Friday, March 20, 2015

Lolita Blog Carnival - How Would You Define A Lifestyle Lolita

Years ago, when lolita first began to propagate in the Western community this question might have been more easily answered. Lifestyle lolita called to mind a very cut and dry image of a young woman who incorporated lolita into all aspects of her life from her daily dress to her hobbies.
This pure maiden ideal is no doubt appealing to plenty of lolitas today, but the reality of a lifestyle lolita is very different in the current stage of lolita's evolution. Nowadays we make distinctions between a daily lolita and a lifestyle lolita among a myriad of other labels and terms which are generally superfluous.

I would argue that a modern lifestyle lolita is one who incorporates the lolita aesthetic into more than just her clothing. This could be everything from her hobbies and her job to her home decor. The idea being that a lifestyle lolita internalizes the designs she loves so much to the point that they bleed into other aspects of her life if only a little bit. While the pure maiden aesthetic of EGLs past is certainly nostalgic and I would argue that more than a few lolitas still aspire to that level of commitment, most lolitas would find it to be a bit extreme. Rather, it is far more common to find lolitas who have taken up small hobbies like crafting, knitting, sewing, or embroidery in conjunction with their interest in the fashion. Or you might find a number of lolitas who have taken to decorating their rooms, homes, and other living spaces with pieces which accentuate their personal style. While a sweet lolita might like pastels and soft flowing drapes, a classic lolita might go apartment shopping in the historic district of her city, and a gothic lolita might have a cabinet of macabre curios collected over her travels from places near and far.

Being a lifestyle lolita is not necessarily about wearing lolita fashion everyday. In fact, there are a number of lolitas for whom this is simply not possible due to their profession. Are they any less receptive to the lolita aesthetic than those that have the opportunity to wear petticoats everyday? I would disagree. The lifestyle lolita who wears frills on a daily basis is no more or less committed than the lolita who creates an entire space dedicated to the aesthetic. And neither of the previous two are much different than the lolita who enjoys her daily cup of tea with her afternoon embroidery session. All are worthy pursuits of the same ideal, simply to different ends.

A lifestyle lolita takes the fundamentals of the fashion and applies them to multiple facets of her life with the foremost being her style of dress in her spare time. From there it is largely about how she chooses to see the world. For a lifestyle lolita, the world looks a bit more like a fairytale. In some ways, lolita is in direct opposition to the the cynicism and apathy of the modern age. The lifestyle lolita appreciates beauty in all its forms and takes time out of her day to appreciate them. As I mentioned in my treatise on community, lolita fashion fosters kindred spirits - sisters with whom you can connect on a deep level despite not having known one another for very long. How often do most women go out of their way to get together with girlfriends and just appreciate one another's company? I would wager that for the average woman the answer is not very often, but it seems like most lolitas are attending teas, museum visits, and similar group events at least once a month wherein the entire purpose is to dress in the style you love with like-minded people while doing activities you enjoy.

The lifestyle lolita is the queen of her own wonderland. She creates a world and space she would like to live in and strives to enjoy a life she won't ever feel the need to take a vacation from. First and foremost, a lifestyle lolita celebrates the aesthetic she adores for herself. Being a lifestyle lolita is as much about embracing the ideas set forth by the Japanese street fashion as it is about being honest with yourself and validating your own passions. At the end of the day, anyone could be a lifestyle lolita if only they would realize that the world is their canvas and they hold the paintbrushes. Go forth and paint the world in the colors of your dreams. Live the life they write about in fairytales and embrace the power of doing so.

Stay beautiful and strong my lovelies,

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