Schizophrenic Lolita

  • When beginning this project, the inital perameters were to create a minimum of a ten piece collection complete with mood board, fabric board, and illustrations. I began my research on, where I find their mood boards to be especially provoking in style, color, and form. When browsing through the mega trends page, I found a link under the citations area for an article about a photographer, Ilona Szwarc. The collection of photographs was titled "American Girls".  Recalling my days of youth when I loved dolls prompted me to think about the actual format of the project. I was inspired to relive my childhood entertainment of spending countless hours in front of the television, toiling over paper dolls made to look like the fictional cartoons in the shows. Never did I play with them, the true enjoyment was recieved from physically creating the outfits. This led my thought process to the work of artist Isabelle de Bouchgrave. 
    de Bouchgrave constructs garments out of paper that are reminiscent of seventeenth century designs. Dresses are styled after the garments that Marie Antoinette wore during her reign as well as many other garments from various eras. Marie Antoinette is a figure who represents elegence, excess, and extravegence. She ruled during the Rococo period when France had a deep appreciation for the arts and the cultrue of oppulence flourished; for those who could sustain the lifestyle. This is the time when France's first fashion designer, Rose Bertin, personal seamstress to Marie Antoinette, began to be recognized for her talents. Paralells have begun to be drawn between Marie Antoinette and the fashions of current times. A resurgence of the oppulent period of the Baroque and Rococo eras is seen in the district of Shibuya, Tokyo (as well as world-wide in referum to cosplay) where girls and young women are dressing in a manor that reflects the styles of the ages of yore. More than ever, we live in a consumerist period where there is a constant desire of want, as well as a deep seeded desire for a westernized standard of beauty. No where is this more prevalent than these streets of Shibuya in the form of the Lolita style of dress. Young women revive and relive their childhood fantasies by manifesting them into a fashion sense that included nothing short of couple hundred dollar dresses complete with shoes, elaborate hair styles, parasols, and handbags. Psychologists have speculated on this phenomenon in which girls are spending an upwards of seventy-five dollars on a manicure.
    I read a few articles that further elaborated on this cultural phenomenonm; psychologists conclude that this form of regression to a child-like fantasy may be a sort of escape from growing up and facing the duties of the real world. At this point I began to draw my own conclusions; knowing that the definition of schizophrenia is the inability to distinguish fact from fiction- or reality from fantasy, in this case- I concluded that the girls engaging in this form of systemic rebellion are suffering from a mild case of schizophrenia, in which they use their style of dress as an outward form of rebellion but an introspective form of false security, escape, and denial.