tirsdag den 31. december 2013

Happy New Year!

It's officially (or, at least where I live) the very last day of 2013! It's been a grand year, and I'm hoping for a 2014 that'll be even bigger! 
I've already got a couple of huge events coming up that I'm looking forward to, and I hope you guys will stay with me along the road!

I hope you can look back on your own 2013 with pride and peace inside, and that you got to make a lot of awesome memories! 
If not, well, you've got a new chance coming up really soon! You just have to grab it!

With wishes for a night with explosions of color and laughter,
Happy New Year!

mandag den 30. december 2013

52 Weeks: How I Get Out of a Wardrobe Slump

This week's topic for the 52 Week Lolita Blog Challenge is one I've not actually thought of before, but I hope it can be a bit of an inspiration for somebody out there!

So, how do I get out of a "Wardrobe Slump"?
Most of us do not have an unlimited wardrobe or unlimited funds to buy new items whenever we get bored with whatever we have in our closets. No matter how great I feel in my favorite dresses or even my favorite usual coordinates, It's always fun to experiment!

Experimentation is what usually gets me out of it. I like playing around with unusual color combinations the most. One of my favorite unusual combinations are blue, red and white. Red and blue can go surprisingly well together, as long as it has a neutral color in the mixture to break it up.

Since most people own prints these days, I'm gonna use a print as an example of my "unusual color" tactic.

Angelic Pretty's "Milky Chan" print, you can see that the obvious coordination choices would be coordinating it with either white or pink items. Maybe a tiny bit of brown, but nothing overwhelming. But I think an interesting choice to do something out of the ordinary, would be to bring out the blue butterflies. Maybe you could coordinate it with a blue blouse and blue socks with pink detailing? Maybe instead of coordinating it with the usual baby pink, try some hot pink to match the fawn's hot pink bows!

Most people probably do this from time to time, but another idea is to look beyond the limited Lolita wardrobe and through your pile of every day clothes. Some of it, or most of it, may not be Lolitable, but if you're just trying to be creative and is wearing it for yourself, it doesn't matter as much!
 Try building a coordinate around a leather jacket, a belt that you like, a cute sweater..

 I wear t-shirts instead of cutsews from time to time in casual coordinates, and I'd still say that my coordinates qualify as Lolita. One of my favorite ideas currently, is wearing "fandom" t-shirts with my Lolita clothes. It combines two things that I love! Think out of just Lolita fashion to other things that you're passionate about, and try to incorporate it into your coordinates. 
It doesn't have to be as blatantly obvious as a t-shirt.
It can be in details that remind you of your passion, like jewelery, hairstyles, shoes, colorschemes, make-up, or whatever you can think of!

These are the ways that I usually get out of wardrobe slumps, and as you can see, they all of course involves poking your brain to make it think a little out of the box. 
Even if Lolita fashion has a lot of "rules" and guidelines, it is not off-limits to color out of the lines. One of the fun aspects is actually turning the guidelines around and see how much you can actually get to fit inside the framework!

I recommend that you go to your closet, rummage through it and pull out a big pile of stuff to play around with! Maybe you will find that perfect New Years outfit somewhere in there!

lørdag den 28. december 2013

Review: Corset from Timeless Trends!

For Christmas, my mom surprised me with a present I would never have foreseen: She bought me a corset, which I've been wanting for ages (literally!)

My new corset is from the company Timeless Trends, and it is a White Silk Floral Corset.

The corset feels heavy and sturdy, and the boning is definetely steel, just as it is written on their website.

The ribbon is smooth, but doesn't feel cheap or flimsy. It feels like it will hold up just fine for a while, even under pressure. The fabric is nice. It's smooth, but thick.

The corset feels great on, and bends comfortably to my shape. It provides good support for my posture (haha!). It's a bit short on me, but I'm very tall, so that's probably the reason. I'll just have to go for one of their longer corsets next time!

The only thing this corset is lacking, is more a matter of taste,  I think. I would have liked for it to have a modesty panel in the back, but as I will be wearing it under my clothes as undergarments (on top of a white tanktop), I don't think it will be too much of an issue. 

All in all, I think Timeless Trends corsets are a great value for the price! I don't think there's such a thing as "beginner's corsets", but I would recommend Timeless Trends for anyone who want to find out if corsets are for them. 
They're a very different experience from the cheap costume corsets I have tried on before! 
Not that that is surprising to me at all, but they're just not comparable at all!

If I need a new corset at some point in the future, I will check out Timeless Trends again.

Do you have any recommendations for me? 
I would also like to hear some more experienced corset-wearers' experiences with this company!

Finally, here's a picture of me wearing the corset!

On "Mean" Lolitas

Credit for Original Picture goes to yumi_sanxsushi
"I thought about becoming a lolita, but then I heard that you're all MEAN!"

Sounds familiar? Well, that's not so strange. There has been a lot of talk about how mean we all are, lately. Another phrase that has been used so much that it has become cheesy is that for a bunch of lovely girls, we are very ugly on the inside. 

So, is it true? are we all mean? Are even the majority of us mean?

