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
Ona
Stephanie
Kiran
Tiffany

(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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16 comments:

  1. That was actually a really cool video.
    It's nice to be able to see how you work and how you are with your models.
    Also, how your models' personalities shine through.
    I really adore Kiran and Stephanie, wow wow. Amazing girls.

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  2. Shaira Nd CesarMay 8, 2014 at 8:41 PM

    i loooove the video and i admire the passion and what it teaches to everyone!!! i love your dresses and i cant wait to see more of your line =)

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  3. There's a lot of buzz on the lolita community about your brand. I want to make a few things clear, like how the criticism is not about *you* in particular (any small vocal minority that picks apart your life is just someone who is bored and has no life on the internet), but it about the impacts against the international lolita community as a whole.

    You claim not to partake in hateful behavior, but keep in mind that in partaking in these publicity stunts in reality tv, you actually contribute to an increase in street harassment on lolitas. We already know we're weird, and are wearing a fashion that is an incredibly uncommon sight, but we're treated like bigger freaks because Cyril, you associate us with a "living doll" movement. The image most lolitas want is not of girls who are obsessive about appearing like dolls, but that we're normal people who enjoy dressing up in cute or elegant fashion.

    Which brings me to the other reason why you get so much criticism. Lolita is meant to be elegant or cute, and a lot of the criticism about your fashion line is that it just isn't classy. It consists of a lot of clashing print and color motifs, and the reality is lolita fashion is really picky about what is and isn't okay for motifs, prints, and color palettes. It is the nature of the fashion. If you really want the hate to stop, truly, then either make beautiful clothes (because there are many indie designers out there that *ARE* popular in lolita fashion, like Haenuli, Baroque, LIEF, Moss Marchen, or Sweet Mildred), or please stop associating your tacky brand with a fashion that is meant to LOOK classy and sweet.

    You guys try to perpetuate an idea that this is a lifestyle. It isn't. It's a physical aesthetic, and nothing else. We're human beings too, and we'd appreciate it if you don't speak to the masses through reality tv or social media on what we (as lolitas) actually are. The "dramatic, catty bitches" you guys are referring to are a very small vocal minority, but lolitas on a whole don't dislike you because of your race, skintone, or even things as ridiculous as making dresses for men (we have a term called BROLITA for a reason), it's because you actively perpetuate a negative image for us and do not fall under the aesthetic of lolita.

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  4. I got so angry when you showed all the haters. Of course I know everyone gets hate, but not such rude and horrible comments! I you are such a beautiful, kind, inspiring and talanted person. Please just continue do what you love and kick the haters butt.

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  5. I hope you will be successful :D I really respect your work and wish you all the best ^____^

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  6. Did Kiran actually mean she didn't like dark skinned lolitas or???

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  7. Sorry if I'm just copy/paste-ing but here:

    As for Kiran’s statement, you could personally ask her here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kiru/480924755304578.
    Imo though, it was the editing that made her seem to be against dark-skinned Lolitas. To be honest, we’re as confused as you guys about this. She knows herself to be dark-skinned and was even talking about how difficult it was to get accepted. So when the edit came up, it frankly didn’t and still doesn’t make sense. I personally know Kiran, and she’s a shy yet sweet girl. :)

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  8. great video. wish there weren't so many repeated parts, and that they didnt edit the video to "feel more dramatic." but i guess its not too big of a deal. wishing you the best of success!

    Xlicious Girl

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  9. It infuriates me how Kiran's statement was [still] out of context in both the promo and final edit of the show. Other than that, this was an enjoyable episode! Wishing you all the best Cyril~ :3

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  10. Pandeimonium Access.May 15, 2014 at 3:21 AM

    Okay 'Annoyed Lolita' - your comment "please stop associating your tacky brand with a fashion that is meant to LOOK classy and sweet." is just plain rude. Fashion is a statement. Fashion is individual. That is the point of it. Cyril's designs are art. Everyone has their own style that they like.
    Don't pick on an artist because it's not to your liking. It's not 100% stereotypical Lolita fashion. But that's what makes it individual. That's what makes it art, not copying; not blending in.
    It's a statement. Plain and simple.
    If it's not to your taste, then why are you even looking at it?

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  11. it's a great episode and i don't understand why so much hate :/ i remember when i used to Blog for Buzznet, i wrote a piece about you and Dolldelight when you were fairly unknown, just starting out. it's so amazing to see how far you've come now :) you should be so proud of yourself
    xo

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  12. I loved watching this video. You made it pretty clear that you're not exclusively about Lolita. I think your mori/dolly-kei styles are really great... do you make the antler headpieces too?

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  13. Awesome dresses!

    http://www.fuckhighclass.com

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  14. I love watching it 'til the end...Good job girls!...I hope I can be a part of Doll House someday ^_^

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  15. I love watching it 'til the end. Good job girls! I hope I can be a part of Doll House someday ^_^

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