Saturday, June 7, 2014

TLC My Strange Addiction: I'm a Living Doll

As Emily aka Luna Lovely fondly calls it, this show was a hot mess. But since this was the first time I had my work televised in national TV, I'm still thankful for being part of the show. I and my models were part asked to join Emily's tea party. She wore a dress I made called Angel Puff. Stephanie , Christy, and Sabrina were also wearing dresses made by me.

Photos by Erskine Noel:

That said, we absolutely hate how we were never informed by the production team that this was going to be for My Strange Addiction. That is why I agreed to do a documentary for another network, MYX TV. I and the girls were hoping to provide a more positive light on dressing up and doll fashion.

Kababayan Today

I was invited to Jannelle So's talk show, Kababayan Today

I realized I have not posted about the dresses I recently made. Here they are, along with my models for the show!

Pastel Cutie
Jane of pastel cutie told me this was her favorite dress I made so I named it after her. :D

Stephanie of Risu Kim modeled it for the show.

Petal Peach Parfait

Modeled by Emily aka dolly luna lovely. I'm pretty sure you remember her from My Strange Addictions. XD

And moi! I haven't thought of a name for this new dress I made. 
All our wigs are from Gothic Lolita Wigs!

And yet another nameless dress! Or perhaps I have forgotten the name?
Jane modeled this dress! Sadly there was a bit of trouble with the production team and we weren't able to have her in the show. :(

Moving on, I finally had the time to move some videos into my Youtube channel. These are my interviews featuring my brand, dolldelight! It's interesting how much I have changed, and hopefully progressed, as a designer. One major difference is that I haven't been making any punk dresses lately! I favor the doll fashion, for now. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Olivia's Dollhouse Tea Room

I and the dolls did another documentary on doll fashion for E! Entertainment. We were invited by Emily Smith aka dollylunalovely to be part of her episode. We dressed up the host of the show in dolldelight and Gothic Lolita Wigs, both also worn by my models. We are not allowed to tell the show just yet but for sure, I would be updating you guys about it!

We did the filming in a super cute place - Olivia's Dollhouse Tea Room in Thousand Oaks. 

I wore a new dress I made! It was inspired by Marie Antoinette. I also made matching bows for the shoes! Gothic Lolita Wigs also sent me a bunch of new wigs. For this outfit, I wore the base of the Baby Doll chocolate brown.

Ahhh, I just really love the place! Hopefully we could do a photoshoot there next time!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Peachmintea: Cloud Princess

Mintea modeling Angel Puff for dolldelight.
Dress, headpiece, and styling by me.
Wig from Gothic Lolita Wigs.
Photo by Erskine Noel.
Post-processing by me.

Kiru: Forest Child

Kiru modeling Memories of Paris for dolldelight.
Dress, headpiece, and styling by me.
Wig from Gothic Lolita Wigs.
Photo by Erskine Noel.
Post-processing by me.

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

MYX TV: I'm Asian American and I'm a Living Doll

Our episode is finally out! You could watch it below or in the MYX TV website!

If you need to get in touch with anyone from the show, here are our Facebook pages:
Cyril of dolldelight
Paula aka Manager-san

(Added/Updated) Important notes:

The Lolita Label & Dolldelight:
Dolldelight was inspired by Lolita fashion. In my first few years of sewing, I only made Lolita style clothing. I really loved the fashion. However, come 2011, I wanted to incorporate my own style and deviate from the traditional Rococo/Victorian aesthetic. This when I made most of my Oriental pieces which still had the silhouette of Lolita. I described my fashion as a fusion of Oriental (print-wise) and Lolita (silhouette). I described my work as inspired by Lolita. Eventually, in 2012, I wanted and decided to try other styles. This is when I announced that dolldelight is no longer all about Lolita.

