6 Aug 2016

What Keeps You Involved in Lolita?



That’s actually a pretty good question. Why? Because Lolita isn’t like a summer fad, here for a few months and then over, forgotten, stuffed at the bottom of the wardrobe afterwards. Except for people who try it out and decide that it’s not for them, whether you’ve been into the fashion for a month, a year or ten years, there has to be something a bit bigger than “I like it” for us to get involved with it this much and this long-term.



In the case of yours truly it’s slightly more complex than a single reason, so let me break it down into smaller chunks. Disclaimer: this post is brought to you by the goodness of appropriate Kamikaze Girls-themed images. ^^

At the centre stage is the look of Lolita fashion. From the cuts, through the prints and designs, all the way down to the overall aesthetic, the last time women’s fashion was this feminine and modest was the 1950s; 1960s were feminine but in a more sexy way thanks to the miniskirt, and after that it seems that trousers sort of took over whilst sexy or powerful were valued higher than feminine, as far as daily wear goes. Lolita fashion, however, is all about celebrating delicate femininity of a bygone era. You get the gorgeous fabrics with all their ruffly, frilly and bow-y details, you get modesty and elegance through blouses and skirt lengths, you get a variety of cuts to flatter every body shape (try finding a skirt or trousers in a cut that isn’t fashionable at the moment at the high street, I dare you), you get inspiring prints, if you desire them, ranging from whimsically Sweet to gloomy Gothic… All of this keeps me excited about the clothes and the upcoming releases, as well as makes me feel fabulous. Not just fabulous in the princess kind of way – wearing Lolita is like getting the right exterior to how I feel inside, to my personality: wanting to be/look more feminine with a big dose of “don’t tell me what to do or how to look” Capricorn rebelliousness. :P


Then there’s the people I met through Lolita. Having been a lone Loli for quite a few years, it’s incredibly refreshing to be able to discuss something I’m passionate about with other people who feel the same way about it. It’s human to have a group mentality, regardless of whether you’re introverted or extraverted – we want to feel understood and be able to share our thoughts with others, and sometimes even your best friends and family will find it difficult to share your enthusiasm for a fashion they might not understand, know about or even like. Of course, the more time you spend with your Lolita comm, the less important frills become and the more you just enjoy each other’s company because your personalities click – and this is how friendships are formed. And friendship, however it started, is a beautiful thing to have.


Finally, for balance, Lolita fashion is now my major connection to Japan and Japanese language. I spent 5 years of my life doing a BA in Japanese Studies, although the closer I was to graduating, the more difficult it became to answer that awful question: Why did you decide to study Japanese? I’m not and never really was an otaku, although I have read/watched and enjoyed some manga, anime and films. I’ve never read a single book by Haruki Murakami and still don’t have a massive connection with Japanese literature, although I read some popular stuff (currently in the middle of reading Kamikaze Girls in Japanese). Not that into games or Japanese music, didn’t know much about J-fashion before going to Japan, the truest answer I could give people was that I was inspired by Memoirs of a Geisha to learn a bit more about the history and the traditional arts, and even that isn’t 100% it. I could ramble for ages and still not come to a conclusion, so let’s cut this short – at the moment the few friends and acquaintances I made in Japan, as well as Lolita fashion are the main reason I can still say that I can speak Japanese. Whether through browsing the various websites in Japanese or reading the newsletter e-mails or Facebook posts, it’s preventing my Japanese language skills from getting too rusty. And to be honest, since I got more into Lolita right towards the end of my degree, I can safely say that because of Lolita I’m finally engaging with the language, as well as the country, a bit more in a bit more meaningful way. After all without it I probably never would have read or watched Kamikaze Girls or any of the other books I talked about previously on this blog, would I? 




This is my story, still pretty simplified, but a fairly complete one – now tell me yours, please. What keeps you involved in Lolita? Has this always been the case or have things changes with time? Let me know in the comments and check out what other participating bloggers have written:

5 comments:

  1. Interesting post. I don't think there is a deeper reason I am interested in the fashion.
    Maybe creativity, definely not the princess theme.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Creativity? In what sense, the creative feel of the fashion or that it makes you be creative by making you craft, sew etc? :)

      Delete
  2. Creative feel. I have tried to make headwear, but I am not good at it. Sewing is not something I have time for.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think headwear is difficult, or at least I can only make very simple things. But jewellery I found fairly easy to make, have you tried that? It could save a lot, especially given how much brand jewellery sometimes costs (and compared to what it actually is, which is often just some colourful plastic in various shapes). :)

      Delete
  3. I have everything to make jewelry. But at the moment I don't need more plain bracelets. And pendants and chains are rather expensive to beads and wire. I have usually good luck finding plastic jewelry second hand. Not brand, but there is very often something aviable in thrift shops. Plastic last better than metal, unless it break. I need more broches, but they are not easy to make to lasting.

    ReplyDelete

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