Questionnaire Silliness.

Seeing as I JUST got back from a vacation on the west coast and I STILL have a ton of photos and videos to slug through before any semblance of decent posts can resume, I thought I'd drop this little standard doozy on you all.

Your Lolita Lifestyle!

1. What does Kawaii mean to you?
~ It's a word that means cute and has a particularly strong cultural emphasis in Japan, but doesn't mean that much to me.
2. How do you feel about icons such as “Hello Kitty”?
~ They're cute. I don't get super obsessed or anything. But I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a Hello Kitty rice cooker. >.>
3. Do you class yourself as a Lolita? If yes, what does being a Lolita mean to you?
~ Yes, but that's a small percentage of the total sum of my being. For me, it's a style that kind of fits with certain aspects of myself - the parts that enjoy baking, tea, reading old literature, and sewing pretty things with lace and ruffles.
4. When did you start wearing Lolita and who influenced you?
~ I probably started about five years ago, in earnest. I had never come across it until I found the first English edition of Gothic/Lolita Bible for sale at a con. It was all downhill from there.
5. Do you participate in any conventions/events/meet-ups for Lolita’s?
~ I used to volunteer at an anime convention. Never again. What goes on behind the scenes is nuts. I have attended a few local meetups but really they're not for me. Fashion preferences are not enough to base a real friendship on.
6. Where do you go when wearing Lolita, or where would you like to go?
~ Wherever I want, really. Sometimes I wear it sitting around the house (like today), sometimes I wear it over to the boy's, out to the grocery store, to the movies....wherever.
7. What are your hobbies?
~ I enjoy reading books, sewing, working on my novels, playing with my cat, taking photos, trying new and bizarre foods, and traveling. 
8. Who are your idols?
~ I don't really have any. There isn't a particular figure or celebrity that I look up to. I draw inspiration from lots of people, but nothing that stands out above the rest.
9. What are your favourite brands? E.g. Baby the Stars Shine Bright, Angelic Pretty…
~ I'm not really all that into brands. The way I see it, if it's a nice item and I like it - it's mine. I don't care where it comes from, but sometimes the price can be an issue. I have everything from Moitie to Bodyline to handmade and I love it all equally.
10. Do you dress this way for yourself or to receive attention?
~ In a perfect world, everyone would look fancy and wonderful all the time, so there'd be no reason for Lolita to draw attention. Because it would be normal. And to me, it is. So I guess I wear it mostly for myself and maybe a bit to inspire others to be more conscious of how they present themselves.
11. Do you ever attract unwanted attention? E.g. from older men…
~ I do, but not from older men. It seems young men and teenagers are the rudest of them all. But that goes for everything. I don't have to be wearing Lolita to get unwanted remarks from douchebags. :)
12. Do you feel that people create fantasies involving Lolita’s I.e. fetishise you?
~ Possibly. But that goes for everything, doesn't it? Different strokes for different folks.
13. Do you dress in Lolita clothing daily? Or is it your own fantasy that you live out only so often?
~ I wear it when I feel like dressing up and not being completely lazy. No other reason.
14. What image do you feel you portray? One of child-like innocence, or one of rebellion?
~ I feel like I'm portraying a part of myself - that sweetly dark, whimsical, and creepy side.
15. When not wearing Lolita what do you wear?
~ Long prairie dresses, Goth, Punk, hippie caftan dresses....I don't have just one style.
16. Do you socialise with any other subcultures? E.g. Goths, Gyaru…
~I socialize with people, period. Granted, I don't like most people because narrow-mindedness and stupidity get on my nerves but if you're a cool person I don't care WHAT subculture you subscribe to.

Ok guys, now it's your turn! ��


Viva Le RHS!

Over the past couple of years, I've noticed a significant decrease in the number of Lolitas who don rocking horse shoes. Maybe it's the natural evolution of the style, the number of different shoe varieties out there, the overall popularity with tea party flats, that's pushing these classic Lolita shoes out of the picture.

I still wear them. I'll wear them with pretty much every single Lolita coord I throw together. They're my go-to shoe because they're comfy, cute, and I just have an incredible love for all kinds of chunky shoes. The platform doesn't hurt either. ^_~

RHS are still really popular in Japan, among many different fashion tribes. Not many people outside of Lolita in the west wear them though, which is a shame because they look fabulous with a pair of jeans and a lacy top. Heck, I've worn them with a formal gown before. I find them super versatile.

I'm not saying Lolitas need to start wearing them again. Not at all, unless of course you like them as much as I do. But I do occasionally get flack from other Lolitas saying they're too old school or even "ita" (goodness I hate that word.) Too old school? Honey, we're wearing a fashion based on clothing styles from OVER a hundred years ago. How can old school possibly be a bad thing?

I adore seeing how Lolita fashion is changing and melding with new styles, but I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the older styles. I could never get into the super OTT fru-fru accessorizing, so I suppose that's why most of my coords look so casual. I suppose I like the elegance of simplicity - I don't know. But that's why old school speaks to my heart.

