Monday, November 26, 2012

I have many names

I thought I'd post something that doesn't fall under the "srs bsns" -category for once. This one is about some of the names and nicks I carry around in the world of Internetz. :)


As some of you may know, I love pen&paper storytelling RPG. Yeah, the kind with character sheets and dice. I've been especially a fan of White Wolf's setting, "World of Darkness", which originates all the way back to the early 90's. It's a world just like ours, except somewhat more sinister and even gothic, with various supernatural creatures inhabiting it. The Tzimisce are a clan of vampires from the WoD game "Vampire the Masquerade", originally from Eastern Europe. They have plenty of features and abilities in common with Bram Stoker's take on Dracula, and are the quintessential unfeeling, sadistic monsters. The Tzimisce are on a constant quest of metamorphosis, transscending from their mortal coil through experiments into surreal, inhumane (un)living monuments of either horror or beauty, equally as terrible and disturbing. I've always had a thing for the Tzimisce. They are distant and reclusive, and I identify with that. They are the most hospitable hosts, but extremely territorial, just as I am. I find Eastern European cultures and history interesting, so the Tzimisce were a natural choice of focus for me.

Three different takes on the clan from different era setting books of VtM. I love how the dude on the left looks like a used car salesman and the guy in the middle looks like he belongs in a campy Blackmetal band.

Red Panda

On a completely opposite end of the spectrum from the Tzimisce is the Red Panda. She's fluffy, innocent, childlike and very friendly, viewing the world as being full of wonders. She's a part of me I show to my friends, and the closer a friend, the more I show this part of me instead of the regally cynical scientist that is the Tzimisce. The Red Panda has been my spirit animal since 2006. This may all sound schizophrenic to you, but I assure you I'm quite sane. Well, as sane as can be expected, of course. I love the fact that I call my closest friends mostly by their animal names, such as Owl, Squirrel or Badger, and they call me Panda.

Oh hi!


Surprisingly enough, this nick has also started with RPGs. There used to be an RPG chat where I played (again in a WoD setting) an Irish reporter by the name of Heather O'Keavy. I had that character for 5 years, and grew very attached to her. Heather soon became the "Finnified" version, "Heetteri" off-game, and some people I got to know through the game still call me by my nick. I've used Heetteri as a nick in various other places after that, so it still lives on, no matter how outdated.

A commision QueenOfDorks did for me way back. I still get pissed off if someone uses this as their userpic, it's MY PROPERTY, damn it!
Inna or Innah

Welll, my real name's Ines, and when I was little, and couldn't yet pronounce it, I called myself Innah. I told this to my boyfriend, and he's called me Inna for a long time now. This nickname carries a special significance and warmth to it.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Difficult issue: Lolita and weight

Alright. Well, at least we're still not heading into the direction of the gyaru circles, where sometimes anyone normal and even slim are called fat cows. But we do have the horrible name "fatty-chan" that's quite casually thrown around, especially in the secrets of BtB. Granted, most of the girls featured are obese, no doubt about it, and could both dress more suitably for their body type and lose a bit of weight for health reasons, if nothing else.

I've just recently come to the realisation that I myself am slightly overweight, even chubby, and have struggled with doing something about it for a year now. The problem was never that I eat too much, but because, for the longest time, I ate way too little, any pounds I lost with this unhealthy way, came back with interest whenever I began to eat normally again. So here I am, 11kg over the limit of what is considered normal, painfully slowly dropping what I've gained, but at least in a healthy way. Excercise and a balanced diet work wonders, and boy am I glad I've never been a real binge-eater or a huge cookie-monster. The occasional treat is fine, as long as it doesn't involve a chunk of chocolate cake.

However, even when the Finnish Lolita circles are accepting, weighty Lolitas are pariahs on a more global scale. The right way to deal with one's weight issues isn't really to blame the brands for making small clothes - when I was of average weight, I fit brand just fine, just not all of them, and we shouldn't be so judgemental of those who want to alter their brand items to fit more comfortably. The word "their" is in bold, because nobody has to think of resale value, the clothes are the property of whoever happens to have purchased them. This applies no matter how much some people may whine. Like I've said - if I want to take a dress of an extremely rare print and make hankies out of it, that's my choice, although it would show poor judgement.

It's sad that weightloss goes overboard with some Lolitas, and when they want to lose the weight as quickly as possible (as I did earlier), the ways they starve themselves is unhealthy and destructive. No one should do that for something as trivial as fitting into the clothes of an obscure style. The best way to go about it would be to take things slow and stay determined. This simple truth is lost on many younger people who still haven't quite developed the ability to discern the outcomes of their actions. This is not to say that girls and boys under ~25 are stupid or unable to make sound decisions, but neuropsychological development scale with includes the frontal lobe of the brain (the part which deals with these things) is against them when it comes to acting on impulse and not pausing to think things through without emotional disruptions.

