Gothic Lolitas

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One of the most often misunderstood styles found in our beloved Metaverse and, due to its appearence and influences often appears in the fashionable parlours and crypts of Caledon and WinterFell is Gothic Lolita, sometimes known as Elegant Gothic Lolita (EGL).

Japanese in origin, Gothic Lolita owes little to either the European Goth movement, or that book by Nabokov but is often assumed by the uninformed or reactionary to somehow combine the less seemly aspects of the two into a strange new form of deviance. In this posting, I wish to put to rest such misrepresentations of a beautiful form of personal expression and fashion here in Caledon.

The term Elegant Gothic Lolita was coined late in the last decade by Japanese musician and artist Mana as a brand name for his personal line of clothing, Moi-Meme-Moitie. EGL, or Gothic Lolita (“Gosurori” or GothLoli) as it is more generally known is based on Victorian styles typically worn by little girls and unmarried women at the turn of the century with a liberal sprinkling of modern gothic/punk sensibilities. The style is typically modest and a bit macabre, featuring lacey dresses in dark colors, usually just black and white, with short starched skirts, crinolines, petticoats, corsets, bloomers, stockings and mary janes all figuring prominently in the look. Outfits are often trimmed with crosses, bats or tombstones and feature pale, doll like make up. Several fashionable shops and fashion lines in Japan now produce Gothic Lolita garments and accessories.

The Gothic Lolita style gave birth to two related styles in Japanese fashion, Classic Lolita which is a more historically accurate version of the same look and Sweet Lolita in which pastel colors and flowers replace somber shades and crosses.

Mana also created a line he calls Elegant Gothic Aristocrat (EGA) which is made up of more Unisex styles designed for an older clientèle. He is still the leading light of both styles, producing the intensely influential magazine Gothic And Lolita Bible several times a year as well as modeling his own designs (for both men and women).

Ironically, a Japanese GothLoli enthusiast would have little understanding of many of the assumptions and rumors which are attached to the style in the West (and in Second Life). The European Goth or Gothic movement, rooted in music and Germanic styles is little known in Japan and not overtly connected to the Gothic Lolita style. As for the use of the term Lolita, most GothLolis were not aware of it’s significance until Mana himself suggested they read the book in an early issue of Gothic and Lolita Bible. The concept of Gothic Lolita as a “sexy” style (let alone one connected to child sexual abuse) is alien to true enthusiasts who view the inherent modesty of the look to be vitally important to the style and culture of the GothLoli.

Gothic Lolitas can most often be found in urban centers such as Tokyo or Osaka, and figure prominently in many anime and manga series. It is such J-Pop appearances which is bringing the style to western attention, often being lumped in with Cosplay as a style based on dressing up like anime characters. In reality, the anime characters are being dressed up like GothLolis and not vice versa.

In Second Life, some of the leading designers produce Gothic Lolita or Lolita styles, and typically they each bring their own unique perspective to make it their own. Some designers show more skin, or alter the typical skirt while others steer away from any Gothic influence. In the illustration above, my own darling sister-in-law and ward Kiralette Kelley models examples from Draconic Kiss, Silver Rose, Canimal, Silent Sparrow and BareRose to show the great variety available in the Metaverse.

To see for yourself, one should look to such designers as Caledon’s own Yuriko Muromachi (Silver Rose, VictoriaCity 144, 80, 0), Draconic Lioncourt (Draconic Kiss, Koreshan 189, 104, 25), Canimal Zephyr (Canimal, Canimal 209, 66, 27), Kru Flan (Kru’s Boutique, Missauke 179, 205, 92), June Dion (BareRose, Bare Rose 146, 11, 30) and hyasynth Tiramisu (Silent Sparrow, silent sparrow 62, 219, 32). Silent Sparrow and Kru’s Boutique also produce several designs which are typical of the Elegant Gothic Aristocrat style.

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2 Comments

  1. Kru Flan was a name I didn’t know; I’ll have to check her out. In the meantime, most of my Loli outfits come from Draconic Kiss, because I love the overabundance of crinolines and bows.

    It’s not entirely a Lolita style, though I love the designs, but I wear a lot of the Graveyard Tartans from Bare Rose, too. They’re similar enough to be descendants of the main, at least.

  2. but gothic lolita, and elegant gothic lolita are diferents styles, the main is just lolita, there are divided in gothic (black), elegant (long dress and skirts) and sweet (pastel colors), i love sweet loli style ^^ is the most uncommon in SL


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