It’s been long since we had out las interview, but to start with these year bloomer talk, we have lovely Victoria Suzanne From Lolita Charm
Lessie: Hey victoria! thank you for doing thisVictoria: of course! I love doing interviews 🙂Lessie: so tell me a bit about yourself, what do you do, are you studying, working?V: I’m 21 and a junior in college getting my degree in business, possibly either marketing or business law.I’m not sure right now if I’ll get a grad degree, a fashion degree, or go to law school.L: oh cool! so, how was it you got into lolitaV: I was a junior in high school when I was doing research for a project on World War II.While I was trying to find out if any kamikaze pilots were females, I ran into Kamikaze Girls the movie.From there I was totally in love. Often when I think of lolita, I think of Novala Takemoto and Baby the Stars Shine Bright – without either of them, I wouldn’t be who I am today. I so wish someday to thank them. L: so, was it too long before you started dressing? how did you find information and clothesV: I think it was only a few months… I found out about Kamikaze Girls in May, and whenI went back to school I had my first skirt. It was a pink AYA skirt with music notes, sometimes it surfaces on the community… I think it was everyone’s first skirt! I got in on a group order and had a few Innocent World bows and socks, then some Fanplusfriend…. a year or so passed before I got my first ‘brand’ dress in the summer from Baby Paris. L: how did it feel to walk into a real lolita storeV: Haha oh God… I died. It was also like 90 degrees that day and I got faint from the heat.I so wanted to look like I ‘belonged’, I dressed up in Baby even in the weather, just to impress the shop girl! XDIt was tiny but so cute! I loved everything in there, and finally got a really opulent dress for my birthday.When I went to Baby SF, again I was just completely sucked into the magic of seeing all those pretty things in person at once. L: how do you afford the clothes?V: Mostly I save. I’m actually not allowed to work right now due to my health,so anything I get I try to think carefully about and buy secondhand – almost none of mine is bought new or on reserve. I also resell things often that no longer suit me.L : that is a good idea, how did you dress before lolita?V: Haha, in high school I was a fashion felony. I watched a lot of Lord of the Rings and went to a Catholic school with a very specific dress code,so I grew my hair super long and wore a lot of black, with motorcycles boots, kind of like a punk who shopped at JCPenney’s. It was just awful, I didn’t know how to wear makeup or even blow dry my hair. I realize now I was trying to look ‘scary’ because I was scared of people.Wearing lolita is like being brave enough to wear my heart on my sleeve and admit that I really like to be cute and soft and pretty. Lolita taught me to take care of my appearance, as well.I’ve only learned makeup and hair from lolita tutorials, online videos or my other lolita friends.L: what did your family and friends say about this, such a change!V: My mother always thought the clothes were cute – she really likes classic style and Innocent World.My dad was just glad that I wasn’t going to be ‘one of those people who wore a lot of black’.And I had always looked strange so… it wasn’t a big deal.L:what’s the reaction on the street?V: Hmmm well it depends on where I go. There have been a few times people have made me feel really uncomfortable… Once on the train a man said that my parents must be ashamed of me. That really hurt.In general I don’t receive too much annoyance. At school people don’t say very much, most people like my style and often remember me because of my look. The coffee shop on campus sees me coming and breaks out the soy milk 😉L: what an awful thing to say! do you think your style has changed all these years, or you’ve wore pretty much the sameV: I think the things I like about lolita are the same… But I think my ability to wear it has gotten much better,like styling my hair or putting together an outfit. I also think my style is starting to change…I love sweet lolita, but am starting to become interested in fairy-kei, hime-kei and natural-kei too.I’m broadening my horizons, but I’ll always have a lolita background, so I’ll always be a lolita, really. L: how was it you started writing lolita charmV: I had just gone through some hard things in my life, and the real killer was when I found out that because I needed a second kidney transplant, I wouldn’t be able to go back to classes at college again in the fall. I didn’t see anyone for days and could barely sit