One of the most irritating things out there, in my opinion, are people who spout off about things that they have no idea about. This isn't in reference to just lolita, either--it can be about anything. From people talking about the Health Care law when they only know the negative things that are pointed out in the news channels, as opposed to the good it can do; or people who talk about literary theory as if they're an expert when they couldn't tell Reader Response Theory from Structuralist Theory.
However, today, I had a very interesting experience on Facebook. A friend of mine is looking into comissioning a dress from me this summer, before I head off to Europe. She drew up a quick design, and uploaded it to Facebook in order to have me look it over, make suggestions, give constructive criticism, etc. (ex., I told her to tone down the lace--because it would not only make it easier to wear on more occasions and make it less likely to be considered too "over the top", but because it would be cheaper for her in the long run, as well).
Now, once this is uploaded, and we begin talking about suggestions to improve it, a friend of hers decided to give their input. I usually see nothing wrong with this.... However, he instantly states that the dress design must be for an original role playing character. My friend states that it isn't... He ends up trying to give advice on how to make the dress, and says that the corset portion--which will likely end up being a faux corset on the front, when I finalize the design--should be made out of pleather.
I explain that pleather is a no-go, and explained why briefly--that this was lolita fashion, it tends to avoid most synthetic materials, etc. Afterwords, I attempted to move on....
He decided to suggest she use leather for the corset.
....First of all, leather is usually a no-go, too. This isn't a costume, this is an actual dress. This time, I went into more detail, and explained how lolita usually works around the corset thing, briefly explaining faux corsets and ribbon lacing. He decided that he should draw up a design to try and show us what he was talking about. Did this guy not read my replies? No leather. No pleather. We don't need to see your design, because this is using no pleather or leather. What part of this do you not understand? He even decided that basing his perception of lolita off of his friend's role playing character, who is supposedly a lolita, was going to be enough to argue with me about it. I can't speak for this other third party--perhaps they've done their research and know what lolita really is--but, from what he describes, I would chance to say that their idea of lolita is the ever-haunting image of lolita as a short-skirted, leather-clad fashion that burst straight out of a fetish magazine.
So after fuming about his replies for a while, I simply typed a reply to him, as follows:
I'm sorry if this sounds hostile, because I truly do not mean to sound that way: but roleplaying a lolita and actually being involved with the fashion are two entirely different things. I can't speak for your friend--perhaps she has done her research--but Lolita fashion is often misinterpreted or misrepresented outside of the actual community, and is attributed to things that simply aren't lolita (ex. skirts that are too short, cheap lace, etc).
I suppose the main reason I feel irritated is that this is something I'm experienced in, and even when I pointed out that pleather wouldn't be acceptable--or leather, for that matter--you seemingly ignored my advice and still suggested it anyways.
Lolita is something I am very passionate about. I'm a lolita myself. It also sort of irked me because [my friend] is going to be commissioning this dress from me. This was uploaded for constructive criticism and suggestions, and to talk over things about the comission.
Again, I apologize if this made me sound "bitchy", but I was rather annoyed. I really do not mean to come across in a negative manner.
Anyone else ever had some similar experiences? I'd be curious to hear them.