mandag den 4. november 2013

Rules of Lolita, et cetera.

With Christmas coming up very soon, and with that surely a big influx of poor new souls into our subculture, it struck me that it would be appropriate to talk a little about the rules of Lolita fashion. To many of the girls that get into the bus to Lolita land, our fashion must seem very focused on "rules" and what you are allowed to, and especially are NOT allowed to do.

One of my favorite elements of Lolita is that it is so, well, self-centered. In a good way. We wear this fashion for our own sake and we choose not to care about what anybody else tells us. Lolita empowers us to be ourselves and be a shining example that more possibilities are open to people than they're even aware of themselves! "What Not To Wear" does not have to get the final say in what you see in the mirror.
You can wear pink dresses with lambs dressed in strawhats grassing along the hem if that is what makes you happy. It is not like the dress is going to suffocate you when you put it on! And if there are so many alternate opportunities when it comes to fashion, what other changes can you make in your life that society and common opinion made you believe were impossible?

Some people are of the opinion that since you wear Lolita for the reasons stated above: Yourself! there really shouldn't be any "rules" in the fashion. Some people go as far as saying that fashion is all about self-expression and therefore rules don't exist at all! While I do agree that fashion should be all about expressing and being yourself, I am kind of old-fashioned when it comes to the rules of Lolita.
 The rules define what is and what isn't Lolita: The rules are the canvas. You can paint whatever you want on the canvas, but you cannot paint outside the canvas. The laws of physics just won't let you, and you get paint splattered all over the walls if you try.
The rules are necessary, but the rules are not final. 
And the unspoken, unexplained rules are much more important than the written ones.

You have to follow a certain amount of the written rules, but it is a matter of balance more than anything. You can bend, shape and mix it up, if you have the experience to do so. And experience is really key here. To succesfully bend the rules and still have a Lolita outfit when you're done, you need to have "absorbed" what Lolita is really about, and that cannot be done through reading one single, long explanation of the rules and what can and cannot be changed. Those are the "unspoken" rules that I was talking about- It's a certain kind of aesthetic. 
The only written rules inLolita fashion that are really final and can never be changed in any way are skirt length, silhouette and quality. Some people might disagree with me, but this is how I see it:
Your skirt has to have poof. That is that. You just cannot be a Lolita in jeans, no matter how "Lolita" the rest of your outfit may be. Skirt length and silhouette are kind of connected rules- A mini skirt and a ballgown could never make the distinct Lolita silhouette, after all. A "Hot-Topic Milanoo Race-Monster Maid Kawaii Desu" dress you bought on ebay might very well have the shape, but it lacks taste, to be frank. Lolitas might not all be cute, polite maidens, but one of the core rules of any genre of Lolita fashion is that your dress needs to be of at least OK quality.

But that is really all. Shirts, socks, hair, shoes, make-up, accessories are all yours to play around with as much as you please- If you have the experience to do so, and has absorbed the "aesthetic" as much as you can. The ability to instantly recognize what just "does not look Lolita". 

In conclusion: 

Most of the rules are not rules, but guidelines that beginners need to "Play it Safe" while they absorb the aesthetic. 
The aesthetic frees the Lolita from the rules.

Yeah. That got awfully complicated. But you get my drift, right?

2 kommentarer :

  1. I think you made quite a point there. The (majority of) Lolita 'rules' are definitely more guidelines than set in stone rules, and without them it just wouldn't be a Lolita outfit. Yet I totally agree that you don't need to follow every single 'rule' and self expression is important.

    Without these rules though we would have a lot of clueless newbies who wouldn't have a clue of how to get into the fashion. Yet some people don't realise this for some odd reason. You have quite the valid point, and I enjoyed reading this :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...