Boys vs. Lolitas
Jan. 20th, 2007 @ 01:47 pm
Do any of you ever get that feeling like you aren't accepted into the gothic & lolita culture because you don't dress LOLITA? Like the boy styles "don't count" or are just an easy way to fit in? (Same with the aristocrat styles...)
Because really, boy styles take just as much money, dedication, and attention to detail as girl styles (so they aren't "easy"), but because lolita is so much more popular in Japan, and everything gets all distorted and things go missing on the way overseas, we don't have as much to go by. And while I've noticed that boy style are showing significant development in both countries, it is still growing at a much slower rate than lolita.
I think another major reason overseas Lolitas don't count the boy styles is because they really aren't
Lolita in any way shape or form. But, they are missing a crucial fact. This fashion scene is called Gothic AND Lolita. In Japan, most of the boystyles (and just about all the aristocrat styles) that have evolved around Lolita are considered Gothic.
Anyway, if you can relate, feel free to comment. For a while recently, I've been oogling over pretty gothic and classic lolita dresses and dying to buy one...so that I could wear it to a meetup and convince everyone that I AM indeed as cool as the Lolitas. DAMMIT. Glad I caught myself before that could take place.
And now, I just received a massive shipment of VK and jrock albums that I shall now indulge in. WOOHOO! (Man, still a jrock fan at 22 :x)
Hmm, I agree with everything you said!!
Partly another reason why it's hard to do boy styles is that we just don't have the clothing lines for them. We have to wait until places like Atelier Boz or Black Peace Now restock, or we have to make our own meaning we won't own as much coveted "brands" as the Lolitas do. It's also more difficult since there aren't "aristocrat" writers like there are Lolita writers telling us what the style is supposed to be like.
I don't feel like I'm not accepted in the fashion (I do both Lolita and Aristocrat), but that we, as boy stylers, fit into a different niche in the culture. We are, unfortunately, an accessory to the Lolitas, but we're a much sought after one at least. I've noticed that if a person dressed in boy style or aristocrat shows up to a meet, they appear in a lot of photographs so each Lolita can get a photo with him/her.
Ah, you're right about the writers part. At first I thought of just the people on the internet who write special articles and websites, but then there are also people like Novala Takemoto who a lot of Lolitas look up to. I've noticed that if a person dressed in boy style or aristocrat shows up to a meet, they appear in a lot of photographs so each Lolita can get a photo with him/her.
Really? I've noticed the opposite--that all the Lolitas with their Baby and Meta are constantly posing for photo requests, and when it gets to the people dressed in boy styles..."Oh, that's nice too!...".
Maybe that's why I feel the way I do. Maybe I'm just not doing it well, or maybe it has to do with the fact that I have no brand-name Ouji stuffs. Not sure...we haven't had a Chicago meetup in a loooong time, though. ;_;
I just remember seeing a few photoshoots where an Ouji/Dandy/Aristocrat would show up, and seeing him/her in a couple shot with everyone. It might not always be the same thing though, depending on who is there and where it is being held. I'm not contesting that as boy stylers, we are definitely second rung to the Lolitas in their Baby and Meta, but that since we are so rare, when we do show up the Lolitas seem to want a shot with us.
It's true though, since we don't stand out as much, we don't get the same attention from outsiders (and Lolitas sometimes). It's difficult to distinguish what we are wearing from American goths and punks sometimes, which can often lead to receiving nothing more than a glance from people.
I doubt it's that you're not doing it well. Boy styles have fewer rules than Lolita after all! It may just be that since we are seen as human accessories to Lolitas we won't garner the same attention. However, it's important to never forget that even if we play a semi-background role in Lolita culture, we are nonetheless important in representing the other half of it. What is a princess without her Prince Charming, right?
I don't really consider myself to be part of "Lolita Culture." I've never been to a meet-up and I don't really know any lolitas in real life. I read egl
though it says nothing to me about my life, in the vain hope that someone, someday, will be selling a Boz blazer. A lot of people seem to think that Kodona and Dandy are something lolitas do to their boyfriends, which is kind of insulting, really. I am not interested in being anyone's accessory.
