onsdag den 27. august 2014

Lolita Meet Up with a Fly on the Wall

This last weekend I took part in one of the most cozy and homely, but at the same time one of the most public, meet-ups I've ever been to. It was an odd mix, and I feel like I got a touch of what it must feel like to be part of a lifestyle or reality show!
All day, from morning to late afternoon, we had a camera man jumping around us, taking pictures from the most crazy angles!
That man was Philip Xavier Sommer from PX-Photography, and every picture in this post belongs to his talented self!

On our way home from this last meet-up, mr. Xavier approached us, gave us his card and let us know that he'd really like to follow us around for a day, as he was working on an exhibition that will explore the different lifestyles of people who're "a little out of the ordinary". We let him know that we'd speak to our local community about it and get back to him. He agreed to meet up with us at one of the girl's dorm at ten o' clock, and then he could watch us as we dressed up (of course only the outer layers), accessorized and got ready. This also gave three of us girls the perfect opportunity to have a little sleepover, watch Kamikaze Girls, rummage through the gracious hostess' closet and play dress-up, and call dibs on the dresses she gently implied that she wanted to sell.
It was all a lot of fun!

The original plan was for us to meet up with all the other girls at the park the following day for a picnic meet up. However, the forecast put a stop to that idea. We came up with a new idea: A Lolita Beauty Salon Meet Up! We would do each others' make up and hair. Perfect!

The morning of the meet up day, the photographer knocked on the door just in time, with freshly made bread from the local bakery. Yumm!
He did a small interview with all of us around the table, and we explained the odds and ends of our fashion to him, and how we got into it. And we may also have mentioned Mr. Yan... Oops.

Then it was time to get ready, and wow, did we quickly realize how totally NOT spacious a college dorm actually is!

The man even had to go outside to take a few of the pictures! Through the window!
I, as the boring perfectionist of a Lolita I am, decided to put on my make up before the meet-up. The rest of the girls left their faces blank and their manes untamed for later.

Real Lolita friends make sure that their compadre's bustles are properly ruffled! A common courtesy that needs to be spread to the world.

After a couple of hours of dressing up, putting accessories on and removing a few, we went on our way  with all of our sleepover luggage, through the pesky rain. That was probably the strangest but also funniest part of the whole "Fly on the Wall" experience, as the poor guy had to run across the street, walk behind and in front of us to find the perfect angles for his photos, all the while trying to get us to act completely natural.
Also, that was my first walk outside in rocking horse shoes that actually fit. I managed to not fall or break anything.

And so, the Lolita beauty salon experience began! This went on for hours. Picture Perfect Princess Curls were made, and faces were painted. I did the make up of one of the girls myself (It actually turned out very well, if I must say so!)

We hung out and talked like this for hours, about everything from video games, Lolita topics, Tumblr culture (which prompted a heated discussion about feminism and cultural appropriation, of course), Roleplaying Games, movies, mutual connections and much, much more. All the spice that a good meet up needs!

When everybody had been properly dolled up, we sat down for tea, lemonade, sandwiches, homemade cakes and cupcakes, and more chit chat.
It was all very down to earth. I love how closely knit and down to earth our local community can be, from time to time. The "everyday Lolita" was really in focus.

Afterwards, we all went down to the park to take pictures, but sadly, I soon had to leave this magical day behind!
I hurried home, and made a quick de-lolification to get to my mother's bachelorette party in time! I don't think I've ever gotten changed that fast, and I had not a moment to waste. I just didn't want to miss a moment of this meet up, and the usual enchanting company.

All in all, I had a great day, and I loved looking through the picture afterwards. They really depict the entire atmosphere really well, and I feel like they paint a true picture of what it's like, being a Lolita in the real world.

I can't wait to see them on exhibition!

mandag den 18. august 2014

Wearing Lolita to School: Lolita Undercover?

Hello, everyone! I hope you're all enjoying your Summer, as long as it lasts. Halloween isn't far away, and with that comes Christmas. As much as I hate rain and snow, I can barely wait for my favorite holidays to arrive!

With the end of Summer, however, also comes the dilemma many Lolitas face at the beginning of a new school year.
Yesterday, a young Lolita in my local community wanted to hear our opinion. She had just begun class at a new school, and her peers were, shall we say, less than openminded to some of her alternative interests. Should she try her luck and continue to wear Lolita every day, in spite of this?
"To Lolita or not to Lolita?" is the question. "Mayhaps", is my answer.
(How come I've never done a post on this topic before?!)

