LLC: Dresses Released When I Started Lolita

Hello Darlings, and Happy Hump Day!

Today I wish to discuss the topic of "Time Travel". 

For my first act of time travel, I will turn back the clock and journey into the distant past- by completing a Lolita Lifestyle topic on the wrong day!

Yes, this is out of order, but I wanted to complete it very badly!

And how appropriate, that the topic shall be "Time Travel" in it's own sense. I feel it is important to look back at the roots of your fashion, to see how it evolved and consequently, how you evolved with it.

This was an odd topic for me, actually! For the past couple of years, I was fairly certain I started Lolita in 2007. I wasn't sure how or why I knew that, it just seemed like a good guesstimate to me.

So in preparation for the prompt, I started browsing Lolibrary for Jumperskirts released in 2007.

Indeed, Metamorphose was in its heyday! I remembered the release of Gingham Cherry quite well, and have ever since pined for the navy blue jumperskirt with matching boater hat. I even owned the embroidery pocket jsk on the far right, at some point! 

But as I was browsing the dresses of 2007, I thought, these were all released when I was already in to Lolita fashion. I remembered seeing the updates on websites and on EGL, so surely I was already decently "in" to the fashion? I couldn't have just been a beginner!

So... did I start Lolita in 2006?? 

I plugged the year "2006" into Lolibrary, and low and behold, I saw it- the first dress I ever bought from Metamorphose.

 "Back in the day", Metamorphose was one of the few easily accessible Japanese web shops for Lolita that shipped worldwide. So in my first humble beginnings in the quest to acquire a Lolita dress, Metamorphose was where I directed my mouse to.

I didn't have this dress for long, and I'm not sure I even wore it- but I can never forget that Music Note Print, the tulle collar and trim, and the gathered tulle bustle back of this dress.

A quick browse through the archives sent me down memory lane, with a number of other dresses I used to own:


Looks like I always fancied the unusual colors!

And of course, I had a Candy Violet by Vivcore Classic Set in blue.

It was quite fun and nostalgic, browsing the archives of dresses released when I started Lolita fashion. The fashion has certainly changed a lot in ten years!

But also, I am kind of sad I didn't realize it's been 10 years! This year marks 10 years in Lolita fashion for me and I didn't even know it! At least I noticed it early on in the year, and I can still celebrate, and make this the best year so far.


LLC: Lolita Fragrances

Some of my favourite things on my vanity.

Lace a la Mode's 365 Day Lolita Lifestyle Challenge is sometimes a challenge to blog about- it may prompt an activity, such as reading a Lolita related text, rather than producing blog content.

Today, Day 40, was one of those such days, but I decided to turn it into a blog post, anyway!

Simple enough, yet the act of wearing a fragrance can be the heart of your outfit. It can effect your worldview, causing you to see the world through rose-tinted glasses. Though invisible, I feel that fragrance is as important to an outfit as accessories and makeup. 

Before continuing on, I recommend reading The Osaka Koneko's translation of Novala Takemoto's "Let's Talk About Perfume". Novala's light-hearted article, translated into English there explains the different types on perfumes he likes, and also provides some practical knowledge on the ranking of perfumes. (The Osaka Koneko also has some great perfume recommendations herself, at the end of her post.) 

As Novala states in the essay, "While the note of a perfume (the scent of a perfume is called the “note”) changes slightly from person to person when worn, much like clothing, we don’t want to wear the same thing as everyone else. Because of this, whenever I’m asked to recommend a perfume, I always hesitate. I can only give advice to choose it yourself." 

That being said, I would like very much to share my personal favourite fragrances below, and why I think they are a good match for my Lolita style. 

While I enjoy them enough that I could implore you to try them yourself, I would follow Novala's advice and select a fragrance that speaks to you- and brings out the "note" of your own character.

I'll begin with my personal favourite fragrance, "Live Colorfully" by Kate Spade.

With a keynote of gardenia, and undertones of mandarin, tahitian vanilla, tiare flower and coconut water, this perfume is complex and sparkling. It works both as an energetic day fragrance I can even wear to work, or as a playful scent for going out.

