIS was my first punk piece. I acquired it from Wunderwelt in 2017 It gives me real Nana Kitade vibes (this is from the same year as the Charmmy Kitty x Nana Kitade collab with BtSSB I believe). It’s super cute and can be styled in quite a casual sweet punk way!

I hope you liked this second part of my EGL Wardrobe 2021 post series! ❤ Please join me in a few days, when I will reveal another small section of my wardrobe for you all! ❤

Love and Light,

Lu xo

Gobelins? In MY closet?! EGL Wardrobe post 2021, part 1

HELLO! HI! Happy New Year! Welcome back to my blog in this YEAR OF OUR LORD 2021! ❤ Aaaaaaand of COURSE, it’s WARDROBE SEASON ❤ #EGLWARDROBE2021

I cannot believe I have been in this fashion now for nearly 7 years, and I have never actually taken the time to make any proper wardrobe posts. I have dabbled in the past with a few wardrobe challenges on instagram, however never really felt confident enough to make a proper post, as it seemed like something to do as an established lolita blogger. Well…I might not be especially ‘established’ per se, but I have been much better at blogging in recent months.


See? I wasn’t lying about the Gobelins…

Seeing as I am an oldschool lolita first and foremost, I thought I’d start off my (first ever!) wardrobe season post with my gobelin pieces! Gobelin is one of my favourite fabric staples of oldschool lolita, because of how striking it always makes older pieces look, and also because of the way in which the often heavy tapestry materials used in these garments hold shape, not to mention their feeling of luxuriousness that harkens back to 18th century European fashions.

  1. & 2. Gobelins Pleated collection items (long skirt, mini skirt, bustier) by Victorian Maiden (2003) – acquired in 2017.
    I got these amazing 2003 Victorian Maiden items second hand from Lace Market at ridiculously cheap price points. They are in perfect condition despite being 17 years old! These are some of my most cherished pieces. I particularly love wearing the bustier with velveteen skirts! As I once saw someone say in an oldschool-themed haul video on youtube: different colourways of Gobelin tend to hit differently. These longer skirts are definitely my jush! I just LOVE to be covered in heavy and luxurious fabrics.

3. This gorgeous capelet is also by Victorian Maiden – I acquired it in 2017 second hand via Mercari. It was originally in 2001-2002-ish and I am very fond of wearing it especially with velveteen dresses and skirts! Gobelin and Velveteen together give me SO MUCH LIFE ❤

4. Gobelin Skirt – Mezzo Piano (Year Unknown) – acquired 2016
This was the first really high quality gobelin piece I had in my wardrobe. I got it from Ebay. Mezzo Piano are allegedly a children’s brand in Japan, however this skirt fits me (size 8 adult in the West) quite nicely. It is perfect and probably one of my most worn pieces overall in my lolita closet!

5. & 6. Cat Gobelin coat and miniskirt/mixed gobelins clown jacket and skirt set (years unknown) – acquired 2017-2020
I am a ridiculous person who owns ridiculous things. I mean, if you are interested in EGL fashion, you probably are, too. But there is ridiculous, and then there is ridiculous. And I realise that these Dangerous Nude sets are ridiculous, and that is exactly why I own them.
The cat skirt doesn’t actually fit a petticoat, but it’s great for proto-lolita or other j-fashion substyles. The coat was bought in 2017, while the skirt came up last year on Wunderwelt and was something I just HAD to have.
The clown suit sat, new with tags, on Wunderwelt for 11 months. I simply couldn’t not rescue it. It reminds me so much of the 1990s clown suit/garments Jane Marple did – except a fashion felony and I LOVE IT with all my a heart. If this makes me an ITA, then so be it!

7. Angel and Rose Gobelin jacket – Baby the Stars Shine Bright (2004) – Acquired 2019
I got this for only 20 Euros at a swap meetup from my friend Sally! I love it so much – the material is so soft and I didn’t realise this colourway existed in this particular jacket until I purchased it. I especially love this piece BECAUSE of the memory of being able to purchase it while among so many wonderful friends during that particular event! ❤

❤ ❤ ❤

I hope you liked this first part of my EGL Wardrobe 2021 post series ❤ Please join me in a few days, when I will reveal another small section of my wardrobe for you all ❤

Love and light,
Lu xo

In 2020, I got myself together!

Listen, I know how desperately the majority of people want to see the back to this year. But I’m kind of mourning this New Year’s Eve. Because I got it together…in this very weird year, I got my BUTT IN LINE and GOT IT TOGETHER!

This isn’t going to be me here, boasting and listing my achievements. This is just a reminder to myself that I took the power that had ALWAYS BEEN INSIDE OF ME and used the TALENTS I ALREADY POSSESSED/DEVELOPED and THE THINGS I ALREADY LOVED MOST and used them to BEGIN MY CAREER ❤

See you all in 2021 ❤ I really, truly hope it’s going to a good one.

