Tuesday, 25 February 2014

♥ Lolita Fashion in Media: Anime & Video Games ♥

Since lolita has been a part of Japanese culture for well over 20 years now, it's not surprising to hear that it has influenced creators of anime, videogames, and other forms of media. These designs can range anywhere from amazing to down-right terrible. Today I'd like to show you a few of my favourites, a few funny designs, and a few that are confusing.

With anime, for the most part, it's a minefield filled with awful 'lolita' inspired outfits. Certain series do try fairly hard to get it right, like Rozen Maiden, Paradise Kiss, or Black Butler (with kodona, anyway), but quite often it's a miss rather than a hit. I'd rather not spend a lot of time displaying the endless "meh" designs, but you can see quite a few of them on the Anime Character Database here.

A few designs that I think have great potential are from the series Fantasista Doll. They can be a little bit out there, as it is anime, but for the most part I find them close to recent lolita trends! Other characters from the series are influenced by japanese trends and tropes like other jfashion styles, maids, military outfits, schoolgirls, and more.

Another character I really like is Ruri, from Oreimo. Her outfit is very reminiscent of old school gothic lolita but steers very far from most 'old school' inspired anime outfits! It's actually fairly on par! I wouldn't be surprised if a lolita brand have or will make a collab with this anime in mind.

It's nice to see that not all Lolita fashion in anime is terrible or innacurate. I do hope to see more accurate outfits and current lolita trends in anime in the future!

One of my favourite lolita-inspired outfits in videogames is worn by the character, Cordelia from Shadow Hearts: Covenant. Cordelia is a ball-jointed doll controlled by her master Gheppeto, for use in battles. Cordelia is a magic-type character, and equips different outfits to use different elements and powers. Most of Cordelia's outfits are fairly normal and cute outfits, but one of her outfits, Dark Beauty,  looks like something straight from Moi Meme Moitie! The game was released in 2004, so it's a little surprising they got it so accurate for the styles of the time!

Shadow Hearts isn't perfect however, and they can get things very, very wrong. While still one of my favourite characters, Hildagard Valentine, or Hilda, has an outfit that isn't the best representation of the fashion. Hilda is a vampire, who's believes she's an amazingly strong superheroine. Her combat revolves around 'Calories'. (It's very tongue in cheek, don't worry!) When she is thin, her abilities are magic-based, whereas when she is chubby, her moves are melee-based. She can also transform into a pink bat.

As a character, she is great and her outfit suits her for her personality for sure, but it still isn't a very good representation of the fashion. I do think with some modifications, it does have great potential though!

RPGs aren't the only games with lolitas in them, as fighting games also have a few frilly ladies! On the right, is Ninon from the King of Fighters series. While some of her outfits can be a little bit strange, they definitely put  the effort into making her outfit reflect the fashion it is inspired by. Granted, the spikes on the headdress, the roses on her tights, and the corset are a bit out there, but it looks like an outfit a lolita would wear. It's a little dated, as the game was released in 2006, but I think she's still a good representation of lolita fashion.


However, with every great Ninon, there is a confusing Lili. Emilie De Rochefort, also known as Lili, is a characer from the Tekken fighting game series. In designing Lili, the creators explicitely said they were influenced by lolita fashion. I can understand they have to design the outfit with the mechanics and keep in mind the full-body movement there characters have, but I wish they could have done a little bit more research before slapping the 'lolita fashion' tag on the character.

There are many, many more characters out there that I would love to write about but I don't want to get too carried away! If you enjoyed this article, please let me know! I can definitely make a more in-depth part 2!

Monday, 17 February 2014

♥ Making the Most of Your Lolita Communy! ♥

My favourite part of wearing lolita fashion is having the support, friends, and good times that come with having a lolita community. There are many lolita communities worldwide, both online and in offline local communities spanning cities, countries, and continents! For many people, it can be difficult to find a community for them or it can be hard to adjust or fit in to their new found community. With this entry today, I'd like to try to help in making finding your community and making the best of your community!

Finding Your Community

There are plenty of online lolita communities, though not a lot of them are very active. The most popular and knowledgable is of course, EGL on Livejournal, but there are plenty other lolita communities such as the LolitaFashion.org forums,  Gaia Online Lolita Fashion subforum, and Lacebook (which is invite-only at the moment). As well, there are communities devoted to all J-fashion styles such as Harajuju and My Asian Fashion. All of these communities have varying sizes, activity, and experience levels but the large variety means there will be a forum for everyone.

Personally I've found quite a few local communities have a strong online presence, most often on Livejournal and Facebook. A currently anonymous person created a wonderful directory of Lolita communites around the world, including their online communities and where to join them. It's incredibly helpful in finding a group of lolitas closeby.

If you cannot find a local community, there are plenty of places to ask! Personally, I found asking on EGL will usually point you in the right direction. If there is absolutely no lolita community local to you, and you'd like to make one, Facebook is a great place to create one as I've found it can be easy to find other local lolitas via other related interests there.

Joining Your Community

Once you've found your local or online community, don't be scared! If you're nervous, it can be good to lurk and observe for a bit, but I've found diving right into it and introducing yourself is very worth it! With all of the communities I've joined everyone has been welcoming and kind to newcomers and your local community should be no different.

A thing to keep in mind in joining your lolita community is how you come across to others. Sometimes people can unintentionally come across rude, so just try to visualize how your writing will come across before you post it for others to see. If you can try to be polite, be kind, and try to avoid being blunt when you first start being active in your community. Once people have seen you in person, or have talked to you online for a period of time, it will be easier for them to understand your personality and nuances in your text.

Interacting With Your Community

When you're part of a lolita community, you should try make the most of it.  Be active online and offline if you can. Communities are a great resource, as they're a great way to make friends with similar interests, and best of all, wonderful support in advice on coordinating, buying and selling, and other things related to the fashion.

A great thing about local communities are the meetups. They can be an absolute blast and it's a great way for everyone to show off their best new thing and favourite outfits. I personally adore meetups because I feel much more confident wearing lolita with others wearing the same. I highly recommend going to meets, even organizing them if you can. They're definitely worth a try!

Now lolita communites can be great, but they can also be difficult at times. Not every group is guilty of it, but many can have issues with some members being unpleasant, having attitudes, or worse, spreading gossip and drama. Though it can be tempting at times, I cannot stress strongly enough, do not let yourself get involved in that sort of thing. People can be frustrating, events can go wrong, but don't let it go beyond that. A teeny bit of drama can explode in a very destructive thing. It's best to just let things slide and not effect you. Time heals all wounds, and drama too.

With that said, drama is not normall a problem and I've found most communities to be wonderful, fun, helpful, and an amazing thing to be part of. It can be daunting, and a little frightful, but taking that first step to be part of a community is definitely worth it. I'm part of many communities myself and I am very glad for that. I hope you can find a community for you, too!