The bottle is dazzling with a kaleidoscope of golds, corals and soft pinks. The bow-shaped topper is the perfect girly accent to top it all off. 

I believe this perfume captures the playful, explorative, creative essence of Lolita fashion. It is also refined, sweet and classy. 

Next on my list is "Miss Dior Cherie". Described as "Pure, Precious, Elegant", this is another fragrance that encapsulates the essence of Lolita, to me. 

This fragrance has a heart of jasmine, with notes of mandarin and patchouli. The result is a sweet, innocent fragrance that is not too bold; much like delicate lace.

With the pale champagne complexion and dazzling silver ribbon topper, this would also look elegant on any Lolita's vanity.

My next selection is "Babydoll" by Yves Saint Laurent.

I first tried this perfume because of the musician Miyavi, who once stated in his profile that his perfumes of choice were "Dior Addict" and "YSL Babydoll". Novala also mentioned Babydoll in his article, "Let's Talk About Perfume". 

With it's elegant, fresh, and youthful charm, it is not surprising that Babydoll is so popular. A flirty mixture of grapefruit, red currant and rose, with base notes of grenadine, cedar and peach, this perfume is complex and dynamic. 

The sparkling bottle is made to resemble a spinning top, much like the ever-changing scents in the fragrance. 

I feel this perfume captures my more adventurous side in Lolita- the side that wants to wear bold, unique colours, paint my nails in a new style, or try a new makeup trend. This perfume is stylish and elegant, yes, but also a little punky to me- as if made for a fashion trail blazer. 

And with that, we round out my top three fragrances. As you can see, perfume cannot only encapsulate who you are as a person, but it can also be the perfect pick-me-up, or the cherry on top of your clothing. Whether you are an expert in the field of perfume or more new to it, like me, I encourage you to play with the scents next time you are at a Sephora or Department store. Close your eyes, and see which one speaks to you!


LLC: Plan a Valentine's Meet

Good morning from the snowy East Coast, darlings!

I haven't been doing a spectacular job of keeping up with Lace a la Mode's Lolita Lifestyle Challenge, but seeing as today is officially the first of February, today's topic seemed appropriate:

I've actually never attended a Valentines Day Meet, but I would love to attend or host one! Although Valentines Day is considered annoying and garish by many, it has always been one of my favourite holidays, as I'm a true sap and hopeless romantic at heart. I don't even mind the eyeball-searing colour scheme of pink and red (I actually rather fancy those colours together).

If I were to host a Valentines Day meet, I would do it in a number of different ways:
  • Sweet and Simple: a Red, Pink and White meet
  • Match Made in Heaven! A Twinning meet
  • Simply Meant to Be: A Fairy Tale meet
  • I Want Candy: A Sweets themed meet
  • Roses are Red: A Floral themed meet
Aren't you already daydreaming of coords for the above? 

For locations, I would consider somewhere with ample space for both socialising and a potluck:
  • A Tea Room
  • Your Home
  • A Park or Garden (if it's not too cold where you live) 
  • Your comm's favourite local cafe or restaurant
Any of these locations would be ideal, as I foresee a meet with Valentines themed festivities, games, and recipes. Of course if you are going to a restaurant or cafe instead of members contributing to a potluck, I would try and pick a location that served Valentines-esque food: for example, a shop with both savory and sweet crepes, a place for brunch, an ice cream parlour, or a local cafe/patisserie.

I would let myself get carried away with the decor! After all, what other holiday allows me to purchase the most loliable party decorations ever? Patterned Paper Straws, heart shaped plates, pink, red or white everything- it would be so much fun! Even if you are going to a restaurant, tea room or cafe, most establishments are okay with you bringing your own table embellishments.

One idea I have for a Valentine's Meet is "Secret Valentine". Like Secret Santa, I would ask the attendees to draw a random name of another guest for the meet. For that guest, they would be asked to make a handmade Valentine, and a gift of $5 or less- it could be a handmade accessory that goes with their style, handmade cookies or desserts, a custom drawing of them, etc. That way, everyone who comes will have a Valentine.

