Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
This is a case where there were super specific source images. Classic Lolita is very much Victorian influenced (yay!) and sometimes a bit less matchy-matchy than the other Lolita styles. I had a lot of fun creating this Lolita coordinate.
Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
In the world of Lolita fashion (which is a street fashion from Japan), the outfits are called coordinates. This references the extreme level of coordination each outfit entails. Unlike in contemporary US fashion where “matchy-matchy” isn’t a good thing, Lolita fashion encourages thematic dresses.
A strawberry coordinate, therefore, might not just have a dress with strawberries on it, but strawberry purse, cardigan, shoes, tights and a color matched wig.
This is, in fact, part of what I find so charming about Lolita fashion.
So, today’s Valentine’s Day paper doll outfit is a heart based coordinate. I could have also done a card, letter based coordinate, but I wasn’t that creative.
Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
Sweet Lolita is today’s theme which is a Lolita style that most folks are most familiar with. Lots of pastel and things. I chose to draw a JSK (jumper-skirt) over a white blouse. Initially, I thought about making these pieces separate, but as it turned out that didn’t work very well from a paper doll engineering standpoint.
Thoughts on Today’s Paper Doll
Caveat: I am not Japanese. I have never been to Japan. I don’t really know what I am doing here.
I am fascinated by Japanese street fashion, specifically Lolita. Lolita is a Japanese street style heavily influenced by Victorian children’s clothing. It relies on outfits, known as coordinates, usually around a specific theme. Part of why I find Lolita interesting is that I am very familiar with how Europe reinterprets Asian styles. However, Lolita is how Japan reinterprets Western styles.
From a paper doll perspective, the heavy coordination that underlies the aesthetic is super fun. It’s not a strawberry covered dress, for example, but a strawberry dress with matching bag, tights, shoes and headpiece. Who doesn’t want to draw that?
Inspiration for Today’s Paper Doll
There are dozens of sub-genres in Lolita fashion. I chose sailor Lolita for today’s paper doll. It’s a nautical inspired style, not to be confused with pirate Lolita or actual Japanese school uniforms which often are also sailor influenced.
Today, I am pleased to share version 2 of Akiko whose rocking a Sweet Lolita dress and ringlet curls. For those of you not aware of the Japanese alternative street style known as Lolita, here’s a brief run down- It’s a alternative fashion style from Japan- think Gothic fashion or Punk fashion in the United States and the UK. According to Lolita the influences are Victorian children’s clothing. As someone whose seen a lot of Victorian children’s clothing, I don’t quite agree, but you can decide for yourself if you want by looking through my Lolita Fashion pinterest board.
One thing I adore about Lolita is that it is not just about the dresses. Rather, the idea is to put together a “coordinate” which is a perfectly coordinating outfit from the tights to the dress to the bonnet. This is not surprising given that this style came from the country that developed a system of colors and motifs for kimonos based on the seasons when they were to be worn. Talk about matchy-matchy.
For my first Dames and Dandies foray into Lolita (and not my last, never fear) I went with Sweet Lolita, though there is a Gothic Lolita variant on my Patreon page that I hope you will download and play with as well. I tried to capture the bell shaped skirt and I designed what is known as a JSK (Jumperskirt) which is a sleeveless dress designed to go over a blouse. I made 2 matching pairs of shoes and one purse.
So, I did my usually research hunt for reference photos when I started my latest Lolita fashion paper doll. My previous favorite fashion blog devoted to Lolita, F Yeah Lolita has not updated in a long time. So, I dusted off my librarian searching skills and found a few new ones that I really liked. Magical Girl Me, Lolita Fashion on Tumblr and Miss Carol Belle’s Lolita Fashion Sewing and Pattern Advice all appear to be currently active, if you’re looking for more information on Lolita styles. I also had fun reading through Lolita Tips. Reading through that led me to the amazing Loli Library where I think I could easily get lost for hours staring at pretty dresses.
So, let me know if you like this Sweet version or the Gothic version better in a comment. I’d love to know! And if there’s a great Lolita fashion blog I don’t know about, I’d like to know that too!
Today’s Printable Paper Doll Inspirations: Princess Lolita Or Hime Lolita Dresses
Today’s paper doll dress is my first attempt at Hime Lolita or Princess Lolita, because a Patron asked for it and I believe in doing what my Patrons ask for. Princess or Hime Lolita dress is even more over the top than regular Lolita and is often accessorized with crowns, gloves, and that sort of thing.
I decided for my foray into Hime Lolita to keep it a bit sedate. A lot of the dresses designed for this style feel a bit 18th century to me, so I designed this dress to have the look with flounced sleeves and a false stomacher. I chose yellow for the roses, because I liked how it looked with the teal dress. I’ve always had an affection for yellow roses. I based today’s dress on this dress and this dress.
Like most street styles, Lolita is rife with nuance and narrow variation.
Nearly everything in the world is more complex than it seems on the surface. Years ago, I was good friends with a guy who worked in a record store, back when such things still existed.
He was a huge fan of metal music, so one day I confess that I knew very little about metal music and asked him to explain the genre to me. I discovered, to my surprise, dozens of sub-genres that I had never known existed. It was actually totally fascinating.
I feel the same way about Lolita fashion. I’ll probably never “get it” as much as an insider would, but I’m always up to the challenge of learning something new.
My question for all of you is, what do you love that has nuances in it that might surprise people?
For me, I can wax for hours about historical books. I love the tiny details. I realize most people don’t get super excited by goffered edges or booksellers stamps, but it makes me happy.
I have done a variety of Lolita styles before, but never Sailor Lolita as was pointed out by one of my Patrons. (Join here if you want to support PTP.) So, here’s my foray into that style.
Lolita is an alliterative fashion style from Japan that is heavily influenced by Victorian and Edwardian children’s clothing. It’s street fashion and like every genre of street fashion, there are seemingly endless variations. Sailor Lolita is the term used for Lolita dresses infulenced by sailor suits of the Edwardian and Victorian era. There is a nearly endless obcession with sailor suits in the 19th and 20th century.
I’m adding new things to the Paper Thin Personas shop on Etsy this week, inculding steampunk styles in three color schemes and black and white.Remember, the coupon called: READER2017 is good for 25% off an order of 4.00 or more through the end of March.
Frankly, I hadn’t really thought much about outfits when I was drawing this set, so I had to try to make things cohesive with the colors. I’m not sure that worked great, but I’m still learning how to make this new format work.
I really need to learn to think less in “pieces” and more in “outfits.”
Oh well, live and learn!
Alice & The Mad Hatter Paper Dolls
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I’m not sure what next week will bring. I may need a hiatus for a few weeks as I move and deal with some other stuff. I haven’t decided yet, but I will let y’all know as soon as I do.
As always, I’d love to hear that people think of the theme this week!
“Curiouser and curiouser!” — Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 2
As many of you might recall, I love Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and I love Alice in Wonderland paper dolls. It’s a story I have gone back to over and over again.
This time, the Sprites are getting into the action with Willow as my Alice paper doll today. Tomorrow, the Mad Hatter with make an appearance. Than there will be two more outfits for each of them and, of course, Accessory Thursday!
I made my Alice paper doll brunette as a nod to the actually girl for whom the story was written, Alice Liddell. Most people picture Alice in a blue dress (and I do have that color scheme over on my Patreon page), but the earliest color illustration is The Nursery Alice and in this version she wears yellow.
The playing card motifs are a reference, of course, to the playing card themes in the book. Some scholars think the whole book’s plot is based on the randomness of the rules of cards.
If you like the blog and you wanna know when I update or see selected stuff from my archives, than follow me on twitter! It’s more fun than a barrel of monkeys! Though that does bring up a good point… how much fun would a barrel of monkeys really be? And who put them in a barrel? And isn’t that cruel and unusual treatment of monkeys?
Anyway… There’s an different color scheme for today’s Alice in Wonderland paper doll on my Patreon page. It’ll be available to everyone until Friday. Patrons will also get an extra outfit for this week’s series later this week, so join if you haven’t!
Last Monday, I mentioned I used a lot of Lolita fashion blogs to do my research for my Lolita fashion paper doll, but I didn’t mention which ones specifically, so let me clear that up.
