The big replica debate in the Lolita community isn't a new one, and has always been a subject of controversy among the community with arguments over both legal, ethical, and moral sides on the issue. It has gotten more heated over the last year or so with companies like Innocent World and Angelic Pretty stepping into the lime light and publicly chastising customers for the purchase of knockoff brand products. Depending on what side of the line drawn in the sand you're standing on, either argument could be valid.
So while I'm stuck in bed with an icky case of the flu and not able to sew, let's talk about it. Bear in mind, these opinions are solely my own and you're free to agree or disagree as you see fit.
A lot of people don't find anything wrong with replica, whether it's shoes, socks, hand bags, or dresses that look almost exactly the same down to the print. Replicas are even recommended in a lot of articles talking about "lolita on a budget." Many people argue that they simply can't afford Lolita, and would rather spend half the amount of money on something that looks nearly the same for a lot less dollars. Or that brand is "too expensive" or "ridiculously priced," when in all reality it's a basic part of economics: supply and demand. (Sorry if I don't get this completely right, Mom, I haven't taken econ in a long time. : o ) While brands may set the prices, it's the consumer demand that keeps those prices where they are---i.e. there are girls out there willing to save and splurge on a $200 dollar skirt or a $300+ dollar one piece because they want to.
|A Dream List: It's just a good idea! <3|
To me, fashion is a kind of medium that allows us to really speak to the world, to express our true selves with passion to all those around us. It let's us bare our souls. It speaks to us in different ways, calls to each of us in a way only we can hear. It teases us and taunts us until we become worthy of wearing it, and when we wear it, it teaches us something differently: about ourselves, or the world around us, or even just makes us see things from a different light. Where Lolita is concerned I have never felt so impassioned about one singular thing. To me it's tripping head first in love into one of the most romantic street styles there is, one that brings us back to simpler times, and repaints our skies and surroundings into something magical. Wearing Lolita is special, and sacred, and close to my heart. I want to become worthy of wearing it.
With that being said, I realize that the every day girl (as I am one of them) has a hard time justifying spending what I could pay on monthly car insurance or now a lot of student loan debt... on a single brand item, especially if it's a skirt, jumper skirt, or one piece dress; pieces you really need to fill out a closet. For me, $20 dollars is a lot of money. We grew up always saving and trying to make things work with a single mom taking care of us, and money has never lost its value. While trying to get through my fashion degree in college, I can say I honestly think it gained more importance. Which as it turns out has made me an extremely frugal person, and I can also admit without shame that it is a battle for me to rip that money out of my hands and buy something that means so much to me.
"If it's a dream, you can't put a value on it." Something that special, that important, has more than just extrinsic value to it. You can't put a dollar amount on happiness. If it means that much to you, you are going to save every extra penny you make to save up for that "dream" piece and it is going to mean that much more to you when you've achieved it. BUT that doesn't mean that if I have to pay my bills that I go out and spend that money on a brand new Baby the Stars Shine Bright red riding hood cape. Everything has to have a proper time, and a proper balance. If I feel I can afford to make the expenditure then I will, and if I won't then I won't. If it's something I want, sometimes I ask for help, but that doesn't mean I get it. Otherwise it's a matter of patience, a lot of patience. Life goes on. It will happen when it's supposed to. The things I do I have are through patience, of years of saving and pining over things, or the generosity of gifts.
|Me in Emily Temple Cute|
|AP: Sugary Carnival JSK|
|Me in my first brand dress: BTSSB Sweet Fruit a la Mode|
|Example of a "super replica" of AP's Sheep Garden|
I have so much more to say, but I think I had better make this a part one and follow up with a part two.
So, what do you think about the big replica debate?