This Sunday, in conjunction with the Lifestyle Lolita Challenge of the day, I have some freebies for you to enjoy. Solve these over a cup of tea, or print them out for your next meet!
February 28th, 2016
December 31st, 2015
The new year is almost here and my week has been abuzz with reflections and resolutions. I’ll get to my reflections in another post but for my resolution this year, I wanted to try something a little different. I’d always wanted to try a daily challenge but couldn’t find one that spoke to me so naturally I had to make my own. And thus, the 365 Lifestyle Lolita Challenge was born!
The list is filled with simple skills to learn, small adventures, little home improvements, and many other challenges designed to make every day a treat. My goals were to create daily challenges that one would look forward to, could be readily accomplished in 5 minutes or less, practical enough to carry out on any given day, and, of course, would fit in with a lolita lifestyle. But I’m sure you must be thinking…
How does one define a lolita lifestyle? Some define a “lifestyle lolita” as one who dresses in lolita daily. I prefer the original interpretation- one who lives their life inspired by the aesthetic of the fashion. At the very least most agree that a lifestyle lolita requires a lolita wardrobe. Among the values I’ve interpreted while writing the challenges are a love of nostalgia, a desire to better one’s self, and an appetite for a charming little adventure.
What will you need for this challenge? The items needed for this challenge consist of what you should already own, but to give you an idea:
- Somewhere to write a few prompts- whether it’s a diary, a social media post, or in the sand.
- Something to photograph with.
- Access to reading materials.
How can I follow along? If you’d like to participate, head over to Lace a la Mode’s Facebook page! The challenge of the day will always post there and I encourage you to share your experience with it. To ensure you don’t miss a beat, go into the notification settings for the page and turn on new statuses or photos.
If you’d rather watch from the sidelines there will be a monthly roundup post where I share my own experiences as well as a few stand-outs from others (with permission of course). Be sure to use the tags #365LifestyleLolitaChallenge or #365LLC if you’d like to share, I’ll be watching them!
November 15th, 2015
It’s natural to feel down when you’ve been a target of criticism no matter how small the campaign. These days it seems the community is abuzz with how cruel some parts of it can be. While I can say it has gotten a lot better than the livejournal days, that doesn’t mean it’s a thing of the past. If you feel affected by someone’s words take a deep breath and try to maintain a positive outlook!
Talk about it
Keeping emotions bottled up will only cause them to linger. Find an outlet in someone close to you such as a sibling, a good friend, or a parter. Just writing about it in a personal diary can do wonders for blowing off steam! By the end of the conversation (even if it’s one you have on paper with yourself) you should be ready to laugh at the insult. I mean think about it, someone actually took the time to put their negativity into something so trivial- how petty!
And if you find you don’t have a listening ear, please feel free to email me or leave a comment on this post.
Being that the majority of bullying in the community occurs online, one of the best ways to deal with it is to ignore it altogether. Ask your friends not to share with you when you’re a target for insults, and avoid websites where it’s allowed to happen. Keep in mind that whoever has time in their day to point out the faults in others and put them on a platform for discussion must not have much else better to do. You yourself must find better ways to occupy your time than to sit there reading it!
Sometimes this may not be so easy. If you’re targeted directly I recommend blocking the users or reporting it to the content provider. You shouldn’t have to be chased out by bullies from your own spaces.
Don’t take part
The worst thing you can do is to perpetuate the cycle. After all, the more negative content being generated the more tolerated it becomes. It can be tempting to lash back at whoever put you down, but that will only make you as good as the person who hurt you. Never forget that there is a real person behind both screens. Find a more productive way to feel better about yourself, like taking part in a self-indulgent pampering session, watching your favorite movie, or going out with friends. Suddenly their words won’t seem so meaningful.
It can also be tempting to try and defend yourself against insults, but that can often exacerbate the situation. Even your most diplomatic argument may fall on deaf ears, and once a bully knows they’ve got your attention it can get a little wild.
