The Prejudice Against Raschel Lace

Recently Baby the Stars Shine Bright has put out a few pieces with raschel lace overlays, and while something like this is entirely a matter of taste, I can't help but get the feeling that some people instantly decide the dress is not something they would ever want touching their wardrobe is simply because of the fact that it is raschel lace.

This is the dress in question, a recent release from Baby. There is nothing wrong or un-Lolita from a design point of view with this dress, and pretty much no one could argue that this dress is ugly or un-Lolita if it were made from all cotton. But because of some lace it goes from good to Queen of the Itas. Of course, as I have said before, bad lace can make or break a dress, but I honestly don't think this is one of those occasions, even though this dress is indeed covered with raschel lace. Why? Because not all raschel lace is created equal. Lets take a look at some close-up shots.


The lace that this dress is made with, even though it's raschel, looks soft, delicate, and pretty, and yet so many people are willing to cry "Ew! Raschel lace?!" Now, this isn't a "Well, a brand is doing it so it's OK no matter how ugly it is," this is sort of the opposite, people instantly disliking something because of a material used in it. Much like satin, raschel lace isn't always bad just because poor quality satin and raschel lace is often used in cheap, poorly made ita wear. There is good raschel lace out there, and honestly this dress looks like it's made with some damned fine lace, regardless of the name of said lace.

These dresses are not equal!

You might not like the BtSSB dress, you might find it ugly, but if your opinion was fully formed before you really got a good look at the dress, that's really not fair.

So, dear readers, what is your opinion on this dress and raschel lace in general? Do you feel better avoiding it altogether or are you more than willing to add some to your wardrobe provided that it is soft and pretty? Personally, I love the look of the raschel lace overlay on the BtSSB bodice. I'm not too much a fan of the skirt tiers, it's just not my style, but I think it does look pretty and creates a very frothy poof to the skirt.

43 comments:

  1. Well I totally agree with the opinion that all rachel lace is not bad lace. I've seen very good rachel lace before. The lace on this dress looks good enough, what bothers me more is the lacing on the front side. I was never fond of that

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  2. The dress itself is nice (and way better than the comparison dress), but I just don't care for lace overlays. Unfortunately lace overlays remind me of 80's prom dresses.

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  3. A lot of the automatic hatred for raschel lace, sateen and satin finishes, bodyline in general, and non-cotton material comes from hamfisted interpretation of basic quality guidelines. For newbies telling them to avoid the aforementioned is usually a good idea but after being in the fashion for a while they can start discerning the quality for themselves, but many fail to do so.

    However, brands can still screw it up. I do not like the white lace on this otherwise great dress from Meta: http://lolibrary.org/node/2058. White + antique colors is a no go.

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  4. I'm not a big fan of lace overlays, but the top part looks very elegant actually!
    Also, if you look at this lace, it's a very pretty pattern. The bad raschel lace I've seen is more like a net with a simple pattern filling the netting, and the one in this dress certainly isn't like that...

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  5. While I'm not a huge fan of lace what you say about the quality is very true. The quality of the lace (or fabric or jewelry or anything really) is what can pull a piece from being trite *and tacky* to something attractive & sometimes elegant.

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  6. chococat@angelic.comJune 28, 2010 at 7:50 AM

    ㅎ소데둥 좀댜랙 뭉 ㅙ솓 셔군 솓 둥.

    I agree, I think it depends how it's done. <:

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  7. I'm not really a fan of sweet lolita or lace , but I think it is a lovely dress if you like those two things. But I think I would have to see it in person to tell

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  8. I recently realized that I have definitley been prejudged about raschel lace. I bought this Infanta dress (http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_1vA6o-zfPFg/S7kKMVcjt1I/AAAAAAAAAI8/6Lec4_LajzU/s400/20100313162314_971.jpg) and was almost horrified at first to see that the lace at the hem is raschel. But then I thought maybe it wasn't so bad, because it was nice and very soft.
    So I agree with you, one shouldn't just write off a dress just by the mention of raschel lace.

    This Baby dress in particular is cute and the bodice is beautiful, but I don't really like the lace overlay on the skirt part..

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  9. I think it's a beautiful dress, though a little on the ballerina side. (Disclaimer: I am not a Lolita-- I just like your blog.) I wish to god I were skinny enough to give it a try!

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  10. I love this dress in white and really want it. It reminds me of this photoshoot: http://community.livejournal.com/egl/14199301.html

    Maybe that's why I want it so badly!

