In the realm of Lolita, the latter is particularly important. There's many Lolita communities online where you can see people's daily coordinates as they post them. Some resources are Livejournal, Tumblr, and Lookbook. Often, Japanese lolitas will post on their personal blogs such as Ameblo or Yaplog.
Personally, I don't keep up much with other bloggers. Part of it is my shyness. I don't feel comfortable posting my pictures just anywhere, where my outfit is up for discussion.
As such, many of my style icons are artists, musicians, and others, rather than personal bloggers.
Without further ado, here are my current Top 10 Style Icons!
(Oddly enough, I kept this post from the last time I did this meme! You can check it out, and see how my influences have changed here.)
1. The art of Mitsukazu Mihara.
Mitsukazu Mihara has frequently illustrated covers for the Gothic Lolita Bible. Her characters have served as models for early hair and makeup tutorials. Some of her manga has also been serialized in the publication.
I love her artwork because it has an air of nostalgia, bringing me back to old school Lolita and its roots in visual kei. I enjoy her darker take on the style, and recently it has strongly influenced my aesthetic in coordinates.
Though I'd like to talk more about her, and some other Lolita artists, I'd like to save that for another post about my favourite Lolita art.
2. Sachi and Yuka of Kokusyoku Sumire.
This iconic duo comprises the enka-meets-Lolita musical group of Kokusyoku Sumire, meaning "Everlasting Violet" in Japanese. Their style ranged anywhere from stage costumes, to gothic aristocrat, to traditional Japanese coordinates harkening back to the Taisho Era. For their elegant and strange style, they are some of my fashion icons.
3. Mana of Moi Dix Moi and Malice Mizer; designer of Moi-Meme-Moitie.
Known as the 'granddaddy of Lolita', I always thought Mana was a little overrated. However, the older I get, I look back on his clean designs and bold pops of colour and find myself more and more fond of his designs. Additionally, I adore his porcelain-perfect face and crisp, clean makeup. Often, with makeup that dramatic, you can tell it is unnatural. However, with Mana, he just always seems to have a perfectly painted face! If only for his picturesque makeup, that is something I strive to emulate.
4. Uri / Oyasuminasai123
Uri is a frequent inhabitant of Harajuku, often popping up in Street Snaps and Shironuri events. When I first saw Uri, he was wearing this shironuri and kodona mashup.
This Street Snap had a huge impact on my personal style. First of all, it was the image that first pushed me to try Shironuri fashion. Later on down the line, it inspired me to try Shironuri mash-ups with Lolita...
|Before an event at Kawaiikon 2014.|
... As well as Kodona.
|During a Hawaii Harajuku Fashion Walk.|
Outside of Shironuri, Uri also coordinates a variety of kodona and decora outfits I find very inspiring. He has a keen eye for textures, colours and detail that speak to me. His passion for trying things outside of the box will always remind me why I love Harajuku culture.
5 and 6. Akira, and Intetsu
Akira got her big break as a model for Kera magazine. She is most known for her boyish look and attitude, and her blonde highlighted visual-kei hair style. She has also modelled for Sex Pot Revenge, Boku magazine, and is the frontman in her own rock band. She often models Ouji and Aristocratic styles for Alice and the Pirates.
Intetsu is the bassist of Ayabie, now disbanded and/or on hiatus (long story). He has also modelled for Alice and the Pirates ads, and participated in fashion shows and brand-sponsored tea parties.
Both of them are absolutely fabulous in boy style, from head to toe. If I didn't have curves and could pull off boy style, I would strive to emulate their perfection. Though I don't wear boystyle as often as girl style, I still hold them highly as fashion icons.
|Akira and Intetsu at a Baby, the Stars Shine Bright/ Alice and the Pirates fashion show.|
7. Fairy Tale Characters
|Channeling my inner "Belle" from Beauty and the Beast (left).|
Often, when I am getting dressed in Lolita, I try to think of the "character" or persona I am expressing through my clothes. It may be the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, or a Witch, or a Magical Girl.
Though not technically a fashion "icon", fairy tales play a huge inspiration in the outfits I put together.
|My "White Rabbit" coordinate featuring Putumayo, Atelier Pierrot and Miho Matsuda.|
8. Pop-Culture Icons
Every once in a while, I'll try to "Lolitafy" an anime or video game character. Sometimes it is to hang out with my friends, who are dressed as someone from the same series.
For example, in Nagoya I would often go out with my friend as "Miku" and I would be "Luka", two populsr Vocaloids. Though we weren't literally cosplaying, it was fun to come up with our own interpretations of the characters.
9. My Friends
When going out, I almost always consult my closest Lolita friends to see what they will be wearing. Together, we will usually decide on a theme, like "Trick or Treaters", or a brand, or a colour.
This is a great fall-back plan if you are feeling particularly uninspired that day, haha. Talking to my friends really gets my creative juices flowing!
Not to mention, my friends have impeccable taste, haha.
10. Last but not least, I feel obligated to mention Misako Aoki.
Not only is she Japan's "Kawaii" Ambassador, but she embodies everything that I feel Lolita should be. She is mild-mannered, kind, and always perfectly coordinated from head-to-toe. She takes good care of herself, always appearing with soft, understated makeup and not a hair out of place. I also enjoy seeing her casual/"soft" Lolita and otome/"maiden" styles, with designs from brands like Milk and Emily Temple Cute.
Though personally, I don't dress in sweet very often, I try to take a page out of her book and present myself with grace while in Lolita. I try to wear the right amount of accessories and makeup without overdoing it, and always tweak my outfit until it is "just right". It is hard to explain what this level of balance is. I suppose it's when every accessory and hint of makeup serves a purpose in your outfit, without overpowering it.
For learning to recognize this balance and strive to achieve that aesthetic, I idolize Misako.
... whew, that was a little bit harder than I thought it would be! Though the world of Lolita is wider than it ever was before, that makes it harder to single out a few exceptional people that have made an impact on me.
Lately, I have been spending more time in the Shironuri genre and mixing it with Lolita, experimenting rather than strictly following examples. Maybe for this reason too, it is harder for me to recall specific style icons.
If anything, I hope that one day people will recognize the appeal of Shironuri and Lolita, and how it makes colours pop and drama intensify. Maybe one day, I will be someone's style inspiration... though that is not very likely, since like I said before, I never post my outfits, haha.
|Me, as a Shironuri fawn in a Lolita dress I made.|
Xoxo, rambling insomniac Cherie.