Lolita Blog Carnival: 2014 Trends I Predict
So quite by accident, my last post was on the same exact topic as the Lolita Blog Carnival’s last post, which reminded me that it was out there, and that time passes, and that my blog was actually old enough now to apply to join (actually, it has been for quite a while, I just didn’t really think about it). So this is my first real post for the Lolita Blog Carnival, and the topic is “2014 Trends I Predict” (I’m working on getting a link up in the side bar and adding a list of my favorite blogs in general too, but the widget isn’t working right, by the way).
There are a few things that have been brewing over 2013 that I think are going to solidify in the next year. First, legwear. I really think the days of knee socks outside of old school are drawing to a close. Lolita has taken on a much sleeker silhouette very quickly in the past year. I’m seeing a lot less clunny and other chunky laces, longer lines, more layers, more floaty, smoother fabrics. It’s like the fashion as a whole is looking at it’s younger self and going “you are kinda frumpy”.
As print tights have become easier to produce, and brands have found better options for getting clear prints in OTK socks, I think OTK socks and tights are going to become the norm (if they haven’t already). I do think that eventually there is going to be a big push for cheaper patterned tights and for OTK socks that is going to put a damper on the brand tights movement though. Basically, what I think is going to happen, is that we are going to suddenly hit a point in the next 6 months or so where people start realizing that they only bought the matching tights to their AP dress, and they now have a hole or snag that they can’t fix, which means they have no matching leg wear. The sudden appearance of Day Dream Carnival OTK socks with the rerelease of Day Dream Carnival makes me think that it might have already started happening even.
On that same note, I think we are going to see a lot more “grown-up” fabrics and trims. Lighter, more delicate lace, chiffon, pearskin, brocade, etc. I see the old-school standard smooth cotton being banished to the domain of the cheaper printed pieces, while brands do a lot more with prints on other fabric types.
I think flowers are in to stay in classic, and we are going to be seeing a lot more floral headpieces, and more interesting headpieces that can go a little more OTT when it comes to classic and gothic styles. In fact, I see classic really embracing it’s more OTT side for good in this coming year, and I think by the year after next, if not next year we are going to have a concept of old-school classic, which is not what we consider old-school sweet today, but instead the more casual style of classic which has pretty much stuck around mostly unchanged for a lot longer that some of the other substyle’s foundation looks have. For example, below is an OP from Innocent World from 2003, and one from 2013. A full decade apart, but they could be consecutive seasons for how similar they are by sweet lolita’s standards.
I see classic really coming more and more in style as well, and taking the place of sweet as the dominant style in the west. I think the painting print trend of Juliet et Justine is going to die down a little in favor of classic’s take on sweet’s border print craze (only using motifs in the truly grand styles of classic), and really, a lot more pieces that have a lot of complex detailing in the trim and styling. I see 2014 as the year the princess grew up; she’s putting aside her over the top, sweet frocks and becoming the elegant, extravagant queen.
And through all this, I think Innocent World is really going to struggle. They have 15 years under their belt, but if you look at their site, and how much they have to put on clearance to move and how many lucky packs they are making, and how few things are selling out when they first come out (especially considering they have some of the most forgiving sizing in classic!). I think, if they don’t change their business strategy and get their item’s scarcity and value up, that they will be hard pressed to make it to 20 years. I love innocent world, so believe me when I say I don’t like making this prediction, but I know way too many people who buy AP, Baby, AatP the minute it launches, and fight for it… but when it comes to IW, they go “I’ll just wait for it to go on sale”. Because with the exception of just a couple things, it does go on sale. Or at least hangs around for weeks and then pops up on mbok for half price or less when some Japanese girl has worn it once or twice and is ready to flip it. One of the interesting things with lolibrary is that for the brands we know are fully entered (IW, Baby and AP, mostly), we can actually track trends based on the number of an item they put out. So if we look at AP and see that suddenly they have put out tights and more OTKs and 0 knee socks compared to the year before when there were still a few pairs of knee socks (totally making this up), we can reasonably predict how popular knee socks have been. What you can also see is total items released. In 2013, Innocent world released 300-some items. All the past years that we have fully committed to lolibrary, IW has released 400-some items. That’s a 25% reduction in 2013, and that’s pretty concerning.
