What is a…?

Lolita - LARP - Mori Kei

In this blog I write about things I’m passionate about. Among these things there are some that don’t count as common knowledge, so here’s a little guide to these things. If you’ve still got questions after my short explanations, please don’t hesitate to ask! As most people, I can go on for hours about the things I love.

Mori Kei 森系

Mori Kei has its origins in Japan. Mori (森) means wood, and a Mori Kei person is someone who looks like they belongs into a wood – in a good way. It’s very down-to-earth, toned down, natural and a bit treehugger-ish. In some cases it has an almost etherical air about it. The key word to the look is probably “layers”, the key colours are earthy neutrals, but there are of course more colourful variants out there, too. The list I linked below was the first try to define the style and should be taken with a grain of salt. The category for my Mori Kei related posts is The Girl From The Woods.
Recommended Links:
A translation of the “original mixi list”
My own Mori List
The Urban Dictionary entry

Dolly Kei ドリー

Dolly Kei also originates in Japan. It’s darker than Mori, with a lot of controversal fur (or fake fur), rich, deep colours and whimsical details. Just like Lolita it draws its inspiration from times gone by, antique dolls and fairy tales, but from the darker, more opulent side. Think heavy velvet, medieval tapestries and silver jewelery, ostrich feathers and tassles. Dolly Kei also has its own tag.
Recommended Links:
A short guide to the style
Mookychick on Dolly Kei
An entire tumblr. dedicated to Dolly Kei

Lolita ロリータ・ファッション

Yet another Japanese fashion and lifestyle thing Lolita emerged from the romanticised versions of Rococo, the Victorian period and vintage fashion. It’s also (originally) known as Elegant Gothic Lolita (EGL) and has nothing to do with the Nabokov novel. Outfits are usually built around a petticoat silhouette, drawing inspiration from old-fashioned sweet shops, gothic poems, whimsical circus shows and the idea of being a proper lady or gentleman (there’s a trouser version, too). Imagine porcelain dolls come to life and look at this tag for my Lolita-related posts.
Recommended Links:
What is Lolita?
Weird Threads: Lolita (video)
My favourite substyles illustration!

Steampunk

Steampunk doesn’t originate in Japan. There is Steampunk from Japan, though, too, and there are many, many manga and anime with Steampunk elements.
Steampunk is a fashion (and lifestyle, there’s a debate as always, though) subculture that actually used to be a genre in literature somewhat “founded” in 1989. It followed cyberpunk and describes a world that took a different turn than ours at the turn of the 18th to 19th century. One in which steam was still the main source of power, in which airships took over the sky and fashion evolved but still kept the Victorians in mind. It’s really hard to define, and everyone does it differently. It’s an adventourous thing, Steampunk, so it’s best you explore it yourself. My Steampunk category is Clockwork Girl.
Recommended Links:
Steampunk 101
28 Definitions of Steampunk
Steampunk Magazine
Beyond Victoriana – Steampunk outside the Commonwealth (advanced reading)

LARP & RPG

LARP is short for Live Action Role Playing. Imagine living in Middle-Earth or Westeros or Hogwarts or Wild, Wild West for a weekend, or even a whole week. We dress up and do exactly that. Remember when you played knight or fairy or cowboy when you were a kid? We do exactly that, but with better equipment. You know living history or reenactment? We do that, but most of the time we add aspects of fantasy. It’s like starring in a movie, but without any spectators, without any restraints what to do, and without a script. It’s a game of make-believe on a really, really big scale. We make up characters and watch them grow, give them clothes and weapons (made of latex and foam so no-one gets hurt for real), and then we go out, together with two or twenty or hundreds and thousands of others who also made up characters, and play. We’re someone entirely different for some hours, or a weekend, or a week. I’ve been LARPing since 2005 and would easily describe it as my most influential hobby. You can find the related posts with the LARP tag.
Recommended Links:
Wikipedia on LARP
General Information (German)
Recommended Media:
Supernatural Ep. #8.11. Larp and the Real Girl

RPG stands for Role Playing Game. It’s where LARP comes from. It’s a group activity like a board game. One person, the gamemaster, is the storyteller. And all the others in this round are the characters starring in the story. There are of course a lot of rules to it, like with every game, and most of them include charts and dice with more than six sides. It’s a bit of a nerdy hobby if you watch it from the outside, but from the inside it’s like cardio training for your fantasy.
Recommended Media:
Stranger ThingsCommunity Ep. #39: Advanced Dungeons & Dragons
Community Ep. #94: Advanced Advenced Dungeons & Dragons

Changeling: The Dreaming (or just Changeling in italics) is part of the World of Darkness RPG setting. I explained it here on the blog and I run a play-by-post forum over here.

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