Wednesday, 4 January 2017

The New Year's Post πŸŽ†

I'm big on closure and reflection, so imagine my frustration when my laptop died again and I was left without any means of doing the general blog-related housekeeping duties I normally partake in at the end of the year. Today I received my brand new laptop (I also made sure, for the first time, to purchase 3 year breakdown insurance for it, because I have gotten through way too many laptops at this point not to). I opted for buying something more heavy-duty than I really need it to be just in case!

Anyways, now I'm here, I suppose I ought to do some musings for the year that ended, and the one that's just beginning.

Like many others out there, 2016 sucked for me. It wasn't the absolute worst year of my life, but it was probably one of the most disappointing, though I guess that's the downside to approaching things with optimism! I started the year incredibly hopeful after a very aimless, meandering 2015. I thought that this would be the year I finally got my life together, with a career on track and the steps in place to move out of my family home. Oh gosh-- absolutely nothing went to plan! I didn't get a job in my field of interest, I still live at home, and the future currently seems to be one big experimental question mark. So... why do I feel excited for 2017!?

Maybe it's because despite the friendships that ended, the mental health struggles, and the times when everything seemed to be going a bit wrong... 2016 had its really amazing moments. Like the sense of achievement I got from pulling off my Hyper Japan adventure! 
Sometimes I still look back on pictures such as these and think "omg. I did all of that."
I got a real buzz from being a vendor at such a busy convention, and I would love to do more events in 2017! Oh, and let's not forget that I learnt to drive. Who would have thought that would ever happen!? I struggle a lot with driving anxiety, but I refuse to let that hold me back, and I'm actively working on not psyching myself out when I am a perfectly capable driver. Five years on from meeting my partner online for the first time (via, of all places, our paths crossing due to our super musical compatibility), we went to see The Darkness in London for what turned out to be an absolutely amazing gig.
It provided a nice circularity to things, standing there, hand in hand, seeing Justin Hawkins in the flesh, bouncing up and down to the music that had initially brought us together, and reflecting on how our relationship has grown. I hope 2017 will bring more happy, carefree moments such as these.

Fashion-wise, I didn't like any of the brand releases whatsoever in 2016. I always knew lolita would continue to evolve but at this stage in its evolution, I'm just so disinterested! Nothing about the current classic-influenced, rather OTT look appeals to me, and I'm quietly glad to see that there's a growing counter-movement in which people are showing off wearable, daily outfits and trying out old school looks. I don't want to be that person who's constantly stuck in the past, but previous lolita eras were what got me into the fashion, and had an aesthetic that appealed to me. I suppose all I can do is be aware of what's current, and continue dressing the way I prefer regardless!

A happy December pic the day after the gig. This called for white tights but whatever, haha.

A brand I've been super into lately is Lazy Oaf. I've known about them for a while through seeing other friends wearing their clothing, but I never really got a chance to get into their clothes until recently, when I had some disposable income, and some time to pop into their shop and see what the quality of their pieces was like. I needn't have worried too much. I came out with a panda dress which I fell in love with (I really like pandas) and a desire to own more of their items. My collection is slowly but surely growing, and it's been really fun to experiment with my style in a way I've not done in a while. I think Lazy Oaf is a good brand for those into 90s inspired looks, Japanese street fashion, and wearable pieces with quirky details. I love that it's a UK brand, and that I can get some fairly distinctive items without having to worry about import fees!

This Mickey Mouse cardigan is the cosiest, softest, warmest thing ever and I love it so much.

It's been a lot of fun to have a brand to be excited about, as I've obviously not been able to get that feeling from lolita brands in a long time! It's made me really mull over the kinds of clothing I'd like to create for my own brand, which constantly seems to be changing. I went through a short period of time where I wanted to make it specifically a lolita brand, but I don't really think there's any point. The lolita market is over-saturated, and I kinda feel that everything has been done already. Currently, I'm thinking of expanding the clothing I offer, as currently I'm a bloomers queen, with the rest of the items being accessories. It would be great to offer pieces that would appeal to lolitas/people into J-fashion/colourful alt-fashion lovers, while doing something affordable and different. I'll have to see how that goes! It feels as though 2017 is going to be my fashionista sewist renaissance and I'm so hyped for it.

I've not much else to say. I think those of us who experienced hardships in 2016 need to do our best to heal and recover, learn from our mistakes, find strength to deal with our pain, and find a way to focus our light and energy on making this year a better one for ourselves and each other. I've not set any proper resolutions for myself, but I want to work on some career and business-related goals, as well as building up some new friendships. If I get to do any travelling this year, it will truly be the icing on the cake.

How was your 2016? Have any goals in mind for 2017? I'd love to hear your New Year's thoughts!

Happy New Year!!! I hope 2017 will be everything you want it to be. 
Much love.


  1. I agree on the prints of 2016 being very ott. I like classic, but I am more jeweltone type, so many prints by btssb and aatp was not really not my liking, and the IW ones was just disapointing or too expensive. Actually all I bought was indie, except socks last year.

