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“Beauty will save the world”
Dostoevsky left us this memorable sentence that can be also found written on several walls (or at least it should be…). I don’t want to give out a lesson about philosophy or aesthetics, but i’m going straight to the point and say that i firmly believe in it. If it was a political proclamation, I would fight to make it reality.
For this reason I asked Francesca “Itrill” Iapicca, the founder of the Forum of Italian Lolitas, to talk a bit about her world. An environment of sewing, embroidery, color matching and commitment. She’s too modest talk about a Lolita’s”manifesto”, but I’m convinced that these girls represent a positive energy made of daily efforts to get that bit of extra beauty in every moment of their lives. And I do not mean to spend money in order to show off, but to be able to create on their own their dream gown or corset. Something tha maybe could be found only on line and they could not afford. They alse work very hard to add something extra to their identity.
If you want to know more, read on and make sure to go to “Lucca Comics & Games” from 1 to 4 November and visit the Japan Palace.
Since this blog is about food and culture, you’ll easily understand that Lolitas spend a lot of energy in cooking as well. On line can be found several pictures of delicious cupcakes, colorful bento box, stunning cakes perfectly decorated by demoiselles in white lace aprons.
But what is a Lolita? In 1999 Benetton produced a wonderful photo book entitled “Kokeshi Dolls”. I was literally haunted by Tokyo street style and, above all, by pictures of some girles with elaborate hairstyles and clothes with petticoats. I read “Lolita style” in the didas and i started my quest although i must say that without Wikipedia it was quite difficult. Lolita fashion originated in Japan and you can tell that it was inspired by a sort of Victorian age restoration. During the years style has diversified going to punk or gothic. In any case, here’s a much more extensive explanation.
More pictures on Sybelle Photography’s Flickr photostream
M: Francesca, when did you realize that Loli was to be a part of your life?
F: In 2004 I saw the first images of Lolitas on the internet. Their clothes were so elaborate, clearly away from anything I was used to see on the street (although Milan was much more “ahead” than many other Italian cities) and accessories absolutely useless but so “close” to the oufits that they were consistent … Everything was TOO intriguing to close the browser and move on.
I wanted to understand what attracted me so much that i couldn’t be able to take off my eyes. The clothes have always been a passion for me, but this time i wanted to understand the essence of this style. I looked for more iformation, and decided to assemble and publish what i discovered in a forum that I created specifically to make it possible for girls who, like me, wanted to fill their eyes with Lolita’s world and pursue their own aesthetics. Eight years ago this look was slightly different, but the basic rules are always the same. And this constant evolution of style continues to amaze me. Moreover it gives me the opportunity to transform everything that I like and make it feminine, graceful. As long as I feel comfortable wearing it I will continue to take care of my lolita wardrobe.
M: Explain the Loliphilosophy in ten lines
F: Hmmmm, This question is a very though one, because there is no real philosophy for those who wear Lolita. Basically, a girl who dresses like that, who is informed about the origin of this style would say that there is not a Lolita Manifesto. We would like to underline the fact tha this is just a way of dressing. A very shy girl could wear her dress as an armor in which she feels safe. Another will use Lolita style to highligh her physicality. Or, simply, someone realizes tha it would be fun to dress like that. My community, the Gothic Lolita Zone, has a motto: Cum Venustate Persevera or Persevere with grace and beauty. I do not see it as a real philosophy but sure it’s what unites us ALL. We expect to be able to dress in the way we choose and (i know it’s a bit strong word) to fight for that simple right, just resisting mockery and criticism.
M: I have seen on several sites that one of your goals is to bring the beauty and “cuteness” in any area of your life. In different ways, of course, but i saw delicious and colorful thing in the kitchen, especially cakes and pastries. What do you like to prepare?
F: Actually Lolita involves a certain amount of “perfectionism”, and this inevitably affects many other aspects of our life. In my case has influenced a lot the kitchen, as a teenager I discovered a passion for cooking cakes, but whereas before I would just make cakes baked quite simple and not very accurate. Now, i learned the joy of eating something with your eyes first of all…altough it is now much more frustrating when everything goes wrong despite the best efforts ;___;
Lately, I beke cakes for special occasions for friends or colleagues … or i will compromise my health! (And i’ll have to add a size the entire content of my wardrobe).
Definitely prefer classics: sponge cake filled and covered, angel food cakes, muffins, flavored cupcakes, biscuits, macarons, puddings, jellies…
I still have a LOOOT to learn … Time is never enough to experiment new recipes and i sometimes mess up ^ ^ ‘
M: I came across some pictures of delicious tea party, an occasion for you to meet and share interests. Would tell me something about them? There will be a new event soon? How do you organize it?
F: The tea party is for us a great time in the community to chat and and get in touch with new girls. Lolita and the sounds like a clichè pairing because of the Lolita look, so bound to past times, and tea that is unfortunately often seen as a hobby belonging to even more ancient times. In fact, we could replace the blender with ice and pastries with salty snacks to get the same results as simply “human beings” and not only Lolitas. But the charm of a beautiful teapot with cups and small pastries is always tempting for us all, and a tea room is generally a peaceful and well suited place to meet.
I still remember with delight a tea party held in Bologna in January 2012. I gathered a small group of girls to shoot a video. In addition to filming the scenes we amused ourselves very much, the room was lovely and blends really appreciable. I am planning a tea party next December, but it’s still a secret and i’ll give out all the details in a month.
During our annual meetings we choose an Italian town and enjoy a cultural and culinary full immersion! The combination of fashion and food is a constant of our get-togethers and we try not to disappoint the participants choosing every detail with care.
M: There will be a gathering during Lucca Comics & Games, which surprises are you planning for the audience?
F: We have been working for four years with the organizers of the Japan Palace in Lucca Comics & Games, and this year, from November 1st to 4th, we planned so many events for all visitors to the fair: a beautiful and impressive fashion show with the most popular Lolita style in Italy; CuteMeUp!, a “makeover” of makeup, hairstyle and nail art style; a give away with beautiful dress. And the we will post on our FB account the nicest oufits to be seen at the show.
M: Another thing that fascinates me is that Lolitas “create and transform”. Very often you sew, embroider, embellish your own clothes and the world around you. I wold call it a political act, as i fashionable today. Do you agree? What is your message?
F: I personally have started just in that way: creating, changing and adapting. But to me that was an attitude from the past that i adapted to Lolita. Many girls have approached the DIY world after discovering this style and knowing that in this time of econimic crisis many girls have started saving money wherever possible and started to create their own outfit. makes me happy for them. This is a true passion and the fact that we limit expenses creating our own jewelry and home accessories is a way to mediate passion and reality. A political act? I really don’t think in that way…improve or decorate something is a very private and personal act.