Love and light
Lu xo

LU’S REVIEWS: Gravelvet x Patisserie Pink ANKLE BOOTS

❤ BEHOLD! Look at these ridiculously fabulous boots. LOOK. AT. THEM. ❤

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I am aware of how late I am in writing this review. I have had these boots for a couple of months now, having treated myself to them for need of sheer dopamine, and to support the wonderful art of a rather talented friend of mine!

Lou Graves‘s artistic talents and flare for Ouji fashion had inspired me for many years before we became friends. It was therefore unsurprising to me that his art caught the attention of Patisserie Pink, a wonderful designer of acrylic, EGL fashion jewellery, apparel and, mainly, shoes and boots.

Patisserie Pink and Lou Graves are therefore a collaborative team made in HEAVEN.

The Boots

The PP X LG ankle boots are exclusively available on, retail at £45 gbp. and come in two completely contrasting yet equally sexy designs/colourways:


Lou spoke about his inspiration for both designs, stating:

Ruined Picnic (pink)

Lou Graves x Patisserie Pink - FREE postage

‘For a long time I’ve had the idea in my head of a cute, idylic print that is actually dark when you look up close. The “ruined picnic” theme is one I’ve sketched out several times, always with fruit and sometimes cake covered in ants. I love the image of something that looks sugary sweet at first glance but isn’t quite what it seems’.

Skulls & Stripes (black)

Lou Graves x Patisserie Pink - FREE postage

‘My inspiration for this design was pure self-indulgence. I’m a big believer in making yourself happy with your art. For these boots I wanted to make something that was just exactly what I would want to buy and wear! And the idea that other people will also be able to enjoy them makes me even happier.’


First of all, let me just say that, without exaggerating, Patisserie Pink boots are probably thee most comfortable footwear I have ever owned. Lou had told me previously that they were so well-fitting, that it didn’t really feel like he was wearing shoes at all. When I bought the collaboration boots, I finally understood what he meant by this. He was CORRECT. I have got unusually shaped and rather problematic small feet that need to usually be in shoes with round toes and have a forgiving heel. I was therefore quite sceptical before buying these boots. HOWEVER, I have been pleasantly surprised by the comfort these boots bring. They are made from canvas, meaning that they are uniquely soft and not at all stiff for a boot, their soft faux-leather interior lining and lace-up nature giving comfort and form-fitting quality to their wear, meaning that they don’t rub and my foot doesn’t slide about in them. Additionally, my feet don’t recognise that they are a slightly heeled boot, weirdly (since the slope of the interior is so gentle). This means I get the added bonus of some extra height (which I need, since I am only a 5 foot tall baby-woman) without the pain wearing heels usually brings me! Hurrah!

It’s fair to say that the colourways of the boots very much need to be your taste, and the designs are quite out-there, for sure. Fortunately, the Ruined Picnic design was simply perfect for me in both colourway and concept. I happen to wear a lot of outfits that they work perfectly with, and Lou and I have, in becoming friends, discovered serendipitously that we have similar tastes in oxymoronic, uncanny and macabre (tl;dr: we like weird sh*t!). The idea of darkness alongside sweet-cuteness is something I have explored in fashion before, so these boots were a natural stylistic choice for me to make!

Final Thoughts!

These boots are a winner for me – although by now you can definitely guess I only review products on here that I know I am a little bit biased about – through friendship, or fanship, or long-time customer-ness. Never the less, I am perfectly sincere when I say I give this footwear FULL MARKS for fit, comfort, practicality, style and design! I recommend these whole-heartedly to everyone finding it hard to get footwear to suit their small feet and problematic toes! I am super excited to wear these boots out to an event when the world recovers from this pandemic – I dare say they would be reliably comfortable to wear all day at any fashion event or convention! Owing to the fact they are not suede or leather, I would also say these boots would be more weatherproof than most dressy boots, so I am looking forward to putting them to that particular test.

Thank you so much for reading! Happy 2021 ❤

Love and Light!
Lu xo


Happy Holidays, everyone!

I hope this finds you well and in good spirits, in spite of things being a little different this year…
All we can really do is look after each other and try to keep spreading hope in any way we can…

I just wanted to share a couple of holiday outfits ❤

Nothing screams Christmas like red velveteen by Metamorphose accompanied by a gobelin mini cape by Victorian Maiden and the cutest little companion named Captain Chris by Alice and the Pirates! I mean…that is except Stewart Tartan pieces by Baby the Stars Shine Bright and R.R. Memorandum, accompanied by musical themed jacket by Metamorphose! ❤ Both have very different yet equally Christmasy vibes!

It’s been a weird year in so many ways. I’d like to write a proper post about it all…perhaps after tomorrow is over I’ll do just that! I am excited for 2021, the start of an exciting new chapter in my life. I’ll be studying an MSc in Marketing and hopefully getting on the fast track to a good career for myself. I also hope next year might be when I’ll get tested for neurodiversity! I hope you will join me/return to follow my journey here! ❤

Love, light, and happy (and safe and healthy) holidays to you all!

Lu xo

Outfit of the day: 09.12.2020

As a teenager, I had a friend respond to my question about the outfit I was wearing with a roll of the eyes.

‘Nothing you wear matches…’

She was right.