    1. I found so many of the prints to be too gaudy and not really wearable outside of an extravagant occasion. I think this style of lolita is good for those who go to a lot of large lolita events but I can't imagine these dresses being practical in day to day life, which is when I'm more likely to be wearing lolita!
      Maybe I need to pay more attention to what indie brands are offering, too!

    2. I felt ott is coming to point were was difference wearing lolita or wearing a actual well made costume. I don't want a roccoco dress, I want a dress I can jump in and spill on. I like something gaudy, like print, a unusual cut or odd headwear, but not wearing mutiple of them on same time.
      Many of more popular indie brands is jump on print wagon, but I think their force is they usually do more simple cuts.

    3. Haha I completely agree! I've looked at certain releases lately and thought to myself "...but this is just Marie Antoinette cosplay." Great for photoshoots, but not so much for hanging out with friends :P Sadly, I've not really liked a lot of the more simple or sweet offerings either. Maybe there will be a release in 2017 that I can fall in love with!

    4. I know a least one release I would keep a eye on(another insect print). But I am not a person who check releases reguarly, not even upcoming.
      I can only think bttsbs solid old school pieces as the only simple options at the moment, but some brands like MAM does the same for a lower price.

  2. I'm still so impressed that you did Hyper Japan this year! I just can't seem to work up the nerve, and by the time I find out about smaller more local conventions, it's too late to apply. Your stall looked so professional and I hope you continue to do expand you brand <3 passing your driving test is an epic achievement too, and you will definitely gain in confidence over time (speaking from experience as the world's former most nervous driver).

    I felt disappointed by the releases this year too. In fact, there were only 8 from the main brands that looked ok to me (not counting rereleases) and I was going to blog about them, but it felt too depressing. It even made me less interested in lolita as a whole and I began to feel that it was me, not 2016. Even the AP release I saved for weeks for, isn't as good as previous releases. Still, at least it helps us not to spend too much money, and there is always the second-hand market! It's nice to see that you are experimenting with other fashions, too. I haven't experienced Lazy Oaf first hand, but they do some really cute items.

    I agree with you about opening your brand up to more fashions and I think it's a fantastic idea. I have been feeling that way with my artwork lately, that lolita is just too niche and competitive to establish a decent following, and may even be off putting to those unaware of the fashion, like it belongs to an elusive club.

    Good luck with everything this year! ^_^

    1. Forgot to add that I love the Mickey Mouse cardigan on you! Red and knits suit you so well.

    2. Thank you! It seems super daunting when you've not done it before, but I know you'd be more than capable, and your cute accessories and art would do well! I prepared by researching as much as I could on forums, blog posts, YouTube videos etc, and made an extensive list of everything I would need to do and bring with me to be totally prepared! I think getting a couple of smaller events under your belt will give you a confidence boost while taking financial pressure off. I had a stall at a couple of local vintage events in the past and while I sold barely anything, it taught me how to make up a stall, the amount of items I would need for the table to not look empty, how to brand my items etc.
      I'm glad you thought the stall looked good! It was intimidating being put right next to a massive stall that had been trading for years on end and had a huge fan base haha! Let's arrange a get-together soon (got any weekends free this month?) and we can have a catch up and talk all things conventions/self employment!

      That's good to know! I have to keep reminding myself I only got my car in October, and to not let other people make me feel like I should be an expert by now!

      Yeah, I went through a bit of a "maybe lolita just isn't right for me anymore" phase as well. None of it is really what I fell in love with in the first place and it's kind of difficult to maintain enthusiasm when it's based on an era that's definitely over. This lack of interest has indeed been great to my wallet, though! I feel that even the secondhand market has been pretty dire for the past year or so, and has more or less stagnated.

      Thanks for the compliment! It's fun to wear something a bit silly and shapeless sometimes, haha! Outside of lolita a big love of mine is knitwear, and I have a ton of it (mainly vintage pieces with bold designs!) Winter is my least favourite season but boy do I get to wear some great outfits then as I can break out all my ridiculous cardigans!

      I'm glad you agree! It's so hard in this over-saturated market to find a niche within a niche. I think it's good to have variety in your branding as it will appeal to more people. I also find that trying to design something without the rules of lolita (though tbh I'm not sure what they are anymore given what seems to be popular now lmao) allows me to stretch my creativity more, instead of trying to pander to something very specific.

      You too! Let's pick up the pieces and do our best! <3

    3. Thank you for those tips, sounds like good advice to me! I think you're right about approaching smaller events until I get more confident and "learn the ropes", too. I'd love a get-together – how about the 21st or 22nd? If not, I'm also free the last weekend in January.

      I agree with the second-hand market stagnating; a lot of nicer solid/older pieces just don't seem to be up for sale right now, and the better prints go for way too much money. I keep hoping it will change; especially as the main brand winter sales seem to have a lot more stock left over than previous years. But, it could just be that they are releasing more and more designs in greater quantities. I'm happy that they are successful, but I feel that in past years, they would put more focus into each design and release less, but of higher quality.

      I love knitwear too! I have to stop myself buying it because chunky knits take up a lot of space, but there's something so relaxing about wearing them. You can get some great deals on vintage markets, too.

      Looking forward to meeting up soon!