52 Week Lolita Topic Challenge : My favorite Lolita print
This week’s 52 week lolita topic challenge topic is number 49, my favorite lolita print. I’ve been working on this prompt on and off for the better part of 6 years, and this marks the 19th post from the prompt that I have actually published, so make of that what you will.
My all time favorite print is Innocent World’s Strawberry Fields / Strawberry Field Animals. I’ve been using a tiny bit of the print as my avatar since the LJ days, and I absolutely adore it.
It’s been released 5 separate times, and each release has been a little bit different.
The first release was in 2008, when I was just getting in to lolita. It came in 3 colors: pink, beige and black. The beige is really a white-ish color, and the pink is very soft and beige-y as well. There was an OP, a JSK, a skirt, knee socks, a rectangle headdress style headband, a cutsew, a bolero with knit strawberries, a ring, a necklace, and a blouse. From this series, I have the ring, which oddly enough, is on an almost key-ring-like base, even though it’s meant to be worn as a finger ring as far as I can tell and the headdress in pink. At one point I had the bolero, from a lucky pack, but knit strawberries just really aren’t my cup of tea, so I sold it.
The second release was just a pair of bloomers in 2009. They came in black, pink and beige. I picked them up new with tag on auction a while back in beige and it makes me really happy to wear my favorite print as bloomers, even though no one ever really sees them.
I’m not sure why they were released separately; in fact, to be honest, I thought they were part of the 2008 release this whole time until I went to write this up and realized the lolibrary entry said 2009, which I confirmed against the wayback machine and the item number. One thing to consider is that they had not clearanced out this series over the 2008/2009 winter. They put the unsold stock away and brought it back out in the spring of 2009, which is something IW frequently does. So the bloomers might have been made from left over material, or as an incentive to get people interested in the series again, maybe? I’m really not sure. It’s kind of strange.
The third release was a major release in 2010. While the artwork for this series is basically the same as the 2008/2009 items, the cuts and colors are totally different. This time around we have chocolate brown and a really beige milktea tone. There was an OP, a JSK, a small headbow and a re-release of the socks in a much more yellow beige-tone. There was also a strawberry bag that came out in 2010, which may technically have gone with the Annette series, but it matches.
This OP in this release had shirring, unlike the OP in the first release, making it much more versatile in sizing. The JSK from this release, which is easily identified by the bow in the center of the bodice at the top, vs the older one, which has bows at the base of each strap, is about 4-5cm larger than the previous release.
I have the strawberry bag and knee socks and then I have the JSK and headbow in milktea. I have to say that while I adore this JSK, it’s almost never flattering. It’s made of a really light linen sort of material and the full back shirring makes back lumps even on my petite dressform.
The third release was just in new years lucky packs for new years 2016. The year before, they had done the same thing with Grazia Crown and I bought like two lucky packs trying to get it, but I ended up with the Pietro Angel Corset JSK instead. This strawberry field’s JSK had the same cut as the Pietro angel one, which was way too small for me, so I didn’t even try to get this one. It came in navy blue and featured red trim, and was just this one underbust JSK cut.
I absolutely adore this colorway, it’s everything I ever wanted in a print piece, but it’s hard to find, and because of the way it’s cut, there isn’t much leeway for modifications to make it larger… so, I’ve never actively pursued it.
The last release in 2018 was the biggest divergence from the previous three. This release totally changed the artwork, with a much bigger border print. It’s also a much different fabric; instead of the linen-like fabric of earlier releases, this release is in a polyester fabric. This series is still for sale on the Innocent World site, though some cuts/colors/sizes are sold out / low stock. It came in a creamy beige color much closer to the original release, a blue-toned pink and a tomato soup red. There was a JSK, a high waist OP without shirring, and a collared OP without shirring. There was also a ribbon headbow, wristcuffs, and a pair of ankle socks.
This release also came in sizes. The M size JSK is a little bit bigger than the 2010 release, with the L size JSK being the largest piece in the series so far. The high waist OP in M is the same size as the 2008 OP. The collared OP in size L is similar to the max size of the shirred OP from 2010. So there is a pretty good size range represented with this release compared to earlier pieces.
I picked up the JSK in the beige colorway and the headbow from this release. I’m not personally that big on ankle socks and I just couldn’t imagine myself styling this with wristcuffs. To be, this print is so country-feeling and the wristcuffs, while adorable, are just so fancy it felt strange to me. I actually did an opening / comparison Facebook Live video when I got my stuff from this series, which you can see on youtube if you are interested.
For a print that is my favorite print though, I have very few photos of me wearing it. Partly because the 2010 release JSK just never looked flattering on me. I have some really beautiful memories associated with this dress though. I bought it secondhand, I believe, probably around early 2011, though, honestly I don’t remember. The picture below with the bright green grass background was the first time I wore it, I believe. The next three are from a trip to the zoo, which was where I met my girfriend for the first time. I actually found my coord planing collage for this coord while looking for photos of the dress! The last picture, in front of the water, was in May of 2014. The day before, my girlfriend and I went to a friend’s house to do a photoshoot for the Belladonna Ode to Darwin series, and then we all went to a picnic meetup in Baltimore the next day.
Side note: For those trying to match across the first two major releases, the pink from 2008 is closer to the beige from 2010 than the two beiges are to each other.
The 2010 dress is really not flattering (as I’m sure you can see above) even when it does fit well, and it doesn’t fit well right now. So, I’m really happy to have the 2018 version which fits a lot better and is a lot more flattering. I missed wearing it last summer (I want to say every time I considered it, I chickened out about wearing what is basically a white dress?) Now that it’s getting warm again, though, I look forward to wearing it!
What is your favorite print? Let me know in the comments below!