Friday, April 30, 2010

Of herself and lolita

And she returns, because it is Friday night, and she intends to take a break from homework and indulge her present, creative mindset. (And moreover, she is sick with a scratchy throat, and hoping it will go away before the performances in which she must sing, as part of her vocal music minor.)

Now that you, my dear ballroom guests, have perused my formal introduction at your leisure, I thought perhaps you might like to become better acquainted with me as a lolita. A lolita at heart, that is. Like others (whenever I say "others," it often means I'm referencing the wonderful lolita blogs I follow, but am not quite sure of the exact quotee), I steadfastly believe that one does not have to have present access to any lolita clothing in order to consider oneself a lolita. It's being drawn to the beauty or the ideals of the fashion that counts, isn't it?

Well then, let me chatter a bit regarding my favorite styles of Lolita, and what I love about them.

Obviously, I adore Gothic. As a goth, the type of outfits that gradually enticed me more and more always displayed Lolita elements along with the gothic. Sometimes I like to call myself an OTT (over-the-top) goth loli, because I am (or I want to be) just as frilly and be-ribboned as any of my OTT sweet counterparts. Just, you know, more dark and spook-ish.

I can't tell you what type of goth loli clothing I wear, because (sadly) I don't have any yet. But I've spent ages reflecting on the future development of my lolita style, so let me impart a few of my favorite outfit elements to incorporate into my version of gothic lolita. My (ideal/future) goth loli style tends to share the characteristic of all-black outfits with kuro lolita, though I like some elements from the oldschool black and white look. I especially love those white lace wristbands beaded with black ribbon--provided the lace is good quality, of course! I shall be making some very soon (along with Many Many Other Projects), and posting pictures when I do. By the way, the device of capitalizing words for emphasis is one I picked up from The Lady of the Manners at the Gothic Charm School website, a goth etiquette columnist whose wise and delightful advice I heartily recommend to any of my dear guests wishing to seek it out.

Below are some other elements I love in goth loli. If you like, consider this my version of the lolita checklist that went around on the blogs a while back.
~headdresses, especially black, with roses and / or ribbon
~lace or ribbon chokers, perhaps with delicate charms on them
~the "peasant blouse" look--poofy sleeves and scoop necklines
~corset lacing just about anywhere: bodices, boots, sleeves, skirts, you name it. Last summer I knit myself a pair of black arm warmers that laced up with black ribbon, following a pattern from (I believe) a knitting site called Ravelry.
~wristbands and fingerless gloves/gauntlets
~"fancy" skirts--two-tiered, decorated, etc
~knee socks and fancy sock toppers
~boots! Especially lace-up and Victorian-looking.
~"doll shoes"--elegant Mary Janes with just a slight heel, so that they look like shoes a Victorian doll might wear
~fabrics with a sumptuous texture: either soft like velvet, or with a subtle shine (so that it looks rich, not cheap)
~motifs of:
gothic architecture (castles, wrought iron gates etc),
crosses, chandeliers, roses and thorns,
spiderwebs, butterflies and moths, bats, the moon
trees with bare, spidery branches
~roses, especially black. As my pen name suggests, I adore them. Indeed, for me, black roses have become a personal symbol of sorts. Their spooky, romantic quality rather enchants me.

Now, why don't we wind our way to...
Shiro Lolita: Before I discovered gothdom, I loved the all-white look. I had created a race of beings similiar to Elves, except with tall white swan-wings, and they mostly dressed in graceful white gowns (with a touch of silver, and lots of delicate beading and embroidery.)  For me it gave these Anwi (for so I call them) an ethereal...illusiveness, like a ray of starlight (to paraphrase a metaphor used, I believe, by the marvelous costume seamstress for the Lord of the Rings movies).
With my new, gothic frame of mind, I still find myself drawn to the ghostliness of shiro. In our culture, white symbolizes innocence and purity, but in some Asian cultures, I have heard that white denotes mourning. The combination of innocence and sorrow seems very gothic to me...and the combination of the West and East certainly fits with Lolita!
I would especially love to develop a gothic shiro wardrobe, to embody the above-mentioned combination of ideals / meanings. Actually, one of my lolita characters has done just that. I hope to follow in her footsteps.

Aristocrat: The feminine version can be beautiful, but I adore the masculine Aristocrat look--a preference influenced, I must admit, by the elegant, aristocratic style of my Visual Kei idol, Kamijo-sama of the band Versailles. (I highly recommend the songs Ascendead Master and Aristocrat's Symphony.)
I've always been intrigued by the idea of crossdressing. After all, why envy your favorite characters' girlfriends when you could just BECOME your favorite characters themselves? Anyway, said characters inspired me to create my own identity as a princely Aristocrat, and so I will most definitely be building a wardrobe for this style.

Ero lolita: Rather than 'sexy,' to me ero comes across as downright adorable--granted, in an edgier way than most loli styles. I'd have to become a little braver before wearing it out anywhere (although I would like to eventually), but I love the idea of sweetheart necklines, off-the-shoulder tops, and lacy/ruffled bloomers peaking out from under shortened skirts. Perhaps it's my goth roots showing, being as I am part of a different subculture as well, where pvc, fishnet, and corset-tops are considered perfectly suitable attire. (What great fun I have, looking at each fashion through a lens of the other.)

I also find myself intrigued by hime loli (the childhood princess in me surfaces), and guro loli (what's the next best thing to a charmingly spooky doll? A charmingly broken doll, of course!). Despite my lingering childhood love for pastels, I usually stay away from sweet. Still, sometimes I can like it, especially the oldschool pink and white look. Even so, if your heart draws you to OTT and Angelic Pretty, you'd best hurry and chase down that dream, and plant it in your garden so it can blossom into a rosebush. Hurrah for creative, albeit it confusing metaphors! What I meant was : go for it. Heaven knows I pursue OTT in the spooky direction, as stated before.

Oh, I forgot classic! I find I'm coming to appreciate it more and more, with it's understated elegance and penchant for floral designs. I suppose in some ways it's almost like gothic, but in color.

My interest is also piqued by Wa and Qi loli, because of (as to Wa) my love for Lolita's country of origin, and (as to Qi) my deep and avid fandom of, well, the Fire Nation, from Avatar: the Last Airbender. Fire Nation clothing sports high Chinese-styled collars, you see.

Now now, don't you laugh. My Avatar fandom gave rise to my love for anime, which grew into my love for Japan, which has focused on my love for Visual Kei and Gothic Lolita, so as you can see, it all leads back to Prince Zuko, Avatar's antihero. Who made me love the show. (Oh, but then young Prince Ozai took my heart by storm, thus making UrsaxOzai into my One True Pairing...)

Yes, that was rather off topic, wasn't it? Seeing as this is the blog of a lifestyler writing about her-life-and-lolita, however, I'm not too worried.

Let the dancing recommence.

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