Monday, August 3, 2015

5 Inspirational Fictional Characters (52 Lolita Challenge)

When it comes to my inspiration for Lolita coordinates, I take more than my fair share of inspiration from fictional characters. I adore using non-Lolita inspiration to jog an idea for a Lolita coordinate! I find it to be the perfect blend of challenge and homage, and it's helped me to create some of my best coordinates to date (at least in my opinion). And there are certain characters that I find are more inspirational than others. So, without further ado--my top five characters for coordinate inspiration!

Jennet Humfrye - The Woman in Black

There's something about horror movies that just gets my heart pumping--and not always from fear. Horror movies, especially those in the "psychological" horror sector rather than the "slasher" sector, always have this beautifully creepy factor to them. And this is an aesthetic I love to try and recreate with my own wardrobe. Nothing fits this more than Jennet Humfrye from Susan Hill's novel The Woman in Black.

In particular, I find the costuming from the 2012 film starring Daniel Radcliffe as Arthur Kipps, and the lovely Liz White as the titular "woman in black". While most of the costuming in this film is the right balance of real-world practicality and historical eye candy, I find Jennet's mourning dress to be particularly inspiring--and something I definitely want to try and bring a little of to my own outfits.

Carmilla - Carmilla

I have a fondness for Gothic novels, and it all began with Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu's novella, Carmilla. A vampire story that predates Dracula by 26 years, Carmilla is one of those works that was particularly scandalous in its time, and even holds some of that scandal today. A novel about a lesbian vampire preying on your average Gothic heroine? This is the stuff my dreams are made of, if I'm completely honest.

With Carmilla, I don't draw so much of a concrete image as I do an idea that I want to portray. An alluring yet unassuming beauty; a mask of benign innocence that hides a bloodthirsty predator.. There's nothing to Carmilla that doesn't scream of femme fatale to me, and I love the idea of taking that attitude into my outfits. Especially if it means working a little "vampiness" into it.

Raven Madison - Vampire Kisses

Vampire Kisses is one of those series that's a guilty pleasure for me. I know that they aren't really targeted towards me, and the series on a whole can be rather juvenile and simplistic at times. But that doesn't mean I don't enjoy every stereotype-ridden, cheesy-as-hell moment of it. When I was younger, I felt that I could really relate to Raven Madison, who feels out of place and strange with her darker interests in her stereotypical "All-American" town. Most people involved in or interested in the Gothic subculture feel like that, at least during a part of their life.

So even though Raven's look is decidedly more Western Goth than my Gothic Lolita style, I do love to incorporate her enthusiasm and love of all things bat-themed and kitschy-Goth.

Emily/Victoria - The Corpse Bride

I love this movie. Handsdown, it is one of my absolute favorites (right up there with Nightmare Before Christmas, which has major points because of both Gothy points and an enormous nostalgia factor). And I found that I just couldn't choose one of the leading ladies over the other for my inspiration source in this movie!

Let's start with Victoria. Victoria is--literally--the representation of the "ideal" Victorian lady (obviously, even down to her name). Her clothes are modest to the point of being restricting (her high collar comes to mind--it looks very tight and rather uncomfortable). Her manner of holding herself is very serious, almost overly polite, and she does her best to never trouble anyone, even at the cost of her own happiness (overcoming this is, of course, her character arc).

I loved watching how Victoria's manner of carrying herself changed throughout the film. In the beginning, she is stiff and moves a little more unnaturally--and feels as if she's bound by her clothing (and, indeed, her life). By the end, her stiff clothing has instead altered to fit her; rather than being confined by her clothing, it instead reinforces her newfound backbone--upright, shoulders back, eyes looking up. Clothing that requires a corset often sounds like it would be confining; but, like Victoria, I actually manage to find a bit of a confidence boost while wearing these "confining" clothes.

Then, of course, we have Emily. Emily is another character I could go on for ages talking about in terms of her character arc, but I'll spare you that. Suffice to say, while my source of inspiration from Victoria is mainly in how I carry myself, my inspiration from Emily is more aesthetically driven. I love the use of light, airy fabrics in her design--and I love the idea of a Bridal coordinate based on her melancholy-yet-sweet color scheme of white and blue.

I adore both of these characters for different reasons, and it's all too easy for me to imagine Emily and Victoria in a shiro/kuro coordinate shoot together. I feel like they're an excellent representation of the duality that I find in my preferred Lolita aesthetic--the restrictiveness of the clothes, combined with the airy and ethereal appearance of it.. It's a delicate balance, but one that I find perfectly represented by these two.

Ciel Phantomhive - Black Butler

I couldn't not put Ciel here. Despite the fact that I've yet to branch into Boystyle (though not from lack of a desire to do so), I almost always find something about Ciel's outfits in Toboso's art that I want to reflect myself. Perhaps its my old Cosplay Enthusiast self coming out, but I just want every single one of his outfits! And that's really all there is to it. Ciel is cute. His clothes are cute. I want his outfits. End of story!

What characters do you find inspirational? Do you find them aesthetically pleasing, like I find Ciel? Or do you find their characteristics to be what draws you do them, like me and Victoria? I'd love to hear about your opinions down in the comment section! Until next week, dearies--stay frilly!

The post above was a response to the Lolita 52 Week Challenge made by the ever so delightful Caro over at FYeahLolita.

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