I'm not even completely certain what I want to accomplish with this post. Weight-issues are a problem in the western world as a whole, and shuttling through adolescence and youth without some influence and pressure of both media and peers is extremely difficult. It took me years to come to terms with who I am, and I still struggle with not letting my weight affect my self-esteem, and I sometimes wonder how anyone could do that in today's society. Lolita seems to attract many people who have been outcasts and who already try to cope with mental problems, and the norms of this fashion certainly don't help them in any way.

We could try and be more supportive and open-minded; we could try to be a bit gentler with our fellow passengers. Even when the wolves are on our heels as well.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Casual post 2

I've had trouble with my right arm and hand, I was off work on sick-leave for 4 days last week because it was aching so bad. Two of my fingers are still numb, and I'm waiting for them to start getting better, and my wrist's still a bit sore, but other than that, I'm back in the game!

I'm doing a gift-wrapping tutorial for the Advent calendar of Enfant Terrible by drawing, and also adding some pics of my wrapped gifts once I get around to it. I might even post it here, and add translations to English under the drawn tutorial pictures, since the whole thing is in Finnish. I'm going to buy a fake Christmas tree, and should also purchase some decorations for it, since there really isn't a Christmas without a tree for me. I've been waiting for the days to pass so that I can finally start publicly hyping about the holidays.

On a more serious note...
Someone said in their blog that they read the ones with lots of purchase photos and outfits, but I've never thought of myself as one of those bloggers. I'm more in the direction of a journalistic "something to say" -kinda blogger, and since very few Lolita-related blogs are like this one, I find it hard to find an audience. I don't put my whole soul into the fashion, I don't compulsively shop for knick-knacks and shoes to fill a void and feel validated by the community, and I don't value people by how much Angelic Pretty they have on.

Am I alone in the universe of this style?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Styles of a questionable nature

Some styles of Lolita are like the Loch Ness monster or the Abominable Snowman - it's debated whether they really even exist, or what they include. Maybe we're all just so hell-bent on inventing labels for everything that we somehow find it necessary.

Ero Lolita

When asked for a definition for what Ero Lolita is, there seems to be as many views as there are respondents. Some (rarely those long into Lolita as a style) think it's showing as much skin as humanly possible, some say it could be something as subtle as using a certain fabric. I tend to disagree with both of these extreme views, and will now try to outline what I think it is. Yes, showing some skin definitely is a part of Ero Lolita, but not in the "bought this fetish Alice costume from Leg Avenue" -way. If you're going to show cleavage, cover everything else. If you want to show some leg, keep the top quite demure.

We've seen some quite differing takes on Ero Lolita over the years. Some photo shoots would suggest it's ero if you put on a corset and bloomers and parade around, posing in your underwear. But that's not Ero Lolita, that's just pin-up, in my opinion. Yes, even if you put that ridiculous Rococo-style cage-underskirt frame on top. An Ero Lolita outfit could comprise of leaving your blouse at home, to reveal some boob-action. Not enough to shout "hey, look at these puppies", but just enough to be suggestive. Or maybe it's those super high heels in your shoes, paired with fishnet or lace stockings?

Country Lolita

Is it really a separate style, or just another variation of Sweet/Classic Lolita? Country style straw hats, gingham fabrics and picnic-basket accessories were all the rage at some point, but I seriously don't know if that should merit their own substyle all together. As cute, dainty and as rustic as these clothes are.

Bittersweet Lolita

It's pretty much just sweet prints on a black background. Some people insist on making this into a whole new style and calling it Bittersweet. I really don't know what to make of it - maybe we should start calling baby blue Lolita outfits "Sky Sweet Lolita", while we're at it?

Hime Lolita

Stop the press! Lolita can be worn with Hime hair and tiaras or crowns! And here I was, thinking crowns and tiaras can be incorporated with Lolita without it automatically becoming a different style altogether. Not to mention that Lolita's supposed to be somewhat princess-y, with or without crowns etc.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A cornucopia of styles!

Lolita and J-street wear are divided into so many awesome sub-styles that anyone who's "bent that way" is bound to find something to suit their tastes.Pictures are here to demonstrate two of the less-seen styles; Gothic Aristocrat and Sailor Lolita.