No, definetely not. And I think that if a person should want to join our community, and then turn away because of the All Lolitas Are Mean-idea, then that person might need to take a deep breath, cool down and then come back to see for herself. Lolitas are people just like all other people, and we are a surprisingly diverse subculture. Some people would say that we are not even a subculture, because they think that the only thing we have in common, is clothes. So, considering that lolitas are a diverse group of people with different personalities, how come that we should all be mean? Well, my answer would be that some people get this idea from secret-communities and a very persistent rumor, concerning the often-referred-to-but-less-often-spotted Elitist Lolita. The Elitist is supposedly a snobbish, mean lolita who only wears brand clothes and looks down upon all new lolitas, lolitas who wear offbrand, and lolitas who are not Perfect. The Elitist is a bit like Bigfoot. People claim that this creature exists, but very few people have actually seen one. This rumor seems to especially thrive in secret communities, which are communities specifically designed to make anonymous confessions. People seem to take advantage of the anonymity to make troll-posts and blatant lies, just to make people mad or hurt someones feelings. 
 So, when people learn about this rumor, I think that many are ready to jump the gun and scream "Elitist!" as soon as they feel that they are being opposed. This tendency is only made worse by new lolitas already being scared of the rumor and of not fitting in.

From what I have seen in the lolita community myself, people tend to be civil, nice and helpful, but! Since lolitas are just people and not all Innocent and Forever Patient Maidens, they can also get a little tired of having new lolitas come into their community very often, which in itself is just nice, but when they all ask the same questions again and again, without taking the time to research their question first, they tend to get a little tired. 
If you are not a new lolita, and still believe the "All Lolitas Are Mean" rumor, maybe you should take a moment to reflect on the issue. Have you ever heard the phrase anywhere other than in Secret Communities or from new lolitas who claim that everybody responded in a mean way to their post? Probably not, but maybe you yourself feel that lolitas tend to be mean to you? Maybe you've just ended up in a bad drama-filled local community, in which case I would say that you should probably just step back and seek the company of more laid-back lolitas online, or encourage your local lolitas to work out their problems! Somebody has to take the first step, right?

If you 
continuously have bad experiences with other lolitas on the internet, or you are a new lolita  planning to make your first post, let me give you some handy tips!

  • Try doing your research before posting a question! Do a google AND a community search and check the archive/memories before posting!
  • Try writing your question and/or post in a mature and polite way, but don't overdo it! 1900-century mannerisms can be fun in a sentence or two, but don't use it for your entire post!
  • Don't use too many japanese emoticons and the like. Don't use japanese phrases that are not a part of the relevant "Lolita Vocabulary".
  • Behave maturely if you receive constructive criticism or if a person tells you to "Stop That!" even if you think that the other person is wrong. No good is gonna come out of starting an argument or slinging insults at each other. It's just gonna make you both look bad. Also, there is a difference between a civil discussion and an argument!
  • Don't post stuff that is not lolita related in the slightest, unless the topic in that particular post allows it!

Many of those apply to real life encounters with other lolitas as well! Try your best to behave in a polite and mature manner, and if another lolita does not respond in kind, well, then at least it's not your fault. As I've said before, lolitas are just people with a different aesthetic, so yes, you may meet a mean person in our subculture, but that can happen anywhere! If you meet a person that behaves in a mean or cold way towards you, give that person a second chance and try to be nice. You don't know if the other lolita just had a bad day. Maybe his or her pet died. Simply avoid the other person if she keeps being mean every single time.

If you still want to leave or just not get into lolita because you might risk meeting a person that's not nice to you, or because you have had an unpleasant encounter, then just don't seek the company of other lolitas. Being a lolita is about wearing the clothes for yourself, afterall. You don't need the community to be a lolita.
But you're missing out on a lot of possible friendships if you stay away!

fredag den 27. december 2013

LBC: New Years Resolutions for Lolita Fashion 2014!

2013 is coming to an end as I climb out of my Christmas-related hibernation, and with this post, that is of course prompted by the Lolita Blog Carnival, I say hello to another year in Lolita fashion! This year I will be marking my 4th anniversary as a Lolita, and it doesn't look like I'll be slowing down at all. If anything else, I am getting more and more "evolved" as a Lolita, if that is even a thing. I'm adding to my wardrobe at a more and more steady pace, which has gotten easier since I moved out and am in control of my own funds.

Having the goal of building a workable and "complete" wardrobe comes with some less exciting points as well, though. Less exciting in the Lolita-related sense- as it is always more exciting than regular clothes shopping, IMO.

My top New Years Resolution for Lolita fashion in 2014 must be: 
Acquiring more of the Basic Building Blocks!
I really need some more long-sleeved blouses. Especially white ones. To most people, this might sound really, really dull but I'm actually looking forward to it a little bit. Blouses are nowhere near as eyecatching or striking as dresses, but I have a fondness for them. High-collared ones in all their victorian elegance, adorable round collars, bows and princess sleeves.. Yes, please!

Also, I need shoes. Desperately. I think my bad experience the last time I purchased shoes threw me off of the shoe train. I wore my Bodyline shoes once, and at the end of the day they had gotten some nasty black marks. I didn't even do anything! Seriously! Also, I hate running the risk of purchasing a nice pair of shoes in the correct size, and then they turn out to be too small. That's happened a couple of times as well.

With the "responsible one" out of the way, my next New Years resolution would be getting my hands on some more bonnets. Big, stiff-brimmed ones! I have fallen head over heels in love! A couple of cheap but beautiful ones have caught my eye on Taobao. I can't wait!

Last but not least, I'm gonna start taking sewing classes!
This is a big one for me, as I've been wanting to learn sewing for years now, but I've decided that it's finally time! I'll be working my butt of by the sewing machine a couple of times a week, and I hope to be able to finish with creating my very own JSK out of some gorgeous cardsuit fabric that's been collecting dust in my treasure chest for the last 1½ years. 
(Yup, I tend to push even fun stuff way too far into the future for some reason.)
I might show you guys a sketch I've been working on, soon!

