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Sunday, July 25, 2010

100 Lolitas & Gothic Lolitas Testimonies] Week 9 - Imogen, Australia

How and when did you discover Lolita and Gothic Lolita fashion?
When I was about 14 during my first trip to Japan with my family. I was immediately drawn to the look, but I was still a total tomboy and afraid to show any interest in it. I secretly researched it online and began to follow the style anonymously for years.

Could you tell us what are your favorite brands and why? Can you find them easily?
Milk, Angelic Pretty, Metamorphose, Emily Temple Cute, 6% Doki Doki, Chocomint and Black Peace Now. Most of these are easy for me to access because I import them through my online shop Electric Alice. Emily Temple Cute is the only one that is really difficult to find outside Japan.

How did you feel when you bought your first Lolita outfit? How did you feel when you first wore it? Which brand was it?
It wasn’t until I was living in Japan about two years ago now that I finally had the courage to walk into a Lolita store. Even though it’s not my favourite brand, I chose a dress from Baby the Stars Shine Bright because the staff there were very friendly and helpful. I felt so comfortable and happy in that dress! I wore it to pieces.

What is the type of reaction when people see you dressed up in Lolita clothing? Your friends? People in the street?
It depends how dressed up I am. If I wear a very extravagant sweet Lolita coordinate I attract a lot of attention from people – mostly negative. If I wear Lolita pieces in a casual way, people are much more accepting. My friends are very supportive of the style. Sometimes they are disappointed if I am not particularly dressed up!

Do you see any difference in the way that Japanese girls and western girls wear Lolita?
Yes. In my experience, Japanese girls tend to pick one brand and wear head-to-toe coordinates from that brand. Because it’s still pretty difficult to get hold of Lolita brands overseas, Western lolitas are more open to mixing and matching brand with non-brand items. Although now that Alice Deco magazine has become popular I’ve noticed more experimental coordinates in Japan as well.

Do you think the fact that now Western girls wear Lolita fashion will change the way Japanese Lolita fashion designers think and create?
Probably not. The strict Lolita brands have a defined aesthetic that they are very careful to maintain. Other more relaxed brands like 6% Doki Doki and Spank are really interested and inspired by Western fashion.

Do you think that Europe or United States, or any other foreign countries are now ready to see Lolita Fashion invade their streets?
In it’s purest form? No. Probably never. But I think mixing and matching outfits with Lolita clothing or Lolita-inspired clothing is becoming really popular.

Do you think there is a best way to spread Lolita fashion?
By wearing it and being noticed!

Would you like to see some specialized magazines translated in your own language? Would you like a new magazine issued and produced in your own language and focusing on Lolita fashion in your country?
I think Lolita is probably too narrow for a regular magazine, but I would be interested in a Japanese fashion magazine published for a Western audience. That being said, In Australia you can buy all of the Japanese magazines through Kinokuniya so it would be pretty hard to compete with the real thing.

Is there any Lolita community (ies) in your country? Could you list them and their website address?
There is an Australian/New Zealand Lolita community called “Oz Lolita”.

Do you have any message to worldwide Lolitas?
I think it’s better not to copy Japanese girls exactly and just use Lolita as a source of inspiration for creating your own looks. I think it’s more important to think to flatter your body in Lolita, rather than follow “the rules”.

What is your resource for fashion trend information?
Aside from talking to friends who live in Japan, I read the official blogs of Japanese brands and magazines like Kera.

What is your favorite Non-Japanese fashion brand? Why?
Probably Betsey Johnson, Anna Sui or Vivienne Westwood, even though I can’t afford any of them!

Where do you shop your apparel fashion items most frequently? Why?
I buy a lot of things from ModCloth.com or Etsy sellers.

What was the decision factor for the purchase of your latest fashion item?
I’m drawn to things that look like nothing I’ve ever seen before. If I’m in a shop and there are two versions of a T-shirt, one in plain black and one in weird psychadelic colours, I always have to buy the weird one.

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