I think Meta is also going to have to really find their stride this year. While they have been going along with the wacky prints and lace monsters with a few good solids mixed in, they really have solidified their reputation as the punchline of the “who makes the tackiest lolita items” joke, and I think that’s really a shame, because for all their wackyness, they really do make some really lovely, strong pieces. But those pieces don’t always fit the current narrative. Right now, Baby is experimenting with wild and crazy things… and it’s selling, because it’s really, really OTT, which is what is in. But Meta is still stuck on experimenting with weird cuts and odd print themes, and it’s just not the crowd draw that Baby’s stuff is.
I do think we are going to see a lot more of those super OTT pieces that Baby has been putting out at a very high price, and I think we probably will begin to see some similar stuff from AP, probably more along the lines of what they have been using as show pieces in the past. I think AP is probably going to keep doing really wacky asymmetrical cuts of things and they probably are still going to be stuck on a sky-themed chiffon print for the summer (suns or the whole solar system this year, maybe?). I think we are going to see a lot more OTT detachable pieces from AP as well, and more print re-releases used as filler.
Lastly, I think we are going to see a drop in second hand sales prices. The market is pretty saturated right now, it’s easier than ever to get lolita clothing, and frankly, there is a lot of stuff that is similar, or just out of style. I see IW dropping in value unless they fix their business model, and older AP and Baby is probably going to start creeping down even more than it has already too. I think brands like Baby and AP are going to start seeing their duds fall flatter too, as it becomes more and more easy to pick a more popular, similar piece second hand, or to buy from a competitor.
I hope, for some of these I’m wrong. I hope for a strong IW to come out swinging, and for Meta to find their stride, and I hope for others I’m just spot on; OTT classic, here we come!
Other blogs participating in this theme:
♥ Breiðholt ♥ Lace Teapot ♥ Sweet Indeed ♥ Toothless Tigers ♥
♥ Whimsical Adventures of Me ♥ The Bloody Tea Party ♥ LadyAtropa ♥
♥ GosuRori, à traverse la vitrail ♥ Beyond Kawaii ♥
4 comments on “Lolita Blog Carnival: 2014 Trends I Predict”
Really lovely post; thanks for this!
One thing you didn’t talk about that I’ve been wondering about is the typical skirt length. AP has been getting really short – do you think other brands are going to latch onto this as well?
Also, JetJ seems to be pushing Western sales really hard right now. They seem to see themselves as a Euro-esque fashion brand more than a Japanese lolita brand. Do you think it’s going to pay off? Do they even belong in the current lolita narrative?
Ah! I’m really amused that you brought up AP skirt length because I’m actually working on an article about that all on it’s own (because everyone says that their hemlines are getting shorter, but…I think there might be a little more to it than that). However, as far as other brands go, no, I don’t think shorter skirts are going to become the norm. I do see bodyline probably having some, and AP… possibly some of the other second-tier sources like taobao, but I don’t really see Baby or IW or other cornerstone brands really raising their hemlines.
JetJ is really interesting. I will admit that I don’t follow them as closely as some other brands. I think they still fit in the current lolita narrative, but I also think that it doesn’t directly define them. I don’t see JetJ necessarily trying to make lolita. I see JetJ trying to make JetJ. JetJ is very close to what lolita is, and the vast majority of their things can be worn as lolita without much work… but I don’t think the designer necessarily is sitting there going “I want to make a very lolita styled dress”. An that’s ok; there are other fringe brands like that where most of their stuff works for lolita, but at the end of the day they are really on their own track. I think it will be interesting to see where they go and if they do become more Eurocentric over time.
These are some awesome predictions! I also hope IW doesn’t die out, though I can blame myself for usually picking Baby or AP over IW. I’m curious about what other re-releases AP will come out with.
Wow, looking at this post a few huge made to order Baby the stars series, classical seeming to be making a comeback and a few really awesome (and really odd) prints from Meta later these predictions were pretty on point.