The Ultimate Lolita Fashion Show serves to showcase a number of designers across the various subsections. Sitting through the handful of catwalks, I had a recurring thought and felt the exhibit raises more questions than answers.
What is the attraction to lolita fashion? Given the current gravitation towards anime with a moe theme, it offers an obvious driving force. But that only begs the question on the force behind said gravitation. People desire youth. Society places value on it. But lolita fashion goes further. It portrays an image of pure innocence. Yet it’s amusing (to yours truly) that a lot of cosmetics are utilized to achieve the effect. Besides, the poses each model would make reflects a level of maturity that fails to conjure the innocence it’s trying to capture. Finally, I found it interesting that most designers chose to accompany the catwalks with a soundtrack featuring sounds of an alternative rock nature with solemn male voices.
I realize that gothic lolita and similar others project a slightly different image but the panel predominantly featured sweet lolita designs. (I have limited knowledge of lolita fashion.) My recurring thought revolves around the reception of the audience versus the designers’ intent. It’s no secret that lolita fashion carries sexual undertones. But does that stem from the designer or the audience? In some ways fashion, lolita included, is like Gundam. It involves a wide array of subjects among which politics may be one of them. Gender politics to be exact. Do women, since fashion is overwhelmingly geared towards said gender, wear a certain style to satisfy their desire or those of others? What about the designer? In other words, is the woman creating the innocent schoolgirl sexual connotation or is that a label affixed by the man or both?
I wish I have more answers. In fact, I know just what to do at the next Otakon.
All photos courtesy of SciFiAnimeHeroes.
10 thoughts on “Ultimate Lolita Fashion Show”
Wow!!! Cute designs!!! Awwww.. I wish I was at this fashion show. I just imagine wearing it is cute, why slap a sexual overtone to it?
Why indeed. Hopefully I will explore this further in future shows at other cons.
Awesome! Lolita fashion is very cute indeed! It fully awakens the potentiality of girl’s cuteness. Petiteness, and maiden/virgin with archaic classy frills. During 60s, French Lolita spread throughout the world. But now, Lolita spreads from Osaka, Japan!
Your diction of virgin irks me. I think this touches upon my unresolved thoughts regarding lolita fashion. Am I the only one who finds it both fascinating and bothersome that hardly anyone blinks an eye? Yes, it’s super cute but… There’s something beneath the surface that I can’t place my finger on.
Why do women want to dress as girls? (Not that lolita fashion is all about dressing like girls. Appreciation for Victorian ideals/styles play a significant part.) I wonder what the reaction may be if men wanted to dress like boys? On the flip side, why does (Japanese) culture puts such pressure on women to be youthful? At what point is this unhealthy, if at all? Does society place the same pressure on men? I am of the opinion that art is more defined by the audience than the artist.
Not that a woman is defined by her style or that the population speaks for an individual. I can’t fully articulate my thoughts. It remains unresolved. Like I wrote, lolita fashion is just like Gundam. It’s really simplistic at a glance – cool mecha battles! But there’s so much going on besides just cuteness.
To be clear, I was eulogizing Lolita, not intended to irk you. Why did maiden/virgin annoy you that much? What bothers you?
People want to remain young forever. Eternal youth, eternal 16 for Sanat Kumara, eternal 17 for my case. But in 3-D, there’s no way my body stay young. Each year my forehead gets wider and puts more grey hairs, and eventually end up being an old geezer on a wheelchair, and only a caregiver would come talk to me and change my diapers. So, who wants to be old, disabled, and senile, and die?
2-D subculture is our shelter, we can cosplay whatever we want, and crossplay too. There is Lolita guys too, a notable one is Takemoto Nobara, a novel writer, who wrote Shimotsuma Monogatari, known in English as Kamikaze Girls. The mainstream people would see us abnormal, but within otaku community, it’s damn cool.
Excellent. You raise a very good point but first, I will attempt to reply. Virgin is a loaded word and I find it misogynistic.
I agree wholeheartedly that context plays a pivotal role. Josh Bell once pretended to busk in the subway and only one recognized him over the course of several hours.
I had hoped to generate much discussion but am afraid I have bitten off more than I can chew :/ Besides, this isn’t a socio political blog. That said, I welcome more comments^^
I see, the word “virgin” in America has a negative connotation then. As I came from Japan, I was describing “otome” in English, which quality can be seen in Alice and Lolita archetypes in anime. For example, “Rosen Maiden.” Next time, I’ll use “otome” instead of “maiden/virgin,” the word which is better left untranslated. Good to know about cultural differences, how words are perceived. Thanks!
Oh wow. Your English is really good. Virgin doesn’t have a negative connotation per say. It has more to do with the context of our discussion. Languages are fun.
I never finished watching Rosen Maiden :/
The word lolita reminds me of the cute character of Hani-senpai from Ouran High School Host Club. Lolita images are also cute as long as the one doing it matches this kind of image.
The fashion lolita is quite something but I think not all people looks good wearing a lolita outfit.
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