Hello everybody. I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Years. Despite everything that is going on in my life at the moment, I managed to have a good Christmas. I am still having problems, but I am hopeful that I will be able to go back to my regular posting schedule soon. However, don't be surprised if I still miss the odd post now and then. I am having a lot of ups and downs.
So I guess seeing as this is my first post of 2017 (Bye bye 2016. I wont miss you!) it is time to do that annual tradition of looking to the year ahead and giving my thoughts on what I would like to see happen in the lolita community. I have not had much time to compile this list, but hopefully I have some points on here that a lot of us can agree on. So let's get on with this year's list!
Blouse-only Lucky Packs- I made this point on my list last year, and it is back on the list again because I feel it is an important one. Unless you are one of the few lolitas who only sticks to OPs (and I am yet to personally meet a single lolita who does only wear OPs) then blouses are a vital part of a lolita wardrobe. Blouses get a lot of wear, and as far as I am concerned, a lolita can never have enough of them. When you have more blouses, it means you can wear lolita more frequently, as you spend less time waiting for stuff which needs to be washed. I think an ideal blouse lucky pack would have one simpler design, and one more elaborate design. They would probably have to be in a common staple colour, such as white, black or ivory to make it as beneficial as possible to a wider number of lolitas. Out of the brands, I would love it the most if Baby did a blouse lucky pack, as I love their designs.
Angelic Pretty to go back to basics- 2016 was not a great year for AP. Last year saw very few "big hits" when in the past we have been used to seeing AP regularly sell out in minutes. What do I think is the problem? One issue could be that they are rehashing a lot of previous designs and only changing a few details, although this has never been much of a problem for their popular chocolate releases. But I think a big issue could also be that Angelic Pretty released a lot of OTT dress designs with endless details to them and this makes the releases a bit less wearable, as the more OTT dress designs tend to get worn at the bigger lolita events rather than more casual meets. The more details you put on a dress, the more you risk that your audience wont like certain aspects of that dress as well. One person may love an over-skirt (a big feature of AP releases recently), but another may not like the shape, or the material choice or may not like over-skirts at all. I personally don't mind a bit of OTT from time to time, but I feel that a good series should have a mixture of both simple and more dressy designs. And given how busy some prints can be, sometimes it is better to not overload a dress with loads of extra details so that the print has a chance to truly shine.
Tapered lace around the armpit area- Bear with me, this is a personal pet peeve of mine! I really dislike it when you get a dress design with wide neckline lace, which then continues on underneath the arm holes and leaves lace dangling around the armpit area. The lace ends up dangling awkwardly, getting sandwiched in your armpits. I don't think it looks that attractive either. I feel it is better to have the lace gently tapering off as the lace reaches the armpit area. I have noticed that Baby seems to be the main offender for not tapering this lace recently and I really hope this is not a trend that continues.
More good Taobao releases- In a year where I was underwhelmed by a lot of the big brands, I found myself really impressed with some of the Taobao brands and the designs they have put out. Every year Taobao as a whole seems to go from strength to strength, to the point where some Taobao stores are increasingly recommended to newcomers. In fact, sometimes the quality is almost equal to the big Japanese brands. If you have never placed a Taobao order or feel a bit overwhelmed, I would recommend checking the Taobao guide on 4chan's /cgl/ board (yes, I know 4chan has a bad reputation, but cgl's Taobao guide is really useful). Alternatively, you could check out reselling sites such as My Lolita Dress, but be aware that the prices are more expensive than ordering directly from the Taobao stores.
More art books from lolita designers- Shin Haenuli of Korean brand Haenuli recently released an art book, which looks absolutely stunning. She also frequently does little cartoons on Facebook featuring her duck character Nunu, which give a lot of insight in to what she is like as a person. This got me thinking- wouldn't it be amazing if more lolita designers did books like this? Imagine if you could see alternative designs for your favourite prints, or things that never got made in to dress designs? I feel like there is a lot that we don't know about our favourite designers, because at Q&A sessions you tend to see a lot of the same questions getting asked. I would love to get to know more about the designers behind the brands, and artwork could be a good way to get an idea what they are like.
Wider shoe variety for sweet lolita- I have been really impressed with some of the shoe choices I have seen some lolitas wearing with classic. Sometimes you can even find suitable shoes in 'normie' stores. But with sweet lolita it is a bit harder. AP's tea party shoe design has dominated sweet lolita for a very long time. Some people love them, but I know a lot of others hate them too. But it seems as though a lot of other sweet shoe designs follow the tea party shoe template, with the rounded toe and bows placed in similar positions. There have been a couple of different looking designs, but the tea parties continue to dominate sweet. As much as I love my tea party shoes and my Bodyline lookalikes, sometimes I think it would be great to have a bit more variety. Taobao is an option, but their sizes can be very limited. Bodyline often runs out of the popular sizes and the leftovers hang around the site for ages.
More cohesive shades of colours- This seems to be a long-term issue and one I continued to spot last year. It seems as though no 2 colours ever match. Sometimes you even see noticeably different shades of colours within the same series. I wouldn't mind if the colours varied just a little from time to time, but every item I purchase seems to be a different colour! When I brought Milky Swan last year I came very close to picking the pink instead of the lavender, because I knew that I would probably end up needing to buy more lavender items so I would have at least something that matched. It is lucky I got the head bow as well, because as expected the lavender did not match anything I had previously brought. It has gotten to the point where I have become more lenient about colour matching in outfits, as I know how painfully difficult it is to get everything the correct shade.
So that is my list for this year. I apologise if it seems a little rushed. After a long break, it has been difficult getting back in to the blogging mindset again. Do you have anything that you would like to see this year? Feel free to leave a comment with your own ideas.