Due to the complications of life, from the never-ending war that is job hunting in Hawaii, to the joys of getting married, and practically everything in between... I have not been posting much, haha.
But here's a the quick version!
- I had my first fashion show for my original line, "Darkly Darling" in August at the Hawaii Horror Ball.
- I applied to RAW: Natural Born Artists and was selected as a showcase artist for their "Scope" event in September. I had my first "big audience" fashion show there, for Darkly Darling.
- I completed my first Lolita sewing commission for Darkly Darling last month, and am currently arranging my first "convention" fashion show at Kawaiikon next year.
- Non-fashion related, I got married! Yay!
- The Hawaii Harajuku Fashion walks are still going.
- Visual Kei Dark Castle is still on hiatus.
- I discovered a new favourite karaoke spot.
Well, now that you're all caught up, let me introduce the reason I am posting today.
My Lolita friends were discussing the "30 day Lolita Challenge" on Facebook, which we all tried to do about 3 or 4 years ago, and none of us finished it. We decided to try it again, as a way to get back to our blogs and finally get through the full 30 days. We also agreed to get on each other about posting, so no one gives up again.
I feel like I wrote some entries in the challenge before. They may be buried somewhere in this blog, or maybe I deleted them when I did some house cleaning. But even if they were still around, the local Lolita community has changed in Hawaii and so have I, so the answers would hardly be relevant.
So, the first theme for Day One is: "10 Things About Your Lolita Bubble."
And the more I thought about it, the more personal it got... because I hadn't really thought of it before, but almost everything I do and all of my friends are connected to the Lolita Community on Oahu in some way. Some girls I met at my first meet-up here in 2009 ended up being bridesmaids at my wedding. So many girls have ended up becoming my closest friends, even through my year in Japan.
That being said, my connection to my "Lolita Bubble" has developed so much in the past few years. So this is a pretty important entry, to me.
1. The Hawaii... Lolitas... are awesome.
Here in Hawaii, we have lolis who are here for a year then move away, lolis who have been here all their lives, lolis who also cosplay and do photography and are ringleaders for other fashion groups. Just the diversity of our group amazes me, from cultural backgrounds to brolitas to girls who dress like boys (shout out to me...) no two lolitas in our group are alike. And it shows in their style. They're just a kaleidoscope of experiences and style mash-ups that I adore.
2. We're connected.
They say everyone knows everyone in Hawaii, because "small island". But the same rule extends into our Lolita "bubble". The Lolitas not only meet up for Lolita things, but for cosplay things, Vampire beauty pageants, and even hanging out when we're not dolled up. We all have similar interests, and get along well. Often, when we have out of state visitors, they comment on how friendly and open we are, and I think that has something to do with it. It's a mix of Aloha, and the spirit of welcoming anyone who shares our interests.
3. It's pretty chill, but not without drama.
I'll admit it now- it sounds like sunshine and rainbows (Hawaii reference not intended) and like everything's drama-free. For the most part, that's true. I do know there is 'another' Lolita mini group on the island who doesn't like to associate with our main group, and they don't share their meetups on Facebook like we do. I've never met the people in the other group- which is crazy, because our island is so small. But I figure hey, we all set up our own events and meetups, and as long as you're into Lolita and wearing J-fashion (there for the right reasons), we love hanging out. But just acknowledging, that strange bit of drama is there.
4. We've met Misako Aoki...
5. ... And Midori and Reika!
6. ... and even Yuko from Atelier Pierrot, the only brand to hold an official fashion show in Hawaii (twice!). I wish I had more pictures from when she was here!
7. Since Hawaii is sort of like a second Japan, we get a lot of Japanese imports that make the Lolita fashion a little bit easier to adapt to.
There's bookstores in town that sell Kera, Gothic Lolita Bibles, Gosu Rori sewing books and Japanese fashion magazines in general. It's not uncommon to find used GLBs in our local comic book stores. The local fabric marts stock Japanese prints from time to time, and we can grab Japanese brand makeup, eyelashes and even Palty at Don Quijote (our local kine Walmart).
8. Hawaii is historically connected to Japan, from immigrants who came over here to work on farms to the booming tourism industry today. Walk around Waikiki, and it's hard to find a store or restaurant without katakana outside.
Maybe because of that, we don't get such rude reactions or comments while we're out. I think especially since we do most of our events downtown, where there's a lot of tourists, many people see it and understand it. Of course there are always people asking "Are you in a play?" or something like that, but it's not nearly as invasive as the reactions I'd get on the mainland.
9. When we're not in Lolita, we're usually hanging out at our Harajuku Fashion Walk. I love them, because it sort of feels like my day off from Lolita, haha. Of course, many girls still wear Lolita. But personally, I have a lot of other interests such as Visual Kei and Shironuri, so usually that will be my wild card day to bust that out. Others wear punk, decora, fairy kei, dolly kei, and cult party kei.
We're also connected with a local chapter of Kimono Jack, a kimono flash mob group in Japan that's quite popular.
I know I said this in point #1, but our mutual interest in Japanese street fashions makes us very inter-connected, even if we only see each other once or twice a month.
10. What can I say?
If I had never been a Lolita and never joined this local community, my life would be completely different. I met my husband while I was dressing up and hanging out in Chinatown with one of my best friends from the community. They support me and model for me when I try to promote my fashions, and I try to make them happy and make fun memories with the fashion shows and shoots. Whether we're otaku, metal heads, French pop enthusiasts, photographers... we all support each other.
Allow me to say, my Lolita bubble is the best Lolita bubble.