Saturday, June 1, 2013

brand new lolitas

Every lolita has to start somewhere. Whether you figure this as being the first moment you set your eyes on a coordinate, or you find your absolute dream dress, or the second you put on your very first outfit, nobody comes out of the womb as a beautiful kawaii lolita princess.

My journey into lolita-dom started many years ago, when I discovered FRUiTS magazine in a New York City bookstore in 2006; it was all over from then-on, and I became completely enamored with the style. I started getting really into lolita in 2008, doing all my research and everything during the early months, and then I finally started wearing it in the fall of that year.

My first few outfits were not very pretty, to say the least. I tried experimenting with making my own clothes, despite having zero sewing experience, and this didn't turn out so beautifully. However, my mom helped me out a lot, and she even bought me a custom skirt from In The Starlight, a now-defunct indie US-based brand, because she knew how interested and involved with the fashion I was. (Maybe she knew that I would grow to be a consistent lolita wearer for 5+ years?!)

The first pieces that I bought were not very versatile; my first skirt was a black and white gingham print, and my first dress was the metamorphose apple print OP in navy. Despite this, I tried to make as many coordinates out of them as possible, which resulted in some...interesting looking outfits.

I haven't really thought about my beginnings in quite a few years because lolita is now so ingrained into my mind that it's hard to think of a time spent without it. But now, one of my closest and oldest friends is getting into lolita, and I'm finding myself wanting to guide him through all the steps. Picking out a first coordinate, telling him exactly what would look good on him and what would look bad, telling him how to do makeup and hair and accessorizing; but I'm holding back. I'm restraining myself, because I think a huge part of lolita is self-exploration.

Fashion is truly not for anyone except for the person wearing it. It really doesn't matter in the long run what the person next to you on the bus thinks of your outfit, or how many notes your coordinate gets on Tumblr. All that matters is that you are pleased with your own outfit, that it looks good to you, that you are comfortable wearing it. Even if you're not 100% comfortable with coming up with coordinates, even if you only have one outfit in your closet, even if you don't own brand, there will come a moment when you look at yourself in the mirror and realize, "Hey, I look like a lolita," and that is a truly wonderful moment.

In other news, happy International Lolita Day! I hope everyone has something fun planned in their community. We were supposed to have a picnic meetup, but have been rained out so we're going to the brand new crêperie instead.

I've been very busy in recent weeks, but I've been to two conventions this month (Anime Central in Chicago and Anime North in Toronto) so expect event reports from those soon!

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