Monday, March 29, 2010

The Lumpian Lolita Checklist

Well, everyone else doing it, aren't they? I might be a touch late to the bandwagon - oops! These are the things that affect my sense of fashion.

The Lumpian Lolita...
  • Prefers cardigans or sweatshirts to jackets
  • Thinks there's no better accessory than long necklaces, thin chains with large pendants and small charms
  • Loves to layer jewelry; a bracelet and watch, mismatched earrings, a ring on every finger
  • Paints her nails in soft, muted colors like brown, dusty pink, or powder blue, and adorns them only with rhinestones or a few stick-on pearls
  • Prefers leggings or tights to knee-high socks
  • Always wears pretty underthings, whether it's ruffled polka-dot bloomers or a corset and garter belt ;)
  • Will almost always prefer flats to heels, so she can run at a moment's notice
  • Makes smoothies for breakfast whenever possible
  • Hoola hoops!
  • Appreciates the seasons for their fashion opportunities: thick scarves and braids in winter, airy chiffon and curls in summer
  • Prefers a day trawling vintage shops in the East Village to pouring over back-issues of the GLB
  • Is always experimenting with her hair!
  • Loves interesting color combinations, and thinks brown goes with everything
  • Wears long-sleeve blouses with bright-colored one pieces
  • Comports herself with dignity; she always looks like she's posing for a picture, whether she's at a photoshoot or walking to class
  • Surrounds herself with beautiful people; whether their beauty is inside or outside, they always inspire her to better herself
  • Prefers sky blue to bubblegum pink
  • Sometimes goes without a parasol to feel the sun on her skin
  • Is more inspired by watching period drama than reading fashion mooks; in fact, she loves to find inspiration in any unexpected place, especially Shakespeare and poetry

Friday, March 26, 2010

Daily Outfit 3/10/10

Classic lolita for errands/date day in the city! My boyfriend &I went to hang out around the East Village so I could pick up G&LE. We also stopped &got bubble tea &some amazing Japanese food. Exhausting but fun day!

My hair looks so short in the little pigtails!


  • Blouse: Innocent World
  • "Cincher": Forever 21
  • Skirt: Bodyline
  • Socks: Secret Shop
  • Shoes: Bodyline
  • Hairbows: BABY
  • Lace tights: offbrand

Note to self: This skirt likes more poof! More petti next time.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Gaijin's Conundrum

These past few weeks I've been having a total love-hate relationship with brand. I go from daydreaming about a closet full of Innocent World and BABY to slamming my wallet closed in disgust &vowing away from the expensive things multiple times a day. Why do we do it? Look at the sales community - there are girls (myself included) spending whole paychecks on clothing other people have sweated in. Hopefully they've been dry-cleaned or at least aired out, but who even knows? This is the gamble we take for brand, to look the way our souls feel (or maybe that's just me - is my hippie showing?).

But why? With so many talented seamstresses and stores in our own countries, why do we bother exporting overpriced dresses and skirts, saving up for weeks for a single item, when we could pay a fraction of the price for something that is beautiful, personal, and actually sized to Western bodies? Let's start it, ladies - the anti-brand revolution!

Maybe that's going a step too far. After all, the reason brand names are so expensive is because they're usually so ornate, delicate, and creative that we can't really find exact substitutes elsewhere. And that's great - there's no better feeling than putting on a dress you've been saving up for and looking at yourself in the mirror. That's why we do it. We like feeling that way. Whether they're just clothes or more of a lifestyle, you have to admit - you wouldn't wear these ridiculous, expensive things if you looked in the mirror &didn't feel awesome about what you saw looking back at you (Would you? I'd love to hear some opinions - being a lifestyle loli myself I can't really imagine what it's like not to be one).

But who says brand is the only way to feel like that? Okay, lots of people. However, I think that's because those people have never really seen what American designers (Or Australian, or Swedish, or Brazilian, or...) are really capable of. That's the gaijin's, or foreigner's, dilemma: Buy from Japan expensive things that may not even fit our body types, or do we buy from smaller Western brands without the big name &quality guarantee? I've seen both - on top of owning pieces by both American and Japanese brands, I've modeled for both BABY, the Stars Shine Bright and American lolita designers, and I can honestly say, I felt layers upon layers better in clothes by the latter. I felt so much more connected to the clothing knowing it that had been designed not to make money but specifically for the event I was modeling it in and feeling the soul of the seamstress who poured her heart into producing it. There's something to be said for mass-production, and I love Forever 21 as much as the next girl, but once you feel something so personal, it's hard to find a good Methadone to take its place.