A lot of people just don't get menswear. In order to do Dandy well, you have to be familiar enough with menswear's many many rules to know which to break and which to leave alone, which is anything but easy.
That probably sounded a bit harsher than it was meant to be.
I'm curious, what are the rules of menswear? How can they be applied to GL boy styles?
(Don't worry, you don't sound any harsher than anything I might every say ^^ I think it's good to feel strongly about some things.)
I'm sorry for taking so long to get back to you. I could very easily talk about menswear all night long, but I'll try to be brief.
I think what I meant by rules were not so much the straight forward "show half an inch of cuff" or "don't button the bottom button of your blazer" rules, but the more complex idea of what is considered appropriate for a man to wear in a given situation. Menswear has an extremely limited palate of acceptable shapes, colours, etc. and innovation and personal expression usually takes place in the arena of subtle details. Street fashion, of course, is often deliberately inappropriate, and details such as collar size, for example, can be exaggerated well beyond their usual parameters. But if you were to go against too many conventions at once, you would have something that was no longer recognisable as menswear.
I think the conventions that Dandys and Aristocrats (and Lolitas as well) transgress against the most are those of formality. Not only by mixing very formal elements with less formal ones, but by bringing formal elements into situations where one is suspected to dress casually. I've certainly got some very strange looks for just wearing a suit where I wasn't expected to, let alone something more formal like a top hat. there's a lot of resistance to formality in modern society, at least the parts I'm familiar with where people want so much to be seen as laid back and unpretentious. The Dandy follows a different set of rules unrelated to the environment he is actually in, often those of an earlier era. They aren't really the all same rules as were followed in the Victorian era for example, but are at least associated with them. When you wear a waistcoat (which is still allowed, but now considered unnescessary) you allude to a time when a man not wearing a waistcoat was not considered fully dressed.
Kodona, of course, also plays with notions of age appropriateness (as does Lolita), and I haven't even really touched upon the drag element, but it's getting late and I'd like to get some drawing done before I go to bed.
I see what you mean; whenever a guy wears a suit-coat to class or something that looks less casual, everyone asks "What's the occasion?" Then again I guess it's the same for Lolitas/girls who dress nicely to casual places too. Sometimes I'd wear a pretty, long skirt (rather than a casual miniskirt) and people would ask "What are you dressed up for?"
I don't think I could say anything that hasn't already been said (or say anything without sounding like a bitch) but I get what you mean.
And also: dude, I'm 22 and don't want to consider
the amount of money I spent on jrock last year ^^; Enjoy indulging! XD
I like boystyle more actually than most Lolita styles. It works for me, because I like dressing more masculine some times.
And have fun! If you don't mind me asking, what albums did you buy? ^^
Hooray for mindless self-indulgence
Bought it because it was relatively CHEAP (WOOHOO), and because it includes Lareine's Metamorphose which I've been hunting down for a long time.
It is very unfortunate, but a lot of those who attempt "boy styles" just do not have enough originality. They don't know how to construct an outfit that's anything worth looking at, very plain. There ARE items out there, as well as patterns, that could make for wonderful Prince and Count ensembles, but they are definitely under-utilized, and even when they are, they oft go unaccesorized. A blazer, shirt, shorts and shoes do not a complete outfit make. In a fashion like this, if we want to pull ourselves out of the massive shadows of our female counter-parts' parasols and panniers, much more consideration must go into the over-all look.
I suggest thoughtful planning for each outfit before its public debut. First a deep consideration of the genre itself, the staples, past precedents, the well-charted pitfalls of those who have gone before. A foray into an obscure style necessitates a will to dig deep to find enough accurate information. Then a careful consideration of what one wants to communicate in a given outfit. What will the colours, the patterns, the cut of the garments say? What details will accessories add? At what point is there too much? Sketching out the ensemble first, and bringing along any pieces one has when purchasing a new addition to make certain that each part fits.
This may seem very obvious to some, but from the examples I have seen here to fore, it does not seem obvious to many. A plain blazer, a white blouse and a pair of short pants seems to suffice for most. Rather disappointing, and I don't mind saying so. A bit of effort would go quite a long way to getting Princes and Counts untethered from Lolitas' frilly aprons.
