Who Inspires You in Lolita?
The people who inspire me in lolita are often historical figures who all share one thing in common - they have had awful endings. Just to name a few: Marie Antoinette, Mme Pompadour, Ninon de l'Enclos and Aeronaut of the Official Festivals Mme Sophie Blanchart. So yeah, one decapitated, one dead by tuberculosis, one having to give her son away and later in life becoming the target of the romantic advances of said son (who had no idea who his real mother was and once he found out he committed suicide on her lawn) and death by a combination of a flying accident, fire and falling from great heights. I would never otherwise admit it but I suppose I do have a flair for the dramatic. :Þ
OK OK I WENT THERE. Too soon? Marie Antoinette is the one whose style is, to me, the most luxurious. Her influence in my coords shows in everything, beginning from the materials: the outfits that are based on her are made of expensive fabrics and are (in my own opinion of course) the most luxurious coords I have.
Naturally the Marie Antoinette coords are often somehow linked to faux-pastoral, just like the fashion at her time. You know, those china figurines of rococo ladies instead of the countryside realism - that sort of thing.
These coords still tend to be a little bit toned down: either by colour choice, accessorizing or poofiness, and I have no good reason for that. For sure, the queen herself was not partial to toning down her looks for the grandest part of her general fashion influence!
While also luxurious, I've always found Mme Pompadour's style somewhat over the top. Bows everywhere, ruffles on ruffled ruffles, lace on the lace because yo I heard you like lace - so outfits inspired by her follow that suit. Everything that can reasonably be added will be added and I'll top it all off with a fifteen ribbons and an ostrich feather (or would if I had any, alas I left them in Finland)(ostrich feathers, ribbons I have aplenty).
Mme Pompadour is one of my very first fashion idols ever. I've loved her since I was a little girl so lolita is by far not the only fashion style that she influences for me. I've always linked a fair degree of carefreeness to her fashion choices and it shows in particular whenever she inspires me while I sew - then I'm going all out with details and the like!
And most importantly, Mme Pompadour coords have to be really summery. I sway from one influence to another much based on the season: you could say Marie Antoinette comes on heaviest at the spring, Mme Pompadour in the summer, Ninon in the autumn and Mme Blanchart in the winter. There are reasons that weigh in there though, such as the choice of fabric. Because Mme Pompadour inspired dresses take a lot of details they're best made out of thin fabrics, same with Marie Antoinette, but with the other two heavy fabrics are often a better choice.
Ninon de l'Enclos
Apologies for the quality of the picture. Ninon's influence creates far simpler coords than the above two and comes on especially for classic lolita (sweet tends to belong to one of the two above categories for me) and aristo. She sometimes brings along some amount of ero influence as well, well, she was a courtesan after all (as opposed to Mme Pompadour who was both the mistress and the friend of the king). :Þ
Other than that, the outfits based on her always have near maximum amount of drama. Stark contrasts, borderline gothic, poses that hurt my back, the works.
Mme Sophie Blanchart
While Ninon might have the near maximum amount of drama, Mme Blanchart has the absolute. This is possibly due to the fact that she lost her husband in an aerial accident, then went on making a career for herself until eventually dying when her balloon caught fire (she almost died several times before but it never kept her on the ground for long).
The people of her time described her as looking "mousey" and "uninteresting" on the ground but once in the air she became a graceful, majestic being who seemed to navigate her balloon any way she wanted to and took risks that today might be branded daredevilish and/or stupid. It was definitely not due to her looks that she received her title, it was her skill in flying.
Not that dramatic has to always mean drastic. What steampunk influence I ever have in my coords comes straight from Mme Blanchart, as does all of the adventuress-vibes. The above pic is actually somewhat in between that and the pastoral Marie Antoinette, but who says you can only draw influence from one source at a time...
Another effect Mme Blanchart has on me in lolita has to do with the aforementioned humbleness of her looks and her own style of clothing, which was described as simplistic. Sometimes I don't want to go for full oomph, rather something elegant and classic, something that (in my hopes at least) shows refinement rather than frillfrillfrillmacaronsandcakesandlaceandfrillllllll. I love both styles dearly though, and one of my most common coord mistake is falling short of both ends - not flashy enough for M.A./Pompadour-level but also too busy for any real elegance!