My point here is, dolldelight would always have Lolita as its personal history. It's what inspired me to begin sewing and designing. The problem I've had is that some take the usage of the label Lolita out of it's historical context within dolldelight. I'm really, really conscious with how I describe my history and I make it a point to stress that while I started with Lolita, I've done other styles, and dolldelight, therefore, is not limited to the said fashion.

I can't control how others think and interpret things. I can't control if they can't accept the fact that I started with Lolita, that I need to recount doing Lolita style when asked about my history and inspiration.
Some even go as far as bashing me for labeling myself as a Lolita designer *then*, but doing non-Lolita fashion *now*. There's no logic to that argument but I've seen that's the cause of the hate I get from the Lolita community.

Now, the thing with producers and networks, that's different. The practical side of me sees the need for being labelled as a "living doll" or even Lolita, the first for sensationalism's sake, and the latter for familiarity as the fashion has become popular. The ways to correct the labeling are to have everything limited and defined legally (so the network is forced to subscribe to the popular and accepted definition) and to talk about it in shows as much as possible.

In the episode, when I talked about dolldelight starting with Lolita fashion, the images accompanying the voice over were, indeed, Lolita. When Steph was talking about kicking ass, she was in Lolita. However, when Kiran came out, I described her dress as Mori Girl. When Ona came out, I described her dress as punk. These were obviously not Lolita and I, or any of the girls, did not call them Lolita. From our side, I think we've been careful and conscious with how we used the term because we know the definition.

From MYX's side though, it's their advertising that has clearly misinterpreted the label. Now, are the Lolitas annoyed because we used the term in the show or because that's how MYX's advertising made it seem, that dolldelight *is* Lolita fashion? Because honestly, I am close to being pissed at how some of them begin a hate campaign just because I mentioned Lolita. I'm so sorry but the fashion was and remains to be part of dolldelight history.

The Living Doll Label:
"Living Doll", to my limited knowledge, is a fairly new term associated with, popularized by, and attributed to the likes of Valeria, Kotakoti, VA etc. I think these are extreme examples and that's why they are popular. But who is to say that we cannot neutralize / tone down  the term and just make "living doll" as a girl who is really simply into the fashion of dressing up like a doll? The examples above are just people who have had interesting experiences and ways of life. We are people having interesting experiences and ways of life. I don't see how we could not remove the taboo associated with the phrase.
It's a social construct. People create the meaning. People re-create the meaning.

On fetish living doll community:
If their community's definition of living doll is more sexualized, then we could adapt a more positive, wholesome perspective to our living doll community. Nobody owns the phrase (and the most one could do is trademark it and legally own it but that still doesn't limit anyone from defining/ interpreting it the way they want). Ultimately, it's going to be up to the more popular/accepted community to re-define the term and that would only be possible if there are people who would like to re-define it.

What did you think of the episode? Please let me know below!

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Friday, May 2, 2014

MYX TV: I'm Asian American and... Promo

Just a few days from now and my episode in MYX TV's newest documentary show, "I'm Asian American and" will be airing!

This episode was this year's first project. I was contacted by the producer way back in January. We had most of the filming finished  within two days! I am happy to be able to share my experience as an immigrant living the American dream.

The episode includes the story behind my brand, dolldelight, and its lovely dolls.

It would give the audience a look at how we prepare for fashion shows.

I have included about 10 dresses from my own collection!

Finally, we had to talk a bit about cyber-bullying.

I have posted about this in my social networks and I have come to know how most folks from the Lolita community are already ranting about it. While everyone is entitled to their opinion, I honestly just wish they would give the episode a chance. All I have shown is the trailer and yet a lot of assumptions have already been made.

I and my team worked hard to share our experience while keeping in mind that this is NOT going to be another episode of My Strange Addiction for the simple reason that we do not consider dressing up and alternative fashion as either strange or addictive. I hope the audience would realize that in sharing our experiences, we understand that what we do may or may not be similar to what others do. That said, we neither aim nor claim to solely represent any community, be it Lolita or any fashion subculture.

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