There's also a very different style and look to American lolita brands. I think this is necessary - the things they're exposed to are so different from what affects Japanese lolita designers that anyone who tries to emulate what they do, in my opinion, doesn't have a very high chance of success. I see this especially in designers from New York City and other urban areas - exposed to such a harsh, concrete-and-steel landscape every day crafts citydwellers into unique people, and lolitas are no exception. The beauty that we obsess over seems to be almost rougher in NYC - maybe this is my country-mouse coming through, but it seems to me that there's just some sort of discernible edge that comes from Manhattanites that they bring to their coordinates that always takes me by surprise. How exactly that shows is dependant on the individual, and yes, I've seen plenty of girls in the city rocking cookie-cutter styles and making it look right off the pages of the GLB, but I think more often there's a certain je ne sais quois that permeates their attitudes and fashion sense. I've seen it in other places, too, but never as strongly. There's such an energy to people who frequent the Big Apple that I've never seen replicated. Maybe therein lies my deep adoration for the city - while every metropolis has its own unique story and energy, I've never encountered one as intoxicating as New York's.

But I digress. The point I've been trying to make is that lolita is not something that you need to pay customs for. There are some amazing designers in our own countries that need their economy stimulated, and we're just the people to do it. Here's a list of some of the American brands that I find most stimulating:

Any other suggestions, American lolitas? And for you non-American lolis, who are your favorite designers from your country?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Zodiac-loli: Water Signs

I have to admit, I definitely had the most trouble with this one. Water is inconstant and flows freely with the tides, so all water signs are incredibly hard to define as their personal situations so profoundly affect them. These are the signs that I expect the most issues to be most contingent with, so if any of these descriptions don't suit our Water-Lolis, well, I'm not going to be surprised XD; I did try my best, though, and here are the conclusions I could come to:

Scorpio v1

Scorpio, the Scorpion: Scorpios are what Jen call “the vitality of the extremes.” They are sharp, stark, distinct, but still feminine and oldworldly, so here I've selected for them a rigid corset with a skirt that's architectural but still cascading with a waterfall of soft, feminine ruffles. Scorpio favors statements more than patterns; they'll like structured pieces that make a splash in their construction details, not in prints or patterns. Scorpio is enticing, Scorpio is mysterious, is skin in all the right places with a touch of exoticism. Hair is usually unrestrained – the iconic Scorpio has long, flowing hair that she wears down and naturally curly/wavy. I really find it difficult to imagine a Scorpio in anything except ero, to be honest, though because of this idea of extremes, I wouldn't be surprised to receive comments on this from super-OTT sweet Scorpios or wearers of understated classic. Colors Jen and I discussed are, unsurprisingly, black, blood red, white (again, the dichotomy of the extremes), and silver jewelry.

Pisces v1

Pisces, the Fishes: Pisces... oh man. Pisces is very difficult to describe, because they're so incredibly affected by water, and therefore very changing. Pisces, the fish, flows through the water with ease, fighting currents and ebbing with the tides. Similarly, a Piscean is usually very laidback, very go-with-the-flow, yet they're also stereotypically very funky and eclectic – this is one of the stereotypical “hippie” signs. They love unique pieces and are likely to combine them all and wear them all at the same time, but as they err to the traditional side often, they're more likely to go with an established style than to go TOO far left-feel, and will probably prefer sweet or classic. For some reason, Pisceans also have some weird thing with feet. I don't know, I don't get it, but if they can't be barefoot, they'll probably go to the other extreme and have a huge collection of funky, off-the-wall shoes. They're also very into construction: they love well-fitted, soft garments that flow but still cling, as they have a strong sense of scale and proportion. Pisces is said to be the sign that feels the most strongly; they will love completely because they hurt completely. However, they're very secretive and private, so they'll probably prefer light colors over dark; it's another way for them to keep the dark inside, where it's safe. They'll like blues, very light pinks, and other pastels for this reason.

Cancer v1

Cancer, the Crab: Cancers are soft with an edge. The crab works very hard to put on a hard shell to protect themselves from what they perceive to be the big, bad world. Their clothes are part of that shell; the Cancerian lolita will wear what she perceives, usually subconsciously, as being unapproachable. However, Cancer is ruled by the inconstant moon (forever changing in her nightly orb!), so whatever their mood happens to settle on that day is probably what they'll end up wearing. Light, seafoam green is often associated with Cancers, so I picked that color &then just went with my ~feelings,~ trying to channel the Crab. They also love old things – channel Cancer yourself by picking up some accessories from a vintage shop, like these gloves and this pearl bracelet.

Previous signs:

Other signs:

Zodiac-loli: Earth Signs and Introduction

Zodiac-loli: Air Signs

Zodiac-loli: Fire Signs

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Zodiac-Loli: Fire Signs

Onto the fire signs: Leo, Aries, &Sagittarius. I definitely underestimated the amount of work this would be! Three-quarters of the way there...

Leo v1

Leo, the Lion: I adore Leos. I find them utterly hilarious and totally endearing. They're energetic lover of attention – and have you seen their hair? (Side note- Leos LOVE their hair. I have a dear friend who's a Leo ascendant, which means that whenever she's uncomfortable she gets Leonine tendencies, so whenever she's angry she's really quite funny to watch - “You know what? Fuck him! He does NOT deserve me. He'd better just not cry himself to sleep every night when he realizes what he's missing out on!! Can I borrow a comb? I need to tease my pigtails.”) Their love of attention, color, and brightness makes them very suited for OTT sweet, even bordering on gyaru. Their confidence doesn't stop at their hair – they love their bodies, or at least outwardly act as they do, so showing a little leg shouldn't be unsurprising for a Leo Lolita. Their confidence also spreads to creativity; they like to be praised, so they follow the rules, but they're definitely innovative. Also, name brands. If Virgo is dressed in an exquisite dress that you just KNOW is brand without them having to proclaim it, Leo is the one with logos on every item they're wearing, or the uber-print that everyone can recognize on site. Virgo is Innocent World; Leo is Angelic Pretty.

Aries v1

Aries, the Ram: Rules? What rules? Aries is the sign of Mars, so these people are passionate individuals, natural leaders, and very emotion-driven. Aries is the type of sign who throws open their closet and puts on whatever ~feels right~ to them at that moment, the type to change outfits a hundred times a day, the type who either looks like they've just stepped off the pages of Alice Deco or who looks a hot mess. Another sign whose personal style varies greatly on the individual themselves, and in fact can vary greatly from one day (or even moment) to the next, they're also hard to categorize. Personally I'd say that Aries, another fire sign and like Leo a lover of attention, would go for over-the-top- probably not sweet, as they have a flair for darker, more dramatic styles, but whatever they're doing is going to be big. They're often foolhardy daredevils and are just as likely to get hundreds of comments on daily_lolita as they are to be posted to /cgl for their utter wtf-ery. As I said above, they're ruled by Mars, planet of passion, so these are very sensuous people; my Arian lolita here channels Mars by leaning heavily toward ero-lolita. However, Ram-lolis aren't all sex; all Arians still have a lamb hiding inside them, and lolitas have less trouble showing this than non-loli Rams. Colors for Aries are reds, purples, maybe royal blue – anything deep and brilliant. Black is a definite contender, but only if paired with bright or eye-catching colors like the above or maybe bright, metallic gold.

Sagittarius v1

Sagittarius, the Archer: Jen, on Sagittarius: “Sag is like... the kind of girl who'd be taking a walk in the park, then break into a run, then trip &fall over into the grass, then roll around in it until her hair was full of twigs &leaves &flowers... &then stand up and continue on with her day.” There's little else to say than this: Sagittarius is the ultimate mori-girl. She loves layers of soft, earthy fabrics, she dresses almost solely for comfort; she is “immaculate in her disorder,” as Jen puts it. Make-up is natural for a Sag, or not at all – she'd much rather go for some natural lip balm. Jen relates Sagittarians to horses, which I can see, but from the Sags I've seen, birds and bird motifs seem to appeal to Sagittarius-loli. For colors, husky brown, earthy turquoise, and a soft, dusty purple are favored.

Other signs:

Zodiac-loli: Earth Signs and Introduction

Zodiac-loli: Air Signs

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Introduction to Blogspot

Hey all, some of you may recognize me from my blog on Wordpress. I might be switching over here to Blogspot because I like the customization options, so I'm playing around with it. Right now my posts are the ones from my Wordpress archive that I still like &think still pertain. Let me know what you all think!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Zodiac-Loli: Air Signs

Continuing my Zodiac Loli series today with air signs! Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius lolis ahead:

Gemini v1

Gemini, the Twins: Gemini is, first and foremost, the eternal child. Gemini is ruled by Mercury, the planet of information, intellect, and communication, which these days translates into, of course, the Internet. The Gemini lolita is tech-savvy, up on all the recent drama, checks the community twenty times a day, though they may or may not really be very active. Their childlike nature (“childlike,” remember, is a very different word than “childish.” Gemini is very mature, just with an eternal youthfulness) creates in them a creativity with their wardrobe, as well as a love of color &frivolousness – fairy-loli is where it's at for these ladies. The keywords here are eccentric, eye-catching, and experimental. If there is any possible way it can be neon or brightly-colored, it will be.

Libra v1

Libra, the Scales: Libra is noted as having an air of mellow relaxation. They are very elegant and refined, turning their noses up at the mundane. They're definitely the type to enjoy the luxury of brand names, but it's more important for them to enjoy the fit, quality, and style of each piece they own than just to be decked out head-to-toe. They're also ruled by Venus, like my beloved Taurus, so luxury &beauty is very important to them, as well as actualizing both qualities into their daily life. Librans love textures, from opulent ones like organza and fur to rustic straw hats and thick woolen socks. They're also very charmed by accessories, so they're likely to pile them on – remember, though, that Librans are the epitome of taste and elegance and will never look overdone or out of place. Colors associated with Libra-the-lolita are earthy but elegant, like brass, antique gold, and light brown.

Aquarius v1

Aquarius, the Water Bearer: Aquarius means business. Aquarius knows exactly how it wants to look, what it wants to wear, and the exact image it gives off. The water-bearer does not fool around when it comes to fashion; they will bend over backwards for no magazine! They create their own rules – I remember an Aquarian lolita once telling me “I'm giving up socks. I'm not going to wear knee-socks or OTKs or any of it anymore. It's either tights or nothing. Socks are just not elegant enough.” And once an Aquarian decides something, it is decided. They have a pioneering edge that will not give up, will always be trying something new. Aquarius is, however, the water-bearer. She is very intimately close with water, which is ever-moving and ever-changing, so the Aquarian style is ever-evolving, always pushing the envelope, always trying to find a way to perfectly channel themselves. They're very given to historical inspiration; almost all of the Aquarian lolitas I've encountered are classic or at least have a great personal interest in history. Jen associates the Aquarian lolita with the colors dark brown, sky blue, white and maaaaybe light pink, depending on the person's individual style. But remember, Aquarius is not one to be defined, and could very well be absolutely nothing like this. The point with Aquarius is individuality.

Other signs:

Monday, March 8, 2010

Zodiac-Loli: Earth Signs

Some of you may not have picked up on this yet, but I'm a pretty big hippie. This is largely to blame on my ex-roommate and forever love Jen, who is a certified astrologer &introduced me to Tarot, pendant-divination, and chakra cleansing in the three months she lived with me, as well as the study of the Western zodiac. It's funny - once you're introduced to this stuff, you can't begin to imagine how people live without it. You start thinking in terms of Tarot cards, diagnosing ailments on behalf of blocked chakras, and, especially in my case, start blaming things on your astrology. In short, you look for connections. For the entire history of my blog, I've been meaning to do a write-up of Zodiac for Lolitas, so this weekend I sat down with Jen &her laptop, &brainstormed what attributes of which signs would come over into a lolita's manner of dressing. I'm going to be transcribing all of my quotes, as well as some quotes from Jen herself on the subject, into a four-part series organized by the element of each sign, starting with Earth (I'm biased).

(Please note that the following is really all in jest, and that there is a lot more to someone's astrological chart than their sun signs - if something in your sign seems totally unlike you, remember that these are stereotypes and that not everyone fits them! There is also much more to your astrological birth chart to consider - many of my lolita friends show their ascendant or rising sign more than their sun signs because we so often put up a front when we dress up.)

Taurus v1

Taurus, the Bull: The ruling planet of Taurus is Venus, the planet of love an beauty. Therefore, Taureans have a love of beauty that borders on obsession. Like their bovine namesakes, Cow-people have an easy, lazy air about them and a stubborn loyalty that you do not want to cross. Their top priorities are being pretty and being comfortable. Since they're very nostalgic, they'll forever relate colors and styles to things that have made them comfortable in the past, so the Taurean clothing style is very personal and unique to the individual – not always something you can define or pinpoint. The Earthly bull is very soothed by nature, so they will often include them into their wardrobes. It would have been easy to put my Taurus in brown, but really, many Taureans find brown too harsh and stark for their own wardrobes. They are more comfortable in lighter, soothing colors like sage green and lavender. This isn't true of all Taureans, of course- as I said above, their nostalgic nature means that the specifics will change, but the ideas of achievable, comfortable beauty is very high on their priorities.