Gothic Lolita

Gone are the times when GL only meant black and white. Rich shades of electric or dark blue and jewel-tones like ruby, amethyst or emerald are just some of the examples that may be paired with black to create a striking, yet elegant and somber look. Contrary to a general belief, Gothic Lolita is quite versatile. The style can either be very sophisticated and dressed-down, or it can be very ornate and detailed. It can even flirt with Sweeter styles, and still be undeniably Gothic! What I love about the style is that by wearing it correctly, one may take on a slightly creepy, morbid and still cute and doll-like appearance.

Kuro Lolita

What applies to Gothic Lolita, applies almost equally to Kuro, apart from the fact, of course, that it has no colour whatsoever (black is not a colour, remember? Nitpick nitpick) but is entirely and without exception, full-on black.The style, worn, was originally "meant" to always be paired up with Shiro Lolita (full white), to supposedly make a formidably noticeable monochromatic twins -effect. In the western countries, however, the style can stand just fine on its own.

Gothic Aristocrat (female version, of course)

The west and the east seem a bit ambivalent as to what this style includes, but here, at least, we seemed to have found a consensus of a very mature, Victorian mourning-style. Corsets, feathers, lace gloves, veils, elaborate hats, dark colours, jewelry, even furs and taxidermy accessories have established themselves as parts of Gothic Aristocrat. It was, just like its little sister-style, Gothic Lolita, originally created by Mana with the added term "elegant" in front of their names (no need to explain who this guy is, right?).

Shamelessly stolen from Iira's Tumblr (Rosanitida), but you know nobody really does it like her.

On the left, although a bit too simplified and MMM-standard for my liking

Ah, now that's better! and my amazing MS paint skills show you how it's done.

Sailor Lolita

I love the ocean, I love the seaside and I love boats, ships and sailing. Only natural that I would find this nautical sub-style of Sweet Lolita super attractive! It seems to be a reoccuring theme for me every summer, a buring desire to wear Sailor-inspired Lolita clothing. It's somehow so fresh and crisp with its often two-toned white, black, navy blue and red colour combinations that it never fails to remind me of sunshine on my face and salty waves splashing against rock or sand.


Old School

Yes, well, it's not technically a style of its own, but it is the way Lolita looked for a long time. It's not just the nostalgic combination of black and white that's currently coming back into the fashion, but has a sort of a clumsy, home-made look to it in many occasions. This is very much the case when looking at old street snaps from associated magazines. The style was developing, and many of the so-called rules and regulations of Lolita were created by us westerners. Headdresses, clunky shoes and even black lipstick were all the rage way back in yesteryears, and let me tell you - not all Lolitas wore petticoats. (GASP) Styles develop and change, but that doesn't mean we can't appreciate what they used to be, and even be inspired.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Tea flower

I thought you might appreciate this short comic I made for my comic-blog. The text says "Tea flower - the tastier Ancient One." You can see the original, larger one (and other entries in Finnish & English) here:

Monday, October 22, 2012


1. Innocent World babydoll -JSK.

Black velvet! I got it for only 60$ because the hem-lace had been removed. I'm not too picky on whether my brand items are pristine, if they can be fixed. All I have to do is find some nice lace and sew it on, and that's that.

Picture by Elegantsolitude

2. Heart-apron!

I managed to persuade the keeper of Sweet-Sweet Shop (now closed) to make me this apron, despite her "retirement". I've wanted it since 2008, and soon I can finally quit boring my friends by frequently including it into my musings.

In full black, of course

3. White, ruffled bloomers

At last I got around to ordering them. I'm sorry, but when it comes to ruffled underwear, F+F really has what I want. I already have the same model in black, but wanted white ones as well. They really are super fluffy!

4. Parties, parties, parties

In addition to us hosting a halloween celebration at my boyfriend's already creepy-looking old wooden house, (we affectionately call it "Chernobyl" - it really is a place of eternal childhood, like Never-never land!) there's two of my friends' birthday bashes coming up, both will require dressing up in themed Lolita (or Kodona/Aristo) as well. The other party will be carnival-themed, and the other will be casino-themed. Awesome. :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Elitism, drama and cattiness.

They're an often reoccurring phenomenon whenever young women are present in large groups, especially when those groups are in any way related to the way one looks. Your worth is measured by how much your outfits cost, how well you dress, how much you weigh and how well you fit the current standard of beauty. There's no denying it, we all resort to judging now and then. Even if it's just inside our head, thinking "why is she wearing that"  or "why won't she get that nose fixed". It's so easy to get carried away on something that requires little more of you than the ability to follow guidelines and look pretty. If you're not careful, it stops being an element in your life which brings you happiness and self-contentment, but instead, becomes a source of stress, dissatisfaction, hurt feelings and obsession to achieve elusive perfection.

