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email Miss Megan Maude at littlekats(at)gmail(dot)com with the subject header "LJegl F.A.Q.". ^^
*****Newly Added Question!*****
Q: What are Lucky Pack Sales, and when are they?
A:Lucky Pack Sales are special sales held twice a year by the Japanese lolita brands. The sale is like a blind grab-bag sale to get rid of older stock. The company holding the sale makes up a number of "Lucky Packs" before the sale, and into these packs go a number of items that vary from pack to pack. The total value of the items in each pack are roughly equivalent to the total value of the items in other packs, but the actual contents can be wildly different. For example, one pack might include a button-up blouse, a skirt and two pairs of bloomers, but then another pack might only contain a button-up blouse and a jumperskirt. No matter what the contents, the total cost of the lucky pack is often between 50%-70% below retail cost.
Some of the brands only have luck pack sales in the winter, usually around the New Year holiday. Other brands have a second sale during the summer months. If you're really interested in exact dates and releases, you can check the brand websites or watch the egl community for updates.
***SPECIAL FEATURED QUESTION***
Q: Are Anna House's prices in Hong Kong monies?
A:Yes. Anna House's prices are in Hong Kong dollars.
Q: What does the abbreviation "egl" stand for?
A:"EGL" stands for "Elegant Gothic Lolita". The term originates from Mana's terms for the styles represented in his brand Moi-Meme-Moite. Mana uses the terms "EGL" and "EGA" to refer to the main divisions in the styles of his brand. "EGA" stands for "Elegant Gothic Aristocrat". The main distinction between the two is that "EGA" tends to be more sophisticated and mature looking than "EGL" although the borders between the two can be blurred.
While it's origins are in Mana's brand and while the terms are used almost soley when referring to Mana's fashions in Japan, in America "EGL" has become nearly synonymous with Gothic & Lolita in general. However, one should be aware that using the term "EGL" can be said to be incorrect when referring to anything but Mana's fashions.
Q: What is Gothic & Lolita?
A:The site with the best answer to that question is no longer running, and instead, I will refer you to a good friend of mine for a pretty solid explanation.
Q: Just who is this Mana person anyway??
A:Mana is one of the front-runners of the Gothic & Lolita and j-rock communities. He is best known as a member of the j-rock band, Malice Mizer. He has since gone on to have his own band called Moi dix Mois as well as his own Gothic & Lolita style clothing brand called Moi-meme-moitie. The Gothic & Lolita Bibles are the brain-child of Mana, and he appears in a photoshoot in each one. To see images of him, check out the links to scans of the bibles a bit farther done on this page.
Q: What are the commonly used term for Gothic & Lolita styles and what do they mean?
A: Here's a really quick and dirty list of terms and in general what they mean. You can find more thorough explanations of some of these terms here. You can also get a feel for the different styles just by looking through lots of pictures of them. You can also check the wonderful entries in the memories on the different styles. Really these terms are only generalizations of different style variants. The different variations often cross over and combine with one another just like in any subculture.
gosurori - gothic & lolita
sweet lolita/amailoli - the frilly cutesy stuff... pastel, berries, hearts, etc.
gothic lolita/kurololi - the darker stuff
EGL - Elegant Gothic Lolita
EGA - Elegant Gothic Aristocrat
kodona - the masculine/little-boy lolita look
dandy - the more mature version of kodona
neogothic - all purpose goth, think industrigoth and cybergoth
punk lolita - a punky, more casual take on lolita style
classic lolita - classy looking prints and conservative, but present frills
country lolita - little straw hats, gingham, and your mom's fabric kitchen chickens(j/k)
english lolita - toile and other stereotypically "English" elements
wa lolita - blending traditional Japanese style elements with Lolita style
qi lolita - blending traditional Chinese style elements with Lolita style
erololi - the "sexy" take on gosurori
Q: What Is Proper Lolita Behavior?
A: There is an interesting article in the Gothic Lolita Bible Volume 4 concerning behavior. Of course, there are no “rules” to behaving for lolitas, although it is generally a good thing to be a polite person, especially if you are going to be out in public all dressed up. Because people will already be taking special notice of you in your gothic lolita clothes, it’s a good policy to just be generally well-mannered and considerate.
If someone is bothering you about your fashion choices, tell them politely and firmly to leave you alone. If they don't get the message, keep in mind that you have a right to enjoy yourself in public without being harassed, especially if you are minding your own business and not being deliberately offensive to others. You should contact the staff/security/police in the area and remind them of this fact.
Q: I'm a guy... is that okay? What should I wear is I don't want to crossdress?
