Tuesday, August 16, 2011

30 Day Lolita Challenge: Day Seven

This post is actually going to be harder than the last six. Well. You'll see in a few minutes just why:

Day 7: 10 people who inspire your lolita style.

So the reason that I find this one to be so difficult is that a lot of my style inspirations are either a) ordinary people in the community who probably don't want much attention, b) not actually people at all, but moods or themes or c) people I know in person, who definitely wouldn't want to be posted on the internet. As a consequence, I've had a good, long think about this post and how to put it together. I've decided to talk about general inspirations rather than lolita-fashion-wearing inspirations (since many of them would kill me for putting them on here).

Having said that, here we go!

Photo from Alt Film Guide
Person Number One:
Leslie Caron (IMDB Page)

While her first role was in An American in Paris, the first movie in which I saw Leslie Caron act was Gigi. As far as musicals go, Gigi is one of my favorites and a part of why I have chosen Leslie as one of my inspirations to talk about.

The movie is all about a girl growing up in Paris in a family of "kept" women. Her aunt and grandmother are both notorious for having been the mistresses of well-to-do Parisian men. They are in charge of Gigi's upbringing, as her mother is always too busy singing (badly) in the opera, and they intend for Gigi to follow in their footsteps. The movie follows Gigi's gradual transformation from an awkward, slightly spoiled schoolgirl into an elegant, mature young woman in love.

I feel like a lot of lolitas can relate to the basic concept behind the plot, if not the reason for it, being that many of us use the fashion as a means of transforming ourselves from our ordinary selves into something a bit more glamorous or eye-catching.

In this role, Leslie is natural, engaging and thoroughly delightful!

Photo from Allstar/WARNER BROS/Sportsphoto Ltd./Allstar via The Observer
Person Number Two:
Audrey Hepburn (IMDB Page)

I'm sure a lot of people will have selected Audrey Hepburn for this meme, simply because she's so stunning. The circumstances by which she came to have such good looks are less than happy, but we're not going to go into that. Audrey is classically beautiful and during her professional life, she was well dressed, polished and practically glowing.

I chose her partially for those traits, but again for a story (or two) of transformation--Audrey played two roles that I count among my favorite movies: Sabrina Fairchild (Movie: Sabrina) and Eliza Doolittle (Movie: My Fair Lady). Both are, again, something of coming of age tales somewhat similar to Gigi, though for different reasons all over. Sabrina leaves home, grows up and becomes a woman in the course of trying to forget her first love. Eliza matures and becomes "more genteel" to help a gentleman win a bet and to get a job in a flower shop.

In both instances, the characters learn new things about themselves and are able to find a happy ending.

(Plus, I've always wanted her parasol from the racetrack scene.) 

Photo from her personal blog, photographer
credit in watermark: Ton C. Kroon
Person Number Three:
iiraliina (Daily Lolita tag, Personal Blog: Rosa Nitida)

And now we get into the actual lolitas. I chose Iiraliina because of her sewing ability, primarily, but also because of her versatility as well.

Much of what she wears is handmade for herself and it always is strikingly beautiful and well-tailored. Her posts are always popular additions to Daily Lolita (if going by comment counts is any way to judge). I know little of her personal life and I'd frankly like to keep it that way (I've learned that if you get too close to people you admire, you tend to bump them from their pedestals, which sucks), but her replies to comments on her posts always seem sincere and she takes the time to answer everyone that she's able to.

Something else I find interesting is that Iira is a very tall girl. In posts, she has said that without her shoes on, she's about six feet tall. A lot of lolitas would find this to be a dampener on their fun or a reason to not wear lolita at all, but it doesn't seem to bother Iiraliina. Since she can make her own clothing quite well, everything fits properly. Until I saw her in photos of other girls, I didn't even realize how tall she is! It doesn't hurt that she also uses this height to her advantage when she wears aristocrat.

Photo from her personal blog
Person Number Four:
Julie Doll (aka SmileySquid on Blogger)

Julie is someone I've had my eye on for quite a while. I chose to post her as person number four in my list of inspirations because she's so amazingly versatile. Obviously, this means that she doesn't just wear lolita, but experiments with quite a few different styles (many of which don't really have names, since they're simply her personal way of dressing). However, I don't think there's a "structured" style that she hasn't tried and looked great in.

Every outfit she wears has details that are uniquely her, too, which is admirable when there is such an emphasis on everyone dressing the same within a set sphere.

She's also on the list because of her sewing ability; quite a few of the dresses that she wears to events were made by her. What can I say? I'm a sucker for a girl who's handy with needle and thread.