Another cute game could be "Who Am I?" (I played this version with my J-fashion Community in Hawaii last year.) 

You will need one or two sheets of adhesive name-tags, blank. On each square, write a Lolita identity- it can be designer names, model names, brand names, or even genres such as Sweet or Gothic Lolita! Throw in other elements of J-fashion if you like, such as Mori Girl, Dolly Kei, Visual kei, etc.

One game leader will distribute the labels to guests, who must not see their own "name". Stick it somewhere like on the person's back where they will not be able to look. Guests can break up into groups of three participants each, if you are dealing with a big group. Each guest will have to ask a question to try and figure out who they are, and the other people in their group will answer to help them guess. 

It's a lot of fun, especially if you get something way out of your element! It's quite entertaining seeing a Gothic Lolita find out she is "Maki" or "Asuka", or a Classic Lolita finding out she is "Visual Kei". 

If you'd like a more challenging game, you can reverse the roles and play charades! It might be quite entertaining watching guests act out some unique personalities and styles, but may be more difficult as guests cannot talk. 

Of course there are many other Valentines-specific games you can find online; a few I found were Bingo with candy hearts as markers, or relay races to see how many candy hearts you can pick up with chopsticks in a minute. There's plenty you can do to keep your guests entertained!

If you're hosting a potluck type meet, there are plenty of adorable things you can prepare for your guests, from simple heart shaped fruit kebabs, for beginners...

... To apple or potato rosettes, for the more seasoned cook.

It may also be a good idea to get a small chocolate fondue pot, with strawberries, gharam crackers and marshmallows. It seems like a fun activity for guests to enjoy together- although it might be dangerous for Lolitas, with that drippy chocolate!

Of course, as the meet is winding down, it is always fun to have a coordinate contest. The themes can be Valentines-tailored as well, including "Cutest Couple" (two coords that match well, intentionally or unintentionally), "Best Chocolate Coord", "Best Sweets Coord", "Best Floral Coord", etc. I think coordinate contests are a great way to encourage healthy competition, and to encourage everyone to put their best coord forward for meets. 

I hope that these ideas help inspire you to have your own Valentines Meet in your comm! I am a little sad I won't be able to host one this year, as it falls on Katsucon anyways. But perhaps next year, I can! And in the meantime, many of these ideas can be recycled for a regular Lolita meet, anyways.

Any more ideas for a Valentines Meet, or stories from one you attended? I would love to hear about it, as I am always looking for new meet ideas!

For more tips on how to host an at-home meet-up, and for the Lolita game "Lolita Scattergories", please click here!


Review: Alice Fururun, and Where to Buy Online

Since I started Lolita in 2007, it's become increasingly easier to purchase Lolita clothing online. Gone are the days where only Baby and Metamorphose shipped abroad, and most Lolitas on a budget had to sew clothing themselves or painstakingly search it out online. These days, there's a myriad of shopping choices out there for you to get your frill on; whether you want to order brand-direct, or bargain hunt from the second-hand shops.

Today I'll be focusing on Japanese second-hand shops, and the ones I normally frequent. All of them are good, but may have varying degrees of difficulty to navigate the site, communicate with staff, and place an order.

I'll start for my most recent order, from Alice Fururun.

Ease of navigating site and ordering: 3/5
Accepts Paypal?: Yes
Staff Communication: 3.5/5
Condition of items: 4/5
Shipping/Packaging: 5/5

Alice Fururun has been around since I first started Lolita, and their site hasn't changed much over the years. Most if not all of it is in Japanese, with enough English pointers for you to scrape by and make an order. It helps to be able to read katakana, as most of the brand names are written in katakana. (Or, use Google Translate if you like.)

That being said, navigating the site can be a little difficult. One glitch I found was that when I shop, and am looking at several items, I like to open them in new tabs with the main search results still open. This is mostly because I am lazy and don't want to hit the back button a million times. However, I noticed when I added items into my cart in a new tab, then closed it and went back to the main search, it would empty my cart from that tab. So in other words, all of the items I added to my cart in a separate tab disappeared as soon as I closed that tab. Needless to say, I was very confused, but as soon as I figured out I'd need to do all of my shopping in one window, it was fine. 