A: As it happens, you're in luck.^^ You don't have to dress like Mana or Aya to be a boy and dress egl. You can wear a kodona look or you can wear a gothic dandy look. You can also go a bit more punky or j-rocky. You can find lots of examples of guys involved in Gothic & Lolita fashion in the Gothic & Lolita Bibles.^^
For more about different style see the previous question.
Q: Where can I buy Gothic & Lolita style clothing and accessories where I live?
A:Unfortunately, Gothic & Lolita style is pretty new in America and other places that fail to be Japan. While finding clothing and accessories that are specifically intended for Gothic & Lolita style at a store near you is near impossible if you live outside of Japan, you can gather all kinds of items that can be used for dressing up if you just look around. Stores like Hot Topic and Claire's and even H&M can provide a wealth of basic items if you can just use a little imagination to think of them outside of the context in which you're seeing them. If you live close to some kind of urban center, your local "goth" store can be a great place to find items as well. Remember that even the Japanese Gothic & Lolita enthusiasts wear clothing and accessories that have origins outside of Japan. In flipping through the Gothic & Lolita Bibles, one can find a great many examples of LipService, Pleaser, Doc Martin and other major American and British brands. Don't feel like you absolutely *must* buy everything from Japanese designer labels. A little imagination can go a long way. Remember that this is a clothing style, so you can make it your own while staying within the overarching style.
Q: How can I buy Gothic & Lolita clothes from Japan?
A: Because of certain aspects of Japanese culture it is difficult to obtain merchandise of any kind from Japan if it isn't already intended for the world market. This applies to Gothic & Lolita merchandise as well. There are only a handful of Japanese brands that ship outside of Japan, and for any other brands you will have to go through a courier service. You can find an excellent guide to shopping for Japanese brands here. The author, miyu_sakura, does a bang-up job of keeping that tutorial up-to-date, so be sure to check it out. You can find a comprehensive list of major Japanese brands here, a list of smaller Japanese brands here, and yet another where-to-buy page here.
Q: I'm going to Japan!!! OMGwtfbbq!!! Where can I go to buy Gothic & Lolita things and see all of the beautiful people?!!!?????
A: Our very own sumirechan provides us with an amazingly detailed tutorial for shopping for Gothic & Lolita goodies in Tokyo and the outlying areas there of. Osaka also has a small number of Gothic & Lolita shops, but you'll have much better luck in Tokyo.
Q: I've been looking at Japanese Gothic & Lolita clothing sites, but they only seem to offer one size per item. Why is that? Am I missing something?
A: This is actually an issue with most Japanese clothing. Since the Japanese are a much more homogeneous people than Americans or even other Westerners, popular clothing usually only comes in one size. If you don't fit that size, you're out of luck. Shoes are much the same way usually only coming in three sizes at most. You'll note that a lot of Japanese clothes have provisions to make them flexible in size such as elastic backs in skirts and blouses, but still that only helps so much. This however does not mean that all clothes are made to the same exact size. If you look through Baby the Stars Shine Bright, while each item only comes in one size, the size is variable from item to item, so you may find while one blouse is too small another will be big enough and so on. In general, the clothes are made to fit a Japanese size Medium, or a US size 7 - 9. The largest size for shoes is equivalent to a US size 8.5.
Q: Why Are The Japanese Brand Clothes So Expensive?
The Japanese-brand clothes are expensive for these main reasons:
1) Small market— Because they are making clothes for a subculture, Japanese companies have a smaller, and more specific client base. Therefore they have a smaller demand, and must compensate for that by charging higher market prices. In other words, to make the business of gothic lolita clothing financially worthwhile, they must charge prices that allow them to make some profit.
2) High Quality Materials— Japanese gothic lolita brands usually use very high-quality materials like Venise lace, velvet, and other rich materials. These materials cost money, particularly in Japan where the textile industry is smaller.
3) Cost Of Labor/Construction— Most Japanese brands manufacture at a high-level equivalent to a typical “couture” fashion house. This means that most workers are experienced seamstresses, and details like hand-finished buttonholes and hems are quite common. The costs of drafting patterns, testing them, and carefully constructing garments can be considerable, particularly since it involves a lot of time and skill. These costs are reflected in the prices that brands set.
4) Japanese Economy— Simply put, the amount of space and resources in Japan are more limited than those in Western economies. To rent an office in Japan costs money since space is a priority. To buy materials for garments is costly since they often have to be imported. All these small factors must be considered when setting prices.
Q: Where can I buy non-Japanese Gothic & Lolita style clothing and accessories online?
