Friday, January 1, 2010

Lolita Meme time!

Lolita fashion is a passion of mine though it has been on the backburner due to finances as of late. Caro-chan passed me an awesome lolita meme so I completed it to share my lolita fashion style :-)

1. Best Lolita fashion advice you've ever received?

Be confident--I think that's a biggy. When I wear Lolita, I feel like a princess, so I think there's some natural confidence that just boils up over when I get dressed. If you love Lolita fashion, let nothing let you down when you've got your frills on!

2. Style icons?
I guess it depends on how light/dark a look I want to achieve who I pick for inspiration! So from grimmest to sweetest:

Dark Inspiration: Countess Elizabeth Bathory
So maybe she isn't the most friendly choice for inspiration, but I have always had a strong connection to Countess Bathory ever since I was a little girl. Don't let her elegant portrait fool you--Elizabeth Bathory was one of history's most infamous female killers. Having supposedly killed 650 girls in order to bathe in their life-giving blood, she is reputed as having been a real life vampyre! I guess I felt drawn to her story because it has so many angles--personally, as someone who has lived with a serious mental illness and knowing Elizabeth went through much trauma as a young girl,I find her story compelling. She suffered from the same fears many women hold today (growing old, losing your beauty, jealously, self-consciousness) but had no structured way of dealing with them other than torture--likely the result of being a wealthy widowed woman under pressure in the violent Balkans. Her life--both in reality and in legend--supplies the female model of the vampyre and continues to inspire Gothic writers and enthusiasts to this day. So when I'm feeling darker, I channel a bit of inspiration from a Baroque bloodthirsty bombshell like Bathory. Juliette et Justine's classic examples are very much along this line--not too dark, but rich and deep nonetheless:

So that's my dark inspiration for outfits of a more Gothic persuasion. But what about a lighter classic style, with sweet pastels and country florals? Well, there's these things:

Louisa May Alcott's Little Women
No one has to explain why I love the book I'm named after (that Jo in Heather Jo? My Great-grandmother Jo too! We're a Little Women family!). And Marmie picked right since I'm just like my favorite character--bold (sometimes speaking too strongly and getting myself in trouble), loving of literature and theatre, but ultimately willing to do anything to help my mother (and in my case, hypothetical sisters). The March Sisters are wonderful because each one has a different personality (much like each lolita does): Jo is resilient and intellectual, Meg is elegant and social, Beth is friendly and giving, and Amy is feisty and artistic. I love watching the film adaptations of this story for the lush costumes and settings, and now there's even a Broadway musical. My grandmother even made a set of March sister dolls for my mother when she was a little girl, and my mother read the book together with me when I was little, and--you guessed it! I'll be reading it to my own children someday. Jo might also explain my penchant for umbrellas. Their style is classical Victorian, much like Victorian Maiden's style. And with a sub-company named Beth, how could they not have pulled a little inspiration from Alcott's classic?:

Last but not least:
I and about every single country lolita can take inspiration from this classic book and tv series! I remember reading it for the first time in gradeschool and falling in love with Laura and her family as they struggled to make a new home for themselves out west. There's something about that time and those images that really sticks with me--the sense of freedom, promise of opportunity, hope for the future? Along with Laura Ingalls Wilder's classics, there is also Anne of Green Gables and Caddie Woodlawn amongst other stories of country girls with big hearts. Maybe I love them because they are frilly and girly (as a lolita should be) but without that pretentiousness of being wealthy or spoiled like a city girl during that period might have been. They love nature and animals and running in the open prairie! A lot of indies brands embrace the country aesthetic, and I'm also a huge fan of Jessica McClintock's Gunne Sax:

3. Describe your personal style.

Definitely classic, leaning toward country classic. When I'm not wearing lolita, I wear lots of prairie-style/natural kei type clothes. I hesitate to call my style boho when it's closer to mori-style, but it's not quit mori either. I love vintage 70s Gunne Sax dresses (collector here) and calico prints, so I'm most often attracted to brands that release Victorian-inspired light floral prints. The most common colors in my wardrobe are garnet, dusty blue, red, green, brown and various shades of yellow. I love that country feel, so I have lots of hats as well (still working on a big straw hat and bonnet!).

4. Favorite designers/brands?
That I actually own: Mary Magdalene and Meta. I have a favorite dress that I absolutely adore from Mary Magdalene that has enough shirring as to not suffocate my bosom or look lumpy, but normally MM is off limits because it's not size 8/10 friendly. I have a couple things from Meta and they're great quality plus very good communication with buyers. Brands I love that I don't own anything from because of cost,
availability, and size: Juliette et Justine, Innocent World, and Victorian Maiden. If I had the $$$, I'd be decked in JetJ, if I had the upper body build, definitely VM. Innocent World is definitely a fave, I just don't have the funds at the moment.

My favorite MM dress :-)

5. Most cherished items?
My vintage hats and grandmother's pearls, and a little ring shaped like Sister Maus (a colonial Moravian mouse who is the brainwork of a beloved art professor).

6. Most used item?
Solid black mary jane pumps and brown/white mary janes, all equally. Seriously, they match

7. I feel best wearing?
Flowers! I don't what it is, but I love floral anything. I have flowers on my hats, my jewelry, and usually in my hair. I have a penchant for garnet in terms of colors, but soft dusty hues are my favorite.

My floral inspiration: Waterhouse.

8. The first thing I look for in another Lolita's outfit...
The coordinate. It's all about how you pair colors and accessories. When I see someone do something I really like, I make a note so as to improve my own style.

9. Lolita Fashion rule you never break?
Hair and Make-up. I always need that "put together" feeling when I'm wearing lolita for some reason. I don't really have "rules" but it's something I do. I also try to be polite and represent the subculture positively to curious strangers.

10. Never caught wearing?
OTT Sweet prints. If it has a cake on it, I probably won't be wearing it. Just not me. I like berries though.

11. Dress to impress who?
My art history textbooks. I want to channel the great masters through clothes, as silly as that sounds. So basically, I dress for myself because it's something I like.

12. Your next "must have" purchase?
She is Sleeping JSK, in blue or black. I have a dream photoshoot where I channel different opera personalities, and it's my Brunnhilde dress (yes. I'm a corny Wagnerian fangirl). I won't be able to buy it for awhile, but it will be mine one day. In the meantime, probably some cute offbrand stuff and maybe some IW.

I want you, I need you, oh baby oh baby.

13. Favorite type of head accessory?
Hats and hair flowers! But my favorite hairpiece is actually my Heart E angel headdress because it has wings and reminds me of Brunnhilde XD

14. Favorite cut of clothing (shirring, high waist, princess seams etc)?
I like shirred but only when tastefully done, usually at the waist or in the back, and preferably with a belt-type thing or banded waist. My fave cut of dress would be something like this:

Hits me in all the right places.

15. Current obsession?
Shoes--I'm always on the lookout for them! I like to thrift around for vintage and cute offbrand shoes.

16. Best Lolita fashion advice you can give to anyone:
To thy own self be true. Wear a print because you like it and it suits you, not just because it's expensive or popular. Lolita is such a wide-ranging style, you're sure to find your match. :-)

0 comments/comment?: