Friday, October 12, 2012

Lolita Blog Carnival: Three Prints On Which I'd Spend Way Too Much Money

This week's LBC topic: Three Prints I Would Like to See! For these three, I decided to go with one of my favorite themes, "Literary Lolita;" therefore, all of the prints are based off of literature, and are ridiculously detailed in description, because I'm a crazy person. Hey, we all have our passions, right?

So, once again, what on Earth is a Lolita Blog Carnival? Well, it's a group of Lolibloggers like myself who all blog together about the same topic on the same day. The topics are voted on at the Facebook group and a deadline is set, and everyone works on their articles until the posting deadline. At the end, we all link to each others' entries at the bottom of our own, so all of our lovely readers can see what other participating Lolibloggers had to say.

First and foremost: Antique Library. I imagine this as a richly-colored classical border print, in hunter green, burgundy, plum, cream, etc. It would have regimental stripes going down to about 3/4 of the way down the skirt, where tall, ornate wooden bookcases would begin. Then, closer to the bottom, there would be spindly antique tables and plush leather armchairs. Sporadically throughout the print there may be the silhouettes of lolitas, sitting at tables, reaching for books, reclining in chairs, but I'm not sold on that yet. At the top of the print, the regimental stripes would be decorated with small falling books, as if they're being dropped from the ceiling to the bookshelves below. After trying to find images to represent this print, I've found that JM did a library print themselves, but it's very different from what I'm envisioning!

Secondly: The Secret Garden. This would be a sweet/classic print with the main colorways as muted pastels, such as peach, sage, powder blue, etc. The main print, though, would be bright, spring-y colors depicting, front and center, a large wrought iron gate, Moitie-syle, entwined with large roses of various shades. Flanking it would be a stone wall with a fantastical garden twining up the dress behind it- huge sunflowers, big, ancient oaks, and all manner of vines and flowers twisting up to cover most of the skirt itself. I know Angelic Pretty did a Secret Garden series many moons ago, but this would be a more ETC-style kitschy, vintage look to it.

Third and finally: Love Letters of Great Men. There's this fabulous book I found at a friend's house, and it's seriously just a transcription on various love letter from various great men - everyone from Mark Twain to Napoleon Bonaparte. This sweet-classic print, inspired by BABY's Strawberry Love Letters series, would simply be a collection on there love letters in dress form. It would look like the letters were spread out on a gingham table cloth - or, even better, a wood-grain pattern like a well-oiled antique table - and all would be in different handwriting styles and signed by those who wrote them. They would probably be too small to actually read, but they would be strewn over this table cloth as well as daisies, roses, and various other flowers associated with love. This would come in a variety of colors of gingham (or woodgrain), but the main image itself - the letters and flowers - would hardly have to change per color.

See what everyone else had to say!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Why Every Lolita Should Read "Lolita"

I'm pretty sure every follower of lolita fashion is familiar with the book we so often get likened to. Plenty of us yell and scream about how the conventional definition of the word is completely off-base, and we can tell people we aren't sexually-provocative young girls until our throats bleed, the only way we can truly understand the difference between ourselves and the characters in the book is to, you know, actually read it. That's what I was thinking the first time I picked up the book.I first read Lolita when I originally got into this fashion, to arm myself against what I imagined would be an onslaught of pedophiles as soon as I uttered its name. I went to my local library. I read the first page. I was hooked, and the addiction would last a lifetime.

It isn't even so much that it's a good story. For me, that first time, it didn't even have a story. I was so entranced by the beauty of Nabokov's language, his flowery descriptions and elegant prose, that my first time reading the book I couldn't have told you what it was about. I registered nothing but the words- beautiful words I had never heard of or seen before, in English, Latin, and French.

But then, the second time I read it, I picked up on the plot: the beautiful, heartbreaking, incredibly disturbing plot. You may have heard that Lolita
is a troubling book, not just in the sense of being a mentally-taxing read, but also in that you find yourself rooting for the bad guy-- a bad guy who is so far from most civilized morals that, before reading, you think he's the type of character you could never feel any sympathy for. Of course I won't go into details or give anything away, but anyone who has experience with incest, sexual trauma, rape, or even kidnapping, please be warned that this book could be highly triggering. However, if you're a bibliophile, this piece is practically required reading. It was through Lolitathat I learned to think critically of point of view, that I learned that the narrator is not always trustworthy, that I learned to think outside of the box which was instilled in me during my middle school English classes. When I'm a literature teacher, I'll probably assign this book for these reasons if nothing else.

But I digress. The point is, there's more to this book than racy thematic devices. This piece is an excellent read for anyone interested in vintage fashion (Oh, if I had Dolly's wardrobe!), psychology, literature, or even just people who like long books full of fancy words and beautiful prose which borders on erotica. If nothing else, read this book to arm yourself against the fight our name has destined us for; I can almost guarantee you'll enjoy it.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Her Lady's Chambers: Keeping Your Space Tidy

One would think that, as detail-oriented as lolitas are in our fashion, we'd be that driven to keep every aspect of our lives impeccable. Our cars would be shiny, the foods we cooked would always be beautiful as well as delicious, and our rooms wouldn't have so much as a stray speck of lint on the floor, let alone half our wardrobes. Funnily enough, it seems to be that many lolitas - myself included - are the exact opposite! It's like we can only focus on so many things, our perfectionism can only be spread so thin, and if we go out for the day with perfect hair and make-up it'll look like there was a mini-earthquake in our bedrooms or apartments as a result.

As someone who spent much of her life treading carefully around little piles of books, papers, and clothes stacking on the floor, I've had a lot of experience with clutter. For a long time, I just accepted it - it's part of my personality! "Organized chaos" was a perfect phrase for the rest of my life, why balk at the idea that that would apply to my personal space as well? But when I first moved into my own apartment back in 2007, I realized that the cramped, cluttered, precarious form of "organization" that I'd used in my bedroom was not going to work for my kitchen, bathroom, or living room, and it was time to make some changes. In the years since then, though I've been in and out of various living arrangements - dorms, house-shares, even back in my old room at my parents' for a few painful months here and there - I've found some tried-and-true techniques for keeping the clutter at bay.

♥First and foremost, make your bed! The easiest way to make a room look cleaner is to have a made-up bed.  It's easy, quick, and makes hitting the hay in the evening way more tempting - I love the idea of getting into tight sheets and mussing them up!

A place for everything, and everything in its place - isn't that the old adage? Well, it's true - especially for lolitas! Having a place to store your jewelry, hair accessories, socks, and shoes makes tidying up a messy room that much quicker and easier, especially if your places are quick things - bowl on your vanity for rings, an old hat box for headbands, and a dolled-up shoe rack - where you can just toss things without having to worry too much about organizing them, etc.

♥Obviously, though, having too much of anything can be a bad thing, so if you find yourself completely unable to keep up with your possessions, it may be a sign that it's time to de-clutter.  Go through your problem spots and get rid of anything that you honestly, truly don't need - being brutal with yourself at this point is the only way to truly beat your inner pack rat!

♥Have some type of chair or bench in your room. It's for more than just sitting! This is a great place to put lolita garments for a while before re-hanging them, or to keep piles of laundry off the floor or your bed (which is usually just a halfway house before they end up on the floor for me). As long as you're strict with yourself and make sure you actually put the clothes away at least twice a week, this keeps your floor AND your laundry cleaner!

♥And speaking of laundry, having a cute laundry bin is a great way to keep on top of those dirty socks and bloomers. I usually hang a mesh bag for laundry on the inside of my closet where it can be kept out-of-view easily, but, you know the other old adage - out of sight, out of mind! It's too easy to forget about laundry if it's secreted away somewhere, so instead, find or craft yourself a cute hamper that will enhance instead of detract from your decor, and you'll be much more likely to actually use it! The adorable one to the right was customized by Violet LeBeaux.

♥Also, you'll be more likely to keep things off the floor if your floor is nice to look at! We aren't all lucky enough to have beautiful, antiqued hardwood floors, so the rest of us can improvise with cute rugs. These can cost you anywhere between fifteen dollars and hundreds - mine is a nice, neutral grey one with big, abstract flowers on it from Ikea a few years ago. Even subconsciously, I'm less likely to clutter it up, so it always surprises me that it's the tidiest part of my floor!

♥Similarly, having a well-decorated room which suits your aesthetics is an often-overlooked part of keeping your space clean. It should go without saying, but you're more likely to take care of and keep tidy a room you love. Great reasoning to paint your room bubblegum pink, right? I dunno, I wouldn't try it on MY landlord!

Readers: What are your clutter-busting tips? I'd love to hear them, because though I've certainly come rather far in the past few years, I'm still quite the clutter-bug!


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