A: It has already been addressed that one can buy Japanse clothes online and through shopping services and such. One can also find a host of Western "indie" brands that provide custom Gothic & Lolita clothing. Most of these are located in the United States, but many of them ship worldwide. Here you can find a comprehensive list of these western brands. Give them a look because some of them are just as good as the Japanses brands!
You can also give ebay a go round... there are some real gems, including the rare authentic Japanese piece, on there if you look around!
Some well known and established Western Brands include:
In The Starlight
Q: I can't sew. *buuuu* So I'm wondering if there's anyone here who will take a commission for an EGL/jrock outfit! Is there previous work by said seamstresses that I can take a peek at? How do I contact them if I like their work?
A:There are a good many talented seamstresses in this community who can make your dark and frilly dreams come true! They range in price and ability so be sure to ask them what they can do and ask to see examples of previous work before committing your money. Be sure to be polite and also understand that commissions take time since these talented ladies are making a custom outfit just for you. You may want to ask upfront how long the wait will be so that you're not unpleasantly surprised. Here is a list of seamstresses in this community and links to their journals as well as website if applicable:
Q: I have zero dollars! Will somebody please please please make me an awesome dress anyway? Will you accept glomps as payment?
A: Please don't post this sort of question. It's insulting to the seamstresses who make a living doing what they do. If you want an amazing Gothic & Lolita dress, save up your money, ask for one for your religious holiday of choice or sell your soul, but please don't ask for people to spend their valuable time making you something for what amounts to nothing. There *are* affordable seamstresses out there, so just take a look around and see what you can or cannot afford.
Q: Where can I find copies of the Gothic & Lolita Bibles as well as other such publications for sale?
A:If you have a Japanese bookstore near you, you can check and see if they carry any Gothic & Lolita publications. If you're not so privileged, you're still in luck! There are a number of online store that sell the Bibles as well as the "Handmade" pattern books. As a note... if you're looking to get these publications for the patterns therein, then go for the "Handmade Gothic & Lolita" mooks. If you're looking more for updates, street-snaps, and inspirations, then go for the Bibles.
Here's a list of links to sites that carry these wonderful publications:
Asleep By Dawn
In more recent developments, Tokyopop has recently begun the publication of English language versions of the Gothic & Lolita Bible. The content of these new Bibles are roughly 60% translated material and 40% original English content. These can be acquired at most Borders, Barnes & Nobles, small special interest book stores and on Amazon.com.
Q: I want to use a pattern from one of the Gothic & Lolita pattern mooks. What sizes are they and are the seam allowances included or not?
A: Using the patterns out of the mooks can be quite an adventure if you don't read Japanese and are otherwise unfamiliar with Japanese sizing and sewing standards. As sizing goes, if you look through the mook cover to cover, *somewhere* in there should be a sizing chart that has what measurements the sizing refers to for that particular publication. In general they all have sizes S, M, L, and LL. These sizes, however, do not correspond in any meaningful way to Western concepts of S, M , L and XL. For the most part the sizing correspondence from said Japanese sizes to American sizes goes something like this.
S - too small for your fat westerner ass
M - XS
L - S/M
LL - M/L.
When looking at figuring out what size to make, you may also want to take into account that these patterns, no matter which size, are all designed for Japanese women who tend to be shorter than Western women. This means that you may have to extend the length of long sleeves, the length of pantlegs and the length of waist. They also tell you how much of which materials you will need to make each size... but you probably can't read that, so you might just have to guesstimate.
As for seam allowances, they are not included. There are usually little diagrams with numbers pointing to edges of pattern pieces. Those are the seam allowances for that particular seam in centimeters. You can either follow that or use whatever seam allowances you want. If you're one of those silly American types who was promised in gradeschool that any day now we would all be using the metric system and you can't quite seem to wrap your mind around the concept of how big a centimeter might even be, you can just add the standard 5/8".
Q: Is any one issue of the Gothic & Lolita Bible better than the others?
A: The answer to this question is a purely subjective. Consider what you're looking for. The lower the number, the older the Bible. If you're looking for no particular type of pictures pick whichever you like and try collecting from there. If you're looking for styles from a few years ago, go with the older ones, and if you're looking for the latest trends, go with the newest ones. If you're looking to buy the Bibles for the sewing and project patterns, then go with the "Gothic & Lolita Handmade" mooks instead. Those mooks are pretty much made up only of patterns and project how-tos. If you're looking for street-snaps, go with the Bibles for sure. All of these publications are great inspiration, so you'll probably be wanting to collect as many as you can so don't worry too hard about which one to buy first.
Q: Where can I find scans from the Gothic & Lolita Bibles and other such publications online?