Just a little word from a lolita, if I may~
Maybe it's because I'm on the other side of this, but I've never seen this problem. I see a lot of people doing a rather uncreative or dull job at different boystyles...but that happens with lolita as well.
Personally, I never see kodonas/etc as "accessories", but someone I can consider close to myself as I do other lolitas. It's very rare that I see anyone in boystyle (or lolita...or any other Japanese fashion) around me because of where I live...but when I do I always greet them warmly and try to become their friend. (I almost jumped the first kodona I met...but I didn't want to scuff my maryjanes). So please do not think we are all cold to boystyles...some of us really do love you!
(And I'm expecting a package of Plastic Tree, hide, and Aya on Monday that totals just over $150...it's always good to indulge yourself isn't it?)
|Date:||January 21st, 2007 08:16 pm (UTC)|| |
I am a lolita too, but I am quite interested in dressing kodona too, but I just find it harder to make interesting than lolita.
As for the couple thing, I think it is because it easier to convince a bf (or at least mine) to wear pants and a shirt than a dress :X
I don't think it's any easier to blend in though, just that no one sees it as out there as say a sweet lolita dress.
I understand what you mean. I think lots of it is because it's easier to do a well done Lolita. As in, if you can get a nice jsk, nice blouse, and some matching shoes and accesories chances are you'lll look ok. For boystyles, there's just not the same range. Someone did mention this above, but thought I'd say it again.
Also, I kind of come at this from a different angle because I'm actually a guy. And when I turn up to a meetup with my loli fiance people take a bit more notice. Also, I tend to make sure lots and lots of effort goes into my outfits, so the girls have no choice but to realise that my fashion is a valid as their's.
I think boywstyles are uner rated simply because so many people who we see dressed up in boy styles just don't look good. (I'm not saying some lolitas aren't akward too. . ) It's just that Boystyles are really easy to do in a half-assed way.
I know that sounds pretty mean but I think if you want to really be aknowleged as a Kodona you really have to throw yourself into it.
I'm so glad so many people have this opinion...I don't feel so awful and critical anymore XD
I agree...I'll admit sometimes I was a very half-assed Kodona/ouji when I started...I think that Aristocrat/dandy are also a bit easier than Kodona, because it's more easy to find elegant clothes than clothes that are childishly inelegant/elegant (did that make sense?) I mean, a nice ruffled shirt with ruffled sleeves, a waist-coat, sailor-button pants, elegant leather shoes with a decent, yet thick heel...I mean it's easy to pull that together to give the elegant, beautiful, and eccentric look of a Dandy, but, getting the elements of Kodona and even Ouji (Ouji moreso because it tends to sit on the line between Aristocrat and Kodona more) are much more complex.
With Kodona, I think the best thing to do is play with lower-quality fabrics, like for instance, I have a pair of denim knickers (1 inch below the knee) that I pair with black knee-length socks with silver stripes on them, a white button-up shirt with an over-sized collar, a simple ribbon tie, and an over-sized brown mid-thigh length double breasted coat. sometimes I'll have a peter-pan collar with small ruffles on it, or wear something with more colours, but the palatte for Kodona, in my opinion, is best left bland, with the exception of socks, ribbon ties, and hats (for instance, socks with a colourful argile pattern, a ribbon that's coloured or has bursts of colour (I have a black silk one with pink polka-dots) and a patched up poorboy hat).
Ouji-kei on the other hand, is supposed to be princely, and more royal, but still with childish qualities. So, get nice fabrics for this, more ruffles (but not too many, since most boys didn't get ruffles until they were in their 20's (like with long trousers). For example, a baby blue buttonup with very small fine ruffles along the buttons, and on the sleeve cuffs, Knickers in an very nice fabric or style (for these, I think the kind with multiple buttons, and a plaid pattern are nice) the socks should be more elegant and dainty than a Kodonas, like, for instance, I have a pair of lace socks that I'll wear with some below the knee knickers. A pair of shoes, in leather, or even patent leather, with a nice thick but not too high heel, or even platforms (I think some mary-jane-ish shoes go good with Ouji as well). a very nice ribbon tie, or even a full tie (I make my own from a red silk 1.5" wide ribbon) and a more form fitting jacket/coat as well, maybe even a capelet.
