How I first found out about Lolita
This one's an easy one! When I was in high school, I had friends who were pretty into anime, J-rock, J-pop etc. One of them spent a few weeks obsessed with Mana and brought one of the first few GLBs to school - I think this was in 2002/3?
I first saw lolita (well, proper lolita and not anime lolita) then, but didn't quite take a fancy to it immediately - I wasn't so concerned with clothes and make-up back then.
Fast-forward to 2007/8, I was in my first year of university, was starting to take an interest in my own appearance and had been online shopping for a year. I can't remember the exact sequence of events, but somewhere in the timeline goes this:
- Saw some Mary Magdalene replicas on eBay, fell in love, ordered them and was horribly disappointed. I still hadn't known the style was called lolita, or that there was such thing as "brand" and "replica".
- Bought a second-hand GosuRori magazine at the London MCM expo and saw the difference between higher quality sewing and the cheap replica I'd bought the year before.
- Someone on another fashion forum I was on posted photos of herself in lolita, which is how I found out about the name.
- Found the Lolita Handbook, Lolita Fashion website and some other beginner tutorials. Eventually, I stumbled upon Daily Lolita and EGL.
- Found the GLB section in my local Kinokuniya, as well as the one in Singapore and started collecting them.
- While searching for cheap lolita in my hometown, I found a shop that sells offbrand and Bodyline for ridiculously expensive price tags.
Eventually, I made friends with another girl who was also tentatively looking towards making her first steps into lolita. We gave each other gentle shoves towards the fashion (back then, we were buying everything Bodyline!) - and next thing you know, it's 4 years on and here we are! She had other friends already into lolita, I think, so she took the first steps, and I followed her and eventually it kind of snowballed from there.
I still remember that somewhere between 2008 and 2009, one of the GLBs I bought had some absolutely gorgeous Victorian Maiden and Mary Magdalene dresses - they were the ones that made me gasp out loud from their sheer beauty. Till now, MM's Emanuel OP in rose and VM's Victorian Queen Bustier OP in coral both have special places in my heart for pulling me into the fashion :)
Mary Magdalene's Emanuel OP - Rose
Victorian Maiden's Victorian Queen Bustier OP - Coral