Reflections on the year (and looking to 2022)

As the year draws to a close, we often reflect on the past and look forward to the new one. Lolita fashion typical marks this period with “wardrobe posts” in January, where frilly fashion fans photograph their wardrobe and show off their collection. It seems somewhat silly to think about “goals” or “progress” in an alternative fashion that we wear for fun. However, lolita fashion also encompasses a whole community around it, so it seems only right to look at how that I’ve interacted with that community in 2021. (Also, Bay Area Kei’s Bibliotheca prompt for this month is the “future”, so let’s shoehorn that in too!) Let’s look at the numbers.

1 new blog

Wunderwelt announced that they would no longer be updating their “Libre” blog in July 2021. This announcement made me realize how much I enjoyed writing about lolita fashion. So the closure of one blog inspired the creation of a new one!

2 days of j-fashion fun

The photobooth at BAK’s Holiday Pop-up

Outside of the world of the virtual community, the j-fashion community saw the return of large scale in-person events. Though I didn’t attend Royal Vegas Retreat, I did get a chance to attend the Holiday Pop-up Shop hosted by BAK. It was my first in-person lolita event in nearly 2 years and it made me realize how nice it was to actually see j-fashion fans in person. I’m greatly looking forward to other in-person events (hopefully starting with Fanime 2022).

3 indispensable apps 

I would not be able to run this one woman blog without the help of 3 free, powerful apps. First, my blog is a self-hosted WordPress blog, which means that I don’t have to do the heavy lifting of designing my website. Because it’s such a popular app, any question I have has been answered by the myriad tutorials available online for free.

Second, my photos are almost all edited in Lightroom, which is free on Android and Apple. Lightroom’s tools are invaluable for making sure that my photos are the best they can be, even if I’m not a pro. 

Lastly, my graphics, including the banner on this post are all made using Canva. It’s library of free elements is plenty for my purposes. I love that I can access it on my phone, so if I’ve made a typo in a banner I can quickly fix it, even if I’m not home. 

8 new main pieces

Violet Fane’s The Enchanted Town – one of the new main pieces from 2021

When JapanPost stopped shipping to the United States in 2020, I stopped regularly checking second hand Japanese websites and instead looked at indie brands. As a result, all but one of my main pieces came from an indie brand. From Dollbe to Kaneko to The Black Ribbon, my closet is slowly filling with beautiful main pieces from countries beside Japan.

44 blog posts 

Since the closure of Wunderwelt Libre, I’ve published 44 blogs on this site. My loose goal was about 2 blog posts per week, which I’ve managed to stay pretty close to. As with my work for Wunderwelt Libre, I’ve found that the hardest part about blogging isn’t coming up with topics or writing, its the images that go along with the posts!

Looking forward

 More in depth reporting

While many of my blog posts are the work of 30 minutes are less, I’ve been experimenting with more in depth pieces that require more research and effort. 

One of my favorite pieces that I wrote in last year was the interview I did with Nif of Pretty Princess Club. I enjoyed making something that really added value to the lolita community and interviewing was a fun collaborative process. I hope I can do more interviews in the future. 

Similarly, for the last two years I’ve done a giant indie brand round up for Black Friday. It was easily the most popular post on my blog. While it’s not practical for me to capture every brand that runs a sale over that weekend, I hope that I can continue to do similar things every year. I also received lots of positive feedback from brands and readers, so it seems like this tradition is here to stay. 

Polish my work, especially my images

As my word heavy blog might suggest, I really like writing. Photography and graphic design? Not so much. However, posts with images generally do better, and I’ve had more traction when I include shareable blog headers on Instagram. My goal for next year is develop more tools to help me create graphics that look good, delivery info efficiently, and don’t require an advanced degree to make. 

Expand and enhance my community. 

The last two years have really driven how much I value the community associated with the clothes I wear. The efforts of groups like J-fashion on Demand, Roset Foret, Pretty Princess Club, and BAK, all really hammered home how much I’d like to make people feel welcome and included in this community. I’m still not sure what form that will take, but I have a few collaborative projects that I’m working on in the new year. 

What plans do you have for the new year?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *