Disclaimer: If you think this post is about the book Lolita (by Vladimir Nabokov), this post will dissapoint you, because it is not about the book at all. I really liked the book itself, because it is a good book (I think it is horrible too, I was actually horrified by the idea that there could be people who will act like that towards children). Actually what I am going to talk about is Lolita Fashion, which have very little to nothing to do with the book.
As I said at me previous post, Lolita fashion is one of my current special interests, and frankly, it is hard to say why I love it so much. There is something about it that just captured my “heart” and made me fall head over heels with it. It is not the kind of love you feel towards a person, but the kind of love that you feel when you learn and create things, special things. I find it hard to explain. I mean, I can try to explain why I love Wolverine so much (another special interest), and I guess that my current obsession with autism has quite obvious reasons. But Lolita?
Well, thing is – it became a special interest that surprised even me. I wasn’t expecting that at all.
- The overall ascetic:
I find it hard to explain in words what exactly Lolita fashion is, but it is very clear to me nevertheless. Sure, we all can talk about the doll-like look, the Victorian and rococo inspiration or the volume of the skirt, but for me it is not the answer. There is just something…magical in the overall ascetic, the “wholeness” of an outfit that combines elegance, child-like princess fantasy and the attention to detail and overall themes, dark or sweet or just fun that makes me just love that fashion so much.
- The second hand market
Although it became easier then 10 years ago, purchasing Lolita fashion is still not as easy as going to the local store and buying some clothes (which, for me, in not easy at all anyway). Buying it from the brand site is not that easy sometimes, because even knowing your measurements may be not fool-proof. Plus, Lolita fashion is expensive. And some people are just not really good with buying stuff online. In addition most people, sadly, find the idea of buying and wearing second hand clothes may even repulsive, but if you want to buy the dress of your dreams or get a “brand” piece for a reasonable price, probably you will have to buy it second hand. It can save you time, money, nerves and also the hardships pf buying online (if you buy from a person in your local community). It brings lolitas together, it makes communities stronger, it also helps new lolitas into the fashion. What there is not to love about buying second hand?
- The variability of prints and designs
I don’t think I’ve ever thought that such variability in designs could exist for similar pieces of clothing in nowadays fashion. I mean, most of the clothes designs I see around look quite the same, especially if some of them are fashionable right now. But Lolita fashion? It is an explosion of different prints, colors, cuts and designs. So much kinds of lace with a thousand ways to use them on the same basic dress! So much variability in different kinds of prints, even about the same theme! Lots of different extras that can make every skirt into it’s own world of wonder!
There are not so meny fashions that are like that.
- The complexity and “wholeness” of an outfit
Coordinating an outfit is not easy at all, even if it is a decent one and not “perfect”. You have to keep in mind the whole theme, the look you want to make, the different colors and shades and the way all of this work with your body. One can argue that it is the same with mainstream fashion as well, but with mainstream fashion it just doesn’t work for me. The variables are too confusing, and you have to think not only about what you like but also what others will think that looks good. Also, Lolita coordinates are somewhat more complex and full of many little details I can obsess about while lying in bed at night or walking around in my civilian clothing. And all of this just to create an outfit that feels whole, that when you look at, you can see the different pieces tie together to tell some kind of story made of colors, lace and bows.
When I was first introduced to Lolita fashion headdresses weren’t fashionable at all. I am not sure how or why, but it took some time till I feel in love with these weird pieces of lacy cloth for your head. One day something between me and them just clicked. Because in a way, headdresses are in some way the spirit of the fashion – high quality lace, an illusion of modesty (some religions Jewish women use somewhat similar accessories to cover part of their hair to mark them as married), lots of little details and of course they are totally impractical and very bold. This is why I love them.
- Stimming while wearing Lolita
I am autistic. And that also means I engage in some repetitive behaviors called “Self-stimulatory behavior” or “stimming“. Which means I flap my hands, jump in place, hum, stroke my clothes, braid my hair or chew on something. This is important to me because it helps me to stay focused and express my feelings. But what does it have to do with Lolita? For me, it means I can stroke the lace on the dress, “trace” around the print on the fabric or jump and see my dress jump with me, looking like a huge jelly fish. It makes stimming more fun, more relaxing. I don’t really know why, but stimming in Lolita is 10 times better then in my regular clothes. I guess most lolitas wouldn’t get it, but it is OK. This post is about the things I love in the fashion, and I guess everyone loves it a bit differently.
- The SOFT lace and fabrics
Speaking about being autistic (It is the last time I speak about it in this post, I swear!), itchy fabrics and lave are big deal for me. I wore my fair share of uncomfortable clothing because I wasn’t allowed to decide what I wear till several years ago. I hated wearing fancy and itchy dresses, scratchy fabrics and overall discomfort in a form of a pair of jeans. I cannot say Lolita is the most comfortable fashion to wear, but the fabrics are never itchy and the lace is always soft and nice on my skin, unlike the one that is found on everyday clothing, and I LOVE IT!
I think I own about 20 pairs, and I don’t remember how many tights. Actually, I estimate the numbers because I never counted them. I know some have more socks then me, but still you can tell I am slightly obsessed with socks. I think that the right socks can upgreade an outfit from perfect to magnificent. I know some people feel that way towards shoes (I own 2.5 pairs of loliable shoes) but lolita socks are much better. They come in an endless verity of lengths, patterns and textures, with or without lace, cute prints and sometime even some chocolate frosting (hopefully, not the eatable kind). Plus, they tend to be quite cheap, and are fairly easy found at local stores or eBay, and sometimes, large brands also sell them for a really good price (like my newest Innocent World socks, costed me about 30 ILS, which is totally reasonable for Lolita socks with high quality lace.
- Parasols and Umbrellas
As some of you may know, I live in the middle east, and here things are … different then in other places. For starters – the heat. It is really hot here (and sometimes really moist too) all year, and if the temperatures decrease lower then 10 degrees Celsius, the whole country panic (because people begin to die). At the first droplets of rain all the roads are folded and… well… you get me. It is bloody hot here. And for that, a parasol was invented. In Lolita fashion it is totally acceptable to walk around in an umbrella (as a parasol) during any time, unlike in other fashions. And you are not afraid that people will stare at you because you played it smart and went out with a portable shade, because… they will be too busy staring at how weird you are dressed. Plus, umbrellas are lovely, especially in Lolita fashion. They have ruffels and cute prints and can be worked into almost any coord, while adding some elegance and a useful weapon at once.
- Feeling and looking like from another time
Lolita Fashion is a modern fashion. It is influenced by some parts of the Victorian, Rococo and even the 50’s fashion, but it is an influence – not the source. Still, you can’t just not feel that something about wearing it is just so different from the modern point of view on how people should dress. Something about it’s feeling is just too different. I can’t put my finger excectly on what it is, but when I wear Lolita coordinate I feel like a visitor from another unspecific time, and that feeling is really magical for me.
Thanks for reading!