I've got a deal worked out with a friend of mine that we'll make a custom mannequin out of old t-shirts and duct tape, that I can use as a model for my (hopefully many) future sewing project. 
I'll let you know how that turns out!

So, looks like it's gonna be a pretty good year, if I can just grab myself by the collar and get going!
What are your New Years Resolutions for 2014?
Also, if you want a clue at what you can expect for the rest of the carnival gang, check out the links below!

fredag den 20. december 2013

Christmas Vacation!

Original picture from www.hdwallpapers.in
The night is upon us! Or, well, the eve. Christmas Eve is the big night in Denmark when it comes to Christmas. That evening is the one you spend with your family, having a great, big dinner, dancing around the Christmas tree and afterwards everybody sit around it, let peace fall upon the party, and opening up their presents. This year I will be spending Christmas eve with my dad's new family, and I just cannot wait! It's so exciting, having the chance to get to know a whole new part of my family on such a special night. (Christmas is, and will always be, my favorite time of the year)

As my family is a split one, however, I'm getting two Christmas eves, an my first one will be on Sunday. Which means, that I'm gonna be busy-busy-busy! Today I've got a Christmas meet-up at the local art gallery (modern art is really not my thing, but I'm going for the company!), tomorrow my brother will be arriving and I'm gonna be spending time with him, and Monday I'm leaving to go see my grandparents, etc. etc. etc.
Maybe I will post once or twice from now and until New Years, but I cannot guarantee anything! 
As such, I would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas, and I hope to see you here again in 2014!

I hope you get whatever you're wishing for, and that you'll have a peaceful time with your families!

onsdag den 18. december 2013

52 Weeks: Predict the Next Lolita Trend!

For this week's installment of the 52 Weeks Lolita Blog Challenge, I will be taking a look into my crystalball to predict the next big trend of 2014!

Instead of predicting just one trend, I think I'm gonna mention a few that are kind of connected to each other, in what I think will become the "2014 Lolita Look".

Rose Melody has already got 2014 down.
In 2014, I think Lolita will continue moving forward with what I suppose has been the tendency that has been slowly crawling out of the shadows for a while. It seems that overall, Lolita fashion at least in the global, Western community is turning towards a more Classic Lolita style. I'm doubting that it will turn out to be the OTT Classic that many people have been predicting will come (as much as I'd love for that to catch on!), but a more floaty, light and elegant take on Classic Lolita. I think we will see a lot of florals in 2014, and more AATP style prints (fairytales, flowers, jewels..) in 2014. The colors will vary, but the palette will be Classic Lolita-ish. Jewel tones and the colors of nature.

An example of a sweet, but more mature AP piece.
Longer skirts seem to be the new trend, instead of the shorter ones that AP made popular last year. Baby has been continuously releasing longer skirts, with a very elegant and Classic feels to the themes and prints, and a bunch of non-printed dresses as well. Most of them are very elegant, opulent and princess-like, but they tend to use very light fabric. Instead of OTT, I get more of a porcelain-doll vibe from them.
Angelic Pretty's pieces might still be sweet, but they have moved away from their cavity-inducing, sugary prints lately. Their colors have become paler and more mature, and their prints have become simpler, IMO.

Picture from babyssb.co.jp
Another trend that I think we will see a lot of, will be non-printed chiffon pieces. I think we will see more porcelain doll-like coordinates, mostly all white. Chiffon will be big in 2014.

For make-up, I think we will see a rise in the look that Fyeahlolita recently described- Shironuri. It will be the most OTT part of the style next year, but mostly worn for photoshoots and some meet-ups. Apart from that, I think make-up will be natural. Just a touch of powder to the cheeks for a light blush, and earthy-colors.

I think 2014 will turn out to be a very interesting year, and a fresh breeze after all the sugar and candy of 2012! 2013 was a very quiet year, I think.
Mostly a "transitioning" period from an AP dominated era, to the one that is to come.

What do you think will be the new trends for 2014?

lørdag den 14. december 2013

Disney Heroines and Female Ideals

Recently, the new Disney movie "Frozen" was released in cinemas, and this movie has raised voices all over the world! The complaints mainly revolve around the amount of female characters and their portrayal, from what I've heard. 

The argument about the portrayal of women in the media in general is interesting, but in this post I'm gonna talk about Disney in particular, and the ideals that they set for girls and women. I feel that the portrayal of women in Disney movies and TV-series is to some extent misunderstood, but then again, the critics are right on some points as well. 

One must remember, that many of the Disney princesses were written many decades ago. The expectations that people had for a woman was different back then. There was a time where it was expected of a woman to be quiet, delicate and the wife of a husband/breadwinner. 
So is it healthy, pulling those roles out of the dusty old closet and pushing them onto girls today? Are Disney princesses bad rolemodels, just because they're not all "feisty" ?

I don't think so, at all. 
Many people seem to worry that Disney will make girls fall victim to the idea that you have to find a guy to marry, to be "right". What I think some of these people forget, is to reflect upon their own childhood and the worries and goals they had back then.
Growing up, did Disney make you frantic to go out and get married? Was the most important thing in your life finding a Prince Charming, or has it been since?
Maybe it's just me, but I watched every single Disney movie, I had the Disney-Barbie dolls. I still wanted to become a hero I wanted to travel the world and become a Pokemon Master, I wanted to become a secret Spy. The last one was a result of Disney's "Kim Possible", actually. See, that's a great story with a kick-ass female lead!

Disney Princesses were some of my greatest idols, though! I was a huge fan of Pocahontas, especially. 
I loved her affinity with nature, her strength, her willingness to stand up to her parents and to traditions to do the right thing. The John Smith-thing was just a side-plot to me. 
The great story with a strong female lead was in the center.