I don't need a cutesy print, a giant bonnet, shoes with bow buckles, and twelve plastic rings to feel like a gorgeous Lolita. I don't need a wig (love rocking the short hair!) or oodles of lace. I don't need the poofiest of the petticoats, a little fluff under my skirt is plenty.

This doesn't make me less of a Lolita.

Viva Le RHS!


Hard to Pull off: Wa Lolita

Firstly, I want to apologize for my absence from this blog, things have been crazy in the real world, but here I am. Still alive and kicking! 

Dorotee Sweetlips creation for a customer

Wa Lolita is a style the blends together the Lolita silhouette and elements of Japanese kimono or yukata. Outside of Japan, it's a style not attempted by many Lolitas and when done wrong, it looks really wrong. Like, costume wrong.

So how on earth do you pull off Wa Lolita?

1. Avoid cheap material.
            ~ Anything shiny, flimsy, or brightly colored should be avoided at all costs. This is a standard "rule" in Lolita but I believe it's one you really can't break when it comes to the Wa style. Some summer yukata can be fun and colorful, but likely you're seeing neon pink or primary blue as base colors. Treat your color palette the same as you would if you were shopping for a kimono. And contrary to mainstream (read: idiot) belief, kimono are typically not shiny. Some can be made from luxurious brocade, but cotton is also a popular fabric choice.

2. Sleeve choice is important.
             ~ The wider the sleeve, the higher chance you risk of your coordinate looking like a costume. If you're new to the style or have never worn a kimono ( all that sleeve flapping can be REALLY annoying ) opt for a sleeve type that flairs out slightly. This is especially true if you have an item with a busy floral pattern - you don't want to be drowning in your Wa style.

3. Black and Red - Don't do it!
           ~ The two colors together can be pretty sketchy in a regular Gothic coordinate, so they don't work much better in Wa, and this is especially true if you're going for something along the lines of authentic Japanese aesthetic. The only way I see this working well is if you're aiming for a Punk/Wa mash-up and then at best you've got yourself a darker red tone and LOT less lace and ruffles.

4. Color Blocking is your Friend! :)
          ~ When you've a sumptuous looking design or pattern, break it up with some solids. In this example you've got a solid red trim near the collar and swatches of white on the hem and in the obi. Wearing this with a simple hair style and some textured (and dark stockings) would make for a lovely Wa Lolita coordinate. 

5. Ama Wa = Normal Sweet
          ~ Taking the Sweet Lolita approach to the Wa style is pretty similar to dolling up a regular Sweet coordinate. Colors are obviously important if you're rocking a sweet print, so stick to a theme. The girl in the photo above is sporting a very Angelic Pretty-esque (it might be, goes to show what I know about brands ^_^ ) print on her Wa dress, but she's also wearing a very popular hairstyle found in Sweet. The most notable differences between this and regular sweet is the addition of Japanese sandals and an adorable pink parasol. The blending of the two styles is seamless and works very well.

Here are some examples of Wa Lolita done well. These are all my opinion of course, feel free to think differently. ;)


The Secret Life

DeerStalkerPictures brings us another hilarious (and some say true) video on Western Lolita culture. These are the geniuses that brought us Buy Mo' Brand and Shit Lolitas Say. Presented to us as a wildlife documentary - this video seeks to document the life of the average Lolita. From swimming through a bed of brand dresses to stalking after the post man - this is supposed to be stuff that us Lolitas can relate to.

Having said that....

I feel like I fail as a Lolita. 

I don't buy a lot of brand, and I certainly haven't filled my closet with it. I don't really have it out on display either - it just sits in the closet with the rest of my clothing.

I don't spend hours looking for Lolita items to purchase and to be honest, I don't really connect with any Lolita communities, local or otherwise. I prefer my friendships (the few that exist) to be based around something more substantial than clothing.

Definitely not a hoarder. I don't buy lots of useless crap and let it sit around my room. In fact, I'm such a minimalist that about twice a year I go through my room with a garbage bag and a box, determining what is trash and what can be shipped off to charity.

I don't think I've ever actually sat and waited for a delivery. Usually I forget all about it until I get a post slip in the mail and then when I find time to get to the office, I pick it up.

Even if DeerStalker did a Gothic Lolita version of this, I'm sure I'd still fail pretty hardcore.

I know, I know, this is supposed to sartorial in nature, but I still feel like it represents what the ideal Lolita is supposed to be like. She's supposed to be cute, wear a lot of well-known brands in popular prints, have several different wigs, and attend meetups when not shopping for more brand and (politely) snarking on other girls over the internet.

It's not a pretty image, but I think it sums up the average fairly well. And I don't fit in it at all - same with lots of other girls I imagine.

I have short hair. I rarely wear petticoats with my dresses. I hate tea party shoes. I will never spend more than $100 on any single item, ever. I don't attend meetups. I'm a terrible Lolita.

What gives me comfort is that I'm not the only one. And that's okay, because it means I have much more freedom to define myself outside of it. I'm not just a girl that wears frilly dresses once in a while. I exist outside of that - I'm a student, a writer, a girlfriend, a daughter, a sister, a human being, etc.

What's underneath the veneer of Lolita, now that's the real secret life. Isn't it?