When I was asked if I was interested in creating the 2019 Disneyland Lolita Day art I knew instantly that I wanted to draw a Small World inspired piece, but I also knew I wanted to wear something that would express my love for this ride! Some of my earliest memories are flashes of the It’s a small world ride in Disney-world Florida!
To this day I am always stunned by the artists that are responsible for the interior design of the ride. In my fantasy world my house would be just as decadently decorated with endless glitter and vibrant textural touches!
Combined with the ride theme message and the music my heart just sings 🎶 !
Final look, let’s hop into how it came together!
To begin with, I took a lot of inspiration from the amazingly talented Lemontree! I remember her absolutely adorable Toy Story Alien themed ensemble from my first Disneyland Lolita Day in 2015
@lemontree11 on Instagram - To die for.
I remember how my heart fluttered when I saw how much love and care was put into it! (I need to mention that Lemontree always has the cutest original outfits - Please stop by her Instagram @lemontree11!)
So I knew I wanted to work with the ride theme and a lolita dress.
Luckily a long time ago I purchased a stained Metamorphose pocket jsk off of Lacemarket. The cut of this JSK is the stuff of dreams - the chest ruffles give me live!!!
Precious simple Metamorphose jsk!
I cleaned the stains and removed the pockets and the embroidery (Sorry Meta, this is my canvas now!). I had to make sure that my seam ripper wouldn’t damage the dress fabric. Once all threads were removed I took off the pockets and spent some time stretching the fibers in the fabric, plus a round in the laundry helped the needle/thread holes close back up pretty well! You can still see some of the original stitching holes if you look up close but that really didn’t bother me.
At this point I had no plan and I only had the many different textures and colors of the ride on my mind. I just needed to figure out what to do with that!
I honestly dragged my feet until the very last minute. My mental health in 2019 was slowly getting better but I still struggled with everything I touched. Then at the end of September my grandmother got very sick and I took a break from life to go to Germany. It was a sobering trip but I found some time on my second to last day of my stay to go shopping.
It’s almost a ritual that I stop by a specific art store whenever I’m in the country and they had these absolutely amazing collections of sequin pieces. I saw them and I knew I was going to need these for my outfit!
Once back in the US I finally got to work on the dress. Oh and my Granny’s heath got a lot better after a while as well! It was a good and mentlly grounding visit.
Now at this point my event illustration was completed and I realized I could draw some inspiration from it as well!
I will go into the details of designing the Disneyland Lolita Day illustration in another blog post but my main influence was representing European folk-wear and the last room of the it’s a small world ride. In that room everyone wears white ensembles that are embellished with metallics and iridescents!
There’s something so pretty about that final room - everyone is united by wearing white. Everyone is gathered together and it’s just so cute to me!
I also decided to brainstorm which parts of the ride are universally known - and instantly arrived at the adorable clock face!
Look at all the different shapes and textures that Disney uses!
When I bought the sequins I mentioned above I didn’t realize just how perfect some of them would be to recreate the clock face!
However I realized that sequins alone wouldn’t quite cut it and started checking my craft materials. I am a terrible hoarder and whenever I pick up a new skill I load up on materials - I do come back to use them though although sometimes it takes a few years 💦 I remembered my hoard of swarovski crystal beads from when I created crystal chain headpieces and a big bag of vintage pearls I found while thrifting many moons ago! It was their time to shine!
Random WIP shot.
To be honest I only ever sewed on single beads before so I had to Youtube it up and figure out how multiple beads are sewn on so that they wouldn’t all fall off in the case that one gets torn off! I quickly picked up the basics and went to work.
I did not count my pearls or sequins and completely free handed the clock face. I didn’t want to stress about symmetry or perfection, having fun was my main focus.
I don’t have the words for how happy I am with how the face turned out in the end. As I finished up I realized that I could have painted parts on the dress for a more refined look but considering that it would have permanently altered the dress I‘m happy that I didn’t think of that sooner.
To finish off the dress I wanted to decorate the bust area, because it would have been too simple looking otherwise.
I decided to create somewhat of a frame for the bust using the golden flower sequins I had! They stand out perfectly when combined with a regular circle sequin and one crystal!
Work in progress shot, only parts of the bust flowers are sewn on at this point, unsteamed and wrinkly - the night before DLD.
For the final touches on the skirt I wanted to make use of a small treasure of mine. On my many hunts for vintage florals I acquired a few bundles of artificial iridescent metallic 70’s era Christmas florals. I remember spying them, precious dead stock - hidden away in boxes in the store for decades. I paid a small fortune for the few pieces I could gather. I wish I had the brains to take better pictures of them when I acquired them but all I have is a crummy photo I snapped in messenger at the time.
The soft matte rainbow reflection on them makes my heart sing. I couldn’t believe the flawless condition these were in!
I knew I wanted to use them but I did not want to add any corsages to my ensemble. I felt that any additional pieces would distract from the details I had put on the dress, I wanted to add a small compliment of color, without drawing the eyes away from the clock face or the golden flower heads. So I opted to sew them onto the skirt!
It took a lot of thread and I needed to mentally prepare for the fact that I would probably lose a few leaves with wear, but the final overall look was worth it to me!
Behold the details!
But back to the story!
So, it was about 9pm the Saturday before DLD... and I didn't have a headpiece of any kind. Oops! I did know what I wanted to do though - I had already drawn it for the illustration too!
It was BABUSHKA TIME
Let’s just say I‘m a huge weeaboo and growing up I absolutely adored Suiseiseki from Rozen Maiden!
That headpiece has always been a favorite of mine.
So my love for Babushkas only grew over the years! UNFORTUNATELY I am still hunting the Innocent World x Rozen Maiden collaboration babushka headpiece, so I had to make my own!
With the time pressure I just used my sewing machine to sew on the cutout lace style strap for the long part and finished up with the flower and crystal decoration along the edge of the head! I was extremely lucky because after this I ran out of the big flower sequin pieces! 💦
Wrinkly but done!!!
And finally, my outfit was complete!
I tossed on my steamer and went over everything then off to bed I went!
It was going to be a fun day!
Blouse: Angelic Pretty
Earrings & Necklace: Vivienne Westwood
Jsk: Metamorphose x Handmade
Tights: Vivienne Westwood
Socks: Angelic Pretty
I had the most wonderful time at the 2019 Disneyland Lolita Day, but I will cover it in the third installment, after I talk about the official DLD illustration next week!
Thanks for reading!