Tuesday, February 28, 2023

How to Introduce Lolita Fashion to NYFW - Victorian Maiden at Global Fashion Collective

Lolita fashion will forever be an outlier fashion; even as the style is slowly integrated into the mainstream, with elements seen in Hot Topic and the like. Majority of the time a Lolita fashion show is unheard of unless you attend an anime or comic convention where they are brought out as a guest. 

At New York Fashion Week this is even rarer. 

Global Fashion Collective aims to bring smaller, international designers to the forefront and a chance for their collections be viewed at an even wider, iconic audience like at NYFW.  And to my surprise, Victorian Maiden was featured this year. 

The last time New York Fashion Week showcased a Lolita fashion focused designer was in 2016 where Souffle Song (a Chinese Lolita fashion brand) was selected as part of Nolcha Shows.

It's interesting to note that Victorian Maiden was placed under the “Evening wear” showcase which is often interpreted as code for be as fancy as you want – which ultimately Lolita fashion tends to encapsulate. Since this is not an anime or comic convention where say a good number of attendees have a basic understanding of Lolita fashion, it makes you wonder what the reaction is for regular goers.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Level Up: Kitsby's Cookie and Cream Puff Kit Review

Baking has always been a form stress relief for me and living through this pandemic it's escalated to making something at least once a week. From cookies to madeleines to melon pan to swiss rolls. Put all the restless energy you would expend by going outside and socializing has been put into making something that could be delicious to share (contactless, of course) and eat.

Kitsby is a small Williamsburg cafe bakery that creates unique sweets with bar style setup and course style menu. They have also been currently selling DIY kits  and mixes for savvy bakers, and Dessert Boxes for savvy eaters that are available for delivery or pickup in NYC.  The Dessert Boxes have enough sweets to theoretically last a week.

I decided on the Cookies and Cream Puff kit. The suggested level was Advanced but I felt I was ready! 

Saturday, June 6, 2020

What is Lolita Fashion Like During Coronavirus?

Virtual meetup photo credit to ceramic_samurai
From a general perspective Lolita or any alternative fashion always has a big social component. However -- what happens when you take it away? Surprisingly, like fashion in general – the community as a whole MADE IT WORK.

It's been a few months since New York City was declared a hotspot for the coronavirus. And while cases are going down, we're not out of the woods yet. What has impressed me though is seeing the community rise up and still remain active.  To some, after all, it is our therapy and this is a time where we need it most.

You still take outfit shots; you still host meetups; you still host fashion panels. Your coordinate post offers even more of a glimpse into your rooms and personal style. It provides a window on how much this fashion has integrated into your lifestyle. Instead of structured pose, you concentrate on the coordinate you were inspired by, blurry self-facing camera and fluorescent lighting and all. Then there's the Pass the Brush challenge (check out They/Goth, Black Lolita Pt 2, Boston Lolita, NY Lolita) which gave you a glimpse of people in and out of alternative fashion – the perfect visual example that alternative fashion takes work and practice.

Violet Fane and Peppermint Fox created a "Cozy Cottage Moments" prompt early on keep you active and inspired when the world was uncertain how long we would stay in our homes. If you've already participated, why not recycle and create new ideas from the same prompt?

Baby is offering masks as a novelty for purchase over $150
Indie brands rose up and like everyone else, started making masks. You coordinated to match your outfits like it was an existing accessory – except now it's functional to boot. Currently Japanese brands are postponing shipping overseas, the internet still allows you to see what's going on. They've also taking up mask making, selling out like popular print releases. 

List of indie designers selling masks:
Note: Due to the current environment masks sell out quickly. If you see a brand you like but sold out, just follow their social media for updates. 

At Home Lolita Project X Harajuku Pop Contest promoted a solidarity that we are still fashionably at home and Lolita is not necessarily only for tea parties and meetups. Who says Lolita is dead?

Conventions have taken themselves virtual to remind you you are not alone, simply physically distanced.  If you missed Purgatorio's event check out some of the past content

If you were already physically drained from the curated social pressure, use this opportunity to BREATHE, SLEEP, RELAX. Rediscover why you love alternative fashion; find out if you are ready to move on or not. If you want to start this is a perfect opportunity to do your research.

. . . And if you're not doing any of these things that's okay! We're all trying to cope in our own way with this amorphous state of existence.

Monday, April 20, 2020

The Invisible Weight of Worrying

You've been invited to a meetup. You've planned your outfit and are ready to head out the door. Then it hits you. Is this outfit OK? Why didn't I wear X/Y/Z? Do I have enough time to get there? I got here too early am I at the right place? What if I don't know anyone? What's the app that filters out all the flaws? Should I hang out afterwards or go home? Will anyone like me?

I am constantly asked “is there drama?” when people want to get into Lolita or ask about the local community. Sometimes their response is “I'm not part of the community because I don't want to deal with drama.” Drama implies that you are already part of a close-knit group but if you've hardly attended an event there's no reason for this logic. It also implies you should be social whether you like it or not. Sometimes its more about what you think others will think of you than what others will say about you. Whatever negative thoughts you have before you even start it is probably that fear of the unknown.

It's very easy to say “Just do it” when someone wants to get into Lolita fashion. Sometimes it's not so simple. It's natural to have fears and worries and feelings of inadequacy, especially when your new at something. When you want to meet up with other like minded people you want to impress them with your knowledge and style take.

Sometimes you will amaze people and be talk of the town. Sometimes you feel like you said something wrong, hate yourself afterwards and replay that moment over and over. And over.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Ten years later: Just be yourself

“Lolitas do not recognize any authority. They follow only the values they have chosen for themselves, regardless of what anybody might say.” 

― Novala Takemoto, Kamikaze Girls

New York is where you find yourself, which for me was discovering Lolita fashion.  Since I was in high school I was always fascinated by the bell-shaped skirts and lace-trimmed bonnets that were clearly inspired by another time (but still entirely unique).  I could never fathom wearing something so outrageous down the street let alone meeting people who actually wore the fashion. Staring at the Baby, Stars Shine Bright website to distract me from college essays was enough.  I could never bring myself to think to wear clothes like that in real life. 

Then I moved to New York for various reasons: the probability of a job was higher, closer to my boyfriend (now husband), to get away from my parents and finally be the adult you're supposed to be (whatever that was).  Of course, moving to the big city after a childhood in the suburbs can be an overwhelming experience and you're not sure how to survive alone.  You drift to what you're comfortable with - which ends up to be anime and fashion.  In the early ideas of New York Anime Festival, I was able to talk to people who loved to dress up and discover that they were just regular people who wanted to express themselves.  It fascinated me; it also made me curious. What compels people to wear such elaborate clothes that was clearly different from cosplay. Who are actually these people? How much confidence do you need to be so cool?

In the end, they were just people who loved to dress up no matter the day or the occassion.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

A Lolita's Guide to AnimeNYC 2018!

AnimeNYC is next week! Whether it's your first time or a regular congoer it's always good to plan ahead.  To help you out, here are some places to definitely check out if you love alternative fashion and the like.

Friday, August 3, 2018

6 Cool Recipes to Survive the Rest of Summer

With the weather being so humid I've been doing my best to avoid the kitchen and heating up small apartment.  Here are some simple recipes I've been referring to most of the summer. 

  • Cold Brew Iced Coffee - When it's too hot to make an iced coffee run, pouring one from your fridge is not too bad either.
  • Chia Seed Pudding - Add cinnamon for flavor and frozen fruit that will quickly thaw before you know it as you browse your Instagram or Twitter feed for the day.
  • Lavender Lemonade - This was a popular trend at the start of summer but never got around to trying it until now.  Lavender by the Bay's stall at the Union Square GreenMarket always makes it easy to grab some on your way home.
  • Banana Crumb Cake - Take advantage of those rare cool days.  Bake and eat.  Cut into 4 big slices, throw it freeze and you have breakfast to last you the next few weeks.
  • Avocado Pasta - A change from avocado toast and tossing it in your salad. Here's a handy tip to depit and a chart to determine if its ripe or not.
  • Coconut Jelly -  This recipe is vegetarian and vegan-friendly and using agar-agar powder (a plant-based gelling agent) instead of gelatin. Pour it in your favorite mold for something picture worthy.