Ladies and gentlemen, your finalists for our photo contest - and the photos in the running for the $250 prize - are below.
First, a few words on the process by which these were chosen.
We ended up receiving 193 total entries. These were divided up by category and we went through them, picking out approximately 30 in each category to send to Misako (Lolita/EGA/Kodona) and Akira (rock/punk) for judging. It was not easy narrowing it down even that much, and we did end up sending a few more than 30. This batch represented a variety of styles, and they were submitted from all over the world. High viewer ratings did help a few photos make the cut that wouldn't have otherwise, though no photos were cut because of low ratings. (This is why we ended up with more than 30; the ratings helped add, but not subtract.)
The rest of the photos were also sent to the judges for their own enjoyment, just not for judging.
We gave a minimum of information to the judges about each photo and model. They had no idea - unless they knew from looking - what was being worn or who anybody was. We wanted to keep it unbiased.
Onto the finalists!
Akira judging! Very serious...
Photographer: Lee Miller
Outfit: red T-shirt, red belt, gloves & skirt from Search & Destroy; black t-shirt & belt from Sexy Dynamite London; bracelet from Alice Auaa & Patricia Fields; goggles from Reminisce; hip pouch from Rituals; boots from Dr. Martens.
AKIRA SAYS: すごいオシャレさんだと思う。小物使いが上手いな～と思いました。
In English: She's very fashionable, all the way down to the way she uses accessories.
Photographer: Laura London
Outfit: Hat, rings, skirt all offbrand; cutsew from Algonquins; jacket, leggings, necklace & pins from SEX POT ReVeNGe; boots from Dr. Martens.
AKIRA SAYS: アー写みたい！って思いました。 帽子から足下までのコーデがカジュアル
Photographer: Odin Photography
AKIRA SAYS: インパクト大でした！髪の毛の色、セットと服装がマッチして いてかっこいいなと思います。
In English: This has huge impact! The hair color, the background, the clothes, everything is matched and looks cool.
Photographer: Kyndra Van Der Stelt
Outfit: jacket from K-Mart; blouse from Charlotte Rouse; bloomers from Bodyline; shoes from Getta Grip; offbrand tights; accessories from Bodyline and offbrand.
AKIRA SAYS: 雑誌のコーディネートとかでも全然使えるオシャレなコーデだなと 思いました。
In English: This is a very fashionable coordinate that looks like something you'd see in a magazine.
Model: Tara Wood
Photographer: Judith Stephens
Outfit: parka and tank top from SEX POT ReVeNGe; side skirt from Putumayo; pants from Tripp NYC; boots from Dr. Martens.
AKIRA SAYS: 個人的に派手なのが好きなのでがちゃがちゃとした柄を上下に使ってるの に上手く着こなしてるなと思いました。
In English: I like the showy atmosphere. The design of the clothes is very noisy, but she coordinates very nicely.
Misako judging! She didn't actually pick the photo she's looking at, but she's looking!
Photographer: Philemon Belhomme
Outfit: Stained Glass one-piece & socks from Alice & the Pirates; halfwig from Prisila; offbrand white roses & shawl; shoes from Bodyline.
MISAKO SAYS: 黒を貴重にしたロリータファッションとロングの金色の髪がお人形のようでとっても素敵でした。緑いっぱいのレトロ感たっぷりの階段と黒ロリータが大人っぽさと涼しげな印象でした。
Photographer: Sophie Kawalek
Outfit: Red Riding Hood one-piece with sleeves and capelet by Baby, the Stars Shine Bright.
MISAKO SAYS: NYの街に赤ずきんちゃんがいたらこんな感じかなーと思わせてくれる写真です。パニエの着方もしっかりしていてスカートが綺麗に見えることで柄がはっきり見えてロリータ上級者スタイルです。
In English: If there was Red Riding Hood in New York, she would look like this. She wears her petticoat very well to show the design of the skirt, which looks very beautiful. This is advanced level Lolita style.
Photographer: Laura Peña
Outfit: One-piece & headbow from Baby, the Stars Shine Bright; wrist cuffs from Angelic Pretty; offbrand accessories.
MISAKO SAYS: ショッキングピンクの大きなリボンカチューシャとそれに合わせた同系色のワンピースのバランスが女の子らしさ全開で可愛かったです。 お菓子もカラフルでお洋服と合っていました。
Outfit: dress & bonnet by Angelic Pretty; self-made headbow; necklace by Jesus Diamante; self-made rings; bracelets by Bijou Brigitte
MISAKO SAYS: 薔薇のお花とボンネットを被ったお姫様がクラシカルなロリータを演出していて可愛かったです。お花のいい香りが写真から伝わってきました。ロリータとお花の愛称バッチリです。
In English: The princess who was wearing roses and a bonnet gave the picture a very classic Lolita atmosphere, and made her look very cute. I even felt the smell of flowers. Lolita and the flowers matched very well.
Model: Darya Ivanova
Photographer: Darya Ivanova
MISAKO SAYS: アリスのような雰囲気と全身黒でまとめた大人カワイイロリータスタイルです。控えめな黒リボンカチューシャが金髪と合って、参考にしやすいコーディネートです。
In English: It's like Alice (in Wonderland), but an adult version of "kawaii lolita style" wearing all black. The black ribbon katyusha is nicely coordinated with the blonde hair.
The selection of Darya above is a new selection chosen by Misako, taking the place of a finalist that unfortunately had to be disqualified from winning for copyright concerns.
Congratulations to all the finalists! Each of you has a one in five chance of winning the grand prize! Watch for the announcement of the final awards on or before the 30th.
We want to give a special shout-out to all the guys that entered. It was just a game of odds - we had a lot more girls enter than guys (by about 20 to 1), but some of the guys came very close to making the finals and we really liked some of your photos. We'll be handing out some honorable mentions when we announce the winners, and the guys will definitely be represented.
If you entered and didn't make it, we hope you'll enter again next time! Everybody had fun looking at all the pictures, and just because you didn't make it this time doesn't mean you won't next time. (It also doesn't mean we didn't really like your entry - but we had 193 entries, and there can only be 10 finalists and 2 winners.) This will not be your last chance!
If anyone has any questions about any aspect of the contest, feel free to ask us directly. No point speculating on internet message boards when you can get the straight dope right from us :)