Lately, I feel like every time I turn around, people are talking about new substyles of lolita. From multi-street-fashion mash-ups, to the long-defined gothic, classic and sweet, to declaring a style based on the theme of a print. So, it’s been making me wonder what other people consider toâ¦
A potentially interesting discussion over on EGL that I think more people should participate in! What do you think defines a Lolita substyle? When does something go from just something a few people wear to substyle? Do you differentiate between themes and substyles or just nix substyles all together?
I actually made a venn diagram on my thoughts about substyles and influences xD ( Please see note on this in the actual post for taking it totally out of context!):
This is a nice discussion! The diagram got me intrigued — personally I’d make it so that the “Victorianesque fashions” also overlap with Gothic, plus Aristocrat actually inside Gothic. Though this is a personal view, but I don’t really see it Aristocrat as a separate style, not more than, say, tea length skirts in Classic — what’s interesting however is that publications tend to align Gothic Lolita and Aristocrat a lot more with “goth” than with “lolita”, or so I’ve observed. Maybe a circle of “J-Goth” where the intersection with Lolita is the “Gothic Lolita”? And outside the intersection we can put stuff like Madam~ (I feel like Visual-kei would also intersect between J-Goth and J-Punk, with a sliiiiver going into Lolita)
I do agree that a lot of what people tend to consider as substyles (such as sailor and pirate and guro such) are definitely closer to themes, especially since people tend to treat them a lot more like costumes than the “pure” Big Three. There’s also the factor that any of those themes can lean towards any of the Big Three in aesthetic.
I also do consider Boystyle/Ouji as part of the wider Lolita-kei, so to say, but IMO it works a lot like Ero in that the changes are structural rather than aesthetic or thematic. Whereas Ero is the racier Lolita, Boystyle is the “genderbent” Lolita.
That is just the way I see it, though!
Actually! Aristo might fit really nicely INSIDE of gothic completely, I was trying to make it be a part of general Jgoth as an outside thing and that’s where I was sort of stumped. But I think personally, I see Aristo as a completely separate thing within Jgoth. I’ve always really considered Aristo as a separate Mana related thing. Like whenever I come across someone who refers to themselves as “Aristocrat” about 99% of the time it’s someone who owns an almost exclusively Moitie wardrobe (sprinkled with a few very similar stye other brand pieces) and I would honestly probably consider “Mana fan” as a separate bubble that intersects with Lolita and a VK bubble because it honestly seems like the “Mana Fandom” exists outside of the Lolita group, even though the clothes are the same. It just seems like a lot of Moitie collectors/Mana fans have their own separate subculture from the rest of Lolita. Then again, this is just something I personally feel and I know that not everyone else thinks that way! If I were to redo the diagram, there would probably be a Visual Kei, Mana Fandom, JGoth (in that overlapping order) group of bubbles that intersect with the Gothic bubble.
I think boystyle would intersect probably in that case? I was always under the impression that boystyle was just a thing people enjoyed doing, and some of them enjoyed doing it with frilly clothes. Like the style is too all over the place for me to really pinpoint down within the Lolita spectrum entirely. Obviously the puffy AatP pants, Boz vests, Moitie blouses coordinates could fit nicely, but a lot of the more casual vest/slightly frilly shirt/capri pants coordinates are really far removed from me.
Of course, before someone messages me with “OMG I HATE YOU BECAUSE YOU SAID IF YOU WEAR MOITIE YOURE NOT A LOLITA DIIIEEE” messages, this is just musings on how different fashions have intersected with Lolita and obviously not even remotely concrete.
I do see your point! Especially on the Mana Fandom part, haha. It’s a very particular type of “brand loyalism” — I wonder if it was like that (obviously in smaller scale) with Dada’s Arachnophobia as well? I do tend to prefer Atelier BOZ’ aristocrat rather than Moitié’s (even if it was Moitié that got me into the style), but I am aware I’m not in the majority. :P
And I agree about boystyle, I wasn’t considering the less frilly portion of it.
I just remembered something that is missing and would possibly facilitate (or make it a hundred times more difficult, lol) on working on the intersections: Natural-kei (of which Mori and Dolly would be sub-bubbles I guess?). I feel like defining the “parent” styles would help in defining the Lolita substyles; they all have a base in Natural-kei, but Gothic got a lot more of musical (and subcultural Goth too I guess) influence.
(Also: the “hot mess” intersection between the Big Three? Totally Meta. Shine on, Metamorphose, I love how crazy you are xoxo)