Can you introduce yourself to us, please?
Of course! I’m Laura, 17 and live in the UK. I own and create all the products for 8th Sin Creations, an online store that sells handmade jewellery, accessories and clothing for alternative lifestyles, Lolita included!
How did you get into Lolita and where did it lead you?
I got into Lolita fashion after I discovered manga at my local library. After I got addicted to anything Japanese, I naturally found myself immersed in Japanese fashion and found Lolita. I fell in love at first sight as I thought it was the fashion style I was born to have – I’ve always wanted to be Goth but cute at the same time. Eventually it lead me to set up my online business of selling jewellery, accessories and clothing because I wanted alternative fashion to become more available to everyone.
What inspires your drive for the fashion?
When I first discovered Lolita fashion, it was perfect for me because I love all things cute and slightly creepy. It’s just so different to “normal” fashion styles out there, as is all alternative fashion styles. I love how Lolita fashion is inspired by Victorian and European dress but it has evolved so much since the 80s to a point where you can only just see the inspiration. It’s become so popular over here in the West and it has become Japanese girls emulating European girls emulating Japanese girls now!
What is your favorite brand and why?
Either Alice and the Pirates or Innocent World have to be my favourite brands. I love the clean, crisp look of their designs and the Classic/Gothic style of their clothes. As much as I am a Gothic Lolita, I also love Classic Lolita in the darker colours, like navy, Bordeaux and chocolate.
Where does your unique style come from? What really makes it you?
I take all the fashions that I am interested in – Gothic, Lolita, Steampunk, etc and mix the all the elements together. I am obsessed with learning everything there is about a topic so thankfully through the years I have learnt a lot. When I was younger I used to read trendy fashion magazines like Cosmo and Glamour so I know how to piece together an outfit and the basics like that to apply to alternative fashion. I guess what really makes my fashion style me is that I give all my outfits a cute twist and that I really don’t care what is in fashion at the moment or what people think of me.
What’s the name of your business and where can I find it?
My business is called 8th Sin Creations and you can find the official website at www.8thsincreations.co.uk. I’m also on Etsy, Tumblr and Facebook. I’m on a couple of other social networking sites like VampireFreaks but they never really worked out for me.
What inspires your designs?
I create items inspired by all the fashion styles I’m into. I’m inspired a lot by Japanese street fashions like Lolita, Gyaru and Decora as I think there isn’t much availability for Western girls to buy items like that. I’m also inspired by vintage designs, pretty lace and street fashion snapshots as it has a true representation of what teens and young adults are wearing right now. My products aren’t just for one fashion style – for example, Lolita – I want people to be able to incorporate my items into their own fashion style and make it their own.
Can you tell us what lead you to design?
I guess it was because when I started making things, which was when I was 15, I didn’t have much money. I wanted to be a part of these unique and lovely fashions but I couldn’t afford lots of clothes or brand accessories, so I quickly learnt about wardrobe staples I can wear again and again and to make my own accessories. Also some of the things I think up don’t exist quite yet so I have no choice but to make them myself!
Any advice for loli-newbies or first time loli-oriented business owners?
For Lolita newbies, I suggest going into Lolita forums and websites to actually talk to people who wear the fashion. That way you can quickly dismiss any myths, stereotypes or worries you may have as the people aren’t actually like that. For Lolita-orientated business, I would say that you have to practice, practice, practice! Lolita is a high quality fashion style and the most disheartening thing is to receive a complaint about your item or be told they aren’t good enough to sell at places. So when you first start making items, treat yourself! Make them for yourself at first, then when you get good at them and iron out any craftsmanship kinks and learn little tips and tricks to make crafting easier, then think about selling them. I don’t actually sell any clothes on my website at the moment as I’m waiting on an adjustable tailor’s dummy to take professional photographs and to ensure my clothes are of high enough quality to sell.