I found Belle in Beauty and the Beast to be very inspirational as well. She was clever, openminded, independent, and her close relationship to her dad is for some reason some of what I remember the clearest. Many people worry that her falling in love with the one that keeps her prisoner will have a bad influence on how girls view relationships. I never even thought of that when I watched the movie! The only thing I cared about was how she was able to see past his beastly looks! To me, "Beauty and the Beast" is about not judging a book by it's cover, and second chances. And Belle is not all beauty. She's brains as well!

Even the women in the older Disney movies have great traits that young girls will undoubtly learn from. The three fairies in Sleeping Beauty are fun and quirky characters. They're creative, they're motherly and they raised her all on their own with no man involved. I'm not gonna talk about miss. Beauty. She doesn't have much of a personality of her own, in my opinion. I'll give the critics that.

The first Disney princess, Snow White, is innocent but not just that. She has a sense of curiosity that makes her go her own way, and a basic trust in humanity. She moves in with a bunch of nice, little strangers that would probably have been looked down upon and shunned back in the middle ages or whenever this story takes place. She keeps that trust, despite having just been betrayed by a person that she trusted, and having been mistreated her whole life. She turns that into something good. She helps the dwarves and becomes a motherly figure to them, and they give her a place to stay and protects her. Even if she is naive, I think the basic message that little girls get out of the movie is a good one.
It didn't make me trust strangers blindly, but it's central message about friendship went right in there.

I could go on and on, and talk about Jasmin's independence, Mulan's sense of justice and Tiana's hardworking personality and goals, but they speak for themselves.
What I'm trying to say is, that Disney is not all about finding and marrying Prince Charming. That's not what little girls get out of watching these movies. What little girls see, are women that can hold their own in a world dominated by men.
They see that by following your sense of justice, being independent, being something besides "just" beautiful, and doing good in the face of adversity, you become a great and admirable woman!
Those are the traits that make up a princess and/or a heroine!
People claim that Disney has started to make female characters that look the same, but I disagree. Merida doesn't look anything like the Frozen girls, for instance.

Disney have their flaws, but I think their ability to make a wide range of different, but equally rolemodel-worthy heroines deserves applause.

I have yet to watch the movie "Frozen", but I know I will, despite the lack of female characters in the movie. From what I've seen, the Queen looks pretty badass.

torsdag den 12. december 2013

LBC: What are You Thankful For in Lolita Fashion?

The logo of the community in which I discovered Lolita.
This week’s Lolita Blog Carnival topic is one that comes straight from the heart- What am I thankful for in Lolita fashion?

Lolita might just be clothes, but they are clothes that awaken strong emotions in most of its wearers. Also, I would argue that Lolita is a subculture, in the same way that Goth is a subculture. That discussion is not one I’m gonna take up now, though.

First of all, I guess like most of the participants in this weeks topic, I’m thankful for my community. My community is a closeknit one. We’re a big circle of friends, that invite each other to parties outside of Lolita as well, and I enjoy every moment I spend with them. I don’t get to see them nearly enough, now that I’ve moved!

Even if I’ve moved to another part of the country, because of Lolita, I’ve quickly gotten into a new circle of people that I can’t wait to get to know better. Almost no matter where you live, Lolita is a fast-track to making new friends in your new city, and the many online communities makes it even easier to sniff out the local Lolitas!

I’m not just thankful for the social aspect of Lolita. I’m thankful for the fashion in itself, as well. I’m thankful for the frills that make me feel gorgeous whenever I put them on. I’m thankful for the whimsy that can make even a grey and ordinary day feel magical. Lolita makes me open my eyes to the beauty of the world around me. I pay attention to the little things a lot more, when I dress up, and it feels like I become a part of that beauty.

I’m thankful for the things that Lolita has introduced me to. New interests, movies, music. All the fun info that I stumbled upon while researching the fashion!

Last but not least, I’m also thankful for the understanding Lolita has helped me obtain, of other subcultures. Lolita made me more curious when it comes to other groups of alternatively dressed individuals, from ordinary Punk, to Mori-Girl, to Steampunk. It has made me question stereotypes a lot more, and less prone to making assumptions about people based on the way they dress.
That goes for how I view ordinary people too. Truthfully, I don’t even really frown when I see an old woman in a fur coat anymore. Who knows how she got it in the first place or why she’s wearing it?

In general, I’m thankful for who Lolita has helped me become, and how Lolita has enriched my life.

I don’t know who I would’ve been without it, and I wouldn’t care to find out, even if I got the shot.

onsdag den 11. december 2013

What's the Appropriate Lolita Age?

Time and time again, a question pops up on EGL and "Lolita Fashion Mentoring" on Facebook. Usually it's "Am I too young for Lolita?" but sometimes, we even get questions about if a person can be too old! 

The first is a lot less surprising than the last, but then again, of course anybody can be insecure, and Lolita is a big leap for many people! No matter how old you are, standing out will probably be intimidating to most people, and if you stand out amongst your new "clique" as well, you might end up feeling all alone in the world, with no hope of support from anyone.

Of course, it is obvious that anyone can wear Lolita fashion. Lolita is about the clothes, not the person wearing them, so as long as you fit into the clothes (,which you always can, It just takes different measures if you do not fit into brand,) you can be Lolita.

