Monday, 18 May 2015

Falling In (and Out) of Love with Lolita

I first discovered lolita fashion around 2005-ish (I think? That was a while ago), when I was a fledgling weeaboo babybat and LiveJournal was still cool. I was looking up stuff about Mana and Malice Mizer when I stumbled across EGL on LJ. I was immediately hooked.

I'm not sure what attracted me to lolita fashion in the first place. I loved seeing the street snaps of Japanese girls in these antique gothic doll clothes, while talking on their cellphones and hanging out on the sidewalks. I was so fascinated by the idea that lolita fashion was rebellious just by being extremely feminine - on our side of the pond, it seemed that rebellious fashions always involved spiked battlejackets and mohawks. It opened up my world a little bit.

For the next decade or so, I scoured EGL and snapped up any photos and tidbits of information I could get. Grainy scans of GLB, Fruits, and Kera, and a few fansites were all I had to go on - social media other than blogs wasn't really a thing yet.This was when lolita was slowly beginning to take hold in the west. I just remember the excitement of finding something new and unusual, and sharing that excitement with others.  

I was a teenager working crappy odd jobs in the summer at the time, so I contented myself with just admiring the photos and chatting with all sorts of people about everything lolita. I figured if I couldn't be a lolita now, I could in a couple of years when I had money.

I couldn't afford to put together a proper wardrobe until quite recently...by recently, I mean this year. I bought my first piece in April, and finished buying pieces for my first full coordinate a few weeks ago. Thank goodness, because I would have looked ita as all hell if I'd bought all the things I thought were ~* KAWAII DESU ~* at age 13.  

The first time I put lolita clothes on was awesome. After wrestling with my petticoat for a bit before managing to jam it into my skirt, I looked myself up and down in the mirror. I'd never felt so elegant and pretty in my life. Slightly ridiculous and a bit itchy, but pretty. So, I was finally ready to dive headfirst into lolita for real! But...

I hadn't really noticed it so much until I started wearing the clothing, but over the years there'd been a shift in the subculture (can we call it that?). Lolita was moving away from being a wearable daily fashion and was steadily becoming more costumey and OTT. Social media emphasizes pictures over content, and that community spirit I got from reading blogs and EGL posts was largely replaced by posting photos to get likes and Tumblr notes. Fighting over who has what brand and how much. It feels like a lot of lolitas treat it as a costume for conventions and photoshoots

I miss reading blogs about lolitas who let their style bleed over into the other aspects of life. I miss the talented people who sewed their own dresses. I miss the days when people didn't feel afraid to post their lolita outfits for fear of being nitpicked to death. I miss simple coordinates!

Was it always this much of a popularity contest? It seems like earlier lolitas wore the fashion for themselves, because it was fun and appealing to them, instead of worrying about being gossiped about online. They had less focus on having insanely OTT outfits that looked photoshoot-ready and more emphasis on wearing the clothing as daily fashion. People didn't seem so anal about following a strict set of style rules instead of just following the general guidelines to the fashion.

There is just so much damn pressure to be perfect. Don't people enjoy the fashion for the sake of fashion anymore? Maybe I'm getting nostalgic for something that never existed...


It sounds silly, right? How could I have fallen out of love with a community that I wasn't truly a part of until...well, now? But even though I didn't actually wear the fashion until later, there's no doubt in my mind that it helped to shape who I am. Before then I had a passing interest in fashion, but lolita turned that interest into a strong passion - fashion is my hobby. My artwork was inspired by the artists I saw in GLB. Through EGL on LJ I made so many friends and discovered music that I still enjoy.

I realized I'd kind of lost touch with what attracted me to lolita in the first place. I loved how elegant and frilly I felt when I put on my lolita clothing, that carefree feeling of being able to wear stuff without caring what other people thought or if anyone else liked it. I wore it for myself because it made me happy, and I loved injecting little lolita touches into my everyday life. And ultimately being happy is way more important than getting lots of notes on Tumblr or being validated by strangers on the internet.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Review: Loris Cross Bat Bag Review (Moi-même-Moitié Replica)

Hello bats! Today I will be reviewing the Loris replica of Moi-même-Moitié’s iconic bat-shaped handbag. Originally, I wanted to do a comparison between the replica and the authentic bag. I purchased the real bag last Christmas, but it recently had a tragic accident involving a large dog. No survivors. And now the bag is sold out…so…yeah.