And I’m glad I took it as a compliment, then. Because that continues to be the case today.

Today’s Outfit:

My outfit features the following items:

Rabbit hood by Ergi, blouse by Innocent World, T-shirt cutsew by Uniqlo (featuring the art of Ai Yazawa), cardigan by Jane Marple, skirt by Angelic Pretty, bloomers by R.R.Memorandum , and socks by Baby the Stars Shine Bright :3

The cardigan and the skirt were recent acquisitions. The former was bought from Closet Child online while depressed at work, and the latter arrived after a month-long journey from an online friend in Canada just a few days ago – so I decided to pair them together for the lols. It actually looked pretty good in the end, to be honest!

The biggest inspirations for this outfit was Alice Deco, street snaps of oldschool sweet EGL, and the idea that nothing really has to match for the outfit to be great.

Love and light!

Lu xo

Life of Lu: 2015 Trip to Tokyo Introduction

In the spirit of trying not to be miserable during a time when travelling is a no-go, I wanted to start a little blog series in which I retrospectively talk about travel adventures I’ve had throughout the course of my adult life thus far.

Of course, the first trip I wanted to talk a bit about is the one I took to Tokyo, Japan, in 2015.

I had only become interested in Japanese popular and traditional culture during my first year of university, two years prior to my trip, through my best friend introducing me to Studio Ghibli films and Ouran High School Host Club. Gradually, my interest developed in cosplay, and then in EGL and other Japanese street styles.

So, naturally, when during my year abroad my friends asked me if I wanted to stay with them during the summer in the outskirts of Tokyo (Higashikurume), I was delighted and immediately booked my flights (using part of my Erasmus grant to do so!).

Though I sadly did not get to return to Tokyo as planned in 2020 (a trip which my irl friends will know I was vociferously disappointed did not happen), I do take some comfort in the memories I have of it, and the hopes it will still mostly be there once all this covid crap is in the past (RIP Harajuku station facade as I remember it D: )

Keep an eye out for my upcoming blogposts where I will be talking about this trip in as much detail as I possibly can – I wanted to write this now because I am so homesick for Tokyo :/ it feels like where my heart belongs…


Hello, hi, good day! This is a very, VERY late blog post and I do apologise for that. However, here I jolly well go anyway! Let’s talk about TRASH DANDY.

I have been an AVID fan of Victor Lockhart’s for about a year now. In that time, I’m surprised I’ve not managed to drive the poor man mad(der than he already is) with my extra-ness. Apologies for my incessant and continuous admiration, Victor!

Hem HEM! Anyway…



Victor Lockhart, if you don’t know who that is (for shame!) is a gentleman who makes wonderful fashion and cosplay content, and who works very hard as an artist in a multitude of art forms to make the world a more otherworldly place. His content is ideal for anyone wishing to escape from the humdrum of modern (pandemic-filled) life, and settle into the more rural and calming reality that the vibe of Victor’s content brings. He has the ability to create something out of nothing and sustain a level of suspense or a vibe of eeriness or of calm through clever editing, Victoriana gothic revival aesthetics and that Scottish-accented, silky-smooth voice. On top of all this, he is a VERY interesting person. Just…go give him a watch. You’ll not regret it.


I’m SO glad you asked. Trash Dandy is fashion project by Victor himself. An upcycled clothing brand, the main service offered currently is the printing of pre loved clothing with fabulous embellishments of golden paint. I had a pair of pink, well-loved but washed-out jeans I bought during my time living in Italy in 2014/2015. They aren’t something I’d want to throw out, as they remind me of wonderful times I had while wearing them during that year. This was therefore the perfect way to breathe new life into a garment, and to help me fall back in love with them again.


Victor made the entire process really easy. After an initial consultation regarding the colours, coatings and postal arrangements, I sent my jeans off to be printed. Since I posted them first class, they arrived without any delay. I was updated immediately by Victor himself the day they arrived. Every subsequent development on the progress of the printing was immediately communicated to me in a really positive and uplifting manner (Victor happens to be a very kind and pleasant young man!). Returning the jeans to me was done swiftly following my payment of the agreed fee.


They arrived in recyclable brown paper packaging, and sealed with a wax crest of the haus of Lockhart…I wish I had a photo of that. Please take my word for it!

BAM! Damn FINE jeans.

AREN’T THEY AMAZING?!?! Never once did I doubt they would be sublime, but they’re even better in person! When they arrived with me, I was smitten. Smitten with the jeans once more…and smitten with the artiste! *chef kiss*

YEEHAW, if it ain’t baroque, don’t fix it, y’all!


All in all, I give Trash Dandy the full five stars! The service is such a great one, as it is conscious of the struggle we face in the world today with fast fashion and sustainability concerns. The importance of appreciating the things we have has never been more important: and TRASH DANDY brings the world a bit closer to a future in which we can be greener, less selfish and more aware of the impact a small thing like upcycling can do to help save the world.

Check out Victor and definitely have a little look at all the amazing stuff this guy is up to: he is one to watch!!!

Until next time ~♡

Love and light!

Lu xo