Lolita fashion has been an ever changing lace monster that devours the souls of young maidens the world over. One such part of the world where there seems to have been an uprising in Lolita fashion brands is China. With staple brands such as Yolanda and Soufflesong, to name a few, the country's interest in frills have, and bargain hunters outside of China, created a demand to be filled all through stores stocked on a selling site designated Taobao.
Taobao is not one store though you may believe otherwise with the way Lolita fashion enthusiasts seem to use the site name as a blanket title for anything that comes from the site. It is more of an equivalent to a sort of Amazon and also sells a great deal more then frills. If you are a member of the Lolita fashion page Lolita Updates,on facebook, there has been a directory created listing well known and reliable brands on Taobao, listed A-J and K-Z, that can be found.
Over previous years it had been extremely difficult buy from these shops, though many would still flock to weibo and taobao pages to check out all of the lovely garments and only dream unless they knew how to jump through the hoops. Not only that but unless you went with a prominent brand you ran the risk of getting a terrible travesty in the mail. With the resources faithful frillies have compiled, and better pages to buy direct, lolitas have been able to avoid such things and buy gorgeous pieces for ridiculously reasonable prices.
The best things I have seen come out of taobao shops are, in truth, blouses. I have several friends that I am beginning to suspect are stock piling blouses from several taobao shops. Both extravagant and simple designs have graced their wardrobes and I admit I have inquired several times to acquire my own. This has begun over the last few years to occur frequently, some people slowly build an order over a few weeks even.
In a fashion where most who tend to stick with it for years tend to keep most of their garments around and look for several alternative pieces to mix and match between shops from Taobao make it easy to do. And though it is difficult to judge just how well an item will match, whether via color or style, the pricing is good and usually items can be traded or sold off.
The one negative effect that I've noticed that taobao can be seen partially responsible for would be the over-saturation of the second hand market. Garments used to be able to sell quickly and for a high price when if came to everything from hair accessories to sets, nowadays items have sat on the market for months at a time. This comes from having so much to choose from and then also the option of just looking through Taobao for a new piece of whatever for the price of second hand.
For frillies like me, taobao is usually golden, I can pick up items I need to circulate more looks through my wardrobe but it can be a small curse if I were ever thinking of selling any particular garment off. If you wish to learn what other's think on the subject feel free to check them out in the links below!