13 – name 5 mori girl style hobbies!
- Growing your own food. If you’re lucky enough to have your own garden, a balcony large enough or appropriate window sills, that is (sadly I have none of these at the moment). My mother is planning to start gardening in spring so I’ll be able to visit and help her and get my fair share of this mori-style hobby soon!
- Working with wool, be it spinning, knitting, crocheting, weaving, felting or even sewing things from felt. You can make your own one-of-a-kind mori clothes and accessoires, and I wish my knitting and crocheting skills were a bit higher. Spinning is also a neat hobby if you have to go by train a lot: you can always take a hand spindle and some raw wool with you.
- Drawing, just like Beatrix Potter. Aquarelles and pencil sketches are the most mori-able kinds of making art in my opinion, and they are both used to depict things from the outsides – like in botanical drawings or animal scribbles. Ink could be quite nice, too.
- Climbing and exploring, maybe hiking with friends, old school style. I’d love to do this one day, preferably with Scoundrel, Weirdboy or Jules. Imagine downtrodden trails, your feet in woolen socks that reach your knee, a straw hat on your hair, your bento in your bag or backpack and the wide sky above you…
- Cooking and baking, preferably with things found in the wood or grown in one’s own garden, but at least wholefood. You could make a dinner with your friends, carry the table outside, hang some lanterns and dine with the music of the crickets in summer or curl up on a rug between hills of cushions to spend an evening with the muffins you just made.
This was a hard one. I wanted five examples for each category at first but changed my goal into three when I noticed that five would never happen (and I still needed months). My main problem was that my definition of Mori mixes with my definition of Lolita quite a lot, so most of the things I could think of were ones that I have mentioned before.
10 – what are your favorite books? do you think they’re mori or not?
- The Brambly Hedge by books by Jill Barklem are some of my all-time favourites and something I’d call mori, even though they are quite something for Lolita, too. The stories are so full with mice and candied violets and houses in trees and picnics, they have to be mori!
- Life on Seacrow Island by Astrid Lindgren is less wood and more sea, but I’d nevertheless call it a mori-able book.
- The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, another one I’ll always love. I’d even go as far as to say that one could see Mary Lennox as the original Mori Girl, even though nobody knew back then.
11 – name 3 of your favorite mori girl style songs or musicians, even if they’re not explicitly “mori.”
Is there actually music that is “explicitly mori”?
- Loreena McKennitt, one of my favourite artists ever. I seem to mention her here often, I fear, but I simply love her.
- Patrick Wolf, who sees himself in some sort of Irish bardic tradition. My favourite piece of his music is The Tinderbox.
- Blanche, a Southern Gothic inspired alternative country band. I discovered them by luck some years ago and have taken a liking to their haunting style. I especially like this recording of their So long cruel World.
12 – What films, if any, inspire your mori girl look and life?
One thing I read about Mori rather often was that the character Hagu from Honey & Clover was kind of “the original” Mori Girl. Which is a little bit confusing as there are not only the initial manga and anime, but also a live-action film adaption and not only one but two additional live-action dramas, one from Japan and one from Taiwan.
As most dramas are rather unnerving I watched the anime, and I even noticed that I had started reading the manga some years ago.
Hagu ist nothing of a Mori Girl. At least not the original Hagu. She’s a 18-year old that looks and acts like a (rather annoying and sociopath) 9-year old. Actually, this character managed to ruin the entire – otherwise quite fun and absurd – anime for me. I dare say I was rather baffled, if not disappointed, and didn’t even make the attempt to watch further that the fist two episodes. Maybe it gets better later, but if a series can’t get me with the first two episodes, it’s simply not for me. She might be a Mori Girl in one of the live-action adaptions after all that I’ve seen from clips, though.
So much for my two pennies worth on one of the Mori Girl moving picture staples, sorry for the bit of bitterness. But now: on to the list!
- My Neighbor Totoro is so centered about woodland spirits that it was the first one that sprung to mind.
- Chocolat, one of the rare occasions that I liked the film even though it differed from the book. The atmosphere of the story is lovely, the costumes are wonderful and I always like things related to patîsseries and chocolateries.
- The Secret Garden, again. Even though I only advise you to watch it if you’ve read the book, as they mixed it up a little.
9- list 10 words that remind you of mori girl or inspire your mori girl life.
- Moss Daughter
8- what is your favorite type of plant life? whether it be tree, bush, flower, fruit or vegetable? why is it so special to you?
Oh, it’s too hard to decide as I like them all. There are trees that I can climb, I have an especially weak point for oaks. Their leaves and fruit are so pretty! And there’s a birch tree in the yard of the café right across the street which I can watch all year long, from bare twigs to newborn leaves to flaming red to snow-covered and sole branches again. Also, my favourite spots at the river are all related to trees, and there is one that’s really special, as you can sit on a broad branch right above the weir and watch the water flow and roar.
I love bushes for their flowers and berries, but maybe for the berries a little bit more. And my favourite flowers are wild roses, which grow on bushes, too. Not that I don’t love other flowers too, I’ve got a thing for nettles and things that grow unnoticed by most. On one of the steep stairs through my fairy tale town is a tiny spot in the wall that surrounds it where tiny blossoms decorate the grey stone, they always cheer me up. Oh, and I love non-blue bindweed nearly as much as wild roses.
