July 26, 2009

The Cult of Angelic Pretty, Part III

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:43 am by rosecarnival

Picture this: you decide to go to an anime or Japan convention. Walking around, you see the usual: cosplayers, con-goers, and the ubiquitous lolita. This lolita is dressed up really nice. She’s wearing a skirt with some carousel horses going around the bottom. It’s cute. She’s got her hair done up with little hair clips and ribbons in it. Then you see another lolita. Surprise! She’s wearing the same dress too! Then another lolita, in the exact same dress. And another. And another. And another. What’s going on?

Aren’t lolitas the ones who champion the style of dressing differently? So what’s with all the girls in the exact same style?

The answer: The Cult of Angelic Pretty. It seems that every lolita now wants to be the perfectly sweet lolita clad in AP’s sugary style.

I’ve covered all the other aspects of why Angelic Pretty is so appealing in my other posts: The Cult of Angelic Pretty Part I and II. Now I get down to the nitty-gritty in Part III, the personal aspect.

1. Angelic Pretty’s Popularity is a trend.

Although lolita may be a sub-culture, it still follows the pattern of trends. AP is currently that trend. So like any other trend, people follow it. People follow trends for all sorts of reasons: it’s different to each person. But perhaps the most common one is that they want to fit in. If one didn’t get as many comments when they dressed in say, Classical Lolita, they may think that if they dressed in AP, people will think that it will bring them more attention. I’m being really, really base, but it’s true.

Following trends can give people a sense of belonging. If you follow the EGL community, you’ve probably seen the con or meet-up posts where after the event, a group of good lolita friends go out for a little while. If they are all wearing Memorial Cake/Melty Chocolate, for example, a person who is not part of their group can get a feeling of inclusion when they dress in the same print.

2. Angelic Pretty will help you be pop-pu-lar~

Popular! I’ll help you be popular! I’ll show you what shoes to wear, how to fix your hair, everything that really counts to be popular!

Some of the most popular lolitas on EGL wear Angelic Pretty. Those who are not so popular may think that by wearing the same dress, they too can be popular.  The feeling of seeing another lolita in the same dress is often pleasant, but seeing a more popular lolita in the same dress as you is very exciting. When you dress like the popular lolitas do, there may be more of a chance that they will accept you into their ranks.

“It’s the way your viewed, so it’s very shrewd to be… very very popular, like me.”

Again, it really boils down to the individual lolita. While some dress AP because they love the style, others may dress AP because its the cool thing to do.  Some lolitas, who have loved AP before it became popular, will continue dressing in the style. However, lolitas who are just following the trend will then jump on the next style.

Sweet Lolitas may be at the top of lolita fashion, but something tells me that gothic lolita/aristocrat is making a comeback. Not a slow one, either. But a comeback that is going to smack sweet lolita right off the pedestal. It may not be this year, but eventually, it’s going to comeback. The Cult of Angelic Pretty will fizz out and disappear. (What will I post about?!)

 Although I am a Sweet Lolita, I agree that we need variation in the lolita community. A hundred posts of girls wearing AP gets dull.

All styles of lolita are beautiful (excluding cosplay lolita), and we need to see more of a style that’s not sweet.

So when gothic lolita makes its comeback, expect to see the girls who have always loved sweet/AP still wearing the style; but also expect the bandwagon jumpers to jump right on this one.

Me myself? I think I will always tend to lean towards sweet or classical lolita. I won’t shun black or darker colours, as you can wear black and still dress sweet. I just hope that the prices on my favorite sweet prints will go down!

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