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EGL Throwback Thursday: September 2007 
8th-May-2014 11:20 am

This week's Throwback Thursday is a little closer in time than last week, we're looking at September 2007 this week! I chose September 2007 because that was the month that Novala Takemoto was arrested for possession of marijuana and essentially erased from Japanese pop culture. For those of you who got into Lolita after this date, there's a good chance you're unfamiliar with Novala (beyond him just being the guy who wrote Kamikaze Girls), at least not to the extent that people were familiar with him before his arrest. He was featured in almost every G&LB during his reign and was practically worshiped by many Lolitas for his various essays on the Lolita lifestyle and fashion. People either loved him or loved to laugh at how ridiculous he was. He was also infamous for his totally crazy fashion choices. Flash forward to now, and he's still making the weird fashion choices, just in a different direction.

novala takemoto

There are two old posts of note about this: this one announcing his arrest, and this one about his merch being pulled. There were a lot more posts and threads about this news on EGL at the time, but they were almost all frozen for quickly descending into people arguing about whether or not pot should be legalized.  At the time Novala was doing a few different collaborations with both Baby and Hello Kitty, and probably would have gone on to do more. Novala dropping out of the Lolita game so quickly probably changed the course of Lolita in ways that we might never know.

This is fun: What is your favorite brand? Baby was a lot of people's first choice back then!

Here's a pretty good outfit post with working pictures. My favorite part of this is that it's a relatively plain outfit by today's standards, but it gets so much attention! Here's another outfit montage with 2 pages of comments! Personally, 2007 is one of my favorite eras of Lolita style. I think that the looks were so charming.

Socially, 2007 was a really bizarro year for EGL and Lolita in general. I think that 2007 was probably the year EGL got it's reputation for being full of meanies, wank ran rampant and people constantly nipped at each other. It was like EGL's cranky pre-teen years. 2007 also saw a lot of mainstreaming of Lolita, from the news of the English language Bibles to a lot of celebs wearing their own weird versions of the style to other totally random usages of "Gothic Lolita" in various media. It was kind of like 2003 Hot Topic all over again, only this time EGL dressed a lot better and was a lot crankier.

In September of 2007, EGL was getting word that Tokyo Pop was going to be releasing the English language Bibles and people were, understandably, very worried about this. EGL actually was apparently very active in making sure Tokyo Pop did right and there were a lot of threads about people actually getting involved with the magazine. Oddly enough, when these came out there was a complaint that they were basically just "EGL: The Book" because so many of the people in it were just people on EGL. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

This was the time before wigs were as popular as they were now, but 2007 featured a wig trend, but they were all very natural looking, not the crazy wigs we're familiar with now.

Lifestyle Lolitas were also a hot trend at the time. Personally I remember people being very divided about this, 2007 had some very extreme lifestyle Lolitas, but also some people who thought it was a hilarious idea.

Last week I posted people talking about Courtney Love wearing Lolita, funny enough I found this post about some ebay auctions for charity Courtney Love was doing that included some of her Loltia dresses!

So, the question of the week is: What were you doing in September 2007? I had just attended my first Lolita meetup that summer and was working on reentering the world of Livejournal after a 2 year break from it and my closet was slowly expanding after being introduced to the still very new sales comm.

8th-May-2014 03:46 pm (UTC)
Novalaaaaaaaaaaaaaa <3
I was basically wrapped up in everything Novala and obsessing about him and crying about the arrest. That and obsessing over Rose de Reficul. My two heroes. Oh Novala. I am still your NANBAWANFANGAARU forever!
Apparently where I was NOT was egl, as there are no comments at all from me on any of those entries. Oh, I don't even remember. I guess I never did post much on egl...weird. XD
Also weird - damn, this was 7 years ago! Holy fuck.
Also lol thank you for these posts and the cross posts to fb that encourage me to come back here where I haven't been in 5 years and show my face and post a comment no one will read and even break out the old Novala icon...oh goodness Novala. <3
8th-May-2014 04:00 pm (UTC)
Hahah I'm tricking people to post on EGL xD

When did you get to meet Novala btw? I imagine it was back in the dark ages?
8th-May-2014 04:08 pm (UTC)
Awesome educational post! My newbie-faced self loves stuff like this. Makes me feel less clueless. ;D

Also ... apparently Novala's birthday is the same as mine. o.O I identify with the guy a bit (from my limited knowledge of him) but who'd have thought we'd share a birthday...
8th-May-2014 04:41 pm (UTC)
....I really thought all men into the fashion were like him...

