52 Week Lolita Topic Challenge : How I First Found Out About Lolita

Today’s post from the 52 Week Lolita Topic Challenge is 10. How I first found out about Lolita. 

I used to do pixel art for a dress up doll website when I was younger. We took requests, and one of the requests we got was for lolita clothing, and so I started looking online for examples to use for artwork. I’m not 100% sure how exactly I ended up going from just admiring the fashion and drawing it really badly to actually being interested in it. I remember after I had gotten my first actual job after college I ran into two sites which had lolita clothing that wasn’t hundreds of dollars. One was the infamous Milanoo and the other was Bodyline. At the time, Milanoo was still stealing stock images, and I knew very little about lolita so I didn’t know that the images were actually stolen.

On milanoo I fell in love with this:

AP Stock Photo Stolen by Milanoo

“Cotton Red Sleeveless Front Lace Tie Sweet Lolita Top and Lace Skirt” Also known as Angelic Pretty’s “Pretty Bustier & Skirt Set” from 2008

And on Bodyline, I fell in love with the Candy Skirt. I actually liked it better in pink, but I had decided that getting it in blue was more likely to match with the bunny set which seemed like a very good deal.

                Bodyline Candy Skirt

After waffling back and forth, I ended up buying some things from Bodyline (mostly because it seemed like a better deal; I could get a dress and a blouse and a skirt and a petticoat for the same price as the milanoo set):
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If I remember correctly, the skirt cost me $13, the petticoat (I can’t remember which one I got. I have Yellow, Sax and Dark Pink because I later bought more because it wasn’t fluffy enough alone) was $11, and I want to say the bunny dress set was either $25 or $31? So for under $60, I got two basic coords that needed only bags/shoes and leg wear. Unfortunately, the blouse looked absolutely awful on me, the detachable sleeves were like tents on my arms, and the bow was like helicopter propellers. I tried. It didn’t come out that well, but, at the end of the day, I hadn’t spent a ton so I wasn’t as horribly upset about things as I think I would have been if I’d spent over $100 for something that didn’t suit me.

I later went back to bodyline and bought a yellow high waist skirt, and a blouse with bunny ears in white. Then, from Quitieland I bought a sax star shaped purse and sax an*tai*na shoes.

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The shoes from an*tai*na actually were terrible, and I paid waaay too much for them when all was said and done, but I had a few pieces I could mix and match. I made myself some accessories, added some tights and knee socks from target and I wore these pieces occasionally around the house for a while.

Later I went to Otakon, though I was too shy to really meet any of the other lolita there. And sometime in the year following that I started buying second hand pieces from EGL Comm Sales. My first pieces of “brand” were bought the same week; two Angelic Pretty Skirts. The first was “Strawberry Picking” and the second was a gingham one.

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I made the terribly extravagant purchase of a pair of red x white bodyline shoes (red shoes! How much wear would I really ever get out of red shoes! Oh if only I had known….) and a strawberry shaped purse. Shortly after that I started bidding on items on mbok and Y!J auctions. I’m pretty sure I just bid on everything and anything that I thought might remotely fit me and was under $100. I ended up with a ton of main pieces really fast, but I didn’t really love most of them. In the end, I ended up selling most of them off a few years later. I also picked up some items from Taobao, though, most of those ended up getting sold as well.

It wasn’t until a good year or two after I started buying brand second hand that I actually went to my first meet up and joined my local community.

And I didn’t buy any main pieces new that weren’t on sale at all until Christmastime in 2012 when I caved and bought Toy March in Wine. I got the blouse, headbow and socks too, and I remember thinking it was super extravagant at the time. I still love that dress. After that, my buying habits changed a lot. I started buying more AP prints new (though I still bought a lot second hand too)

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All-in-all, I think it’s interesting how my perceptions of what is and isn’t extravagant in lolita changed over the years. There were a few years where I’d buy 2 dresses per month (some new, some used) and I kept a lot of them for years. I’ve cut back my spending a lot over the last year; I’ve only bought one dress this year: Juliette et Justine’s Le Premier Cri, which hasn’t even come in yet, despite it being bought in February.

Some things have changed a lot over the years; when I started out, my coordinates were fairly simple, then they moved into decololi, and now, as I get older and more tired, they are sliding back to being more simple. One thing, however, has remained constant; I absolutely adore wearing red, even if it is a bit impractical.

 

Angelic Pretty In Paris Photo Book & S/S 2017 Sneak Previews

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Angelic pretty has announce a new E-Mook, Angelic Pretty in Paris Photobook. It will come out on May 29th, 2017 and features the model Risa on the cover. It’s ¥ 1,814 (~$16.32 USD) on Amazon Japan and they ship internationally at a pretty cheap rate as far as book shipping goes! If you have never used Amazon Japan before, you will need to make an account first; your US (or other home country) amazon account will not work for Amazon Japan.

On a positive note though, Amazon Japan gives you points when you shop that you can later turn in for a discount! It’s only like 1% back, but if you buy a lot of books / magazines it adds up over time.