I checked out using the shopping cart method, but if you don't speak/read Japanese, or don't feel like running it through a translator, you can also use an e-mail order method.

Personally, I prefer the shopping cart because it partially ensures that my items will not sell out (However, I can also read Japanese so it wasn't a setback for me to use it). As soon as I check out, the items were marked 'sold out' on the site. By using the e-mail order method, you will have to wait for staff to confirm your item is in stock and mark it 'out of stock' on the site for you. 

It took a couple of days for staff to email me back to confirm my order. I had to send them an email to confirm my order and payment through and that everything was okay. But then again, I did place my order pretty close to New Year's holidays, so that could explain the delay.

My items were shipped by EMS (staff provided the tracking number) and arrived quickly. Everything was very well packaged. Boleros were separately wrapped in plastic, and my purse was stored in a cardboard box to prevent denting or damages.

Everything was in decent condition considering the awesome prices. There was a black hair on the pink cardigan I ordered, but that's not that big of a deal to me. There was a dent on the front of the heart enamel purse, but that was clearly pointed out on the site, so I was expecting that. (They are very good about noting all flaws in the item descriptions, so again, Google translate is your friend if you can't read Japanese.) 

The price was awesome for everything I got. The cardigans were 1,500 and 2,500 yen, I got a Baby plastic headband for 1,000 yen, and the heart enamel purse with strap was only 3,000 yen. Including shipping, all four items were right around $100. 

So that was my first experience with Alice Fururun, and I was fairly pleased! 

There are plenty of other places to shop online and get a great bargain, though. Out of the Japanese online retailers, these are some of my favourite to buy from:

I have orders coming in from Wunderwelt and Fairy-Angel, so maybe when they come in I will write up a joint review similar to this one. This was my first time ordering from Wunderwelt and I like them so far; as for Fairy-Angel, they've been around about as long as Alice Fururun and I have ordered from them before. They were very sweet and great to work with, and I am expecting the same this time around.

Well I hope that this was useful, and now you have two shiny new reviews to look forward to! If you have any questions about navigating Alice Fururun or the above sites, leave me a comment and I'll try to help you out.


Darkly Darling at Kawaiikon 2015

Waiting outside to meet Akira!
To me, Sundays are "me" time- a time to cook a nice meal, catch up on work, do some exercise, and maybe even take a nice, relaxing bath. After a fulfilling Sunday of reflection and relaxation, I feel refreshed, grounded and ready to face the next week ahead.

When it comes to my blog, I would like to keep that feeling, and also use it as my day to write about events that passed- after all, I missed coverage of many events when I took a hiatus from my blog, last year!

For today's reflection, I would like to share my experience at Kawaiikon last year, 2015. I ran two panels at this Kawaiikon: An informative J-fashion panel on Shironuri, as well as an independent fashion show for my own aspiring Lolita brand, Darkly Darling.

The convention began on a hectic note, and did not set a good tone for the rest of the weekend. We rushed to our hotel with our room mates as soon as I got home from work, Friday. I knew that the next morning, I would have to wake up at 4am to rush to the windward side of Oahu, in order to run an event for work, so I was already in a stressed-out mood.

The next morning went exactly as you'd expect, trying desperately not to awake my husband and room mates as I got ready for work. I knew that as soon as I left work, I'd have to rush in order to make the Akira tea party, so I did everything I could before hand- I even applied most of my Lolita makeup, including contacts, at 4 am.

I was very tired at work, and felt silly in such extreme makeup. On top of that, it was raining on the windward side, like it always does, so my false lashes were starting to come off and my hair was a wreck!

Finally, when the event started to wind down, I was allowed to leave- only to run head-on into horrible traffic trying to get into town! I had paid a lot of extra money in order to attend the Akira tea party, and was scared I wouldn't make it at all.

I finally made it back to my hotel room, with barely thirty minutes to spare. I threw on my outfit and wig, and ran across the street to the convention center. I looked barely put together, incredibly tired, and most of my foundation had worn away already, but I was just happy to make it to the tea party.