...I was sad when I found out it wasn't true. 2007 was the year I was building up my wardrobe~ I was in my final year of HS XD Was broke. Wanted frills.
8th-May-2014 04:49 pm (UTC)
I totally miss Novala's writings and his weird Novala-style.
8th-May-2014 04:51 pm (UTC)
I happen to have a picture of the lolitas at AWA in September 2007. I'm the one slouching all the way to the right.

If I remember correctly, we took this picture after the lolita panel, and it was like a secret "real lolitas" group picture after the Chii cosplayers and girls in plain pleated skirts and button-up tops who said they were lolita left.
That was my first con and first meetup.
8th-May-2014 05:02 pm (UTC)
Aww everyone looks adorable! I seriously love 2007's style!
8th-May-2014 04:58 pm (UTC)
September 2007 we had a lolita exhibition and we were features in Austrian TV
8th-May-2014 05:02 pm (UTC)
This is soooo so so cute! Everyone looks adorable T__T
8th-May-2014 05:09 pm (UTC)
What I'm stunned by is all the natural hair and relatively little styling. I'm so used to seeing wigs that natural hair surprises me! I'm kind of sad that wigs are pushed so hard these days. Natural hair cements the idea that Lolita isn't a costume, and I wonder whether the wig trend is a result of better wigs making it to the US (I know for a while American cosplayers had a huge problem trying to find realistic looking wigs), or just adverts making it popular.
8th-May-2014 07:15 pm (UTC)
It's probably a mixture of three things: wigged looks being featured in the Bibles etc to help break the stigma of wigs looking weird, the popularity of OTT trends to provide a look where even wigs that obviously aren't real hair (huge twintails, candy colours) match the outfit, and increased availability of natural-looking wigs for reasonable prices within the US.
8th-May-2014 05:12 pm (UTC)
Wow, 2007.. That's back when I'd heard about Lolita and made my first purchase, but I'd forgotten about it for the time being, and wasn't involved yet. The oldschool-ish skirt and hilaiously non-matching shoes were still stored away in the back of my closet.
It was back when I was right in or slowly edging out of my "weaboo" phase. I was just getting into ABJD's back then.

I didn't even know Novala had been arrested, BTW! I thought he'd just sort of vanished from the Lolita scene. When I got into Lolita back in 2011, he was still a big influence on me, even if he'd apparently been gone for years. I loved (and still have a big weakness for) his essays.

Edited at 2014-05-08 05:13 pm (UTC)
8th-May-2014 06:49 pm (UTC)
Oh man, I remember most of this! It's so ridiculous how scandalous marijuana is in Asia in comparison to the U.S., where Lady Gaga makes constant references to it in her interviews and music. I think it's a pretty interesting difference in culture.

But yeah, I totally miss not having wigs in lolita. I do own a small collection of wigs myself (for cosplay), but I really prefer when people use their own hair. It just looks a lot nicer, imo. (unless it's a complete OTT coord or something)
8th-May-2014 07:02 pm (UTC)
I remember frequently browsing the Baby and Angelic Pretty websites in 2007. It would take me another two years to really get into the fashion (read: buy my first outfit) but I think I saved every single photo from the Baby website on my computer at that time. I didn't know about the egl community back then, though.
I have no idea when the english GLBs started serialization but I remember purchasing one or two during an America trip, though that was probably in 2008?

I've met Novala Takemoto at a german convention in 2010. Studio Gainax had a collaboration with Baby on their series Dantalian no Shouka and Gainax, who are regulars at the con, brought Isobe Akenori and Uehara Kumiko from Baby, as well as Novala. I was honestly surprised to see him there. I was never really a fan of his but my friend and me were pretty amused of him being there when we heard it. Back then I also wondered whether that was an omen of his comeback or something like that, however I never really heard anything about him anymore after that.
Anyway, he was a really funny guy! At the tea party that was held there, (which was... not a perfect brand party, to say the least, but a lot of fun) everyone picked their own cups (well, actually, those were mugs and not cups) and I was quick to grab an Evangelion one. When he saw that he came over to me and was all excited and asked me whether I picked that one on purpose, to which I responded with "yes, I'm a huge Evangelion fan", and he got even more excited and called one of Gainax's staff over, who was also dressed in Lolita (I think she's into Lolita outside of work as well), and then the three of us got excited over me loving Evangelion. :'D
Well, he left a really good impression with me. He was really nice to everyone and happily took photos with everyone.
8th-May-2014 07:18 pm (UTC)
That is really the cutest story I've ever heard about meeting a Lolita-celeb xD I'm glad to hear that he seemed like such a nice guy!
8th-May-2014 10:15 pm (UTC)
I just wanted to tell you how much I love the new category "EGL Throwback Thursday".
I joined lolita fashion and egl around May 2009, so I do not know about all the "older" months.
It is so much fun to read and "dive into" the past of lolita!
You even take the time to provide links, that is so great!