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  11. I like the dress, but I'm just not a big fan of things with too much lace. It's not just raschel lace, if anything has too much lace I'm afraid of getting it dirty or ripped. Once you rip lace it's kind of gone and it's so upsetting.

    It's a lovely dress as itself, but I personally don't want to buy it because of some personal and bad experiences with lace.

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  12. I like it. I think lolita and other styles shall not be uncomplying. Although it has a lot of rules about the clothes you can presume to wear something diferent.

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  13. I like this dress quite a bit, particularly the pink version. I think it would also look pretty (maybe even more pretty than it is now) if the skirt was also made of the lace overlay, like on the bodice, I adore the bodice. But I never really had a prejudice against raschel lace...

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  14. I like it, although it wouldn't be on the top of my wish list. Before I ever realized this sort of lace was some kind of no no in lolita culture, I never saw an issue with it and actually, I still don't. Personally, I feel like a bad lolita garment is more than its lace...it's the entire construction of the piece that can make it fail amongst many other factors... Raschel lace can create a look that others can't. It can make an ensemble look delicate and doll like. I don't really get the hate, but your blog definitely helps me understand the bigger picture a lot better, well done!

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  15. I think looks very pretty, its elegant, not like the other example O_O aajajaaj!! there are many dresses with full lace, and they look pretty

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  16. I agree. I don't care for this design in general but the lace overlay makes me think of late 80's - early 90s formal wear.

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  17. mademoiselle ParapluieJune 28, 2010 at 10:38 AM

    To me it looks like embroidered tulle lace in stead of rachel.

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  18. I have this dress as well! I really love the lace at the bottom It is so soft

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  19. I tend to be a little skeptical of Raschel lace, so I would want to see this dress in person, but from the close-ups it looks like good quality and makes the dress look really light and airy.
    I definitely agree that the lace won't necessarily make or break a garment and people should look at the quality of the lace before judging it based on the type. I bought a Meta swan embroidery skirt with Raschel lace on the hem that looks horrible in both stock photos and other pictures I had seen, but in person it is sooo soft and hangs really delicately over a good petti. It definitely converted me haha.

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  20. I personaly have nothing against it as you said it looks soft and pretty and i love the overlay on the bodice

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  21. I think the design on the btssb dress' lace is really pretty and delicate, though I still prefer thick lace.

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  22. Oh wow, you are the perfect person to talk about my new obsession-dress! I love it so dearly!
    I think this Raschel Lace (I didn't know it before) looks wonderful!

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  23. I love that dress in pink! I was actually considering saving up for it.

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  24. I love that dress. :D It's so pretty and frothy, like a milkshake or a sherbert bun!
    I personally really love good-quality lace overlays, and details like lace bustles and jabots and ruffles. I know lots of people think they look lace-monster-y, tacky or ita-ish, but I think that they can also look so elegant and interestingly textured.

    I'm really wanting on that dress in blue or pink, it would look so cute with a silk blouse and a cute pair of summery heels.

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  25. Yve/Freaky Little thingsJune 28, 2010 at 2:57 PM

    Well, it's not my kind of thing to wear but it is very pretty and close-up the lace looks delicate and intricate, so probably cost rather a lot to make. As long as it doesn't have that harsh scratchy feel to it :o)

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  26. Does the bodice look kind of wrinkled or is it just me?

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  27. I actually really like the design, but I will admit to harbouring prejudice against raschel lace! I can't even figure out why! But when I see it, I think it's ugly, and I can't tell if it's my real opinion or if I've been tainted from hearing people rag on about how awful raschel lace is all the time. XD

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  28. I like the lace used in the dress, and honestly, I didn't know it was raschel lace :P (not that I had taken a good look at it before)
    It's a really pretty dress, and the lace looks good. I think it gives a lovely ballerina air to the dress and it's fairy-like :) Sadly, not really what I'd buy for an every-day use (I find some of AP's more OTT prints to be easier for every-day wear than dresses with this style), but it'd be awesome for a party or Prom :33

    xoxo

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  29. Miss Candy FlossJune 28, 2010 at 9:08 PM

    I think it looks really pretty, almost ballerina-ish
    I would wear it.

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  30. I'm actually rather fond of good quality raschel lace. I just ADORE bridal lace (which most of the times is Raschel) and wish that it weren't automatically denounced by what seem like the entire Lolita community. (Yes I'm aware that most of the Raschel out there is COMPLETE CRAP quality wise.)

    I think, as long as it's a soft, good quality lace, it's fine.

