And that's when I came to a bit of a realization: couldn't I talk about a style, rather than just a single article of clothing? Something that I do love the look of, and adore looking at--but could never, and will never, feel comfortable wearing myself? It hit me just what I needed to talk about. I needed to examine a trend I talked about all the way back in April: Nun Lolita.
Ista Mori's "Nameless Poem" OP with cross embroidery
While Nun Lolita has its roots in old school Lolita, with sporadic examples existing into as far back as the 90s, the style as we know it really came into popularity with the release of the Nameless Poem series by the Chinese indie brand, Ista Mori.
Nun Lolita takes its inspiration from a variety of sources. While the inspiration of classic nun habits from the Catholic Church is obvious, the style is rooted in old school and Gothic Lolita, as well as taking cues from Malice Mizer's very own Mana-sama, who is often considered to be the epitome of the Gothic substyle. Mana's character from Malice Mizer's feature-length film "Bara no Konrei ~Mayonaka ni Kawashita Yakusoku~" was a nun. (For those interested, the short film is actually available to watch on YouTube! It's a silent vampire film inspired by Dracula, and uses Malice Mizer's last album for a soundtrack.) Mana has also worn nun-inspired pieces from his line, Moi-Meme-Moitie, on several occasions in Gothic Lolita Bible spreads.
The modern trend of wearing nun Lolita has evolved beyond simply wearing a habit-inspired OP. however. Headgear has become somewhat more unique (or at least unorthodox). Veils and Madonna crowns are common, based off of the original image of a Catholic nun. Madonna crowns, in particular, have exploded in popularity outside of Nun Lolita, and have become a common in Gothic and Classic.
So why don't I wear Nun Lolita? Personally, it boils down to three main things for me:
- As a member of the Pagan community, I feel uncomfortable wearing something based off the religious garb of another religion. This also loosely extends to crosses in general for my wardrobe. While I can tolerate small crosses as parts of a graveyard or architecture print, I don't wear crosses as accessories.
- As a former student at a Catholic University, I don't feel comfortable wearing a garment based off of a habit, which is taken quite seriously in the Catholic Church. Many of my former professors were Sisters, and they all stressed the importance and significance of their position in the Church. They worked hard in order to earn the right to wear the habit. I feel like I would be disrespecting their hard work if I wore something based off of that purely for aesthetic reasons.
- Catholicism has not exactly left its best impression on me, and I do not associate with the Church. This is a highly personal reason. I've felt ostracized by the Church on several occasions, largely due to political and social beliefs (as well as being a member of the LBGTQ+ community). As I live in an overwhelmingly Christian area of the country, I have to be very careful in how I present myself in terms of faith, and I would rather not mix signals.
But overall, these are just my personal reasons not to wear Nun Lolita. I actually truly enjoy the aesthetic, and love to see others wear it (perhaps, in a way, I might be living through them?). Even if my reservations keep me from wearing it, I certainly don't think that it keeps me from enjoying it--or delighting in the fact that Nun Lolita has this certain creepy, adorable look to it that reminds me of horror movies about demonic exorcisms, or a possessed doll.
What about you? Are there any styles that you love to look at, but for one reason or another just can't seem to wear yourself? I'd love to hear about your own experiences in the comments section below! Until next week!
he post above was a response to the Lolita 52 Week Challenge made by the ever so delightful Caro over at FYeahLolita.