Tuesday, 3 January 2012
Getting into lolita: a first coord
Every so often you may have noticed a mention of the lolita style on my blog and here is my first lolita outfit! Last month I actually attended two lolita meet ups which were great fun and will be blogged about shortly, but as I was waiting for packages to arrive from Japan I worked with my most 'loliable' items and a couple of proper lolita accessories and sadly didn't manage the full look. Luckily for me Vivienne Westwood has been a big influence in the style and her accessories are often used within outfits. Likewise, my collection of Hello Kitty things doesn't look out of place either!
Lolita is a street fashion and subculture originating from Japan. Vladimir Nabokov's novel Lolita has absolutely nothing to do with it despite the name. Within lolita there are lots of sub-styles though I personally seem to find myself drawn to classic and also sweet with its pastel tones. The fashion as we know it today is thought to have come around in the 1980s though has evolved alot print wise in particular since 2000. Its inspiration roots actually lie further back in the Rococo (think Marie Antoinette with large skirts, rows of bows and ruffles) and Victorian eras.
For the casual lolita look you can basically take elements of the style and pair them with other things. For example I could work lolita skirt and petticoat with a cute Hello Kitty t shirt. However there are guidelines, sometimes treated as rules, for dressing lolita. Luckily there's a very active and helpful online community ready to help which I've already made some wonderful friends through.
Full outfits are normally referred to as coords amongst lolitas. A dress with little sleeves is called a onepiece or is referred to as an OP online and one without sleeves like the one I'm wearing in these photos is called a jumper skirt or JSK. The style is a modest one and skirts are usually knee length, or longer in classic, and unless you're sweltering in a hot climate a blouse is usually worn under a jumper skirt. There are also certain colours which occur a lot, such as mint, sax blue, lavender, yellow and pink in sweet lolita. In contrast gothic lolita is all about dark tones.
I won't pretend to be a lolita expert but I do really, really love it. The style features a lot of elements already in my wardrobe and when I first discovered the style it really spoke to me. In this outfit I already owned the white H&M tights and Vivienne Westwood bag, and I bought the coat from Oasis as a general use one that by happy coincidence also fits the lolita colour palette. I also used a vintage reproduction petticoat, but I could do with getting one with more poof factor to achieve the desired cupcake shape.
My shoes and dress come from an online shop called Bodyline. Bodyline is great in that it's affordable but the designs are also variable. I have a few more things from them and just ordered another skirt which is on its way. You also have to watch for shipping charges and import tax when ordering from abroad, but at the moment Bodyline has a really good air shipping offer to be taken advantage of. Lots of the dresses and skirts come with detachable bows which is brilliant! This includes my dress and I slid the bow on a pearl headband I already owned. My blouse is also Bodyline but I purchase it off another lolita through the power of the Lolita Sales U.K. Facebook group which is absolutely fabulous.
My big pink bow ring and earrings were purchased at Qu'tse and my other jewellery is off Etsy which is a brilliant place to go looking for handmade kawaii gems. I'm also hoping to get crafty myself and sew a skirt and dress so we'll see how that goes!
I know I've got a lot to learn yet, but I'm so excited to be a part of this style. So what do you think of the lolita style? Is it something you've come across before?