Defining, Explaining, Understanding Bittersweet Lolita
First off, a definition of Bittersweet courtesy of Wikipedia:
Bittersweet refers to a combination of the standard tastes of sweetness and bitterness, and is often used as a metaphor for experiences which have elements of both happiness and sadness.
Where the idea originated from:
Granted, after all these years that I've been into the lolita fashion (far too many, enough to see trends die and come back again), I own a grand total of what I consider 1 'sweet lolita' dress (which I have kept for a few years now mainly because of fond memories attached to it). Though, I'm not sure if Meta's Melody Special Set in Grey x Black also counts as sweet lolita... Besides that, honestly I personally can't stand sweet lolita and have much distaste for it. I'd be caught dead wearing a frilly pink dress, because it's just not me. This of course is not to be confused with disliking people who are into sweet lolita; I personally don't like dressing in sweet colorful stuff.
Given that, most of my wardrobe is what i'd consider gothic lolita and/or kuro lolita. Most of it is all black. However, I'm the kind of person who also enjoys a classic floral print. I time to time enjoy less over the top things like, delicate fancy floral prints, simple designs on black or darker shades of plaid. But it isn't exactly kuro lolita, nor would it be gothic per say (IE, Music note print on black is decently sweet, but definitely not gothic). Essentially, I became frustrated not knowing how to describe my lolita style to others and well I began calling this other sub category of mine: Bittersweet Lolita.
Explaining and Understanding Bittersweet Lolita
Bittersweet lolita, it means enjoying sweet prints on black, but also having a flair of goth/darkness behind it all. Or really just wearing prints on black is what started it all. Bittersweet lolita are for the ones who enjoy wearing black dresses detailed with elegant floral print, sweet print, etc. Bittersweet lolita is not over the top candy-fru-fru Angelic Pretty macaroon cup cake swirls makes me want to puke sort of style on black fabric. In a way you could say that Bittersweet lolita is a gothic lolita who also enjoys a bit of sweet, in tasteful moderate quantities. I guess much of this also stems from the fact that I myself am very 'goth' in terms of I enjoy goth fashion, dark themes, gothic architecture (haha!), goth industrial (and related genres of) music, macabre things, dark, sinister, sort of things...*coughs* i mean I also like high tea and cake, but i'm the kind of girl who would loving having tea at the Vampire Cafe.
Two photo examples to help explain:
Blouse: Baby the Stars Shine Bright
Skirt: Hand made gift from theosakakoneko, which is strawberry and vine print on black; the same print Chocochip Cookie used a while back for a dress.
Head bow: Baby the Stars Shine Bright
Cravat: Innocent World
Socks: Red Ridding Hood socks by BtSSB
Why is this bittersweet?
It's a simple sweet with black as the predominant color. Accents of red are used to give it a bit of flare and softness to the black. The print follows the theme of strawberries (aid flora) on a black print, but is a fine detail versus the predominant print. The cravat, and dominance of black helps maintain a gothic edge and sense of elegance. The wine glass just makes it all the more... better.
Thank you laila_astri for the photo!
pauvre_lola and Me (being stupid)
Blouse: fan plus friend
JSK: comissioned by missmeganmaude
Headband: Innocent World
Why is this bittersweet?
This was the first JSK I ever got and is probably still one of my favorites. The print itself is red roses and its green leaves on a black print. The JSK is simple, and enough to be considered something else otherwise, but I have a general tendency to wear a black blouse under it anyway. It's a sort of classic feel with out being over the top in bright colors.
Thank you adorable1 for the photo!
These are a few photos that I have to help visually explain my ideas of 'Bittersweet Lolita', however I realized that I really don't have that many photos of myself to share with the community to explain further. Granted, I also believe that every sub category shouldn't be limited to a single definition. Merely, I hope that this post will inspire those around me and generate the possibility of further discussion with others. I hope to accomplish with this post a feel for what people have to say through a well-educated, collective, and intelligent discussion through commentary. I only want to bring this conceptual idea to the forefront and explain how I describe myself floating in this high populated social group. In addition, I believe a part of me wants to bring this up for discussion as well because sometimes I get so tired of fashion defined in black and white. Instead, I want to try and think up something new. A way to explain what my lolita style is. Any thoughts, constructive criticism, commentary is welcome! Thanks for reading.