Tuesday, 26 January 2016

If Brands Made Australian-themed Prints - Australia Day 2016

Hi all... 

January 26 is Australia Day, the country's national day, and to tie in with that I have been working on some original Lolita-fashion dress designs in the style of three of the most popular lolita fashion brands.
I really enjoyed thinking about how the different brands would style their dresses and I want to share with you, not only the designs, but my thought process as well. 

Teddy-Bear Coat of Arms

Brand: Innocent World
Colour-ways - Wine, Green, Beige
Inspiration for the print - Commonwealth Coat of Arms
Inspiration for the design - Innocent World Union Jack

Notes About The Inspiration

I love the bold design of Innocent World's Union Jack so I wanted to make a similarly body design incorporating a heraldic symbol of Australia. I chose the Commonwealth Coat of Arms, which is the formal symbol of the Commonwealth of Australia. The focus is the escutcheon (the shield) that contains six compartments representing the Australian states and territories. The supporters are a kangaroo on the left and a emu on the right, which some say were chosen because they're animals that find it difficult to walk backwards. The background is the golden wattle, which is a native Australian plant and the motto written on the scroll is "Australia". 

Notes On My Design

I designed this Innocent World-style print to have a removable yoke; a feature I often see on their designs. The yoke also features gold star buttons, a symbol featured in the Commonwealth Coat of Arms. The background on most of the print is an ermine pattern, which featured around the escutcheon (sheild). The bottom half of the skirt features a large border print of a coat of arms with a horizontal stripe pattern featured on the bottom and belt design and a diagonal stripe pattern on the yoke and closing off the border pattern. For the coat of arms, I kept the wattle background and the main layout of the design but the compartmental design of the escutcheon has been replaced with the iconic IW logo. The scroll also reads "Innocent World". Although initially I featured the kangaroo and the emu next to the shield I chose to change to teddy bears, which is a common theme in Innocent World prints. The left teddy bear wears a top hat and sash and the right teddy bear wears a cape and crown.

Saint Mary of the Cross - the Children's Garden

Brand: Baby the Stars Shine Bright
Colour-ways - Navy, Black, Off-white
Inspiration for the Print - St Mary Mackillop
Inspiration for the Design - Maria's Catholic Nun OP

Notes About The Inspiration

Baby seems to be releasing designs that make use of light fabric, layers of lace and religious themes. I tried to incorporate all of these into my own design. I wanted to marry the "nun dress" with a print and took inspiration from the tile design on "Recipe for an Endless Dream" and the prints that feature black and white photos such as Sister Maria's Humming Birds. I chose to feature Mary MacKillop in my design, who is formally known as Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop and is Australia's first and only recognised saint. Mary MacKillop was a Catholic nun who helped to found Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart, which established a number of schools focusing on educating the rural poor. 

Notes On My Design

The design features a high-collar and square yoke, similar to that of Maria's Catholic Nun OP. The centre of the yoke has two pin tucks and is finished off with a gold braid and lace. The sleeves are chiffon and in a princess sleeve design to mirror the long sleeves of the habit worn by Mary MacKillop. The other features mirroring the habit include corset lacing in the front and a rosary, which hangs from the belt of the dress. The background of the dress features a quote from Mary MacKillop "We feel our crosses hard at times but our courage should rise with them" (1882) speaking of enduring hardship along with responsibility. I imagined the border print to be drawn like a black and white photo, with a scene of a school building with children holding gardening tools and featuring Mary MacKillop at the centre, the brick wall of the building creating a textured background evoking the harsh circumstances of Australia in the earlier days.

Koala's Marching Band 

Brand: Angelic Pretty
Colour-ways - Brown, Pink, Ivory
Inspiration for the print - Toy March
Inspiration for the design - Women's Land Army

Notes About The Inspiration

Initially I thought about creating a simple jumperskirt with a koala-eared hood for my Angelic Pretty-style design but when I thought about what I like about Angelic Pretty the jam-packed designs, chocolate and military style came to mind.  I love the way that Angelic Pretty puts a cute spin on military style items so I worked in this direction and looked for old-style female army uniforms. I discovered the Women's Land Army (WLA), a civilian organisation initially created by the British. The Australian Women's Land Army, formed in 1943, was modeled on it's British counterpart but the aim was the same: to meet the shortfall in rural labour. Women were taught agriculture and then undertook farming work in rural areas. The hat and tie of the uniform including the design on the tie really caught my eye so I worked to bring them into the final design.

Notes On My Design

This design features very strong military taste with a jacket with epaulets and is cinched in with a ribbon topped waist belt. The collar and sleeves have lines of lace that peek out, softening the stark regimental design. The tie and the background of the skirt features a diagonal stripe pattern which contains the brand name "Angelic Pretty" in gold lettering. The bottom of the skirt is a border print with the image of koalas in marching band including ribbon twirlers, a band leader and other instrument players. The border print is topped with a sash that appears to be pinned up with rosettes and the bottom of the dress is a border that reads "Angelic Pretty" and "Marching" separated by a star symbol. This hem also has lace peering from it like the sleeves and collar.

I hope you enjoyed my designs in the style of popular lolita fashion brands. If you've made your own brand-style designs let me know! 

Until next time... 


  1. That koala marching band print idea is adorable!

    1. Haha. Thanks. I really enjoyed drawing it. I think my favourite is the tuba player doing his best to blow a note.


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