August 2, 2013

Lolita Blog Carnival: Favorite brand - AP or BtSSB?

These initials seem to still rule the world of lolita, despite recent indie brands' gain in popularity. Of course, this has to do with the reputation these two brands built, and with their particularities. Both Angelic Pretty and Baby the Stars Shine Bright are, arguably, geared towards sweet lolita (of course, they come out with classic and gothic coordinates, but I will focus on sweet, as it does seem to me to be their main cue.)

Ready? Fight!

Let's start with brand identity.

In an interview Kumiko Uehara defines what she designs as dresses she hopes will make the wearer happy and feel like a princess.

AP rides on the OTT side of life. According to their website, the brand concept is to "provide adorable clothing covered in lace" for girls to keep alive their dream of being "fairytale princesses." Sounds familiar? So the concepts are pretty much what we consider lolita to be, in essence.

But their is a real difference in their styles.

Baby to me really has that luxurious, elegant look that makes me feel like a princess. That is the first thought that popped to my mind when I tried on my first Baby dress. It is overall a more mature style of lolita; I would call it classic sweet, if not oldschool sweet. When I tried on the AP dress in the store, I thought "I'm a lolita!" (and that was delightful in itself), but nothing beats feeling like a princess! ;) Baby relies more on fabric choice and details, sewn in embellishments, like pin tucks, ruffles and even just well placed seams. Granted, they don't always look the best - this dress deserves a little rethinking...

  Angelic Pretty usually sports more frills and lace, and a higher waist, not to mention crazy cute prints, which creates more childish, cute lolita style.They clearly saw where lolita was going with OTT and catered to the trend. Now I love those prints (for the most part), but sometimes I do feel like the dress itself becomes secondary; the print takes over and the cut is rather basic. AP then lacks the intricate detailing that defines lolita for me.
 Though this print is very cute, the garment itself is of a rather plain cut -though obviously anything more elaborate with this kind of print would be a little overwhelming.

I have come to like plastic jewellery from loving OTT sweet, and you have to admit, AP's rings are just too cute, but I used to hate it. Oh, and I love Imai Kira, so points for AP. Another specificity of AP is their colorways, with lots of pastels and wide range of colors in each prints, compared to the more monochrome designs in BtSSB.

This week's them was to talk about our favorite brand, so my own take on the topic was rather to compare these two brands I love. There are many more, and I'm not sure I can decide on a single one. In the end, I like both brands, it just depends on what style their latest model is. 

Time for some love! I may not be fond of all their designs (just because they're brands doesn't mean everything they do is perfect!), there is a reason why they get so much attention!

That said, I don't look at the burando when I look for a dress, I do look at the item itself! My wardrobe includes Bodyline, Metamorphose, Baby the Stars Shine Bright, handmade, vintage and non-lolita. Also, I only jokingly pit these two against each other - just beacuse they are the big names doesn't mean you have to join a clan and only love one!

I'm looking forward to reading about brands! Hopefully some indie brands will be presented - I love quite a few, but never bought from them so I can't really talk about them properly.

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