up or even concentrate – as you get sicker,due to toxins not being cleaned from the blood, your mind actually becomes very childlike. I had coloring books, even. I was alone so much and only wanted to feel pretty daydreams of lolita,so I began to write – and this turned into Lolita Charm. I never really thought anyone would read it.L: that is so bad! it really became popular. what do you think about when you have to write a new entry, where do you get inspiration fromV: I get inspiration from anything I come across or read… I’m following over 100 blogs now and yes, I read them all for ideas. I also get my ideas from my own daydreams, which can come from movies, books, or the seasons, I don’t know it’s hard to say where from! It just sort of sticks in my mind until I write it out.Usually I have big ideas of the new trends for a season but… this season seems very lax I suppose?L: what do you think it’ll be the furue thend in the fashion?V:With all the talk of old school we may see a rather retro, revivalist style of the looks from 2000 – 2006,but at the same time the deco and kote loli looks are getting more and more evolved.I almost wonder if the fashion will break away into new directions?But I appreciate both styles so I’ll never draw that line personally. As usual for spring and summer there will be berry and a country style… I’m really excited for strawberry stuff this year! The flowers are in the rose family and just so adorable, I like them even better than the fruit. L: do you think we’ll have news about the western market being expand again, like the baby or ap store? which store do you think it’ll be the nextv: I think unfortunately the way the American dollar is doing right now (not so good) we’ll see a drop off in overseas retailing…The Japanese yen being high means they suffer from lak of exports right now, there’s definitely a struggle in girls who want to buy brand but can’t afford a 1 USD to 74 yen ratio.I’d die for a Closet Child overseas but I doubt that would happen. So as for now I think the western market will be shrinking back a little, girls buying more from other lolitas or secondhand. L: do you think the chinese market will grow this year?V: Yes, definitely. Buying from China is much better because they’re regulating the yuan and keeping it low to keep up their exports,which I have heard isn’t technically kosher, but I’m no economics major. After much though I’ve decided I just don’t feel good buying brand replicas,but I do like to buy from China – it’s much cheaper. Even for deco – I can buy 1000 crystals fro about 5 dollars, whereas in the States I’d be more like 30 dollars.I recently bought some rather hime-stuff from China, I can’t wait for it to arrive! L: what do you think about replicas, we all know is a touchy subjectV: I can’t really decide where I stand. I can see the appeal of replicas and in many ways I don’t think they’re wrong, if anything they fuel the great machine of fashion and commerce.So on a logical side, I’m okay with them. After a long thought though, in my heart, I can’t buy print replicas or direct knock-offs… I’m even considering buying brand shoes instead of knock-off ones,though it kills me to pay 200 USD for synthetic leather. It’s mostly because of my blog that I wouldn’t feel right buying replicas, as I have a big audience, and because I like to go events and wouldn’t feel right wearing replicas there, especially when I end up meeting brand designers or models like Misako Aoki.So for practicality on my part it’s not very sensible… I’ve decided that if I want to shop around with more care and save up, I’ll have less prints, but a closetfull of prints won’t make me a better lolita.I’d rather be more creative with what I have and purchasing the real thing, even if less of it. So I suppose it’s a creative challenge for me not to go the easy way and buy a ton of replicas… I was very tempted by a few! L: what is your opinion about the lolita lifestyle?V: Haha I am probably the biggest lifestyle poster girl at this point! I have written very long articles on the topic. It really rubs me wrong when people mock or degrade lifestyle lolita,often while claiming to enjoy and participate in many parts of the lolita lifestyle. My personal lifestyle involves a lot of pink, stuffed animals… I have cute stationary and enjoy covering things in rhiestones;I love collecting unique fairytale books from secondhand bookshops and decorating my room with brand advertisements. I have a doll who wears Angelic Pretty, and I arrange a little tea table for her every day with treats to eat…In a way you could say I’m very childlike, though not