And fruit and vegetables are edible, of course I adore them! I think my favourites are berries and citrus fruit at the fruit side and anything related to pumpkins on the vegetable side. And pumpkins not only for wonderful Jack O’Lanterns, but also zucchini – my grandmother makes a wonderful zucchini stew and I really miss my mother’s zucchini cake, too. And they bloom very prettily, too, and that’s the point where we are with the flowers again.
6- what sort of things, outside of fashion, do you consider to be part of a mori girl lifestyle?
If it’s called a lifestyle I consider every part of life to be part of it. That’s only logical.
7- are you also a lolita? I find a lot of mori girls do lolita as well! whether you are or aren’t a lolita, why do you think this is?
The little bit of escapism that these two styles share is a point that is quite likely to put them together, as well as the old-fashioned, dreamy and ladylike or antique-ish manners aspects. To me a Mori Girl could as well be a Lolita princess who went to the woods and gave up her petticoat for practicability and changed her tea party shoes for chunky boots to run better. Those two together make a great fairy tale.
I also am a Lolita, even though I wear it less than I’d like to. And I’d love to see a few more Mori x Lolita coordinates!
Emma and Feline weren't too fond of being my models today...
4- name 5 things you love about mori girl.
- The animal motives. Deer and foxes and hares and rabbits, the whole woodland folk.
- The materials. I may have already mentioned this once or twice, but I really dislike plastic fabrics. Mori Girl sports very natural fabrics like wool and linen, so it’s perfect for me this way.
- The un-styled-ness of the style. Somehow an oxymoron, but anyway.
- How it keeps the balance between wild and ladylike. Although I sometimes miss the sturdier part of wild.
- That I’m able to purchase Mori-style clothing from several green and alternative clothing shops here in town or at Waschbär. Also, it’s more goa-fairy-look compatible than Lolita…
5- name 5 things you dislike about mori girl.
- I only happen to see girls that are etherally thin in Mori. As someone with curves I feel not only underrepresented but also a little bit left out. There are no real examples of women with some breasts and butts (sorry for being so frank) so I always fear to look utterly silly in this style. We definitely need some more curvy love here!
- That there are so little boys in the style! I’m sure they could come up with really lovely coordinates, maybe a little rougher than what we are wont, but still… I’d love to see it.
- The looseness. Well, only part of it, as it’s somehow a staple. But it’s a curvy problem again, as soon as I put on something without a waist at all or a babydoll I look pregnant. Is a more fitted Mori Girl style actually possible or should I give it up alltogether because my measures don’t fit?
- Thought like those above.
- The whole Polaroid camera and photography-is-a-must thing. It’s a great hobby, sure, but the represented urge is too “in your face” for me and somehow reminds me of hipsters. And I don’t really like hipsters.
P.S.: Happy Eggs Day and Dessert Day, by the way!
3- Have you ever lived in a rural environment? If you have, do you think it influenced your mori-ness? If you never have, do you think living in a suburban or urban environment influenced your style any?
I’ve tried both, and both environments had a certain influence on my style developement and thus also on my mori-ness. Spending my childhood in a house at the edge of fields and woods opened my eyes for the very beauty of nature, of the opportunities it gives to breathe and retreat. It also made me use autumn leaves’ wreaths for crowns and acorns for earrings.
The city where I spent my last teen years in contrary showed me that I need this form of social, modern jungle, too. It’s a different kind of breathing. I don’t think I’d appreciate nature less if I wasn’t such a self-made city child, but it certainly helps. A city is a kind of forest of its own, so there is no way that Mori couldn’t originate from there, just like the country isn’t likely to make everyone who lives there a moss daughter.
Living in the city also made my style a little tougher and actually more practical. In a place with lots of people of every kind you need to be stronger, less vulnerable – at least on the outside – and have more self-esteem. My years there influenced not only my clothing but also my attitude, the way I walk and my ability to behave in large public places, especially when I’m on my own.
I love finding little oases of green between high concrete walls, I love admiring old town houses and watching the people hurry by. But I also love to retreat at my mother’s house in the Shire and wander the hills where I spent my wonderful childhood.
I made you a list of examples of influences these environments had on my style decision below:
- flimsy fabrics
- light colours
- accessories from nature finds
- feathers in my braids
- flower prints
- moccasin boots
- rain boots
- short pants
- woolen sweaters
- soft berets
- head scarves
- heavy steel toed boots
- black flare trousers
- open short coats
- deep non-metal influenced black
- heavy fabrics
- dark lipstick
- smaller bags than a backpack
- Danish Duckfeet shoes
- high-collar blouses
- Alice bands
I found it here, and as it wasn’t exactly the Lolita challenge but with “Mori” filled in, I decided to do it. I think I’ll be doing several days at once this time so I’ll have the spaces to write about other things, too. It’s more of a 30 questions challenge then, I guess…
1- naturally, our first question is how did you get into mori girl?
I guess someone wrote about it in their blog, Victoria Suzanne from Parfaitdoll or Aly from Miss Lumpy, if I remember it correctly. I noticed that my lifestyle was pretty much what one could call a Mori Girl one (together with Steampunk and Lolita), so I started to incorporate it on purpose.
2- who is/are your mori girl idols? who inspires your fashion?
I think Rima Stains could be counted as one of them, but in contrary to Lolita where I have more actual real life idols, Mori relies even more on fictional characters for me. In fiction it’s especially Mary Lennox from The Secret Garden and also many, many fairy tale characters. I’m sure Snow White and Rose Red would make excellent Mori Girls.