Or, to rephrase; How important is the sturdiness of a non-brand Lolita item?
So I'm wondering what it is in the fashion, within the realm of non-brand clothing, that makes a piece worth the amount of money that you are paying for? Are you more interested in the price of the item going into it's workmanship, fabric sourcing or design?
By workmanship I mean all of the extra tailoring steps that are not absolutely necessary but that make a garment last longer, feel more comfortable and that make a piece more valuable in the effort put into it.
By material sourcing I mean the exclusive and unique qualities of a company using fabric and trim only they have access to and that they designed.
And by design I mean to refer to just that; the effort and talent behind taking whatever material they may have and creating unique shapes utilizing new and old techniques that might be in common use but exicuted well or that are uncommon and or never seen before.
What got me thinking about this was a combination of two events; I visited the Angelic Pretty store in San Francisco and made a Lolita skirt to twin with my friend.
When I went to AP I was really impressed by the material sourcing. I did not think things would look too differently in person but I was really taken aback at the fabric and trims in use. Misty Sky was a print that had never impressed me by it's design but I fell absolutely in love with it at actually touching the fabric and realizing it was printed *perfectly* with laser clarity on to a feather weight chiffon. Now I finally understand how awesome their prints are; not only that, I also can't believe how lovely Royal Unicorn looks; the design is woven into the fabric so perfectly.
Meanwhile, with the skirt; It's the first time I've worked with a pattern that suggests it should be lined and it really got me thinking... A lot of Lolita skirts are either sold unlined or lined for a lot more money. But what if a Lolita skirt was lined with Muslin? Would that be acceptable? The price of the muslin would not add to the total cost of the skirt really and it's super light-weight so it wouldn't add much weight, right? All of my sewing friends have said that lining a garment makes it far more durable and in some cases can make the difference between a certain fabric needing to be hand-washed or dry cleaned into something that can go through the washer and even the dryer sometime.
So all of this (sorry for rambling) made me wonder if Lolitas would be willing to pay more for a garment if they knew it were durable; or are the other factors, such as design and unique material still going to be far more important selling points?