But is there anything you have to be aware of, if you are younger or older than most people wearing the fashion? Well, not really! I'd say that the reactions you'll face will be pretty much the same. Even if an older person wearing the fashion will turn more heads in the streets that a teenager, since teenagers wearing alternative fashions is more common, teenagers can be a lot more, and will more often be, vicious to each other than adults, from my experience. The adult has the advantage of being able to purchase the clothes without needing the acceptance of parents, but an adult has the added challenge of having to balance their Lolita purchases with paying bills and other important necessities. 

Apart from the above, Lolita is, as I've stated in other posts, a diverse bunch of people. There are very young and very old wearers of the fashion. Some Lolitas I've seen has been as young as about 2-3 years old! (I'm thinking of beautiful Lolita mothers who dress up their children in tiny Lolita dresses. Like the pair in this video!!)

An inspirational Lolita that is a bit older than most other Lolitas I've had the pleasure of meeting, is Arsenic and Old Lace on Livejournal. She's been a great inspiration to me when I started out in Lolita, as she is a clear example of how amazing Lolita can look on anyone above the age of 22. She really knows how to dress to the nines!

In my opinion, you can be a great Lolita, no matter what age you are!
Lolita is a skill to perfect.
It's not about what age you are, or even your personality.

You can wear it for as long as you like, as long as you feel comfortable.

søndag den 8. december 2013

52 Weeks: My Favorite Lolita Print

This week's topic in my battle with the "52 Weeks Blogging Challenge" is number 49, my favorite Lolita print! I didn't even have to think about my answer for this one. I think most Lolitas have a dream print, a print or a dress that has a special place in their heart for some reason or another. 

For me, that print is Alice and the Pirate's "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

Specifically, in the navy colorway. Even more specifically, JSK II. It is not without reason that this JSK, in this colorway, usually go for a couple hundred dollars on the secondhand market. This dress is a dream, and the first dress that I fell head over heels in love with when I first got into Lolita.
It's like the dress is almost glowing. The pale pink of the ribbon compliments the dark, elegant midnight blue, with just the right touch of purple. The color of the dress itself is like a summer night sky, and the damask pattern in the background adds a depth to it, that to me makes it seem almost other-worldly.

The print itself is beautifully detailed. The grey shadowing on the swirly windows is beautifully done, the roses climbing in the windows. Their pink color matches the pink butterflies, whose shiny wings stand out so lifelike against the background and are spaced out just the right amount. 
The ribbon brings out the highlights on their wings too!

I know I sound like a crazy-in-love tween schoolgirl..
But this dress has everything that I need in a garment! This style is the one that I have been falling for over and over again since, and this particular dress was part of what pulled me over the threshold and into Lolita-dom, along with the people who was, and still are, my greatest inspirations.

I love a print that tells a story, has beautiful artwork, and is in bright and romantic, but mature colors. I love the combination of pale and somber colors.

What is your favorite print, and how has it affected your overall Lolita style?

fredag den 6. december 2013

LBC: Who Inspires You in Lolita Fashion?

This week's topic in the wonderful world of the Lolita Blog Carnival is "Who Inspires You in Lolita Fashion?"

I've got a couple of people I'd like to list, for various reasons. Few of these inspire my style as such, but they inspire me in a couple other ways that I feel are linked to my participation in this fashion.

Jillian Venters aka. The Lady of the Manners
When I first started out in Lolita fashion, I stumbled upon Jillian Venter's online guide "Gothic Charm School", and decided to give it a read. Before I knew of it, I had fallen into the book completely and there was no getting out. I read post after post, and before I knew of it, I had read everything she had written about what it's like to be different, how to deal with disapproving parents, how to deal with school as an excentrically dressed teen etc. I even bought her book and I must've read it 8 times! 
Truth be told, Jillian Venters was my handbook, instead of the traditional "Lolita Handbook" on livejournal. 
She didn't teach me how to dress, but she did teach me how to "deal with it". 
She was a major influence on my Lolita life!

Victoria Suzanne
I'm pretty sure that no matter who in the Lolita community you ask, everybody knows who Victoria Suzanne is, even if only by her blog name, Parfaitdoll (or back in the good ol' days, Lolita-Charm).
Even if she hasn't been a style-influence to me, she did talk me into trying out Lolita for myself. Her inspirational posts grabbed me by the heart and pulled me straight into a pile of frills. It was her posts on being true to yourself, loving yourself and that anybody can be a princess, that convinced me that Lolita could be for me, and in general was part of what shaped my mind-set when it comes to how I perceive Lolita. 
Even if I do not agree with her on everything, the lessons I learned from her still stands: 
Anybody can be Lolita, anybody can be a princess, and we have the right to decide for ourselves!

Walt Disney
Walt Disney obviously did not dress in Lolita, but he has been a great influence on me, indirectly, I guess you could say. His imagination and obvious love for good stories are the reasons we have been able to enjoy stunning movies and charming characters, like Cinderella and our beloved Alice in Wonderland! The worlds he has created has been a great influence on me, both style-wise but also in the way I see Lolita. When I dress up in Lolita, I feel like I become the heroine of a Walt Disney movie.
I have a feeling this is also the reason brands like Baby the Stars Shine Bright and Angelic Pretty has done so many collaborations with Disney!

The above are just 3 of the most important influences on my Lolita life! 
Of course I also have a soft spot for Momoko from Kamikaze Girls, Misako Aoki's fashion sense etc., but they haven't influenced me in the same major way.

Wanna get to know some more inspirational personalities?
Check out some of the links below!

tirsdag den 3. december 2013

Your First Meet-Up: Joining the Mad Tea Party

With International Lolita Day coming up this saturday, I thought it would be appropriate to write a post on the topic of the Lolita's very first meet-up. After all, this is the perfect time to go to a meet-up for the first time! There are meet-ups happening all around the world on the same date, and even if there isn't one near you, it's the perfect occasion for you to arrange one! (As if we need an occasion other than just being fabulous people..)