First of all, there are a couple of factors you need to consider, before wearing Lolita to school, and they are not all related to the stares and snickers of your peers. 
For instance, what are you allowed to wear? In some countries, dresscode (apart from basic decency, like covering up your chest and butt) is not a problem at most public schools, but it's a good idea to check, anyway. You don't want to be sent home before your day has even begun, for breaking the rules! Some rules may be vague and could be bent to suit your particular situation, so if you're absolutely set on wearing Lolita anyway, you could print out the rules and plead your case if the need should arise. Just don't make a fuss about it.
If there's no dresscode, you can do whatever you want. Some people think that you should keep your frills at home and wear them on "your own time", as to not distract yourself or your classmates. 
My opinion on this is as my opinion on dresscodes that forbids tanktops for women: People can keep their eyes to themselves. Problem solved. If you're able to wear Lolita and concentrate on learning at the same time, there's no problem.

Now to the main concern of most Lolita ducklings (and maybe even some less confident Lolitas): The approval of your fellow students. Because, let's face it, that is what it comes down to. And that's completely natural! 
Don't read this in a condescending voice, because it's definetely not meant that way.
The want to fit in and make new friends comes easily to most of us, unless you're a born lone wolf, like I am. Society encourages popularity, the "Extroverted Way of Life", and this, in companionship with the way being "Normal" is pushed on everyone, makes for an especially nasty cocktail for people who dress in an alternative way. Being different, and wanting to fit in, rarely go hand in hand.
In some places, better than others.

I was blessed with relatively peaceful high school years. 
Did I fit in? Not really. Did people stare at me in my Lolita finery? Definetely. 
And you should be prepared for stares, just as much as when you go outside. The difference is, that these are people you're gonna see every single day, and you'll maybe even have to interact with them! Some of them may come up with mean-spirited remarks, some of them may compliment you. That varies from school to school, and you know better than I, what you think you can expect. If you have no idea, expect some comments and questions.

So, what do you do? 
You think you might want to wear Lolita to school, and your first day of the new school year is coming up! However, you're unsure of how your classmates will react.
I say, keep it casual. Wear a toned down version of whatever type of Lolita you want to wear, and pay attention to how people respond to you, and how you feel about it. 

The trick is to act completely natural, and I cannot stress this enough. Think and act natural, and really give it a shot. Don't give up immediately, if you really want to wear Lolita to school, in spite of what everybody else thinks. Act exactly as if you were just wearing jeans and a t-shirt, and if people insult you, unless they go up to you and get in your way, pretend that you have no reason to think that you're the one they're yelling about. Don't bring up your outfit in conversation, or talk about how you "Know you're totally Weird!" If you don't make a big deal out of it, other people will have to bring it up, and people tend to be a lot more civil when they have to pick up the courage to say something.
Just, live your life.

Don't let the comments get to you. That was a thing I really put emphasis on, when the girl asked for advice yesterday, and this is also probably the hardest part.
These people do not know you. They're closed minded, mean and/or insecure, and probably have the IQ of a bucket of rocks. That, and they do not have the strength to go against the herd, like you do. Few people really want to be mean, and the ones that do, are not people you really wanna be friends with anyway, are they? Why should their opinion matter to you? They're a waste of your time. You look fabulous, and you're smart enough to concentrate on your education and being a nice person.

In my opinion, you should only do something about it, if it escalates and you feel threatened. In that case, you should get an authority figure involved. Never, ever, put your safety in the line for the sake of wearing Lolita!

 And if you feel like the bullying is really getting you down, keep your frills at home. You're not a failure if you cannot deal with it. You just have your priorities straight. You should feel happy, empowered and comfortable in Lolita. Don't let a band of baboons in a classroom get you down- Your frills are yours. Wear them when you're safe, strong and happy!
You can always keep a little piece of it with you, in your pencilcase or a necklace, as a token. 

That way, you're kind of like a magical girl or princess undercover.

fredag den 8. august 2014

LBC: 3 Favorite Hairstyles

This week's Lolita Blog Carnival has me dreaming of more, more and more wigs to style. My own hair is just untameable, and my heart beats faster at some of the most elaborate hair do's in history.

1. Reach for the Sky, Rococo style!
The extremely elaborate, Rococo style hair has a special place in my heart. It speaks of ultimate indulgence and dedication to beauty. And it's so over the top I can't help but love it. Stick whatever you want on there! Beauty has no boundaries, and this shows it to a T!

2. Braids Galore!
I have a soft spots for braids. Loose braids, elaborate braids, milkmaid braids. I love them all! A braid is a simple, quick 'do, and it's so versatile! It can be casual and cute, elegant and stylish, completely depending on where on your head you put it, how tight you make it, and how many you make. I'm especially fond of the "just wrap it over your head and pin it" style. It's very nature girl-ish. 

3. The "Rhapsody"
Made popular by Gothic Lolita Wig's "Rhapsody" wig, many other wig makers have since followed and tried to make their own, cheaper alternative. I love the fluffyness of it! It's cute and elegant, and exceptionally doll like! You don't even have to do anything with it, in my opinion, if you succeed in getting the wavy look without any frizz. It looks great as is!