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While the price is a little high for the book alone, it’s an absolute steal when you factor in that it comes with a small purse! Keep in mind that the bag will not be the same quality as a normal Angelic Pretty Bag. You can expect something on par with what you might get at a store like Claire’s. It’s also very small. For comparison, an iphone 6 Plus is 15.82cm and a Samsun Gallaxy S7 is 14.24cm… so it’s really just barely bigger than a smart phone and less than an inch thick! This is definitely just meant to hold a credit card / ID or two, your phone and a lip gloss!  It’s awfully cute though and it’s quite detailed for the price. It’s also a big step up from the eco totes that often come with these books.

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Letter Pochette
Vertical: approximately 13.5 cm
Horizontal: about 16.5 cm
Depth: about 2.5 cm
 Strap: about 120 cm

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The cover of the book is also our first look at a new Angelic Pretty print, which seems to feature carousel horses.

This particular image is of a short sleeve OP with lace and bows at the neck, and it has waist ties, and a large black bow at the front of the waist. If AP holds to tradition, the other colorways will likely be pastel.

Hopefully, we will get some better photos in the near future; I know Amazon tends to have very large, high resolution book covers… But for now, here is a terrible blown up image…

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We definitely have carousel horses, and trumps. It looks like there are large white or pastel trumps around them, and in front of each one (Club, heart, spade, diamond), we have a carousel horse that appears to have pink and sax detailing. This is on a solid colored base that has chains of medium trumps with bows and then thinner stripes of solid white and what appears to be a diamond patterned stripe flanking that. The base color here is black, but there is enough subtle variation on the “white” to indicate that the print has multiple pastel shades in it.

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AP Candy, of Tokyo shop has given us a preview of another new print. The phrase “Berry Biscuits” is scattered around the print, so that could be a clue as to the name.  It features cookie windows, plush animals sitting on icing, and strawberries. If you are into AP’s children’s room thematic prints, then this looks like it’s headed firmly in that direction. Personally, I think I’ll pass on this one. I’m more into retro 80’s/90’s toy cute than baby nursery wall paper cute, but the cat is pretty great. Maybe we will see more of it in accessories or other prints? There is pretty much no cut information on this one, but we have two colors: mint and what is looks like either a very cool pink, or a warm lavender and it definitely features rickrack and custom lace.

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Update! Apparently Angelic Pretty Shanghai shared a picture of this from the Shnghai Tea Party Fashion Show on the Angelic Pretty Shanghai weibo account!

It looks like this girl is wearing a JSK with a short sleeved blouse, a bunny ear headband with a small mint bow and a plush rabbit on the side of her head (maybe a keychain that they pinned on?)

She also appears to be wearing matching print tights.

 

 

 

ap-004The same group photo also seems to have what looks like it might be a chocolate print hiding in the back.

I’m getting some Antique Chocolatier vibes from this with it’s muted medium color scheme. Hope it’s a bit better than  Antique Chocolatier; that print fell a little flat, if I remember correctly. Anyway, we seem to have a collared OP (with 3/4 sleeves?) and a cute little bow knot headbow.

 

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And of course, we are still waiting on dreamy parfait! So far we have seen a yukata set, but the main print release has been stubbornly on hold, despite it showing up in numerous fashions shows, being teased by AP candy on social media and even showing up in multiple magazines.

What are you waiting for, AP?

I really like the textured fabric they used for this, and it’s one print that I’m super excited for this season. Hope to see it soon!

 

What do you think? Excited about either of these summer prints?

 

Girlism: A Chinese Lolita Fashion Magazine

Girlism Volume 6

I’ve been “reading” Girlism since they started publication (I say “reading” because I can’t read a single word of Chinese, so it’s more of just a picture book to me), and it’s quickly becomes one of my favorite lolita fashion publications. I just picked up volume 6, shown above.

Each issue comes with gifts, and I’m not talking just a post card (though they do often include those!). This particular issue came with a heavy duty screen print canvas tote bag from Yolanda…

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this set of post-card sized prints from Yolanda in a sheer envelope,
two cute postcards from the Japanese otome brand, Leur Getter,
…and a big double sided poster!
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Here are the front and back covers of the latest issue. One thing I will note is that shipping inside of China is a little rough. Some of the issues (including this one) have gotten to my shopping service with busted corners. One of the earlier issues came with a clear file that got shattered in the mail. It’s definitely happening before it gets to my shopping service or at the office of my shopping service though, as they are putting them in the middle of a package full of lace for their trip overseas.
Overall, the photo quality in Girlism is really high, as is the print quality. It’s nicer, IMHO, than Kera or the GLB. Here is a quick flip through of the latest issue. It features Japanese brands like Angelic Pretty, Innocent World, Baby and Meta, as well as the best of Chinese lolita brands.

Each issue is 80 yuan + 10 yuan shipping inside of China, which comes out to about $13 USD. Some of the nicer gifts are limited to the first x-number sold though, so to get the most for your money, order early! Some of the past gifts I’ve gotten included a peel-off lip stain, a Berry-Q heart shaped pouchette, Baby the Stars Shine Bright Clear files and a ton of post cards and stationary.