Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Replica Wars

I've been thinking a lot about replicas lately-mainly because they are all over the EGL forum on LJ. For those of you who don't know what a replica is, it's a copy of an expensive brand lolita dress at a much cheaper price. When Angelic pretty releases a $300 dress, a little while later you can find replicas on the market for less than 1/3 the cost. Lets take a look...

This dress is called Fantastic Dolly- by Angelic Pretty roughly $300

Replica by Dream of Lolita.. roughly $30 (must be ordered from China- so hidden fees apply)

There are subtle changes, the cheap lace on the bottom of Dream's version, the size of polka dots on the bow, the use of cheap shiny ribbon, and the main difference, that most people can't really notice by looking, is the fabric. The fabric used by AP is of much better quality.

One more...
Angelic Pretty Little Bears Cafe $260

Replica by Dream of Lolita...$62

The main difference between these two is the little brooch by the strap that AP has and Dream doesn't. I also have a hunch that all AP dresses are lined with a built in Petti and Dream doesn't have any of that.

There are replicas of other brands as well, but AP is the queen of cute prints so I think they get the most replicas made of their stuff. So I have two ways of thinking about replicas.

As a consumer...

Replicas are good for people who need something custom made because the original will never fit them. As a seamstress I am ok with being commissioned to make replicas-but I will not use these as examples of Poison Sugar- just as examples of craftsmanship. As a consumer I like how replicas are cheaper, and when I see a print, I think...oh man I love that, but it's so expensive (like many of us do). But I probably will never buy a replica unless I plan on altering it for something else (like making innocent world animal prints into zombies). This is mainly because I know it's nothing compared to the quality of the real thing AND it feels like cheating on the brands that I love so much. That is one thing I love and will always love about lolita, the high price does equal amazing quality and materials.

As a designer...

As a designer, when Dream of Lolita presents a dress and says "hey, look at our new dress, buy it!" it leaves a bad taste in my mouth, because it isn't their dress. It is the EXACT design of someone else. But this brings up so many other questions...i.e. Since their price is so cheap, are they actually pulling away people who would buy from AP? Since it is so obvious it's a replica can I really be mad at them since they aren't really claiming it's their design? People who are true followers of AP will always buy from them right? But I think that it really does sway people who might buy brand. Say a girl has to save up for Fantastic Dolly, she really wants it, but it is going to take months to save up to get it. Then she sees the Dream of Lolita post, hmmmm....she could grab that up this week. What's a girl to do? I think that there are quite a few people who will take the cheaper road in that situation.

As a designer I have AatP fabric and two different kinds of Innocent World fabric that I could easily make replicas with....

Trump print dress from AatP (Baby the Stars Shine Bright)

But instead I did this with it....

I also have the same fabric as this skirt Innocent World...

But I plan on doing something different with it. I like to take prints and make them my own, not make them the same as what someone else did, how boring.

So there are my thoughts on replicas, they never compare to the real thing.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Making your Christmas better with shoes!

In order to celebrate Christmas, I decided to give you all many links to shoes. Because to me, shoes are always a great gift right? So here are some links to various lolita shoe places and what I know about them. Enjoy your window shopping.

Ebay site...most if these are all the same quality- which is meh- good for occasional wear but not for everyday wear, especially the boots, they are thin and the grommets pop out if you pull to hard on the laces. But for $40, what do you expect. Also pay attention to how long it takes, some places will take 10 days to get your shoes and then another 20 to get them to you.

Ling Lam- I have a lot of these, good for in frequent use.

Refuse to be Usual-I think these are pretty much the same as Ling Lam, I bet they order from the same manufacturer- but RTBU costs more.

JC Punk
I like this one even though their selection is smaller, they have the more unusual styles.

Hiroko's boutique This has the biggest selection

There are more, but they are just more of the same, if you search for lolita shoes you'll get a bunch of other stores, but their shoes are made by the same manufacturer.


Double Decker Real wood rocking horse shoes, they often have a 2 for $100 sale.

Clobba online-
Read their terms and conditions before you do anything, so you understand what you're doing and what they are doing. They have a great selection of shoes and colors.

QutieLand- Again, read the shopping guide. A lot of these shoes are ordered when you order them, then have to go to the retailer, then sent to you. Don't buy some and expect to get them next week.

Rose Chocolat- I've actually owned a pair of these and they are very good quality, although the price is also higher and I know shipping takes a while.

One Day in Paradise- An Australian company with some good basic shoes.