We often put a lot of stock into negative criticism because we believe it to be more true. Start putting the same weight on the compliments you receive and you’ll find yourself a lot happier. Don’t blame yourself or beat yourself up over someone else’s comments. Have a wondrous day and thanks for reading!
September 18th, 2015
If you’ve been active in the alt J-fashion world for the last few years, chances are you’ve heard of Los Angeles based indie brand Automatic Honey. Lead by two incredibly talented and charming individuals, their mission reads: We aim to bring cute culture to the world around us through cute accessories and clothing. Automatic Honey is dedicated to bringing our community closer together and have a ton of fun doing it!
Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me! I’ve been a big fan of Automatic Honey since its inception and I look forward to learning more about the brand. To start off, would you mind sharing a little about yourselves?
Hello, I’m Alex! Please bear with me as I try to explain a little bit about myself (I’m not good at interviews). I’m a dorky guy from Southern California with a passion for cute things. I’ve worked in the fashion industry for around 7 years now but not necessarily in the things I loved. I think working within that industry really helped me understand things I use on a daily basis at Automatic Honey as well as finding my own voice. I’ve also been a part of the lolita community since 2008 but I’ve known about the fashion since around 2002. It’s crazy to think how much time has gone by since I first saw pictures in a Gothic Lolita Bible and not to mention how styles have changed drastically. Aside from fashion and all that good stuff I’m really into music, cute animal videos, and traveling when I have the chance.
Hello, I’m David! I’m the other half of Automatic Honey and I love spooky and royal things. For the most part whenever we release something spooky I’ve had a say in it. As for my fashion style I really love Ouji fashion and alternative Japanese fashion. I have been in the lolita community about the same time as Alex and have had an interest in Japanese fashion for a very long time.
Could you describe what each of your roles are within the brand?
A: I’m the lead designer for Automatic Honey. Even though I generally just call myself the designer I’m also the production manager, customer support, website manager, and coffee provider on those long work filled weekends.
D: I’m also a designer for Automatic Honey. On top of helping create new ideas I do assembly, and shipping as well. I also try to keep Alex calm during release days.
That’s a lot of hats to wear! What inspired you to launch an accessory brand?
A: Well to be honest it started off just being a thing I did for my friends. I think I’ve been making accessories for friends since 2009. Nothing really elaborate just bows, cute necklaces and the like. I tried a lot of different styles back then trying to find something that was truly me. I think one of my biggest influences was definitely Angelic Pretty because their views on cute culture really spoke to me. I think a lot of us wanted to be like AP back then because AP was so new and exciting. Aside from Angelic Pretty I think one of my biggest influences to start something was Sebastian Masuda from 6% Dokidoki. Sebastian held a really interesting Q&A in Los Angeles talking about the decline of Harajuku street fashion and how we (everyone outside of Japan) are the new Harajuku. Needless to say the spark to start something for our community was imminent.
Your designs have certainly become sought-after for the international alt J-fashion community, with even Kimura-U being a big fan! Do you have a favorite line?
A: I think my favorite line has been the Under the Sea of Jewels collection. I really loved the look of the collection as a whole and the pastel colors really made that collection dreamy. It’s really hard to pick a piece since every collection we release is sometime I really love. I think each collection really evokes what I’m personally into at the moment or what I see trending in fashion.
D: Personally my favorite collection is Royal Heart. I think I probably wear those pieces once a week since we released it.
|Automatic Honey Spring 2015 Release “Royal Heart” modeled by Miss Angela|
I have to say I’m a huge fan of both. I was in a plane when Royal Heart was released but that didn’t stop me from logging on to snatch something! How do you decide what to create next?
A&D: That is a very good question! For the most part we just make what we love but on the other hand I think a lot of our influences come from what is trending in our community. We pay attention to magazines like KERA, GLB, and high fashion as well. For example, Royal Heart was influenced by Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2015 along with all the religious trends we saw in Lolita fashion. Ultimately we wanted to take our own spin on the trend and make something we would like to wear ourselves.
