Welcome back to the Milky-Chan JSK restoration project! Hopefully you’re ready for an overload of pink and white, since I’ve completely finished the restoration on this jumperskirt and I’m pretty excited to show off the results of my hard work. As I mentioned in the last post, I probably would do a few things differently were I to undertake this project again. I would definitely leave out the interfacing, and use a polyester or silk backing fabric for the ties, since tying them solo was difficult, and the knot ended up bulkier than I would have liked. I think I would make them a little longer, as well, but despite these quibbles they turned out looking great!
The most important thing when sewing lolita accessories or clothes is nailing the aesthetic. Each brand and dress has its own style and I think the thing I’m most proud of is creating new ties that match Milky-chan’s aura of playfulness. The short lace and simple bows keep the focus on the incredible detail on the dress’s print, as well! Even if I were to coordinate the dress with a different color such as white or sax (a light blue color), I feel like the pink waist ties will still look appropriate.
The fun of jumperskirts is the ability to play with different color combinations by matching different blouses and stockings. It’s a very creative endeavor for me! And it’s not just frilly – it’s also feminist and rebellious which is very important to me (as you may have guessed haha!). One of my favorite lolita bloggers, love, your bunny valentine, wrote
“Lolita fashion is both silent and deafening. While many lolitas themselves may espouse an apolitical stance, the act of wearing clothing as ostentatious and elaborate as lolita is a political performance in and of itself – one that rebels directly against the environment of modern Japan in which the fashion was created. Its obviously ‘foreign’ and anachronistic look emphasizes the wearer’s rejection of contemporary society.” (From “Lolita, Rebellion, and the ‘Cocoro’ of ‘Rococo.”)
In the movie and novel “Kamikaze Girls,” the two main characters are a lolita and a biker gang girl who become best friends through an understanding that there’s nothing more important than being 100% themselves – even if it means upsetting the people around them in their conformist rural Japanese town. Momoko, the lolita, would rather walk an hour in her fancy rocking horse shoes than be seen riding a bicycle or scooter like everyone else. It’s a proclamation of authenticity and identity that can be hard to find in a world where media and cultural pressures create tremendous incentives for sameness. I identify very strongly with Momoko and Ichigo – the sense of freedom and happiness that come from dressing in a way that fully expresses my individuality is hard to replicate!
If you’re interested in a deeper dive into lolita fashion and its intersection with feminism, rejection of the male gaze, and self-actualization, I can highly recommend this three-part series on YouTube by Tyler Willis. (Part 1 is above; here are the links to Part 2 and Part 3. NSFW for language and mentions of sexuality.) I particularly appreciate her quote in part 3:
“In a world where femininity is construed as weak, silly, or something to be put away in order to be taken seriously as an adult woman, lolita fashion revels in it. [When you] reach the age when your physical body can outrank your personhood…your body does more talking to society than you do, and what you do or don’t put on it can change the way you’re treated, perceived, or even believed. One of the pillars that sets lolita apart is the fact that the sexual characteristics of the wearer is made separate from the aesthetic presentation. It is not their sexual attractiveness that takes precedence, but instead, their forceful aesthetic statement.”
I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little about the fashion that is such a large part of my life, and also following the restoration of this beautiful dress! I’ve got quite a few exciting projects in the works, including another sewing adventure and the restoration of another piece of antique clothing, so I hope to see you back here soon! ❤