Friday, February 6, 2009

I Felt Like I Was Creating the World:Gothic Lolita by Dakota Lane

C_1416913963 do you ever wish you had someone (not the sky someone, but a real person) who could share your reality?

there would be nowhere you could go that this person couldn't go, down to the details of your last strange dream.

you'd be in this game together, just you and the other person creating the entire world.

Unthinkable, years after the first time I'd spotted them, that those strange-eyed girls in Victorian finery would get their own novel. Gothic Lolita is a breakneak thriller of a novel, fast-paced and starkly written, a contrast to the dreamy tone of The Orpheus Obsession. Chelsea and Miya, thousands of miles apart are connected in unimaginable ways--a dramatically romantic manga, a pechant for frightening but beautiful lolitas, and brothers they love and a secret world they share. What will happen when their lives appear to fall apart?  The plot is best discovered for oneself, but I was pleasantly surprised by the ending, which I had expected to take a more somber turn.

While Gothic Lolita is a dark novel, ribboned with grief and  regret, it has moments of beauty which are fragile and melancholy:

i've been tricked by books all my life.

they fall into your hands at the exact right moment and say just what you need to hear--more like a friend than a book--until the moment you finish. as soon as you close the cover, the book goes back to being just a memory of someone else's story--leaving you lonelier than you were before.

Or as light and decadent as the pastries lolis loves:

one cluster of girls wore phospherescent dresses; they caught the light in the most ethereal way, giving the feel of holographs. in my mind, they looked like rainbow warriors.

i imagined myself posing with them, icy pastel shimmering gloss on my lips and eyes and cheeks, skin polished with a sparkly dust of mild green and baby shoes on my feet, but toenails the color of pearls and seashells. i would be an intergalactic mermaid splashing into the hearts of an enthralled crowd, a cyberdelic creature.

I loved this corner of the world conjured by Lane: the overwrought romanticism of Shonen Rainbow Warriors, their beloved manga; the intense relationships between sisters and brothers; the bits about online culture, where these girls met. Dakota Lane uses her photography to immerse the reader in Chelsea and Miya's worlds, in double-page spreads with a mystic, shady atmosphere. It's a treat for fans of Japanese subculture, anyone who has lost and found family, and mystical realists. Toss on your rocking-horses, sit back with a plate of macarons and enjoy.


*Gothic Lolita's Myspace has events, videos, picture outtakes, and more

*Royal/T is the real-life counterpart of Lolipopland in the novel: Royal/T is a playful blending of café, concept shop and art exhibition space. The space reflects the interior realm of fantasy that strongly influences the artists included in owner Susan Hancock's collection. Royal/T Cafe is inspired by the meido kissa (maid café) phenomena of Akihabara--Tokyo's electronic district. Recontextualizing the underground culture of Japan that celebrates cosplay (costume play) waitresses dress in maid uniforms, with a Lolita-esque touch and the café serves a fusion of French and Japanese cuisine with local and organic California style. The art space showcases curated exhibitions with a focus on Japanese contemporary art; and an inventive concept store emulates the collections' sophistication--a fusion of pop culture and high-end design.

*La Carmina is a premier GothLoli blogger and face of Gothic Lolita, with a stunning website full of interviews with other lolitas, swoonworthy shop profiles, makeup tips, street fashions scans--it's amazing! And I just found out she's got two books coming out this year: Crazy Theme Restaurants in July and Cute Yummy Time in November.

*Sitting around in your frock looking for fun? Here's a list of 101 Lolita Lifestyle Ideas

1. Buy a lovely floral print notebook or leather-bound journal and keep a Diary. Begin each entry with 'Dear Diary', press flowers between the pages, and draw Lolita fashion designs in it.
2. Get a Lolita pen pal, learn how to write a proper formal letter and send it on pretty scented paper, send gifts and things for each others birthdays. You might want to purchase a quill or dip pen, its fun to write with when you get used to it and has an old fashioned feel.
3. Find a time during the day when you can enjoy the ritual of Tea. Late afternoon or mid-morning is traditional. Read about how to hold a 'high tea' and visit specialist tea shops to learn about the different blends and qualities. (My favorite is Chai!)

*The Princess Portal is home of Skye, former sweet lolita and all-around princess. She blogs about pretty little things, advice for princesses-in-training, fairytale fashion and literature for aspiring royals. Everything she posts has this old-fashioned, dreamy feel--like Picnic at Hanging Rock without the metaphysical oddness. Love it!

*Vivcore is the talent behind Candy Violet and Cute Salad, Japanese street fashion inspired clothing lines. Her journal features her fiber art, dolls, fake pastry, historical gowns--she can do everything! Fancy Girl is her personal website, A modern day "ladies book" filled with information on living a little fancy every day.

*Kamikaze Girls is...indescribable. Just watch the trailer:


Penny Lane said...

this is actually perfect because i love love LOVE Orpheus Obsession and read it a couple of weeks ago, wishing she would write something else. you read my mind :)

p.s.- sorry i have been absent recently, lots of things a happenin'!

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