The first Meet-up seems to be the dreaded big test for New Lolitas. It is an event of excitement, but also of great nervousness: Will they like me? Will they all laugh at me and whisper about me behind my back? Will they be embarassed to be seen with me if I happen to be "ita"?It is sad that something that should be looked forward to as something exciting and a chance to meet-up with new people with whom we share a huge interest has turned into an event of insecurity, and this insecurity seems to spread like wildfire through the new members of our community! I don't know from where the rumors of horribly elitist and exclusive meet-ups come from (the fairytale-like land of the "Elitist Lolita", mayhaps?), but I am sure meet-ups in most communities will be a pleasant experience if you just keep the following in mind:

Take Initiative
Even though I do believe that it would be appropriate for the other girls to do their best to engage new members of the community in conversation and make them feel like a part of the group, it won't encourage them to do so if you don't seem interested! Introduce yourself, strike up conversations with as many other people as you can, and don't get intimidated. None of the other participants, even the most fabulously dressed ones, are anything more than ordinary people with at least one interest in common with you, which means that you have plenty of things to talk about, and there's no need to feel like you're "not worthy". 
Ask questions! Where did she get her shoes? How long has he been into the fashion?
Taking initiative is actually a good idea on multiple levels. You can also take initiative before the meet-up! Ask if you should bring something, if there is anything you can help the host/hostess with, if you should plan a game, bring cookies or anything else. Being ressourceful like this is usually a source of admiration and will get you on the community's good side instantly. Also, by planning a game or something like that, you're making sure that you're gonna do something that makes it easier for you to bond with the other girls, if you're no good at the "talking to new people" thing. It's an ice-breaker! 
I recommend charades. It keeps being popular in my own community- It's especially fun if you make the main topic "Print Names" or something else that's Lolita-themed.

At the beginning of this post I made a quick note that if there are no meet-ups going on at ILD in your area, 
You could plan one
 Even if it's gonna be your first meet-up, I recommend it if you think you can handle it! Planning a meet-up is really not that difficult. You'll be responsible, yes, but it's not like you're planning a wedding here. You just have to maintain control over the basic stuff. That means keeping the community updated with the meeting time and place, where you'll be going, writing down who'll be attending to make sure you don't forget anyone at the meeting spot, making sure there's room for you at the café/restaurant/wherever (calling the place in advance or making a reservation), and knowing how to get there. 
That's pretty much it, and I'm sure the community will appreciate it. 
You can never have too many meet-ups!

So, what are you waiting for? Dress up and get out there!
Happy International Lolita Day!
(I'm going to a meet-up on saturday too, so keep an eye out for a post with plenty of pictures!)

søndag den 1. december 2013

52 Weeks: 5 Movies for Lolitas

This week's 52 Week's Blogging Challenge is gonna be number 2, "5 Movies for Lolitas"!
To spice things up a little bit, I'm not gonna mention "Kamikaze Girls" more than this one time. That would be too easy. Instead, I'm gonna focus on 5 movies that put myself in the mood to dress up and twirl around in my frills. 

1. "Interview with the Vampire"
This one pretty much wrote itself. It was the first movie that came to my mind. Lestat's wicked charm, Louis' moody elegance and Claudia's adorable but depressing crazy makes for a great story that any Gothic Lolita or Classic Lolita with a flair for the darkly elegant should give a shot. Sit down with a cup of tea a cold winter evening and let yourself overflow with emotion!
( Mind you, the book is even better!)

2. "Marie Antoinette" by Sofia Coppola
Even if my history teacher had to curl his toes in horror at this film, I found it quite charming. It might not be entirely historically accurate ( I found that it was pretty d*mn close, though!) and puts too much emphasis on decadence, but it's a great story none the less that depicts the "Ultimate Lolita Lifestyle™". I recommend arranging a movie night with your Lolita friends. Make a bunch of tea and macaroons, lounge about in your frilliest pyjamas together and pop in this movie!

3. "Pride and Prejudice"
This list would be incomplete without Pride and Prejudice on the list. Keira Knightley seems to be the female lead in most historical movies about strong and independent women, but that might just be because she does a fantastic job! Elizabeth Bennett is a role model for any aspiring Lolita when it comes to independence and confidence, though she is not without her flaws. She is a very well-written character, and this story just keeps being charming and relevant throughout the ages. There is a reason Jane Austen's works are immortal!
I also recommend reading the book. Jane Austen's sass is still spot on even after 200 years.

4. "Legally Blonde"
This movie is perfect for Lolitas, even if it is not as frilly as the movies above. It has twice the amount of pink to make up for it, though! This movie is all about how you can be feminine, clever and succesful at the same time, and how you can achieve the most if you strive to be your own person and do things your own way.

5.  "Jane Eyre"
Gloomy and romantic are two of the words I'd use to describe this story. It's a very moving story, and shows how a girl can be strong, insist on being herself and overcome a difficult life. That, and it's got an element of mystery that keeps you on your toes through the entire film! I strongly recommend it to anybody that likes darker historical films.

These are a couple of the films I love that I find to be the most "Lolita". 
Do you have any movies that you'd like to recommend? Let me know in the comments!

Oh, and check out the list of the 52 Topics that I have to get through to find out which I've already done!

torsdag den 28. november 2013

Body Shaming and Dressing for your Body Type

Trigger Warning!
(This post will contain my personal experiences with unhealthy eating habits and related issues)

I have been through a lot in the weight-department in general, and lately I've been through a small personal crisis that prompted me to write this post. 
I'm a little bit better now, though, as small victories are usually enough to get me to snap out of it.