Nocturnal Treasures- Now, I hate this site and how it lumps all lolita into gothic lolita and it really doesn't go with the theme of the site at all, but whatever. They have a decent selection- but they order them from China, so chances are they are same quality as ling lam (see above)

Bodyline- Bodyline of course, their shoes are pretty decent actually, the only thing that really bugs me about them is that instead of having actual usable buckles, the shoes have snaps hidden under the buckles. Some people really like this, because tiny buckles are a pain, but if you have high arching feet (like me) you tend to just unsnap the buckle every ten minutes and then you are tempted to throw your shoes in the garbage. These shoes sell out fast in larger sizes too, since larger sized Japanese shoes are hard to find.

So there you go, I think that's enough even though I could go on, and of course most brands also sells shoes, but those are REALLY expensive.

Merry Christmas!!


Friday, December 24, 2010

Lolita Holiday!

It's Christmas Eve! So Merry Christmas to all!!
Holidays are kind of a great time for lolitas, since you can get away with wearing it so easily, frills and lace look much less strange on Easter (for example). Christmas is also a holiday where lolita can look designed for the occasion, red velvet or fun Christmas prints look cute and special. Even brands get in on the fun and release designs specifically for holidays. My favorite this year is Angelic Pretty's Holy Night Story line.. (it's the little marching band hat that really gets me).

I really planned on having holiday skirts this year, I have this great holly print I got ages ago that I have all ready to sew, but just keeps sitting on a box. I also tried to do some screen printing on white velvet, very Christmasy right??? But that was kind of an epic fail, just so you know velvet tends to be a very picky medium. I've painted on it before and it just doesn't like to hold color evenly- also velvet likes to get everywhere when you cut it, remember that. The screen print looked great wet, then dried with lots of uneven patches. All that white velvet wasted :(

SO, for fun and because this blog is about me sharing my personality with all of you, here is a list of things I like and things I don't like about the Christmas season.

I Like...
1. presents- oh yes- DUH
2. Being able to unload all my change in the clinky tins in front of Fry's.
3. Weird random people who think that just because it is the holiday season- they can come up and merrily chat with me-- these people make me laugh- they are usually wearing Santa hats.
4. Web comics centered around making fun of Christmas.
5. Lolita Christmas prints
6. Free food at work!
7. The weather in Arizona is FINALLY nice and cool. This means JACKETS!!!
8. Lots of Hot cocoa and fuzzy socks.
9. It's my husbands birthday- although he doesn't like that.
10. Time off!!

I don't like...
1. The fact that the grocery stores are so full of people buying ham that I can't grab a roll of toilet paper without having to stand in line for 20 minutes.
2. ten times worse during Christmas, like everyone is concentrating so hard on buying stuff they forgot how to merge.
3. Feeling obligated to buy every single person you know something to avoid feeling like a non-caring douchebag.
4. People getting mad because you opened the cards you got in the mail before the actual date of Christmas. I do this, get over it.
5. All the damn cake everywhere! Christmas is a giant excuse to get fat.
6. In AZ it never quite feels like Christmas, because it never snows where I live.
7. People who "decorate" for Christmas by disemboweling it all over their lawn. Oh, you know who I'm talking about.
8. Lastly, Christmas music. Not that I hate ALL Christmas music or anything, but every place, everywhere, shoves it down your throat: in stores, in parking lots, doctor's offices...everywhere. If I have to hear about chestnuts roasting one more time I'm going to punch someone, in their chestnuts.

So there you go! Hope you enjoyed reading this and it gave you a little laugh, then you went back to merrily eating your cake..or pie.


P.S. I am doing a fun little photo shoot later today, I will post it up on the facebook page.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The why and how

Since this is our OFFICIAL first blog posting for Poison Sugar- (I swear that pretty soon I will have all this stuff on one site) I thought I should explain why I make the kind of clothing I do. It's not very common and your customer base is smaller, pickier and prefer "Brand" (as in Japanese brands) over me any day. So here is my explanation... what lolita is if you don't already know...go here ..

ok, you're more here is the real! HONEST! TRUTH! I don't sew lolita to make money, if I did I would be very disappointed right now as I'm not rolling in dough. I do it because I love the style, and I wish people were open minded enough to let me wear it everywhere. Unfortunately, we are still looking warily at lolita...don't think it's going to be accepted anytime soon. I love making beautiful things, and that's all. I sell them because... what else am I going to do with them? I started participating in fashion shows because I wanted to share the fun with others. Wearing lolita made me feel like I was sharing on the outside the fun person I was on the inside. Many other lolitas feel this same way. So I'm going to invite you to share your lolita stories, how did you get into it and why do you love it so much?