onsdag den 1. oktober 2014

Halloween, Costume Lolita and Themed Outfits

Picture from Wikipedia
The Halloween month is here, and what would be more appropriate than having a chat about the topic "costumes" and Lolita fashion? Those two concepts have been in conflict for as long as most of us have lived our frilly lives, and to many, the line we walk between the two is still thin. 
We may all agree that Lolita is not a costume. 
But what about bunny ears? Themed coordinates? Wearing Lolita on All Hallows' Eve?
What makes a Lolita outfit a costume?

Follow me, as I dive deep into the deep, dark well that is the discussion of costumes and Lolita.

Actual "Lolita Costume"
And the girl in jeans shouted "Little Bo Peep, where are your sheep?!"
And the Lolita shuddered in secondhand embarassment, for little did the girl in jeans know: Lolita is not a costume at all!
But what defines a costume? What makes Lolita so different from wearing a Little Bo Peep costume, when it comes down to it? Some people think that it is all a matter of not taking the outfit too far into OTT territory, lest it becomes "costume-y". Some people believe it's all about the quality of the materials. Others swear by the elements of the outfit, for instance lace gloves or bunny ears. The viewpoints are many and varied, and no completely consensus has been reached about when we reach "costume Lolita", and when something is just plain "ita". 
(I've even seen the two expressions used interchangeably)
To clarify, I disagree with all of these statements entirely. "Costume Lolita" is a thing, and so is "ita Lolita". They are, however, very different, in my opinion. In this post I'm only gonna talk about the term "costume Lolita".

First, what defines a costume?
I looked it up in the Cambridge Dictionary online, and there, it is defined like this: A set of clothes suitable for a particular historical period or activity, or a set of clothes worn to look like someone or something else. To clarify, what is given as examples of "activities" are things like dancing or swimming.

Lolita does not fit any of these labels. Lolita is a fashion, not a costume. The quality of materials, choice of accessories or amount of stuff worn on your head, is irrelevant. It is the purpose of the clothes that is key, and even the most shiny satin Milanoo piece is therefore not a costume.
Ita, but not a costume. 

Adorable bunny-themed outfits by Angelic Pretty
But, what about themed outfits, then? Aren't they costumes?
No, they are not. Not even if you wear your BtSSB cat ears and take fashion que's from the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland. You see "Steal Her Look!" articles in mainstream fashion magazines all the time and nobody's calling that "costuming". 
I think what confuses people about this is that there are certain elements of Lolita fashion that suddenly become appropriate at certain events or certain holidays. People become unable to withstand the allure of bunny ears around easter, and that's when the arguments pop up about whether or not those are Lolita or costume articles. They are certainly not costume articles if you're not in costume, but the discussion about whether or not they are Lolita appropriate is a different topic entirely. 
Personally, I go with a "Yes!" if they are good quality and part of a themed outfit. 

BtSSB's halloween "Merrymaking in the Ghost Town" print.
But what if I wear my outfit for Halloween?
That depends! Is your outfit just themed around a certain character, or are you actually dressing up AS a character?
Or are you just taking advantage of the occassion to go out and enjoy yourself with a lot fewer stares than usual, to melt into the crowd of actual costume-wearing happy folk and fly under the radar?
Wearing Lolita on Halloween does not make it a costume. Some people worry that it is "disrespectful" to the fashion to wear it on Halloween, or to similar events. In my opinion, it is everything but disrespectful! Themed outfit or not, Lolita-fied costume or not, Halloween gives us an occassion to go all out without sticking out too much! Wear your most oppulent gothic Hime Lolita dress and put a mini-version of the Flying Dutchman on your head. 
As an adoring fan of the Halloween month, it's just twice the sugar and no bees to take my fashion one step further on Halloween.

These are just my opinions!
Are you gonna dress up for Halloween? If so, what are you gonna do?
Let me know in the comments below, and have a really spooky Halloween!

1 kommentar :

  1. I want to get into "witch lolita" so im taking halloween as a good excuse to build a mini wardrobe around the theme. I love wearing lolita in october because it feels less out of place esp on halloween. Halloween themed brand releases are def a fave, too


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