The Elizabeth OP may well be one of the most iconic garments in Lolita Fashion. Featured in the film Kamikaze Girls, it’s one of the first few brand dresses that meets the eyes of many potential Lolitas, myself included. If we’re being honest, though, the magical feel of many iconic dresses will wear away over time. How then, in this developing fashion, has the unabashedly old-school Elizabeth OP stood the test of time, prompting yet another re-release from Baby?
The first release of the Elizabeth OP was way back in 2001 -13 years ago! – and not much has changed since then.
This is one of the only remaining (or known) stock photos of the first release. Though the colour seems to be a darker red, and perhaps even a velveteen material, it is recorded that only three colours were released, namely red x white, pink x white, and black x white, so lighting is probably playing tricks on us here. The main point is that, apart from the bottommost lace trim on the hem and sleeves, nothing seems to have changed about this piece in the last 13 years.
The odd thing about this is, even though it has been re-released so many times, it’s hardly the Little Black Dress of Lolita. In fact, trying to find the dress second-hand is a struggle. It’s rare to see worn pictures of this piece, and nobody in my local comm that I know has ever owned it, or at least doesn’t currently own it. I’ve seen Iron Gate more often than I’ve seen the Elizabeth OP, so what’s the deal? Is it a trophy dress that people buy just to own, and never wear?
The first thing many Lolitas think of when the Elizabeth OP is mentioned is, of course, Momoko of Kamikaze Girls, who famously wore the dress in a scene of the film. The iconic red x white colourway was popularised with the release, to the point that the latest reserve for this dress features this colour only. This brings up the question, do people only buy the Elizabeth OP because it was in Kamikaze Girls, and indeed, as a hoarded trophy garment? The only coords I’ve ever seen with this OP haven’t strayed too far from the film’s coord of nothing but white and the matching headdress. It’s true that a lot of pressure comes with such a well-known dress, and it’s entirely possible that the need to do the piece justice stops many from making or sharing new or adventurous coordinations. However, this shouldn’t be the reason that so many garments lay unworn. The Elizabeth OP is a dress that demands to be worn.
If you’re one of the many who hide this dress away, break the habit and bring it on an outing! Don’t be afraid of having a coord that is ‘too boring’ just because you haven’t half your house up on your head. Let’s bring Lizzy back, and show her the daylight she deserves!