Friday, October 23, 2015

The Eyeball Lady and What It Means to Be on TV

Well that was a mouthful, but let me ramble some more.
I have been trying to put up a Halloween worthy costume but I have not been in such a creative mood lately. I find it funny how I have made all these elaborate doll dresses all because I wanted to, and yet now all I could come up with is the eyeball outfit.

I realized my interest fashion in my early 20s. I saw it as a means to be creative, and at the same time, to have fun and feel good about yourself. That is actually what I always have in mind right from when I make a dress, to dressing up my models for a fashion show. My first love was Lolita, and even though others had been against me in calling my designs Lolita, I stood my ground and maintained the label. After all, Lolita was my clearest inspiration. I had the basics of the silhouette, the overall print/design, and all the intricate details down. I knew what I was doing, and I knew it was Lolita. It was handmade but I believed it was Lolita.

Of course, as any designer and/or artist would experience, there came a time when I became interested to try and make other styles. So I did. And eventually, I realized that while my first love was Lolita, there were simply so many other styles that I could explore and incorporate in my designs. So I stopped calling my designs Lolita. Plain and simple.

I was no longer following the common knee-length skirt. I made dresses with lower necklines, and even one with a see-through black lace fabric. Of course this was not Lolita at all. And I knew. But something about my designs still reminded me of Victorian dolls. I kept making full gathered skirts. I painstakingly sewed ruffles and bows. I loved attaching collars and other trims on the neckline. My designs were no longer Lolita. But guess what? I finally realized that it was the dolly aspect that drew me to Lolita in the first place. I could keep making my designs and NOT call them Lolita because now I knew what I have always wanted to do - create beautiful dresses that are reminiscent of dolls. The stark simplicity was overwhelming, and at the same time freeing. I could just call what I do and make as dolly style.

So I did. But it turns out people had problems with it, with how close my dolly style was to Lolita, and to the living doll movement, which had a notorious reputation online as bizarre. Dressing up to look like a doll is easily weird to people who are not familiar with the fashion. That is a given. However, dolly style to me is that -  just dress-up. My interest to be a doll is limited to dressing up as one. That said, I do not have anything against cosmetic surgery to achieve doll-like features. It is just not for me.

Of course to complicate matters make my colorful world of dress up even more colorful, I decided to do my own reality show and share my style. I thought I would finally make myself clear to everyone who seem to be so fixated with labels by saying (and announcing it on TV) that I call my style "dolly style" now, not Lolita. But hey, someone is sure to have a problem with that, right? 

And in the Internet, things escalate pretty quickly. Well at least after episode 1 of The Doll Life aired:

I have known that by doing the show, I would be exposed to all kinds of criticism. But truth be told, I was not prepared that the kind of criticism I would experience could involve violence. I mean, it's just a fashion style, right? It's just a TV show.

While there are those who are fixated on the issues of whether dolldelight is Lolita or not, on whether I should call it dolly style or not, some people are able to see what is essential. They open their eyes to the message of my brand, which is to welcome everyone. 

When I decided to do the reality show, The Doll Life, I was sure I wanted to share the fun I have in dressing up. People like Blaze remind me that it was worth it. It is worth it.

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