Another reason that I chose her is that she is one of the subjects in a series of photos I really like by Looooo of Kalamari Kastle.

Photo from DeviantArt
Person Number Five:
Irene Yuen (aka Looooo of Kalamari Kastle; Daily Lolita tag)

I chose Irene for this list for a couple of reasons. The first one being that, obviously, she's pretty rockin' in (and out of) lolita. The second one being that she's also a very talented and fun to follow photographer.

In general, she goes for looks that are a bit wilder than the norm, and makes them work for her.

She's not afraid to blend styles in her outfits and her photos are always really interesting to look at because of that. I like to go through and pick different details from each outfit to examine, because there's always, always, always a slew of little things to enjoy and something different in each batch.

I also love that she's not afraid to have fun. Kalamari Kastle is primarily filled with events reviews, but you can tell that she enjoys herself everywhere she goes.

She's not afraid to poke a bit of fun at the style, either. Many of her outfits have unusual accessories (like a moustache septum piercing), hairstyles or doo-dads that other lolitas wouldn't generally touch, and she makes them look great!

Photo from her personal blog.
Person Number Six:
Martha (Personal blog, Moss Garden)

Martha is a friend of (multiple) friends of mine, so though she has very little idea who I am, I've got a pretty good idea of who she is (and Christ, that sounds way creepier than I meant it to).

I chose her not because of the degrees of separation issue, but because she's always well-dressed, well-spoken and ... well ... everything. I've never seen a photo where she didn't look gorgeous and well put together.

She wears mori girl, dolly kei and natural kei more often than lolita these days, but that's actually pretty okay with me. The only downer is that she doesn't post photos nearly as often as she used to! She does, however, post a lot photos of her outfits on the dress form as well as coordinating advice and crafting tips on her blog.

Also, I'm insanely jealous of her awesome hair.

Photo from Daily Lolita
Person Number Seven:
Helpful Shopper Person (HSP)/yourpervert (Daily Lolita tag; personal blog, on hiatus)

I chose HSP for a couple of reasons. The big one is that she's adorable and always looks good in her outfits of choice, obviously, but the second one is that she works otherwise "unorthodox" facial piercings into fairly sweet and classic lolita outfits with some serious panache.

Personally, I'm usually not a huge fan of loads of metal in lolita, at least not of the facial piercing variety. I'm all for people wearing what they want and paradox is fun and lovely, but I often find the choice of jewelry in modified lolitas to be distracting rather than enhancing to the overall look. However, HSP is one of the few lolitas that I think it looks really good on and actually suits her coordinates.

Maybe it's just that the piercings fit her face better than other lolitas I've seen or maybe her taste in jewelry is superior, but I actually think they look quite charming and are an interesting contrast to the otherwise supremely feminine frills.

She's also incredibly nice and exceedingly helpful (as you would assume from her handle of choice).

Photo from Daily Lolita
Person Number Eight:
Deedlelu (Daily Lolita tag)

When I first got into the style, Deedlelu was a lolita I really admired.

She doesn't post these days at all, so I have no idea if she's still involved in the fashion or not, but I really liked her carefree attitude. She wore lolita to work every day, wore it to hang out with friends or go to gigs, and generally just seemed like a fun and outgoing person to be around.

I always especially loved her casual pirate and casual punk coordinates (because we all know how much I love Alice & the Pirates by now). In particular, her cute, pre-work photos with her dog, Imo, always got me smiling.

Who can resist a cute girl AND a cute pooch?

Photo from Viona-Art.com
Person Number Nine:
Viona (Viona-Art.com, Costuming Portfolio)

I've talked before of Viona's inspiration to me as a photographer, but I only briefly touched on the aspect of her styling and design work.

Her sewing, her designs and her final images all are like something straight out of a fairy tale. Viona's work is amazingly beautiful and if I had the chance, I would love to own a whole closet full of her designs. At the very least, I would love to decorate my house with prints of her work.

She's also a model in her own right and often appears in the photographs on her website.

Viona is quite versatile and infinitely talented. There's no real question as to why I find her inspiring!

Person Number Ten:
My lolita friends. <3

I've talked about these girls a lot in this meme, but they really have a huge impact on how I wear lolita and how I enjoy the fashion. When I'm working on outfit ideas, I'll talk to them, bounce ideas off of them. I'll even sometimes photograph what I want to wear and send it to them for their opinions or show them sketches of things I'm planning to make.

There's also nothing quite as fun as a massive lolita crafting day!

It also doesn't hurt that several of them sew and have been so kind as to create one-of-a-kind, custom pieces for me (I'm looking at YOU, Miss Ginny).
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