Since I first got into this fashion there has been a monster hiding under every Lolita's bed. One that frequently sticks out it's ugly head and grins at us from meanspirited secrets, 4Chan and through fights in online communities: Body shaming. The dreaded "Fatty-chan". 

I've heard claims that body shaming is even harsher in the Gyaru community, but that doesn't take away from my observations that I think Lolita is particularly prone to being sensitive to the topic of body weight, probably because you have to be of a certain size to be able to fit into the majority of readily-made Lolita pieces, from blouses to skirts. Even socks! (or else you stretch the print and it looks.. wonky)

As secrets also show, many Lolitas feel a pressure because of this. A pressure to lose weight to be able to fit into the dresses. They feel bad about the way they look, they fear that people will look down upon them for being on the bigger side of the scale.
I know that there are girls who have a tough time because of being underweight too, but from my observations they are generally envied, not shunned because of their weight.

I have felt the pressure of mean, weight-related secrets on my own body, so I know how it feels. 
Of course I am against body shaming of any kind, as I am of the opinon that people should generally mind their own business when it comes to other people's looks, but I find that Lolita is a great motivator when it comes to losing weight!

I myself was overweight and unhappy for many years. Not just unhappy with the way I looked as an overweight person, but also unhappy with how hindered I felt as a side-effect of this. I couldn't run with my classmates in gym classes, I fell behind when biking into town with my friends, and it was hard! Lolitas was part of what finally motivated me to get up from the couch, eat healthy and do something about it! I lost a bunch of weight and was finally happy with myself.
Therefore I give Lolita an A+ as a motivational factor. The thing is- I got overly motivated, I guess you could say. I got so scared of gaining weight again so I wouldn't be able to fit into anything and in general would not look pretty anymore, that I was too scared to eat much more than an apple for breakfast, one slice of dry bread with nothing on top for lunch, and a tiny portion of vegetables for dinner. It was unhealthy, to say the least, and Lolita could do nothing to save me from what I was doing to myself. 
It was only the support from my family that got me out of it again. 

All of this was probably the result of body shaming. My goal became "becoming thin", not "becoming healthy".
Why would I care so much, if not for the gloryfication of thinness and the shaming Lolitas get for being overweight?

Well, what was my point? Oh, yes!

Lolita can look great on anyone. And I do mean anyone. I already knew that before I lost weight- I had no problem being confident about my looks in Lolita before I lost weight. I thought I looked great in Lolita! I just wanted to be able to fit into brand dresses and not just Taobao made-to-fit.
Size doesn't matter, as the key to looking good in Lolita has nothing to do with size at all.

The key is: Dressing for your body type.
Dressing for your body type as in dressing for what YOU think looks good on your body type.

I am not a fan of the “Do I Look Fat In These Jeans" mentality, as it is all about fitting into a certain “mold”, that is the socially accepted idea of “what looks attractive”.
Your idea of the “ideal body type” should be one that makes you feel good.

If you think that a shirt looks good, even if somebody says it makes your nose look fat, wear it!
 It is a lot more important to feel at ease in your own body. If you’re proud of or cool with a part of your body that other people would tell you to hide, don’t worry about it.
Flaunt it, if that makes you feel confident!

If you do, however, like the commonly accepted hourglass-figure ideal, I have a couple of pointers, and this is just my opinions and general observations. Mind you, some of them might not agree with whatever you’ve read in books on this topic.

1.     Puffed sleeves tend to hide wide shoulders.
I know this is actually quite the opposite of the popular dress-up tips, but I am not of a elfish body type myself, and I find that sleeves with puffy shoulders tend to hide this. After all, you can’t really tell how much is puff and how much is body!

2.     Let the “tight” part of the dress stop at the smallest part of your body.
This way, it will accentuate the smallest part of you, be it below your bust, at your waist or wherever else.

3.     Wear tights!
If you have naturally short legs, or your legs tend to stretch printed socks, wear tights. This also helps if your dress is a tad on the short side.

And this last one is completely unrelated and more a result of a discovery of mine...

4.     Wear bonnets.
Always wear bonnets. They look perfect on anybody.

Remember: You could ignore all of the above! 
Wear whatever you love, and what makes you feel good!
Stay safe, treat yourself well, and forget “BtB”secrets.
Your opinion is the one that rules.

mandag den 25. november 2013

52 Weeks: How Lolita has Changed Me

This is my 3rd week in this challenge, and well, well.. if it isn't already time for number 52! I feel like I got the big, deep question so soon.. but well, I promised to go random! This weeks blogpost is gonna be about how Lolita has changed me.
And boy, has Lolita changed me!

I'd say that Lolita has made me...

..let the outside match the inside.
I got into Lolita in 2010, at the age of 17.
Before then, I had slowly started developing into a "typical girl" when it came to fashion, make-up and the like. Yup, I was very late to the party in that area. Before then, I had always been a tomboy.
I know a lot of girls who got into Lolita from being interested in japanese fashion, goth, couture fashion or some other unusual fashion-style, and from the pictures I have seen, they were all very thorough in their look before they decided to get into Lolita fashion instead. I had to start from the very bottom. I had always worn jeans, oversized sweaters and never even put my hair up in a ponytail or wore any make-up what so ever. I never bought new clothes, because as I said:
"I want stuff that is actually useful!"