My favorite Lolita fashion blog was F Yeah Lolita which had a great post on Building a Complete Lolita Wardrobe. Her wardrobe template starts with sixteen pieces which can be mixed and matched into 14 different outfit combinations. I actually think her advice rings true even if you’re not trying to build a Lolita wardrobe. A few mix and match basics and a good pair of shoes, can get you through many a week of work, especially on a tight budget. Other blogs I found useful and interesting were Parfait Doll, Lolita Fashion(Tumblr), Ruffles & Steam (tumblr) and Portal of Fantasy (tumblr).
I also totally love Lolita Fashion Update where Lolita brand releases are posted (though it hasn’t been updated in a while 🙁 ). Store sites were hit and miss. As far as I can tell, a lot of these Japanese brands to pre-release sales and it seems like things sell out and therefore never get posted to their store sites. (Maybe I’m wrong about this, but that’s been my gut instinct), here’s the brands I based my designs off of Mary Magdalene, Victorian Maiden, Innocent World and Angelic Pretty (though they tend more towards Sweet Lolita).
Okay, so I was looking for photos of Classic Lolita style to link, so people would know what I was basing this on and I found this photo of two Lolitas on the street wearing Classic Lolita dresses from Tokyo Fashion and one of them has the Violin purse! Check it out. I was so excited to see the purse “in the wild”, so to speak. The larger version is a bit more complex than Mia’s mini paper version.
I’m a big believer in using color to tell a story. Years ago, a friend used to joke that Steampunk was “Gothic clothing colored brown” and there is some truth to that observation. Color has a lot of power. I could have gone Gothic Lolita or Sweet Lolita with these outfits if I had chosen another color scheme, but I liked the soft hues associated with Classic Lolita, so that was what I settled on. Also, I have a Sweet and Gothic Lolita paper dolls already which illustrate this principle by being the same set colored two different ways.
I’m still regretting that I didn’t draw her any hats or bows. It was totally my intention to, but then I forgot and then I didn’t notice I’d forgotten until it was too late. Sigh. A rose cover bonnet like these one would really fill out her look. Oh well, I’m just going to have to save for a different paper doll set, I guess.
There is an extra outfit over on my Patreon page– shoes, a parasol and dress. You don’t have to be a patron to download it and it will fit in with the rest of Mia‘s Classic Lolita wardrobe. Also give her some pink shoes to go with her more pink dresses.
As I mentioned on Wednesday, I had to get this set of paper dolls done, or I wouldn’t have anything to be posted today. Anyway, as I said today’s classic Lolita fashion paper doll set was partially the result of a request from a patron and partly the result of me never being able to extract decent black and white version of my sweet Lolita and gothic Lolita paper doll sets.
So, I inspired by this violin purse from the Japanese fashion company Innocent World. While I will admit in a heartbeat to not being an expect on Lolita fashion, which is a Japanese street style based on Victorian children’s clothing, I have noticed that a lot of Lolita outfits (called coordinates) seem to be heavily themed. Once I settled on the purse, I knew I wanted the patterns of several of the pieces to have a music or violin theme.
I’ve also noticed that many of the Lolita fashion blogs I read while working on this set, seem to recommend buying JSKs (Jumper-Skirts, I think?) over full dresses, since these can be worn over various blouses. The paper doll pose makes that sort of layering tough, but the short sleeved dress on the far left is meant to be a JSK. I have a Lolita Style pintrest board where you can see way more of my inspiration.
My one big regret about this set is that I didn’t do any hats or bows, which are a big part of Lolita. Oh well… I suppose nothing is perfect. Mia is modeling today’s fashions, if you are keeping track of who is who in the Marisole Monday & Friend’s family.
I did kinda got carried away designing pieces for this set and I ended up with two many to fit on the page. Rather than just let them rot on my hard drive, I posted them over on my Patreon page. You don’t have to be a Patron to view or download them. You can see the extra dress, shoes and parasol here. Next week, I’ll post the color versions there as well.
I think if I end up with “extra” pieces in the future, my Patreon page will be a handy place to put them.
Thoughts on my foray into classic Lolita fashion? Feel free to leave me a comment.