September 21st, 2009
I am a huge dork for lolita. Now I’m not talking Nabokov (good book though), I mean Japanese street fashion. For any japanophile, lolita fashion is not anything new. But for the rest of you, you may have encountered some characters in game without realizing it and thought to yourself, “What the hell is she wearing?” (Ok, probably not….?)
Lolita fashion is based on aristocratic Victorian-era clothing, with lots of construction details — ruffles, bows, and other embellishments. Think of it as how you’d dress a porcelain doll. Within lolita fashion, there are many sub-categories, most notably EGL (Elegant Gothic Lolita) which is black and white and er, goth; Sweet Lolita, characterized by pastels and cuteness; and Classic Lolita, which is more subdued and sophisticated.
I absolutely love that it is becoming prevalent enough to show up in more video games, but it still seems pretty confined to certain genres — mainly fighters, horror, and RPGs. Maybe it just seems that way because those are basically the genres I play (hmm…), but hey, I’m not going to argue about all my hobbies merging into a singular amazing super hobby of sorts!
Lolitas tend to be associated with creepy gore, horror, and general violence in video games, and with good reason. Maybe it is partly due to the association with visual kei bands, partly because horror movies and creepy dolls and gore are what many lolitas actually enjoy, but also because of what I think of as a Japanese cultural fascination with the juxtaposition of violent and cute, that brings to mind the work of Junko Mizuno and Takashi Murakami. And the game Deathsmiles:
Seriously, watch a youtube video. 1:59 WTF o_O!!
So for anyone still reading this, there is a very fun Make-A-Loli creator-game-thing on artist Claire Belton’s website. It is very very very easy to spend time clicking away at all the different objects in the room and coming up with your own seemingly endless designs. This is by far the most fun and cute one of these that I’ve seen, and it is totally worth checking out even if you don’t think you’d like it!!
For actual info about lolita fashion, I recommend wikipedia, but I personally found out about EGL through my love for visual kei, a Japanese genre of rock music with a strong emphasis on the visual style of the band — usually androgynous make-up and elaborate goth-punk fashion, like if you mixed vampire movies and kabuki with 80’s glam-rock, and sometimes pirates and/or clowns. Most bands have one member who looks especially female, like Mana, who back in the days of Malice Mizer, really popularized lolita fashion along with the band. Mana even has his own line of lolita brand clothing, which causes some devoted EGLs to froth at the mouth with glee.
Entry Filed under: Random