Let's face it, a surprisingly large percentage of Lolitas were bullied at school, or at least weren't among the popular kids. In the school environment, often, they were the runts, the freaks and the outcasts. Then, suddenly the opportunity to be a part of the "in-group" presents itself, and backstabbing, petty gossip and "more-brand-than-you" or "prettier than you" -attitude seems to be rewarded just like in high school (etc)where the girls with the most expensive clothes, best hair, skin and teeth, not to mention shallow attitude, were the ones to be.

Weren't these the exact people no one really wants to be in the end? These mockeries of human beings with nothing more to aspire for than the next print by such and such brand, to fill some emotional void of being accepted and admired? And yet, the secrets-community thrives and prospers, and "e-fame" is so coveted it becomes a virtue all on its own. I don't know about you, but I'd say we do a pretty crappy job at not making fashion personal.

Here in Finland, the situation isn't as bad as it could be. There are a lot of us in relation to how small a nation this is, but generally newcomers that take advice and act like any decent human being are quickly accepted as part of the community. Everybody pretty much knows everybody at least to some extent, and we tend to try and solve issues openly. And still...the occasional bad-mouthing secret appears in BTB, when some coward decides they have to let some other Lolita know how much they hate her.

I've been a part of this community for a long time, and although the issue of being "ancient" comes up sometimes, I try not to make a big deal out of it, since it really isn't. At the end of the day, these are just clothes, made of fabric, to cover our bodies with. I've been dressing a bit funny all my life - what's so unique about Lolita?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What is your purpose?

Something makes me come back to the frills even after a period of hiatus. Something in it beckons me again and again, and while the thought of eventually growing too old to pull the style off doesn't horrify me, it certainly irritates me. Why do I love it even when my closet isn't one of those that are full to bursting and I don't spend every waking hour wearing it?

What initially drew me in was the quintessential girliness, it was the complete opposite of what I'd been wearing, which is probably one of the reasons why I was especially fascinated with Sweet Lolita. The pastels, bows, flowers and lace were an unabashed declaration of princess-like femininity in its most stereotypical sense, and it offered me a wonderful alternative after clothing myself in goth-style for such a long time. Suddenly I found myself "thinking pink" and instead of always picking something red or black, I would go for the colours more suitable to my new style. I guess it was a time of transition of some kind, maybe even a slight rebellion against growing up. I've been an "all-at-once" -kind of chameleon with plenty of things, and this was no exception.

After finding the gothic colour-schemes again later, the style has grown on me in a more mellow and less "radical" way. It's still a kind of an imaginary world -bubble that I share with likeminded individuals, but it seems to come more naturally these days. I've always had plenty of girls I like in the Lolita-circles, but only some I could've called actual friends. That changed when I became more active in my local community a few years ago, meeting people whose company I enjoy in and out of the style. That, I think, also keeps up my interest in wearing Lolita and inspires me.

Like many of you, I was also a bit of a tomboy growing up, and often, instead of being the princess, I opted for being either the wicked witch or even the prince. Certainly I had some dresses for special occasions and I would play faerie/mermaid stuff as eagerly as I would play gangsters or Tarzan, but I guess I was never a very girly girl. I was also a bit of a pushover when I was smaller, so I would let my super-girly friends have the pretty dresses and play the prince instead, when it came to princess-dressup. So this might be my way of taking back what was stolen, haha!

Me, I think at the age of 3 or 4. That Luke Skywalker hair
and spiffing flowery dress, not to mention funny teeth!

Lolita doesn't only make me feel pretty, it seems to suit me far better than any other style. I'm relatively short (just under 5'2) and my features are somewhat youthful and round, and I still get that cheerful feeling of accomplishment after putting together an attractive coord. The way the hem spreads out on top of the petticoat, the way headwear adds that special finish and the way I completely transform from my normal, frumpy appearance is magical every time.

That's a feeling worth holding on to.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Casual post 1

It's autumn, and despite the colourful trees and quiet, rainy evenings, I'm already looking forward to some snow! Not to mention Christmas, I'm such a Christmas fan I start buying first batches of presents earlier every year. You're definitely going to get a Yule-tide entry in this blog, maybe I'll even try to put together some sort of an Advent calendar and a potential give-away. We'll see how much time I have.

Next week it's time for autumn-break at work, but of course not for me. Just the students and the teachers. But that, my dears, means I'll have time to prepare updates beforehand. Perhaps even participate in a challenge if I find one that seems like fun.

Have a great week, everyone!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Lolis doing unloli things

Most of us have things we do that aren't considered very compatible with the style. At the end of the day we aren't just a bunch of stereotypes, but there are so many interests and features that define us or are a part of us besides the way we dress. However, I wanted to write about the "unloli-things" that are on my list. Some of you are sure to have interests in common with me!