childish – I think the lolita lifestyle is taking the love and fantasy of lolita and trying to make it real, trying to hold onto and keep the magic and innocence of childhood and fairy stories in your real life.But my lolita lifestyle doesn’t make me any less ‘serious’ a person – I’m still focused on getting good marks in a rigorous college program and being in a serious relationship with my boyfriend. Your lolita lifestyle is only a piece of you; it’s not your entire life.L: but do you think the lolita lifestyle is just about having a “cute” life? how about the philosophy?V: I love the cute life! But I do believe very strongly in a personal lifestyle philosophy… To maintain the innocence of a child, to think optimistically and try to treat everyone with the best of intentions, to take care of and treat yourself, perhaps a little hedonistic?…I’m not really sure how to express it really! Your lolita philosophy is a very personal thing.L: i totally agree with the last statement. do you think lolita is directly linked to a type of music or literature?V: I think they both have their influences on lolita fashion, but aren’t necessary like they are for goth or punk. I listen to some stereotypically lolita music, like classical and j-pop, but I listen to lots of other things too…My recent few downloads were Amanda Palmer, Nicki Minaj and other female rappers like Canary Sing from Seattle, which make me want to seriously consider trying for ‘lolita rap’, heh. I would say literature has much more impact than music,like Anne of Green Gables, Takemoto’s works, A Little Princess… even Baby’s recent Kuragehime line, from an anime, fits well with lolita because I think lolita fashion needs a story. I often feel like my outfits are from my own imagined stories!Plus the way lolitas connect has always been through written media like blogging or magazines, so really I think we are children of the photo and the written word rather than other subcultures which were born from music. L: do you go to lots of meet ups?V: I want to go to more! We have a very small community in my local state, and very few ‘regulars’… But in New York City I can go to many large meetups and I enjoy getting to know lots of lolitas from NYC and other nearby areas. It’s a long day and expensive for me to do however… And I always feel so tired when I get home! I’m really looking forward to a few spring events though, like the Spring Ball at a club lolitas frequent, and Sakura Matsuri (Cherry Blossomg Viewing Festival) in the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. I’m thinking I’ll dress up very princess-y this year for Sakura Matsuri, I hope it isn’t as hot as last year!L: do you have dream dress?V: I’ve always wondered that myself, and lately I think I have a dream dress only because it’s almost completely unattainable… I want the white dress embroidered with roses Momoko makes for Isobe in the movie Kamikaze Girls. It’s so delicate and perfect, but I don’t think I’ll ever find it… unless I commission a copy, and even then I’d probably have to do the embroidery myself… But it is the most magical lolita dress to me.L: something you would never wear?V: Guro. I can’t get my head around guro. Not even in a party-dress or runway kind of style… I don’t really like gore, and I’m really adverse to medical things considering my background, and I can’t understand covering a beautiful white dress with blood. L: something you want to try?V:I really want to try extensions and half-wigs for my style… I love the look but not the upkeep or crazy long Rapunzel braids and hair. For clothes I want to try wearing less major brand names like Angelic Pretty, as much as I love it – experimenting more with things like MILK, Garland, etc. But I’m also fascinated by ‘older’ brand like Angelic Pretty’s Imai Kira prints and ancient Baby designs. I saw Imai Kira’s Swan Lake 2005 print for sale secondhand and I’m trying to decide if I should buy it or not… It’s like lolita history!L: something you wish you’d wear more?V: I have things in my closet languishing, and sometimes I drag them out and try to work with them… Oh, and lolita shoes. I have next to no real lolita shoes. As I said I’m torn between replica shoes, which aren’t very creative, and brand shoes, which are overpriced giving materials… so I keep avoiding it, haha. I really need to find some cute lolita heels… I’m not one for tea parties so I’m rather stuck.L: fave piece in your closet?V:My favorite piece is my yellow Bloom Angelic Pretty OP. I bought it used, so it’s well-loved…but it was my first piece of Angelic Pretty and really made me feel like I ‘arrived’ as a sweet lolita.I’ll never sell it.L: is there any colour you rather avoid?V: Sometimes I think I can’t wear red with my pink hair but I’m learning how to handle that with wig lately. So not really no XDL: fave lolita accessory?V:I really like mini-tiaras… I just got one on a headband and I pretty much pop it on whenever I get home XD I’ve worn mini-hats, the traditional headdress, frilly maid headdresses, bows with long glittery veils… I can’t choose! I never buy the matching print headband bow because I think it insults my creativity, I’m sure I can come up with a much better look on my own with a little DIY or closet rummaging. I just got a carousel to wear on my head… ‘Nough said.L: do you have a fave pattern? such as dots, tartan, floralsV: White-on-white polka dots… sometimes they call it ‘snow dot’, usually it’s on net or chiffon or embroidered. I love it so much! L: do you have any lolita idoslV: I definitely admire a few girls… Girls in Alice Deco street snaps, Michelle (osea_chelleo back in the day), and Kammie… All the girls I meet I feel I learn something from, but these are some of my favorite fashion idols 🙂L: do you like mainstream fashion or just japanese street stylesPretty much only Japanese styles. One gyaru blogger said that no matter where street style goes Japan will always valuefeminity and ‘cute culture’… I wish we had more cute culture in America and less sex culture.Plus I find mainstream so boring… they just keep recycling the 70s… and they’re so uninterested in color.And the girls on my campus who cake o eyeliner but live in sweats… oh don’t get me started. L: who would you like to meet? model, designer, artist?V: oh God I would die to meet Maki and Asuka. I met Misako but was so shy I didn’t really… so if I had the chance again… I would gush and say that she’s my idol! I’m not sure how I would express to Maki and Asuka what Angelic Pretty means to me… it’s like my life in some ways XD I’d probably just want a picture and then faint dead away…L: how often do you dress in lolita’V:innocentcurio 10:46 pmI wear lolita probably four to six days a week – I like to wear pop and punkish lolita for school, and more elegant and casual styles for at home. L: would you say lolita has change your normal style too?V: Definitely. When I’m not in lolita, I wear styles like hime-kei (princess style) or just soft romantic dresses popular in Korea and China. I can’t remember the last time I really bought anything not vaguely cute or reminiscent of at least one girly Japanese fashion.L: what do you do on your free time?V: Mostly I spend my free time working on my blog – writing articles, working on the coding, moderating comments, and creating new graphics. It can be a full time job! Apart from that I like to deco and draw in my art journal. L: so would you say you are crafty?V: I’m crafty in a simple way – I don’t make jewelry or sew clothes, but I like to do collage, paint picture frames, make a few simple hair accessories, deco jewelry boxes… basic DIY I suppose.L: so, after all these years wearing Lolita, are you happy with its evolution?V: Yes definitely. In some ways the newer styles, with more pastels and glitter, is more my taste than lolita was previously. On the other hand, I still appreciate some of the older style – I just bought an Angelic Pretty skirt from 2004! I’m glad to see lolita beginning to mix freely with other girly styles in Japan, I’d love to see more of that here.L: to finish, how would you describe Lolita as a whole, and can you predict something for the future!V:I think the best way to sum up lolita… It’s holding on to the fantasy feminine you always dreamed of, fufilling your childhood dreams of beautiful maidens even while society tells you it’s not real, and you’re a fool to believe it. Anyone can doubt; but it takes someone stronger to believe. Because of this I really respect every girl who is brave enough to defy convention and wear lolita fashion. I am honored to stand in their ranks.As for a prediction? Hmm… I suppose I’ll predict more strawberries! Or perhaps that’s a hopeful prediction more than accurate! 😉 I really don’t know.L: any advise for the new girls?V: My best advice for a new lolita is to not worry about two things: doing it ‘right’ and other peoples’ opinions. I think whatever you find in lolita that makes you happy and fufills a part of you is special; whether it does or doesn’t fit into someone else’s views shouldn’t be important. Explore, learn, and enjoy the fashion – so long as it makes you happy, don’t listen to other people.L: this was so much fun, thank you lots victoria!V: Thank you! it was awesome.