Saturday, May 12, 2012

full up with thirst, I drink your light and beauty for always

All right, so we've had part one, and an abortive part two, so now trying to reconstruct where I meant to go in part two, for this part.

I want to talk about gothic and Lolita dolls on SL, I think, but first, a "new" Lolita style (to me; and one I've been mistaking for another well-known style).

(from the dolly album; the Decora-Lolita look)

At one point in the early nineties, there was an offshoot of Japanese street fashion named "Decora". While there are few Decora adherents in Japan as a whole, these days, the style in both eastern and western eyes having merged with sweet Loli, or the overall kawaii look--it's actually one of the older styles, featuring cascading hair clips, ribbons, bows, flowers, chains, loops and adornments. The English word "decoration" inspired the name of the style, and that's your main clue for what to look for.

(from the dolly album; the full outfit of the Decora-Lolita.)

There are places where the lines blur and overlap between Decora fashion and Lolita as a whole. I think the image above, and this image of her full outfit, is kind of a melding of sweet Lolita and Decora. Note the prevalence of stuffed toys (whether actually toys, or repurposed as purses, necklaces, hair clips, or backpack clips), and the face jewels, in addition to other ornamentation.

(from the dolly album; massively overembellished girl. Note the
custom face mask and the Daisy Duck toy.)

The key word with Decora for understanding the fashion is "overdone". It's so over the top, it's practically redefining the term on a daily basis. Don't just wear ribboned shoes; add ribbon toe-clips and beribboned socks and rhinestone garters, and make everything saccharine to the point of inducing diabetes.

Don't just wear hair clips; wear seventeen hair clips, sometimes clipped over each other, and add barrettes and dangles and hair bows and hair bands and hair jewels; in fact, dyeing the hair candy colors is something that's also frequently done.

(from the dolly album; complementary colors can be key when one i
s trying to meld dots, stripes, lace, and tiny hearts into the same outfit.)

Thing is, this is not just a Lolita fashion; at its height, it was a florid celebration of bright color and accessories. Plus patterns--with stripes, dots, and other "cutesy" patterns, the fashion for wearing three armwarmers, ten bangles per arm, and four pairs of patterned socks pretty much defined Decora.

(from the dolly album; the trademark Decora concepts of layered
socks, layered outfits, and extremely ornamented bangs.)

There's even a "dark" variant to Decora, seen on the left in the above picture. Yeah. THAT'S goffick, innit?

In case anyone (beyond friend Serenity), actually wants to reproduce the Decora look (on or off SL), here are a few tips.

(from the dolly album; no makeup, but big hair additions, and
I'd be willing to bet they brought the cute shopping bags from home.)

First, don't just throw things together. Contrary to their busy appearance, the adherents of Decora actually put an insane amount of thought into these things. Think layers, think multiples. (In the above photo, the girl on the left is wearing tights under pajama pants, which are under ruffled pink bloomers, which are under a pair of PJ shorts printed with clouds, which are themselves under a bright yellow split skirt.) For example: short miniskirts (with or without flounces) can be paired then with leggings, which can then be paired with OTK socks, knee socks, and anklets. For tops, think simple tees or blouses, then layer on vests, jackets, or capelets (depending on desired look). And keep in mind seasonal changes--it's really easy to layer in the winter, but for summer, think silk camisoles under cotton tank tops under mesh tanks or mesh tees.

Keep in mind the general look you want to achieve, too. Shades of pink, say, or stripes (in various colors), or food patterns, or "cutesy" animal prints. You can mix and match, but it's good to choose a theme and stick with it.

(from the dolly album; layered Decora-chan hit the street. The girl with the bright
cherry hair made her own wings.)

For hair, blonde hair, or dyed pink, pastel blue, or pale orange hair are common colors. (In fact, because of the desire to match, many Decora adherents wear wigs far more than their counterparts for other fashion trends.) Big sausage-curl pigtails, festooned with ribbons, are commonly worn, or pigtails in general with big bows or baubles tied to them. Simple chop cuts (long or short) that are then accessorized within an inch of their lives with hair clips in bright candy colors, hair bows, headbands, cat or teddy ears, or even ribbons tied into strands of hair and then braided, bowed, or pigtailed themselves. Think girlish--if you've seen it on a little girl, chances are you can use it as a Decora-chan.

To this end Decora-chan tend to wear faces as bare as possible--while makeup itself isn't forbidden (and is frequently seen on Decora/Lolita crosses), for the most part innocence and childlike appearance are key. Think bright eyeshadow that pops, or glittery lipgloss, body glitter, face jewels, or even tiny stickers. The only strong consistency is mascara, and even then it's either plain black, or candy colors.

(from the dolly album; ruffles and dots and bows and
sweet lace wristlets mixed with jogging suits? Sure, why not?)

And do not stint on the accessories. Necklaces, bracelets, bangles, silk wraps with chunky beads, big rings, earrings resembling cute food or toys, LED flashing clip lights, stuffed toys, gloves, mittens, armwarmers, sunglasses with jewels or stickers on them...and Decora adherents tended to be among the most creative in their displays, because most of what they wanted to wear wasn't sold, so many of them ended up making it themselves.

(from the dolly album; note the tiara that's surrounded by other hair embellishments,
the shoes with ribbons, and the heavy amount of bracelets on each arm.)

And that's really all you need to know. Coming soon: more on dollplay.

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