1. Bad habits

Swearing, weekend-smoking and slouching (I have the worst posture). I do at least try to avoid them when dressed up fancy, since two of the aforementioned are especially frowned upon by most Lolitas, but then again - it's only clothes. If someone is terribly offended by swearwords, it's not me they have to avoid, but most of popular culture today, not to mention walking outside where strangers may splurt out naughty words! And when it comes to smoking, I tend to stay away from non-smokers so as not to afflict them. If it's just the habit that bothers others, tough luck - it's still my body.


2. Violent entertainment

I know for a fact I'm not alone on this one; there's plenty of film buffs and gamer geeks among Lolitas. I've suggested a shooting-range meetup, and the idea was met with great enthusiasm. So games that involve guns and hack'n'slash, horror and action movies/shows with gore are a part of what I like to do and watch. Sadly I haven't had much time for gaming in the past few years. When time is scarce, there has to be a certain amount of trade-offs.


3. Junk food

I don't indulge very often, but I can't help but enjoy hamburgers, french fries, potato chips, pizza or popcorn now and then. Very few of us are immune to the alluring call of salt and saturated fat, and I'm no exception. I have a balanced and healthy diet most of the time, but sometimes there's just no substitute for some good old-fashioned bacon.


4. Going to the gym 

It's not calmly horseback-riding side-saddle, it's not waltzing at a costume-party or walking about in the beautiful countryside with a parasol. It's hard work, sweat, pain and an endorphine-rush. Not very graceful or ladylike at all, but rewarding and energy-boosting for sure.


5. Having a sex-life

Nothing special about that, as most of us over the age of 18 are dating, or at least have done it a few times, right? Nope, this still seems to be an issue that one should pretty much stay quiet about as much as possible, because the lolita circles are, in this case, divided into three groups; the underaged oblivious (who mostly still live under the impression that all lolitas are eternal virgins and boys are yucky if they're not Japanese pop-/rockstars), the refined ladies/innocents who deem all talk of bodily functions and needs inappropriate, and the "radicals", who have no need to hide any aspect of their lives, including pornography or what goes on in the sack. But just because you can never be sure who belongs to which faction, it's better to get to know people before sharing intimate stuff with anyone. It's like a reverse High-School; almost everyone's doing it, no one's talking about it. For some reason it's easy to be labeled as a fetish-dresser or age-player if you both dress in Lolita and are vocal about things like these.


6. Questionable sense of humour

Derpaty hurr-durr derp durr. In addition to enjoying intellectual satire, play-on-words and witty banter, I also go for the immature, infantile humour, centering on lower parts of one's body. Making faces, physical comedy and putting on my head things that shouldn't be put on one's head are another great source of chuckles. These should be enjoyed in the company of people who enjoy it as well, otherwise a generous serving of awkward is on the menu.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Trip down memory lane: style progression

I'd better get the embarrassing truth out there, and encourage others to do the same! I really had to dig up some ancient dirt, but as we all know; the Internet doesn't forget, so I was able to recover plenty of incriminating evidence!


This was when I first learned there was a style by the name of Lolita. The Internet provided very little information; only a few photos and vague references to dolls and anime. I have no pictures of  the time I initially experimented with the style (towards the end of 2005), but it was awful and dead wrong, trust me. Lots of scratchy lace was involved.


Slowly getting a picture of what Lolita includes, I still made some beginner's errors, as can be seen below. Tiny aprons, messy and fake-looking Goth hair, cosplay-gloves, corsets, nurse-caps and kitty ear-warmers are totally a part of a successful outfit.

Me, making Eä&Visual look even better in comparison.


Finally! The anatomy and quality of a real Lolita outfit pretty much down, and this was the time when it was already a bit more common for brand and information being available online. I myself was an avid Angelic Pretty fan, and got a huge load of pink-and-white items from Japan in the summer of 2007. All of them I sold pretty quickly, I suppose, after only a few uses.

Already flirting with Gothic Lolita for Halloween meetup in 2007.


 This was the year of transition for me. Still a full-on sweet lolita, it was in the summer of 2008 that I wanted to first try Kuro and then also start using black, white and red. My Amalolita days were a thing of the past by 2009.

I and Marie sharing secrets.

Although looking red-nosed and flustered, the outfit was nice and I loved my hair!


So here we are. Starting from full-on Kuro Lolita and eventually moving on to traditional Gothic Lolita. I've been wearing my favourite Metamorphose dress and that self-made bonnet to hell and back, they're probably the only two Lolita things I own that I won't give up or sell.