Salut mes chèrs, how's it going? Did you have a good new year so far?
Mine was rather lazy, but stared to be really stressful yesterday when I actually wanted to start cleaning our place for a party on Sunday, and suddenly I realized that my assignment for Project Management would be due... in 6 hours! So I really had to focus on that yesterday, and today was kinda stressful too because not only did I do shopping for the party, I also went to a small photoshooting.
A few weeks ago photographer Robert M. Detoyato posted in our Lolita community page on facebook that he is looking for Lolitas to model for a specific photoshoot. He wanted to recreate a piece of art, a certain painting, by staging and photographing it. I was intrigued by the idea but initially I didn't answer the call because I thought that the image he suggested was rather elegant and classic, and I thought my wardrobe would not be suited for something like that. But a while later, someone posted about the Australian Lolita Classic Paintings Shooting on our page, and so I kinda randomly threw the name of my favorite artist, Renée Magritte, into the discussion and suggested a recreation of one of his paintings.
Long story short, we agreed to meet for a short photoshooting session (it was really not longer than maybe 15min) and on the same day I got to see the resulting picture:
And the original that inspired it can be found here.
While the part I had to play in the creation of this artwork was not very great, I put some effort and thought into the styling, and of course I also didn't just chose that picture randomly.
Magritte's 'Raining Men' are dressed in black coats and hats and carry a briefcase, which was apparently how he liked to dress himself, to disguise himself as "one among many" (source). So to some extent the picture treats the subject of conformism, hiding in a crowd, but also surrounding yourself with people who look (are) like yourself. I came to think that Lolita fashion is a little bit about the opposite of that - you tend to stand out in a crowd when you dress in frills. It's not a look you'd chose to hide yourself of be just "one among many". That's why I really liked the idea of recreating the picture with a Lolita look, to challenge its meaning.
I think it has to be considered that Magritte himself apparently described this kind of styling as "disguising himself" - kind makes it sound like an alien who tries to look like a normal person, doesn't it? Probably to many people wearing extravagant styles like Gothic, Visual Kei, Lolita or other J-Fashions this is a challenge they face in their daily lives, be it their job or for other reasons, there are often occasions where you are more or less forced to dress in a 'conformist' way.
At the same time the recreation of the image raises a new question - if this was what everyone looked like, or at least what people would expect naturally to see on the street every day, what kind of world would that be? Would there be general acceptance of more 'weird' styles, or would it just mean that 'normal' and toned down styles would be treated the way 'eccentric' styles are treated now? I very much think that it would be the latter - and in this context the recreated picture should also remind us that we should respect minorities of any kind, because what's 'normal' and 'standard' can be set really arbitrary and also change very quickly.
I chose a rather simple, Gothic outfit with a white blouse and black JSK, to reflect the simple black-and-white outfit of the men in Magritte's picture. Instead of a briefcase I carried a bag and umbrella. It shows an aspect of Lolita fashion that probably does not stand out as much as OOT Sweet or such when worn in daily life, but it's still a contrast to the look of the men in the original picture. You can't really see much of my outfit or styling though, but I bet I'll wear that outfit again to some occasion, because I really like it :3
(That was taken back at home after the shooting, I look a bit messy because I was rather stressed out that day!)
I also wore my green circle lenses with my natural hair for once, and I really like the effect! I think green eyes and black hair is a great combo. Then again, I think green is probably the most beautiful natural eye color, and I remember that for a looong time I wished I had green eyes because I thought blue was really boring, haha.
Anyway, that's it :3
Tell me what you think about the picture and the idea behind it in the comments!
And be sure to check out the pictures of the Australian Lolitas as well, some of them are really gorgeous and other just fun!