Due to time constraints and length, I have decided to divide my critique of Lolita in two . My previous post praised Lolita; here is the critique.
However, a disclaimer is necessary. I have not, as of this moment, worn Lolita. My critique is based on the knowledge found in various blogs and message boards throughout the internet. Like my critique of Goth, I am not condemning the fashion as a whole, merely stating why I will not embrace this aesthetic fully.
Clothing tells the story of your life. The garments you chose, the seperates you match, the care and attention you pay to your hair and makeup, proclaim far more to a person than we would like to admit. But consider two people: one dressed in jeans and a baggy hoodie from some name brand store, the other wearing a well tailored skirt and blazer. Who would you invite back to a job interview? Look twice at in the street? Think was more successful?
The question of the validity of this judging remains to be explored, but we are being naive if we think that people first judge by the qualities of we display rather than the clothing we wear. The right outfit can create an story about our lives that, I believe, our personality fills in to match.
But what is the story that Lolita clothing provides? What is the lifestyle of someone who has applied the aesthetics to Lolita to every aspect of their life?
I imagine her life would resemble that of a pampered cat.
Let me try to paint the picture:
The Lolita wakes as the sun paints golden paths along the pink and white walls of her room. She yawns, rubs her eyes, smiles and clambers out of her canopy bed to begin her day. Her ruffled and lace-frilled night gown is carefully stored in her matching cabinet and the Lolita skips over to her overflowing closet to choose what she will wear today. Naturally, her closet is full of only the best and most beautiful of brand dresses, shoes, socks, blouses, petticoats, skirts, belts, bolero's, head peices, rings, necklaces- the list goes on. After all, Lolita is fashion before philosophy and the clothing is the most important part of her day.
After dressing, the Lolita descends to the dining room looking over the gardens. Breakfast is already laid with tea, scones, butters and jams prettily arranged on fine china. The Lolita finishes her meal and retires to the garden for a turn among the flowers. After enjoying the beauties of Nature perhaps she meets up with her fellow Lolita's for afternoon tea or a day of shopping and photography in the city. Perhaps she goes on another walk for the afternoon. Perhaps she spends her time embroidering or crafting some pretty new design for a dress or head piece. It doesn't matter; the day is hers.
After a light dinner, the Lolita perhaps reads a novel or finishes her crafting. Perhaps she visits more friends or plays with her pets. Whatever she does, the Lolita returns to her bed happy and content at the hours of her day.
This is not a bad life. Indeed, I would quite willingly spend a month or more spending my days in such a fashion. At first, I would glory in late mornings and days with nothing to do but engage my mind in the most feminine of things. But eventually, I know I would grow restless. After all, what was I doing?
Lolita fashion is fantastically impractical; it is part of the charm. But if I had spent the better part of two hours preparing my outfit, I would think twice about doing anything that might ruin my hard work.
That 'anything' encompasses most of what is valuable in life: running, dancing, exploring new areas of the woods or parks, lounging, art projects, eating strange and potentially messy food- all the spontaneous adventures that can arise. I would be hesitant to engage fully in any of those because somewhere, in the back of my mind, I would be worried about ruining my clothing.
The activities suited for the Lolita are small and domestic: petting cats, taking pictures, baking cookies and cakes, small crafts. The aesthetic contains no passion or Greatness within itself. If I saw that the best woman general or inventor or politician or writer wore Lolita, I would think they had achieved greatness inspite of rather than because of their fashion.
Perhaps there is no fashion, yet, that can inspire greatness. This is part of my goal in exploring the Neo-Aristocratic philosophy and aesthetic. But if I do find such a fashion, I don't think it will be Lolita with the impracticality, the excessive sweetness, and delicacy of the garments and look.
There is not enough passion in Lolita, not enough Greatness. The fashion hearkens back to a time when small crafts and activities were the focus of a woman's thoughts not world or life changing ones.
Now, such focus on the smaller sphere of life is necessary at times, but it must be tempered by times for Greatness. Lolita offers the former, but no chance for the latter and a proper, applicable aesthetic should offer both.