At least the tea party was a pleasure! Akira sat at each table, making pleasant conversation and making everyone smile. She even noticed that not everyone could reach the food in the middle of the tables, so she helped to serve girls who were far away or had bell sleeves and couldn't reach! We played games too, and many of us got to take selfies with Akira.

At the end of the teaparty, she gave out autographed photos, cheki, and small pieces of sakura incense to each guest. I was walking on clouds, I was so happy that I actually made it.

But come Saturday evening, I cloud-walked right back into another rough patch.

I was scheduled to host a Shironuri panel, which I had been spending all of my free-time on for months! I put hours of work into the presentation, spending my lunch breaks at work working on it, and staying late after work to wait out traffic working on it. But it was late at night for a panel, almost midnight; and a rather obscure topic at that, so I was expecting barely a couple of friends to show up. I wasn't that worried.

So I was shocked to see so many people in attendance!

I had everything set to go- a detailed power-point on the history of Shironuri, different sub-styles of it and related media, and pictures donated from Shironuri practitioners around the world.

As part of my day job, I did presentations for a living; I had also organized events in these convention rooms the year before. That being said, I wasn't expecting any surprises with the presentation, or the technology. So of course, I was mortified to set up my laptop, and found that my entire Powerpoint was corrupted!! I couldn't even open it, from my laptop or my external hard drive!

I had my crack tech friend come up and help me, trying to retrieve or backup the Powerpoint, but nothing was working.

I was absolutely panicked, since I also had a room full of people in front of me, expecting a presentation. I picked up the microphone, and explained what had happened- I also told the guests that since Shironuri is such a visual and abstract style, it would be really difficult to explain without the accompanying images. I decided to call off the panel.

A lot of the attendees were rather angry, and asked, why don't I just pull up some pictures and talk about it? I was already about to cry, and the frustrated voices were making me panic more. I told them I had a very detailed history and lots of notes in my presentation, and it would be hard to do without it. Not to mention, the convention center did not have free Wifi, so just googling images and pulling up different blogs would have been another hurdle! But I didn't mention that.

Of course, I was sick to my stomach after this had happened. I basically apologized, and walked off stage. A few of my friends comforted me as people started to leave.

At least as people were trickling out, a mother and daughter came up to me and said they wanted to thank me for hosting a fashion-related late night panel. They said that there is usually not a lot of family-friendly content offered later at night, and the fashion was interesting, so they were looking forward to it.

They asked about the makeup I use, so I took out my supplies and showed them the basics of applying a white foundation, and setting it. By then, a small crowd had formed, and I was very comfortable just talking with them on the side.

If I could re-do that night, I would have checked my presentation earlier in my hotel room. (I would have taken a nap in the room, too!) Given, it had been a very long day for me, but even so, I should have been more professional about my panel and double-checked the presentation.

Even if I had checked it, and it had been corrupted, I would have had time to whip up something, or contact the panel coordinator so the guests wouldn't have been so upset.

Or even if I hadn't done all that- I wish I had the bravery to stand up on stage and just talk about the fashion I loved! I was dressed in it, make up done and all- why was I so upset, that I couldn't just wing it?

After all, giving presentations was part of what I did for a living. But I think it is different, when you give the same presentation every day for your job, instead of one long, intense presentation about something you love. But even so, I wish I could re-do that panel.

Hopefully, at another convention in the future, I could take a crack at this panel again. I learned a lot from that night, and feel like I could do an even better presentation this time around!

When I had that smaller crowd watching me demonstrate makeup application, I told them about my fashion show panel the next day- where I would be showing fashions for my aspiring Lolita brand, Darkly Darling. I told them which conference room it was in, and the time, and they all said they would come!

The next morning, unfortunately, was off to a rough start as well. (I couldn't catch a break at all!) I had a bad feeling since the Shironuri panel last night, and on top of that, one of my models called out sick. I got to the convention center, only to find that neither my hair nor makeup artists had showed up! I called and called and called them, and messaged them on Facebook, with no response.

