Thoughts on Losing the Gothic and Lolita Bible and Answers to the Harajuku Fashion Tag.

I’ve been struggling with writing about the end of G&LB for a while now. I can’t seem to articulate my feelings on the matter in a way that hasn’t already been done to death. There seem to be two major camps within the EGL community: one is in a panic, predicting “the death of J-fashion” and waiting for Lolita to go the way of Mori Kei, while the other sees it more as a blow to print media than to its intended audience. I fall somewhere in between. I do think that the end of G&LB will have an effect on the fashion and it’s community, but I also agree that it likely signifies a change in the way we get our information more than it does the end of the fashion. My favorite part of the magazine, the street snaps, are easily replaced by Amino and Instagram. Brand news is available online, both from the brands themselves and from the Lolita Updates Facebook group. Blogs more or less cover the rest. But G&LB was the definitive source for all things Lolita. It was, as the name might suggest, Lolita Canon. Losing that will take some adjustment.
Since the facts of the situation have already been covered by nearly every loliblog out there, I’ll assume that most readers are already at least somewhat familiar with the announcement that the magazine will be closing and why. Instead of focusing on that, I’ve chosen to focus on remembering what it has done for me by participateing in this project from MagicalGirlMe.:

  1. I’m most passionate about Lolita fashion, of course ^_^
  2. I was first introduced to Lolita through a friend in high school (probably around 2005), and then more thoroughly by the TokyoPop English-language Gothic and Lolita Bible, but I had only a casual interest until about 2015. At that point I discovered Lace Market and I’ve been broke ever since.
  3. I love the way that wearing Lolita makes me feel; elegant, feminine, and dainty, but simultaneously strong and confident. Those should never be mutually exclusive but sadly they often are.
  4. What strikes me as unique about Lolita fashion is that it’s feminine without invoking sexual appeal, as most women’s fashions do in some way. It encourages it’s wearers to be beautiful without being exposed, and that appeals to me a great deal.
  5. There is so much I’d like to say to people who are interested in starting out in Lolita that it was one of the biggest motivations for starting this blog! Typically though, when I’m talking to an individual I tailor my response to their needs. I suppose if I had to offer just one piece of advice it would be to get a high-quality bell-shaped chiffon petticoat before anything else. It’s a generic, boring answer, but I don’t know who I’m talking to QQ

In closing, since the Lolita community is losing our definitive source on our fashion, we’ll need to work harder to create cohesion as trends change and evolve. With that said, I don’t believe that this is the death of J-fashion. There are so many other mediums through which we in the alternative fashion community can express our love of our styles of choice. If we continue to share our thoughts (and our coords!) with the world, our fashions need not stagnate, and as long as they continue evolving, they’ll never really die.

Lolita 52: Week 3

I wish I had a better story about my very first piece of Lolita, but in my case it was very anticlimactic. I first heard about Lolita around 2005, and while I didn’t fall immediately in love, I definitely appreciated the style. At the time though, it was much harder to get Lolita pieces than it is now. Brands didn’t ship overseas, and frankly I thank my lucky stars that I didn’t try to make any of it as my understanding of the fashion was hazy at best. Seriously, it would’ve been really really bad. But I learned the major brands and occasionally looked up new releases. I bought the English language G&LB when it was released by TokyoPop. My interest was casual, but definitely present.

About three years after I first learned about Lolita I found a secondhand Moitie op online. I’m not sure whether this is the exact one, but it’s very similar if not.

I was awful with money, and I got so excited at the prospect of owning a real Lolita dress that I immediately bought it. Besides, Gothic reigned supreme at the time, so the fact that it was Moitie was enough for me. To be honest though, even though I was excited, I knew it wasn’t something I’d ever wear. By the time it arrived the novelty had already worn off. I liked the dress, but it wasn’t me. I wasn’t particularly impressed, even though the quality was nice. I held on to it for a while, but never did wear it (it wasn’t flattering on me anyway). Eventually I think I think I sold it at Buffalo Exchange or something, which is a shame. I really didn’t know what I was doing at the time.

My casual interest persisted, although it was definitely dimished, and about two or three years ago I discovered Lace Market. That was really the turning point for me. I hadn’t realized how much easier it had gotten to get brand in the US. So even though my first purchase was an absolute bust, I eventually did find pieces that fit me (both my body and my style). I’ve since built up a small but functional wardrobe, and I’m very happy that my first Lolita purchase didn’t deter me too much.