Moi-même-Moitié's original bat bag in leather

Moi-même-Moitié Black x Blue bat bag in leather

Loris's Black x Black replica bat bag

Firstly, the materials are obviously very different. The Moitié bags came in several versions: leather, pleather, suede, and nylon. The leather gives it a very smooth glossy look. The Loris bag is decent-quality polyurethane (aka, pleather) with a slight grainy texture to it. It isn’t soft or smooth at all, but it’s pretty durable – even though it was squished at the bottom of my shipping box for 2 weeks, it didn’t get scratched or dented.


Coffin-shaped zipper pulls on the Moitié bag and blue detailing on zipper fabric


Stamp and zipper compartment on the back of the Moitié bag

The coffin-shaped zipper pulls on the authentic Moitié bag are engraved with the chandelier insignia and the logo. The fabric around the zipper is also coloured depending on the colourway of the bag - blue on the Blue x Black colourway, and black on the Black x Black colourway. The zippers are sturdy and moved smoothly. The back of the bag is stamped with the chandelier insignia, and has a small zippered compartment.


Cross-shaped zipper pull on the Loris bag's main compartment

Back of the Loris bag - no insignia or zippered comparment
On the Loris bag, the zipper pull for the main compartment is a silver cross. All of the zippers feel a little cheap, but fairly sturdy. One odd thing is that the zipper for the main compartment is super long, going way past the end of the bag. And for some reason the back of the Loris bag is totally smooth, with no stamping or a zippered compartment.

Cross detailing - nice straight seams, no lumps!

Stitching along the bottom of the bag

Both the authentic bag and the Loris replica are well-constructed. All of the stitching on the outside is even, and the cross is straight. There are no uneven or lumpy areas in the bag itself. Both bags stand upright on their own, and feel stiff and sturdy. The wing tips on the Loris bag are a bit less pointed, but that happens to authentic bags over time as well.

Inside compartment of the Loris bag

The inside lining of the Moitié bag is satin in the trademark royal blue, with a logo tag sewn inside. There are 2 small zippered compartments. The Loris bag is lined with cheap bordeaux polyester, which isn’t pretty but at least it’s durable and easy to clean. It feels extremely flimsy, though. The tag is a simple paper hang tag attached to the zipper that can be removed.

The inside is quite small and the bag isn't very flexible. I can also fit a sunglasses case, wristlet, keys, mp3 player, and a small makeup case inside. I can also fit my phone (Galaxy S3, so it's not very big) into the inner pocket. I'm afraid to put anything too heavy in it because the straps don't feel super strong. If you're a pack rat like me, you're probably better off getting a roomier bag.

So...what are the other positives of the Loris bag?

Well, the Moitié all-black leather bag originally retailed for ~46 000 yen! The newer versions, such as the 2010 Blue x Black, were much more affordable at around 24 000 yen. It’s highly sought-after in both Japanese and Western markets, so authentic secondhand bags are expensive and uncommon, even if they are nylon or polyurethane instead of genuine leather/suede. I remember bidding on a really mangy-looking one that ended up selling for 40 000 yen. Gone are the days where you could find this bag cheap on auctions.

The Loris bag is a very affordable replica, retailing for about $25 CAD on Taobao. For the price, the construction is surprisingly good. Another plus is the fact that the Loris replica comes in a variety of unique colourways: Black x Red, Black x White, Black x Silver, and Black x Gold. While the materials obviously can’t compare, it’s hard to argue that this isn’t a good deal.

Overall, I was impressed with the replica. It looks like Loris has stepped up their quality control a bit! I wonder if this one would stand up to a dog attack, though…
Our regular wigs can be styled up to 200°C or 390°F.
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Our regular wigs can be styled up to 200°C or 390°F.
However, to be safe, we advise to style our wigs no higher than 150°C or 300°F.
Wigs, just like real hair, can be damaged by heat styling so please do it carefully and use high quality tools. - See more at: http://lockshopwigs.com/lockshop2/home/14-mermaid-beachy.html#sthash.AXkmYOrD.dpuf
Our regular wigs can be styled up to 200°C or 390°F.
However, to be safe, we advise to style our wigs no higher than 150°C or 300°F.
Wigs, just like real hair, can be damaged by heat styling so please do it carefully and use high quality tools. - See more at: http://lockshopwigs.com/lockshop2/home/14-mermaid-beachy.html#sthash.AXkmYOrD.dpuf