Thursday, November 6, 2014

Is Sweet Lolita Maturing?

So there's been a lot of buzz happening on Facebook's Ruffle Chat group about the direction Angelic Pretty is taking. They are the it brand for sweet lolitas everywhere. Lately they've been toning down their prints to feature more subdued colors and prints, a stark change from their usual sugary explosions.

2014 Prints
From left to right: Cream Cookie, Victorian Letter, Dramatic Rose
As most people in the fashion know, sweet lolita fashion has been all about girly pastels and youthful themes such as carnivals, candy, and toys since the release of Angelic Pretty's Sugary Carnival in 2009. It changed the look of lolita fashion! It went from simple, solid-colored dresses to a boom of crazy, cute, colorful border prints. It's been the trend for the past 5 or so years. But is this changing?

From left to right: Back Ribbon OP (2002), Sugary Carnival (2009), Loyal Rosette (2014)
As a marketing student that focuses on fashion, I've studied a lot on brands, their changes, and their reasons. From my observations, it seems that Angelic Pretty is trying to grow its style along with its target market. I suspect they've made this style change to adapt to the growing age of their customers. It has been pretty evident in the latest years that sweet lolitas are aging and are wanting more "age-appropriate" prints. When I say this, don't take it the wrong way! I don't mean we are too old to dress colorfully. What I mean is that a large number of lolitas want the fashion to grow with them so they can dress in a more mature light.

Another thing is that designers themselves are artists. Artists' styles change over time and it is inevitable. It's possible that the artists were tired of sticking to that style for so long and wanted to experiment with a new style. It's common for designers to have an experimental phase! Sometimes the phase determines a new style direction for a brand and other times they go back to the old style.

A lot of sweet lolitas are happy with the change. They think it's fresh and a welcome change to the OTT Sweet overload of the past few years. Others feel that Angelic Pretty should stick to what had been working for so long and bring back their cute, pastel designs. People are even starting to think that they're doomed to buying secondhand sweet prints from here on out.

So what do you think of the new direction Angelic Pretty is taking?
Do you like it or do you think they should go back to how they were?

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