What are your current favorite hairstyles?
I didn't mention my all-time favorite, the classic ringlets, since I've dedicated an entire post to that particular
 style before. You can check it out here.

Want more hairstyle inspirations? Check out the blog posts below!
The Literary Lolita
Doll Life
A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That Too

mandag den 4. august 2014

"Newb Season" and the Mentor Paradox

Summer is coming to and end, and so is the "youngin's" Summer vacation, at least where I am. This also, to many a Lolita's relief, means the ending of "newb season". Every year, as the season edges closer, groaning can be heard all over the Lolita internet hemisphere. When fall arrives, there are stories of actual gif parties to celebrate the end.

But why? 
It is known that there are Lolitas out there who'd rather see that Lolita stays a niche fashion, but many Lolitas are only excited to see Lolita gain recognition and, as a result, almost accurate media coverage! Wider recognition means brand stores opening up in other countries, and more easily accessible pretty things for all of us! It also means Lolita conventions, Tea Parties and other events, and last but not least, more Lolita friends to make.
(I'm also, personally, hoping for cuter and more elegant mainstream clothing inspired by Lolita. A girl can dream)

What is the downside of a seasonal influx of new Lolitas? 
Some of them actually stay and become part of our community, and it's so exciting to share our love with a fashion with a new, wide-eyed soul!

The downside is the result of one thing, and one thing only. And it really kills the joy, even to me, a devoted part-time Lolita mentor.
New Lolitas step into a world of complicated rules, piles and piles of new terms and shorthands. What does "JSK" stand for? What is a "Jumperskirt"? And there are a thousand stores to lerm to distinguish between! It's no wonder that a new person becomes lost!

Lolita can almost be compared to the court culture at Versailles, at a much smaller scale. You cannot just wear any shoe. Wearing the wrong make-up and a biker jacket may have girls giggling in the corner. That is were I and many other experienced Lolitas come in. Ask if you're in doubt about the "secret court rules"- We'll gladly let you know what shoes are appropriate in Lolita fashion, if neon colors are ever OK, or explain to you when it's alright to go without a blouse. Those things are complicated! It's not just "Yes!" or "No!", "Never!" and "Always!", but a matter of certain situations and the coordinate at hand, and part of what makes Lolita so fascinating! 
Also, giving constructive criticism to new Lolitas are essential to the learning process for a Lolita duckling, if they ask for it.

As you've probably noticed, new Lolitas are not the problem. Questions about complicated nuances and the grey zones in Lolita fashion are just fine, and perfectly understandable. They may even start interesting debates for the rest of us, and give us an opportunity to exchange views on things that we thought were established aspects of our fashion! When are neon colors OK in Lolita fashion, anyway!?

What makes "Newb Season" so frustrating is something that I as a Lolita mentor experience way too often: Laziness. Not my laziness, but an inexplicable laziness found in the young Lolita ducklings! "Where can I purchase Lolita clothing?" and "How do I get my skirt to puff up?" are a couple of the questions that make more experienced Lolitas drop their heads hard onto keyboards in agony. 

That is the curse of "Newb Season". 
The Googli-fication of online communities, and the permanent citizens of these that are being treated as if we were all Siri. 

I do not know what have prompted this. I do not know, if this is a new phenomenon, but it confuses me to no end! This makes me sound really old, but back when I first started out, I was so excited that I did all the research I could. I google'd, read blogs and "What is Lolita?" posts till I was blue in the face! I figured out for myself where to purchase Lolita clothing, I learned to avoid Milanoo like the plague all on my own, and figured out how to distinguish between proper Lolita clothing and nightmare-ish lace monsters through staring at pictures on "Daily Lolita" and guides like FYeahLolita's brilliant "How to Avoid Being an Ita".
I fell head over heels in love with Lolita, and that made me want to swallow the fashion whole. Figuratively.

Has this curiosity died out? What does that say about Lolita fashion, or the people joining the fashion?
I'm not sure. I like to think, that the new Lolitas joining are getting into it with the same love and eagernes that I did, and that the "Let me Google it!" mindset has just taken a step back.
The thing is, it's so easy to find reliable Lolita shops. Even easier than typing out a question on EGL, and a lot less dehumanising to the community.

We love helping out new Lolitas who truly seem like they want to become part of our world, and will work for it, the way we ourselves did. It also helps when the time and effort of a mentor is accepted with a smile and a "Thank you" instead of insulted frowning.
We're not a restaurant who'll hand it out on a silver platter.

I truly hope that many of this years Lolita ducklings will stick around, and start to grow their swan feathers.

Adieu, "Newb Season"!
Until next year.

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