Panicked again, I called my husband and asked him to bring over all of my wigs and makeup from the hotel room. I was going to make this work, no matter what. Not only did I dress my models, set up my audio equipment, and do a sound check with staff- I also did all of their hair and makeup, in about an hour!

There were still issues- my boy style model couldn't have his hair done, since I was counting on a hair stylist to work with his long, red hair. I also forgot to grab pants and accessories for him, in my hurry to get all of my outfits and do makeup. With models who didn't show up, I had to rearrange and re-prioritize my looks, which clashed with what some models brought to wear.

However, at that point in the final minutes before the show, doing a quick walk-through, I was just happy to have mostly everyone there, dressed, and ready to go.

I received a text from the event coordinator saying, "I don't want to make you nervous- but you have a line outside the conference room!" One of my friends came in and said the line was really long. I couldn't believe it!

I texted the coordinator the okay, saying we were ready and the doors could be opened. I waited back stage, watching the room fill to near capacity- and looked with awe and gratitude at my models.

The music started, and the show began!

 Even Deadpools were watching on in the audience.

After the show, we received a round of applause! We stayed on stage for a very long Q&A, with all kinds of questions from the audience! I had my models stay on stage too, so they could be part of the Q&A.

Overall, it was a very long, stressful weekend, which taught me anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. But it also taught me to rely on myself, and not rely too heavily on others. Though of course, there are many wonderful people out there, like my models, not everyone is reliable.

It also taught me responsibility. I should have had the foresight to check my presentation in the hours before the panel. If I had noticed sooner, that the entire presentation was inaccessible, it might have been easier to minimize damage or come up with something on the spot.

Last but not least, that weekend taught me to look for silver linings. The world was all but falling apart, when I stood up on stage by myself and announced that I couldn't do the Shironuri panel. But when I spoke with the mother and daughter about the makeup after, they were so kind and supportive, and interested in what I had to say, so I feel like I can try that panel again in the future.

And yes, I did have to work, and dash around the island desperately in order to juggle work and my passions- but I still got to meet one of my idols, Akira.

And sure, I had models and makeup and hair artists become no-shows: but instead of panicking like the night before, I worked with the wonderful people who did come, and we used everything at our disposal to deliver a show.

I had done smaller fashion shows at bars before, where people didn't really understand or appreciate Lolita- but I think I am most proud of the Kawaiikon Fashion Show. If I could choose a benchmark from where I really started to grow and understand, it was that show. I count it as my first real fashion show!

All in all, Kawaiikon 2015 was more stress for me than anything. Much of it had to do with overbooking myself, especially since I had to work all morning on Saturday. It taught me a lot though, and helped me grow as a person. After this, I had a bit of a hiatus from sewing, and being involved in the event circuit. But now in 2016, I feel ready to move forward again, and strive to be even better!

Just remember, readers, if you ever encounter something similar, there is nothing you cannot handle; and even if you think you cannot fix it, there is always plenty to be learned. I hope that sharing this experience either helps you in the future, or maybe you've gone through something similar!

I'd actually love to know if you've ever had a Con Catastrophe like this, and what you did to handle it. Feel free to let me know in the comments- which should be much easier to use, since I switched back to the Blogger commenting system!

Happy Sunday!


LBC: Predict 5 Trends for 2016

Hello, Darlings! Here, you join me on another exciting installment of Lolita Blog Carnival!

In this exciting episode, we will review "Trend Predictions for 2016". Not to toot my own horn, but in the past when I've written about Prints I'd Like to See (again here), or Trends I'd like to See, I saw quite a few blip on the radar. I'm not saying I'm psychic or anything, but I like to believe my predictions are pretty well based!

So without further ado, here are the trends I see continuing or growing in 2016.

1. Old School Revival

Be it "maxipad" rectangular headdresses, solid black and white coords, chunky platforms and RHS, or repetitive, understated sweet prints, I think this trend is on it's way back in. In the past few months I have seen a lot more blogs dedicated to the "Oldschool" aesthetic, and have seen a number of coords popping up on Coordinate Communities as well.

