This week I was very fortunate to be able to interview Ai Akizuki from Tokyo, Japan. Ai Akizuki runs her own Lolita community (Wonder Teatime) and is involved in several projects in the Lolita Fashion World. She is currently publishing a book titled “International Lolita Fashion Photobook.” I became Facebook friends with Ai Akizuki after I was asked to submit several photos to be shown in the “International Lolita Fashion Photobook” (representing the Australian Lolita community).
Here’s her biography:
I’m Ai Akizuki, a Lolita Fashion promoter and a flower designer. As an individual, I disseminate Lolita fashion culture via events, blog, youtube videos,and SNS [Japanese messenger service]. As the president of “Wonder Teatime” (a Lolita fashion community in Japan) I organize tea parties.
Ai Akizuki: Lolita and Tokyo fashion Icon (photo credit: Ai Akizuki)
Ai, how did you become interested in Lolita?
I began wearing Lolita fashion when born as my mother loved cute clothes. As I became older, I came to choose what to wear by myself.
What did you buy for your first Lolita piece? When did you buy it? Where did you buy it? Do you still have it?
I believe the first Lolita piece I got was a black bag with a kitten’s face by Innocent World. I bought it when I was a senior high school student but don’t own it any more.
Are you part of any Lolita communities (online or real life)?
I represent “Wonder Teatime” (https://www.facebook.com/salonwonderteatime), a Lolita fashion community in Japan.
What is your favourite dress (or skirt set) at the moment?
My favourite one is “Wonder Cookie” jumper-skirt [a dress without sleeves], which I often wore for my tea parties when I just started my Lolita community (The print on the dress describes tea parties!!).
Do you have any particular motifs that you like or always want to wear?
I love strawberries since they make me myself.
Annette: I totally get this, my favourite motif is Owls! I still don’t own any Owl prints though.
Are there any sets or dresses that you would like to own that you currently don’t own?
I’ve long wanted to have “Sugary Carnival” jumper-skirt, which I haven’t made happen.
Are there any new releases (dress set wise) that you are excited for? Have there been any in the past that you really wanted to own?
That would be “Strawberry Whip”, the newest print by Angelic Pretty.
Annette: Excellent! More Strawberries!
Do you have any current Lolita projects you are working on?
I’m planning to make “International Lolita Fashion Photobook” (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01ACP2ML2/) in paper and also restarting my youtube channel(https://m.youtube.com/user/AiLolitaReport)!!
Do you interact with many members of the international community?
I’ve luckily interacted with Lolitas in the communities in various countries through local events, Facebook, and my book project.
Do you prefer wigs or styling your own hair? What is your favourite Lolita hair style?
I prefer styling my own hair as I suppose it gives me more originality. My favorite hair style is curled pig-tales (as often seen on my Instagram).
What is your favourite piece of jewellery (or accessory set) to wear with your Lolita outfits?
I like wearing handmade accessories by indie brands and the lovely ones many Lolitas (from the visitors to my events to international Lolita friends) gave me.
Do you have a favourite shop (online or real shop) to buy Lolita items from?
I often visit Laforet Harajuku to see various Lolita dresses.
What is the best piece of advice you could give a new member of the Lolita community?
Believe in your own Kawaii!! No matter what others say, you are the only one who knows what you need to make yourself happy.
Ai Akizuki talked about a number of dresses during the interview. I have included images of the dresses at the end of the article. If you would like to know more about Ai Akizuki or her work in the Lolita Fashion community, here are the links to her blog and Youtube pages.
Official blog: http://lineblog.me/akizukiai/
Wonder Cookie JSK by Angelic Pretty (photo from LoLibrary)
Sugary Carnival by Angelic Pretty (photo from LoLibrary)
Strawberry Whip by Angelic Pretty (LoLibrary)