Remembeer, Kodona=poor boy, so he outgrows his clothes, so tighter/oversized (hand-me-downs) combos are best, but Ouji=prince, so he has clothes made for him every time he grows a millimeter (not really, but you get what I mean!) So yeah.... I'm not even sure why I typed this actually...
|Date:||April 26th, 2007 03:07 pm (UTC)|| |
*winces at how stupid she sounds here*
i just need to say that i love this thread.
it's a good reference for writing about these styles for me...
as a lolita, i have to say that i feel kind of weird about boystylers...
i love to see them around, they're very cute and you don't see them as often, especially good ones, as many people have pointed out.
but... on the rare occasion that i have seen actual boystylers at cons and things it's kind of awkward because... they're boys. i mean, obviously some of them aren't really, but i'm a person who can't always tell which is a guy and which is a girl. and even if i can, when i see someone dressed as i boy, i treat them as one. i'm a shy person, and while maybe i can run up and hug another lolita, i can't really treat a boy with the same nonchalance. the last really good boystyler i saw i freaked out a little bit because i ended up following him around an anime con trying to decide if it would be appropriate to hug him.
Warning: Lurking Lolita alert 8D !
Anyhow, here's what I think:
That some Lolitas are just too stuck up for their own good. So much to the point of which they're missing the whole point of Lolita. Japanese Lolita I adore; far more than international ones. Why? Because they're not afraid of not being considered 'Lolita' just because they have creativity and mix up what they wear a little. Of coarse, this is because the Japanese don't take the co-ordination as seriously as international Lolitas. I myself am not Japanese, but from all the Gothic & Lolita Bibles for one, it's clear.
That's another pet peeve of mine; When Lolitas practically smash anyone who is a big fan of Visual Kei or Mana. Yes, apparently they do not notice that Lolita style, even, is classed with Gothic in Japan. Furthermore, most of the people responsible for inspiring/promoting it happen to be Visual Kei artists. I find it hilarious how some of them dislike Gothic and Punk fashion when, in reality, Lolita is considered just as extreme (in Japan, at least). I wonder how many of these 'Lolita' girls were actually 'Preps' to begin with and how many of them really understand what it's like to always stand out.
/End of rant
So sorry everyone, it's just been on my mind lately ^^;; ! Hopefully no one from the egl community will read this, ba, some Lolitas can be downright mean >8/
Anyhoo, thank you, whoever read this ^^ !
I haven't been to Japan yet, but from what I notice in overseas publications is that along with the worldwide Lolita boom and the movie Shimotsuma Monogatari came a new wave of Lolitas (in Japan and beyond) who are just obsessed with Lolita and don't really like to associate themselves with the other rebellious fashions that the public generally lumps them into. So I don't think Japanese lolitas and international lolitas are much different after all.
For example, have you seen that photo book that came out somewhat recently called Gothic & Lolita? (I looked through it at the store one day, a day after it caused a ruckus on egl :x) Notice how all of the girls who are dressed in full-blown, traditional Lolita put "Lolita, I love Lolita, all things Lolita" for their interests, current obsessions, and points of fashion, while everyone else gave random answers that didn't really have to do with either Gothic or Lolita.
I saw a reflection of the egl community in each of those girls, lol. They just have a lot of pride for what they love, which is wonderful by itself, but sometimes they don't notice when it affects how they interact with others. I think they are a worldwide phenomenon O_o
I think what Japan DOES have that other countries lack are girls who dare to wear Lolita garments as part of their personal fashion, not necessarily as a traditional Lolita outfit. These are the girls who appear in the Bibles often. In english-speaking nations, if you are wearing BURANDO, or a poofy skirt with a petticoat for that matter, you are so obviously TRYING to be a Lolita, so you must coordinate it properly or you will be looked down upon! I hope that one day this barrier can be broken.
So back on topic, I hope you come to know better Lolitas than the ones you've encountered so far D: The only girls I know who HATE Visual-kei and dislike gothic styles are the ones who are new and trying too hard, or who aren't actually Lolitas at all, so don't give up because of them. Most of the Lolitas I know are pretty open, understanding people who just love their fashion, buy lots of expensive clothing, and avoid egl like the plague XD