Lolita made me discover that clothes and make-up can be, well... Useful.
 It's like being your own fairy godmother.
Now it matters to me that the outside reflects what's on the inside, and I enjoy looking pretty.

...Consider more ways to go with my future.
I have always been a big history geek, but Lolita broadened my horisont even further. Before I got into Lolita, it never occured to me to look into French history, the Victorian era or any other period after the Renaissance. The historical roots of Lolita inspired me to look up the 18th and 19th century, which in turn made me fall in love with historical costuming, which then again got me to stumble upon the regency era. It opened up my eyes to 200 years of awesome history that I had never bothered to look into before and now, I think I might just try and specialize my studies in that field!

...Fill out my life with things that have meaning.
Kind of related to the above, Lolita fashion also opened my eyes to a world of new interests and good reads I had never thought of on my own. My new interest in the 17th and 18th century made me want to read up on old fairytales, read Jane Austen and gothic books like "Interview with the Vampire" and watch more historical or period-inspired movies like "Jane Eyre". Like many other Lolitas, I'm also looking for sewing classes in my area. I've always liked drawing, but Lolita has inspired me to do it more often.

...More open and accepting.
Meet-ups with my local community has kind of forced me to open up. Before I got into Lolita, I always only had a small group of friends, which meant that I was kind of lonely. I never wanted to talk to people that I didn't think I had anything in common with. At first I thought that meet-ups would be the perfect way to expand my social circle to include more people that were just like myself, but it turned out to be very different from what I'd expected. Lolitas are a surprisingly diverse bunch! Now I'm a lot more open to making friends with people who have a lot of different interests and are just very different types of people from myself.

...Made me stronger and more aware.
Lolita has made made me realize how tied down everybody are by society's expectations, which has made me stand up for my right to be myself a lot more, and in general made me care a lot less what other people think. I am not, and will not, be ashamed of what I like, from MLP: FiM to Supernatural.
In the same department, Lolita has made me aware of how women are still discriminated against and in general treated as if they are below men. It has made me aware of phenomena such as "rape-culture", and feminism in general. The blogger of Herlumpiness was the one who first inspired me to look this topic up, and I'm really glad I did!

All in all, I'd say that Lolita has made me a more complete person. It has enriched my life in so many ways!

Well, this was a really interesting challenge to do! It could actually be fun to come back some day and see if I've discovered something new and different about myself.

To see the complete list of 52 Weeks I have to get through and which challenges I've already done, click here!

How has Lolita changed you? Has it made a great impact on your life, apart from the obvious?

søndag den 24. november 2013

Why Lolita Isn’t Feminist but Most Lolitas Probably Are So.

When I was writing the “Sexy Lolita?” post I got inspired to open up a can of worms and discuss feminism and Lolita a bit more, but I decided that this subject was big enough to deserve it’s own post. 

Lolita is from my own experience often described as a bit of a “rebel fashion-choice”, in it’s own refined and elegant way. Quite at the opposite end of the line from the torn look of punk. Most Lolita handbooks think that Lolita even might have started out as the chosen look of Japanese women who wanted to rebel against the strict dress-code and culture that kept women in “their place”, which would not surprise me. We’ve had our fair share of youth rebellions in the West too.
The question is, if Lolitas are still in the midst of a rebellion. If Lolita started out as a feminist rebellion in Japan, which it could definitely be described as, if the idea was to free women from a patriarchic society in the 70’s or 80’s, or whenever Lolita was born.

You can look at this question in two ways:
In my opinion, a fashion in itself cannot be feminist. Clothes cannot stand up to anything. What makes a fashion a way to rebel, is the value that you put into it, of course! And this value may be different for anyone.

It is widely accepted that you are a Lolita as soon as you put on a coordinate that can be described as a Lolita outfit and call yourself a “Lolita”. You do not have to sign your name in blood on a contract or go through any rituals or get a tattoo. In short, you’re not tying yourself up to any promises of loyalty to a set of values. You’re wearing an outfit that you think is pretty and that has personal value to you on some level.

Lolita clothes might at some point have been a tell-tale sign of a young woman who did not want to be tied down. Much the same way punk used to have a deeper meaning than misfit teens wearing pins on their backpacks for school.
Today, at least in western society, Lolita does not have that connotation and might have never had it.

But can Lolita be described as feminist, even if the clothes bear no meaning in themselves? Well, I'd say no. But I do think Lolita has a tendency to attract feminists. Both people who claim the lable, and people who just so happens to be very openminded and "modern" in their worldview.
Some of you people out there who have fallen prey to the mainstream misunderstanding of feminism might be a tad bit confused, but you might just be a feminist yourself without even knowing it.
Even the ones of you who're guys.

Lolita is a little less mainstream than most alternative fashion-styles out there, which means that you'd probably have to be extraordinarily open-minded to things that are different. From what I've observed, just.. you know.. living on a day-to-day basis, open-mindedness tends to go hand in hand with the idea that everybody should be equal. Which is the core idea of feminism- Men and women are equally capable, equally worthy of respect, and they should be treated as equals in all aspects of life. Simple as that.

Most people I've met are not dressing in Lolita to prove a point, but because they love it.
 I've met some people who do dress in it because they're tired of sexism and want to get away from it- Which would make their particular Lolita-life a statement. But Lolita in itself is not a feminist movement, and I kind of like it that way, even though I myself support feminism fully. 
Lolita is a free space for self expression, with room for you to put in whatever values you please. 

Though I'm kind of proud of the kind of people it attracts, at least where I live.
There is nothing better than celebrating whatever has value to you when you're in Lolita, being around openminded and non-judging souls who love the same thing you do, but for their own reasons.
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