I love how your pieces are always on trend yet genuine to your style. What is your design process?
A&D: We’re constantly thinking of new idea for collections but for the most part we settle on one general idea. Once we have an idea Alex takes the concept and creates sketches of possible accessories and we look at them together. After we both agree on a design Alex cleans up the sketches and creates a technical flat. We pick metal finishes, pantone colors, Swarovski crystals, pearls, and etc that correspond to the design we’re going for. The pendant or ring is sent out to our manufacturer (US based) who creates the pieces for us. Once the pieces are done we’re in charge of assembling everything together. Each necklace and ring is assembled by us and then packaged up. After all the production is done we photograph the product and do all the marketing ourselves. The overall process takes around two~three months from start to finish.
Where do you hope to take Automatic Honey?
A&D: We hope that Automatic Honey can keep growing as a brand, here in the states and abroad. We would love to keep spreading our view of cute culture to everyone around us.
Now here’s the big question- are you working on anything at the moment?
A&D: We are! As you know Halloween is almost here so we’re very busy putting the last finishing touches on those designs.
|Automatic Honey Fall 2015 Release “Witching Hour”|
I’m so very excited, you can bet I’ll be visiting your store for this! Is there a dream product you’d absolutely love to put out?
A&D: CLOTHING!!!!!!! Real true to life clothing would be amazing to finally do.
That sounds incredibly exciting, it would be a dream to wear Automatic Honey clothing someday. I’m about to wrap up but I have just one last question. What are you doing when you’re not creating?
A: Well outside of Automatic Honey I’m a graphic designer. I’ve done designs for apparel, advertising, packaging, and home decor. I guess in general my life revolves around creating so it’s never a dull moment. Outside of work though I love watching fashion shows, scary movies, cheesy 80s/90s movies, Disneyland, and of course MAGICAL GIRL ANIMES!
D: Does sweets enthusiast count as a job? Just kidding, I’m a hair stylist but I do love desserts. Besides those two things I love Visual Kei music, Donald Duck, and alternative J-fashion.
|Preview of the postcard artwork by Yuki Yoshida for the “Witching Hour” release, available to the first 100 orders.|
I’d like to thank Alex and David again for sharing about their brand with me. Their Halloween-inspired series “Witching Hour” will be released later today ,September 18th, at 8pm PDT. Follow the links below to look at their shop and get updates. They tend to sell out fast, so keep your eyes peeled!
August 8th, 2015
If this time of year has you shivering before you’ve even touched an ice cream cone it can be hard to imagine wearing a coordinate in line with Summer’s themes. But don’t fret- it’s completely possible to feel inspired by the season while still keeping warm! Today I’ve whipped up a few looks to show just how this can be done.
For this look I channeled a Summer favorite into something much more wearable near a freezing beach. Instead of focusing the sailor theme in the main piece I brought that look to the outerwear. Paired with nautical accessories and US Navy approved colors, this coordinate is guaranteed to keep you warm!
Maybe Summer where you live isn’t quite so cold as to require a coat, but just another layer would suffice. For this one I wanted to incorporate Summer textures, patterns, and colors. I paired this refreshing orange gingham skirt with a contrasting color and added on some straw accessories to complete the look.
If your heart is completely set on a fun-in-the-sun coordinate despite the temperature, all is not lost! Just focus on layers that will cover you up and keep you warm in secret. For this look I have the Uniqlo Heattech top to layer underneath your blouse, as well as thick stockings to wear under your preferred legwear. Long bloomers will keep your thighs nice and toasty, and accessorizing with a pair of lace gloves instead of wristcuffs will keep your hands nice and warm as well.
My two best tips for keeping warm is to make sure you’re wearing thicker fabrics, and to consider wearing a wig! Both will help immensely by trapping in heat. And planning a meetup somewhere with a controlled temperature will make for the best location! Thank you for reading and have a wondrous day.