It is true that recently, I've been drawn back to the Oldschool aesthetic myself; so it's hard to say if the trend has really increased or if I've just noticed it more. But either way, I enjoy the understated elegance of "traditional" Lolita looks, and wouldn't mind if it made a comeback.

If you think about it logically, religious themes were very big in 2015, and many "new" dresses drew inspiration from old ones, such as lace cross appliques. It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to backpedal further into the trends that set the tone for the rest of the world over a decade ago.

2. Punk Lolita 

This goes hand-in-hand with the prediction above. At about the same time "Oldschool Lolita" was just Lolita, Punk Lolita had begun to get very popular through publications such as Kera. Musicians such as Nana Kitade and Moon Kana wore a lot of Punk Lolita, in music videos, to lives, and also modelling for Kera and the Gothic Lolita Bible.

Talking to some other Lolitas who have been in the fashion as long as me, I hear many say, "I love Punk Loli, but I feel like it's so hard to pull off!" Or, they couldn't afford the brand items "back then", or the brands who manufactured them were inaccessible.

Now that brands like Putumayo, Hellcat Punks and SexPot Revenge are well known and easy to buy, and the interest has survived, I think it'd be neat to see these Lolis act on their word and bring Punk Lolita back. I think the appeal is there, since the items are easy to wear, and the accessories are easy to buy in the US- but all we need are a few more individuals ready to face the dreaded "concrit" of CoF. Maybe in the future, I'll write a post about Punk Lolita, and some ideas to style it correctly.

3. Bonnets

2015 was the year of religiously-inspired veils and head circlets. But throughout all this, I saw an increasingly large fan base for one of my favourite designers, Triple Fortune; particularly their gorgeous bonnets.

This may be because of their convention circuits over the years, which has made their brand more accessible than ever before. Triple Fortune used to be a pain and a half to order from, but these days the brand has come to Lolitas all over the world. Where I used to see a lot of Lolitas scoff at bonnets, I'm happy to see an increasingly large group of people wearing them. I think it's well-earned, because so many hard brimmed bonnets are beautifully crafted with excruciating detail!

Other brands began producing more over-the-top bonnets as well, such as Innocent World's collaboration with Ali project vocalist, Arika Takarano. Could it be 2016 would be the year of the bonnet? I certainly hope so, as I am a die-hard fan!

4. Handmade and Indie Items

As a designer myself (albeit one just trying to get serious recently), I'm happy to report that the popularity and quality of handmade items has spiked in the West. There are many designers vying for notoriety, including accessory designers such as Voodoo Dolly, Moss Marchen and Moss Badger, to seamstresses such as I Do Declare (I have been a long-time fan!).

I believe this spike in popularity in recent years is largely accredited to Rufflecon, which has helped get Indie Lolita designer names out there, and put them on the same scale as visiting Eastern brands such as Haneuli.

The appeal of handmade items is that they are one of a kind; not just any Lolita has them. They are truly unique, and made with a labor of love. I foresee handmade and Indie brand items continuing to grow in 2016.

5. Unusual colours- such as Grey, Green, Light Brown, Tiffany Blue, Coral, etc.

Pantone has predicted that the on-trend colours for 2016 will be rather unusual, describing their forecast as "A Transporting and Transformative Canvas; Colors this season transcend cultural and gender norms. Vivid brights give way to excitement and optimism, though quiet stability prevails in this season’s palette." In other words, there are a lot of dusty rose-pinks, greys, and neutrals, along side unusual brights such as yellow, coral, green, and ultramarine.

I dare say that Lolita, like any fashion, is ready for a breath of fresh air come new season- and these colours are rather underplayed in the realm of Lolita products. A couple years ago, I wrote about some of these colours as "The Most Underrated Colours in Lolita". I would love to see these unusual colours rise up and give us something new to ogle in the fashion!

It is fascinating to study how fashions shift and change over the years, don't you think? I am sure that no matter what 2016 has in store, there will certainly be movers, shakers, and trend-setters who emerge from the wood work, and forge a new path for others to follow. I am enthralled to be a part of this fashion and watch it evolve, year after year.

Without further ado, let us go under the tent and examine other Lolita's predictions for 2016!