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  31. my first reaction to it's WTF burando post was to polyvore it. some colors may be a bit off because of my monitor.
    http://www.polyvore.com/lacemonster/set?id=20105678

    It could be quite elegant, if the kneejerk reaction wasn't that all raschel lace is immediate awful.

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  32. It must be deeply ingrained in any non-Japanese lolitas' head that raschel lace is evil. Why? Maybe because of the initial fear they all seem to have when first wearing lolita "Will I be called an ita?" And the warnings against raschel lace.
    For every type of lace there is you have a scale of highest quality to the cheap and awful quality. You can have lovely, high quality raschel lace too. I have a piece from Baby with lace that looks like this same lace, and its a very nice, continuous lace. :)

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  33. It really depends on the dress for me. I like this baby dress a lot actually!

    As long as it works well with the design of the dress, it's cool.

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  34. I would wear it, it still looks very pretty with the laces! *___*

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  35. I think it just depends on how the lace is used. I think BtSSB did a really good job. It reminds me of a ballerina costume somehow. And yes, the prejudice of raschel lace affects me as well. I'm sorry to say that OTL.

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  36. I've had a secret lust for raschel lace for a long time now, I'm glad it's out i the open!

    My graduation dress was black velvet, form fitting minidres with raschel lace sleeves, it was so fresh.

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  37. Hello Caro-chan,
    We’ve been really enjoying reading your blog, and would love to link to you! If you like what you see on our site, we’d be delighted if you linked to us too :)

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  38. I think quality raschel lace is fine in moderation, but this dress to me looks like something a ballerina would wear, reminiscent of my days where I was shoved into a tutu and forced to dance around on stage for the amusement of the almighty adults. This dress doesn't appeal to me personally for that reason, and I think an abundance of any type of lace is pretty much automatically No Good- but raschel lace shouldn't be disqualified just because it's raschel.

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  39. This dress is b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l~
    Even if it's raschel it's clearly higher quality raschel. My only complaint is that it might be scratchy...but as far as looks it's lovely.

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  40. I think the design is rather nice, though looks a bit difficult to coordinate(way too dressy for me). But, in my experience (>_<;) anything with raschel lace on it is a nightmare to iron. If lace is soft, and doesn't melt when a steam iron gets near it for a few seconds then I consider it good. Its in no way "prejudice", as lace doesn't have the same rights as living creatures(are people trying to shame those that like quality thesedays?) XD it would be a better design if it were tulle lace, but thats my opinion. Depending on quality, tulle lace can hold its own against a few seconds(sometimes more) from a steam iron. If the tulle, and the thread used to embroider is decent enough(a higher percentage of cotton). I'm also annoyingly hypersensitive(I have trouble with dermatitis too), so I prefer a higher percentage of cotton in my clothing. I also want something worth my money. So, I would not drop hundreds on a dress that basically seems made from plastic lace, no matter how good it seems. Its not the 1970's anymore,,,which seemed to be saturated with polyester(I think thats the name, it was a mostly manmade fibre, I'm not too sure) fabrics and raschel lace. I've heard jokes from my mother, and other women around her age that if you brushed the fabric together too much it'd start a fire (O.O) I'd be paranoid wearing trousers if I was young back then. Anyways, I wonder if Babyssb is trying to keep costs down by using raschel instead of embroidered tulle lace (O.o) usually I can tell raschel from a good distance, as to my eyes it almost has a pixelated quality to the design pattern(slightly jagged/blocky outlining). In fabric & lace, I don't want fabric so delicate that its difficult to take care of(washing & ironing). I prefer fabrics that appear a little delicate, look good, are soft(thus no pain on my skin), but are actually quite robust, thus will last years. I have no problem if other people like, and choose to wear rashel lace, but its just not for me. In mainstream and gothic fashion raschel seems to be default, so I tried to put up with it for years until I'd had enough (-__-) too itchy for me, even the supposedly softer stuff.

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  41. I agree entirely. I get annoyed when people dismiss all synthetic lace and applaud all cotton lace....there is very cheap, ugly cotton cluny lace out there, just as there is nice raschel lace.

    Lolitas also seem to look down on venice lace because it is synthetic, yet it is generally higher quality as a rule than most cotton laces you can readily buy, and certainly more formal.

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  42. mademoiselle ParapluieFebruary 6, 2011 at 7:38 PM

    To me it looks like embroidered tulle lace in stead of rachel.

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  43. This dress is b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l~
    Even if it's raschel it's clearly higher quality raschel. My only complaint is that it might be scratchy...but as far as looks it's lovely.

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