Thank you so much for your work and I am looking forward to reading more! ^_^
8th-May-2014 10:28 pm (UTC)
Oh, I used to be obsessed with him, but I couldn't read Japanese back in 2002 when I was first into Lolita, so I never even knew who he was! I was wondering why I never saw his picture anymore, now that I've come back to the fashion. So many things changed while I was gone . . .
8th-May-2014 10:52 pm (UTC)
old times..the memories
9th-May-2014 01:43 am (UTC)
Oh wow I remember this era like it was just yesterday haha...

Interestingly enough, I (fairly) recently learned that the CEO of AP USA was on the staff for Tokyo Pop's G&LB publication back in the day. We had a long conversation about the industry side of lolita in America in the past decade (or so), which was really interesting and enlightening.
9th-May-2014 02:15 am (UTC)
2007 was around the time I was just getting to know about lolitas, mostly through seeing them at Otakon.

Thanks for posting about Novala, As a fairly new Lolita, I hadn't known anything about him! I love the essay/poem about "what is Lolita" in the link.
9th-May-2014 02:28 am (UTC)
It's so weird to see pictures of him now, but can anyone honestly say they're surprised he went a little Rasta?
9th-May-2014 02:45 am (UTC)
Haha yeah when I was googling for a pic to use and I saw that one I thought it was an old photoshop from one of these old threads!
9th-May-2014 04:41 am (UTC)
Gosh, I turned 12 in September, so I wasn't doing jack except playing with model horses.
9th-May-2014 06:41 am (UTC)
Thank you for doing Throwback Thursday, it is so nostalgic to remember.
Back in 2007 is when I was first discovering lolita and I really liked how fresh it looked. The EGL sure had a much more intimidating reputation back then.
It is funny how all these looks that seem kind of plain by today's standards were totally perfect and complex in my eyes back then.
9th-May-2014 09:08 am (UTC)
He looks pretty similar tbh

Omg, I got into lolita through those Tokyopop books, I think I still have them too!
9th-May-2014 02:00 pm (UTC)
Nobara <3
I discovered lolita in 2007 and started to lurk a little bit. 11 year old me wasn't good enought in english to do proper research and understand what's was going on EGL. It was not until 2008 that I actually started to lurk regularly on EGL without making an account.
Novala's essay were and still are very important to me, I felt like I was finally understood by someone when I first started to read that. Not going to add that I watched Kamikaze Girl at least fifty times when I finally got my hand on a dowloaded sub-titled copy.
I remember being pretty surprised that he was fund with drugs on him, but retrospectivly it seems pretty normal given his type.

Also, slightly off-topic but I used to take all my aspirations from as a begginner lolita, what happened to them ?
9th-May-2014 02:34 pm (UTC) was fantastic! They seemed to have just stopped updating, which is a real shame. I with they would polish up the site with some updated info at the very least!
20th-May-2014 06:47 pm (UTC)
wow so long ago! it's so funny to read comments I made then, like looking back in time
26th-May-2014 01:11 am (UTC)
In Sept 2007, there was a meetup in Los Angeles at a wine tasting bar. My hair was in a pixie cut and I had forgot my wig, oh the regrets.

30th-May-2014 07:16 pm (UTC)
Oh man that photo is so old. I guess that's where I was Sept 2007. LOL. You looked awesome with out the wig... plus I remember that day being super hot! Really miss the old wine drinking lolita days.
30th-May-2014 07:28 pm (UTC)
I had the chance of sneaking a photo in with Novala back in 2006 at Pacific Media Expo. I had just returned from my year abroad in Japan. I really loved his style and mantra of just do what ever the hell you want as long as it looks amazing. To this day I regret not picking up one of his collab. pieces with Baby and have yet to find it floating around on EGL. T___T

 photo IMG_2032.jpg

Edited at 2014-05-30 07:36 pm (UTC)
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