A: The best site for finding scans from the Bibles is Avante-Gauche. There are other sites that have scans as well. That happens to be one of the biggest.
Q: Where can I find scans of patterns from the Gothic & Lolita Bibles and Handmade Gothic & Lolita mooks online?
A:Anybody have links to any of these?
Honestly though, I have never found patterns online that were very good for trying to reproduce at full scale unless they were really simple. If you're wanting patterns you really should just invest in some of the "Gothic & Lolita Handmade" mooks or some Western patterns that can be modified easily. What Western Patterns are good for modifying? That's answered a few questions down! ^__^
Q: Where can I find patterns for x, y, and z online?
A:Here are a number of links to patterns online that you can use to make loli clothing.
Custom Corset Pattern Generator
Porcelain Nightmare : lolita patterns and recipes
classic lolita skirt
Q: I'm looking for Western patterns that can be easily modified for Gothic & Lolita purposes. Any suggestions?
A: There are plenty of Western Patterns out there that can be easily be modified or just plain made in the right fabrics to be good for Gothic & Lolita clothing. Just browsing through the pattern book, the creative mind can find many patterns to work with. You can have a look at these websites to find patterns:
Q: Are there other Gothic and Lolita communities on LJ? Are there Gothic & Lolita friends for me to play with near where I live? How can I find out about Loli gatherings in my area as well as other loli communities?
A: You never know! There may be a whole lot of lolis in your area! You can check out the regional Gothic & Lolita Live Journal Communities listed in the link below. They often plan get togethers and are the perfect place to find Lolitas near you! Don't see your area on the list? Why not start your own community for your area? And if you don't see a community for the more specific style or subject of Gothic & Lolita, again, why not start your own? ^__^
master list of lolita communities on LJ.
Q: Back awhile ago, somebody posted a link to this really awesome artist's site. Does anybody have the link?
A: There are lots of wonderful Gothic & Lolita inspired art sites, but this questions is frequently asked in reference to the same few sites over and over again. If you're looking for the link to an art site, see if one of these is it.
Hanging Diva (warning: mature content)
lolita oekaki site
Q: I'm looking for an artist to do a Gothic & Lolita inspired commission piece for me for my website/ebay page/icon/what-have-you. Are there any artists here?
A: There are a number talented artists in this community who are available for commission. They range in price and style so be sure to ask them what they can do and ask to see examples of previous work before committing your money. Here's a list of available artists in the community and their contact info.
Q: I have just discovered that I think that Super Dollfies are the most divine thing to grace this earth and I simply must have one! Wherever can I buy one? How much do they cost? Can I buy one from one of you? ALTERNATE FORM: Whatever in the world is a Super Dollfie?
A: We get a lot of questions about Super Dollfies in this community, however, this is really not the place to ask about them unless in relates specifically to Gothic & Lolita fashion in one way or another. Questions about the dolls themselves aren't really material for this community though.
That being said, Super Dollfies are resin ball-jointed dolls made by the Japanese Company, Volks. Super Dollfies come in the larger SD10 and SD13 models that stand 58cm(22") and 60cm(23") tall respectively, and they also come in the smaller Mini Super Dollfie models that stand 43cm(16.5") tall. The SD10 and SD13 models will lighten your wallet to the order of anywhere from US$500.00 to US$2000.00 while the Mini Super Dollfies will only set you back somewhere between US$150.00 to $600.00. Volks only has one authorized dealer in the US and they don't have that good of a selection, so you really have to go through a shopping service or through ebay to get one. There are other balljointed dolls of similar size made by other companies that are becoming more and more popular as well.
For more information visit this site. It is widely recognized as the most informative English site on the subject.
Q: I think this FAQ is quite possibly the most informative, enlightening, and entertaining thing I have ever read pertaining to Gothic & Lolita Fashion . Who can I contact to praise for their superior FAQ writing skills?
A: You may contact Miss Megan Maude at kats(at)supert3ch(dot)com with the subject header "LJegl F.A.Q.". Please feel free to contact me if you see the need to tell me what I'm doing right. However, I feel that the next question is far more likely to be asked, so you may as well skip on down to that.
Q: I think this FAQ is missing a something. Who can I contact to point out the oversights I believe have been made?
A: This question seems far more likely to occur than the previous question.
You may contact Miss Megan Maude at littlekats(at)gmail(dot)com with the subject header "LJegl F.A.Q.".
This FAQ is a work in progress as the information is ever changing and growing. Please feel free to contact me if you see the omission of something you would like added, if you find spelling errors that offend your sensibilities, or if you would like your name/pattern/website/whathaveyou added to the appropriate section.