Virgo v1

Virgo, the Virgin: Virgo, like all Earth signs, is very traditional. The guiding theory behind Virgo is what Jen calls “purity of purpose.” Virgos, when it comes to fashion, are the ones wearing the exquisitely-tailored suit that doesn't even need to be plastered with labels for you to know it's on par with Armani; the same goes for lolita. Virgo is the one decked head-to-toe in brand, and even without a name showing, you just know – not because of the status symbol, but because they know that brand names are synonymous with quality. The purity of high-quality items hold with the Virgoan motto of Purity of Purpose. Their presence is enough; they don't need to go Over The Top to be noticed. These are the Earth signs who will go for dark, deep brown, because they like elegance of it; the same is true of maroon. If they go for a light color, they'll prefer cream to pure white; they're too sensible to wear something so easily dirtied, though, so they usually will prefer colors. Virgos also like historically-inspired clothing, because of their love of tradition and the idea that if something has lasted this long, it must be good.

Capricorn v1

Capricorn, the Seagoat: First of all... what the hell is a Seagoat?! Anyway, Capricorn, like other Earth signs, is very traditional. Capricorn is ruled by Saturn, the planet of rules and laws, and therefore there is nothing they love more than following all of the established rules – this could be what drew them to lolita in the first place. Traditionally, most people would think of Capricorn as being a gothic lolita because of its connection to dark Saturn, but in fact, they would be too worried about what people would say about them to do so, and are more likely to go for old-school sweet or classic, if they go for lolita at all, really. It's all about established tradition. They're not ones to do much innovating; they prefer to accept rules as they are. Despite their dislike of negative attention, Capricorns have a secret longing for fame, and therefore they like that brand names are status symbols. In the end, though, they're too thrifty to spend hundreds of dollars on one dress, so they'll probably go for brand accessories and an off-brand dress of fantastic quality. They also put fashion over comfort - they're the type to wear a tightly-laced steel boned corset under their dresses all day, simply because, in their mind, it's "what you do." Colors that Capricorns are drawn to are either very classic colors like pale pink or blackxwhite coordinated looks, or the colors of their ruling planet Saturn: plum or light gray.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Inspiration: Aliena, As You Like It

This evening I watched the 2006 HBO/BBC production of As You Like It. I've just finished reading the play in my Shakespeare class, and am about to write a critical analysis of it (maybe - or should I choose A Midsummer Night's Dream?! Decisions, decisions - the cruel fate of the English major!) and my teacher recommended seeing a production or movie-adaptation of the play we choose first. The text mentioned the Kenneth Branagh version as taking place in post-feudal Japan, so of course, my interest was peaked. I really recommend this version - the costumes are so beautiful, a necessity as even in Shakespeare's original the plot is incredibly lacking as compared to the characters. There doesn't really seem to be any point in setting it in Japan, but it does make for some very pretty costumes and settings. One character in particular strikes me, and that is Aliena. Cousin to the main character Rosalind, she was rather cast-aside in the original; this film version gives her a role as pastoral shepherdess and outfits her in florals, sage green, and hip-length blond hair woven with flowers.

She starts out the movie as a courtier named Celia, all curled-updo and satin corsetry:

Celia, in blue, before the exile

Rosalind is exiled, and Celia sneaks away with her, calling herself Aliena ("the estranged one," according to my textbook) to Rosalind's new pseudonym "Ganymede." However, after entering the forest of Arden, she finds herself exhausted and distressed, not having realized what she got herself into. She becomes tousled and unkempt, her appearance mirroring her fatigue:

Disheveled Aliena with Touchstone the fool

All she wants is a place to rest and food to eat! Once she gets these and becomes comfortable in her surroundings, she accepts the pastoral life Fortune has temporarily provided her with:

Aliena, mori-style

I can't even begin to explain how much I love this look. If I could drses like this everyday I think I could die happy!

Get that look:
  • Use soft, dusty pastels like sage, rose, or cream
  • Use a ruffled bolero to allude to her ruffled overdress
  • Keep make-up and hair natural; a bit of just-kissed-pink gloss, cream shadow, and tousled hair
  • Don't overdo accessories - use rose corsages or make yourself a flower crown out of fake flowers, or even real if they're blooming for you!
  • In my mind, Aliena is barefoot, but as this isn't really too practical for her as a shepherdess or you in the modern world, break lolita convention and go for a pair of sturdy yet comfy gladiator sandals, as in my imagination all historical fashions favored.
For those of you who are into Shakespeare, I... don't recommend this movie or even the original play. However, for those of you who are interested in period drama and enjoy historical costume, beautiful imagery, and quotable characters, definitely check this version out. Anyone interested in boystyle? Check out Rosalind as Ganymede - hottie!
Bryce Dallas Howard as Ganymede/Rosalind, in brown

Though I must admit, Orlando is quite a looker himself. I... don't know who that other man is.


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