Goth version of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”.

Viva la Google. Discovered this little gem via the search engine. No author’s name is attached to it, but here is the originating web site. Silly fun, so I thought I’d share it with you. Assuming the world doesn’t come to an abrupt end on December 21st as per the Mayan predictions, have a good holiday everyone! — Lady Lazarus.

Have a dreary Gothic Christmas and a wretched New Year.

Have a dreary Gothic Christmas and a wretched New Year.

With somber and tormented apologies to Clement C. Moore:

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through our house
was blasting the “St. Vitus Dance” by Bauhaus;
Torn fishnets were draped on my forearms with care,
And two cans of Aquanet applied to my hair;
My thoughts were of graveyards, and horror and dread,
Black visions of pain and despair in my head;
And Bianca, whose face was as pale as the moon,
Had thrown up her arm for this evening’s swoon,
When out by the gravestones there came such a clatter,
I sprang from the coffin to find out the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a ghost,
Expecting to find a dark devilish host.
The moon on the breast of the uncaring snow
Threw ominous shadows on objects below,
When, before my tormented eyes did traverse,
But a gorgeous black Crane & Breed carved-panel hearse,
With a gaunt, shrouded driver, who filled me with fear,
And eight skeletal creatures that might have been deer.
More rapid than vultures his coursers they came,
And his deep Andrew Eldritch voice called them by name;

Now, Murphy! Now, Morgoth! Now, Torment and Woe!
On, Dreadful! On, Lovecraft! Mephisto and Poe!
To the top of the gravestones where fog wisps its breath!
With a weight on my soul I consign you to death!

As dead leaves that before hellish hurricanes fly,
When they flutter like giant bats’ wings to the sky,
So up to the crypt-top the coursers they leapt,
While dearest Bianca, like death, still but slept.
And then, to my horror, I heard on the roof
The clicking and scratching of each bone-white hoof.
As I drew in my arm, and was whirling around,
Down the ebony chimney he came without sound.

He was clad all in black, and he looked oh-so-goth,
A billowy ensemble of crushed velvet cloth;
His boots were knee-high, quite buckled and zipped,
And the Spandex and fishnets ’round his legs were ripped.
His eyes glowed with bluish fire, deathly and cold,
A black eye-liner’d face neither youthful nor old.
A broad lipless mouth drawn with torment and hurt,
And his sorrowful face was as white as my shirt.

A smoldering cigarette tight in his grasp,
Its smoke curling eerily ’round his cloak clasp;
His gaunt frame was topped with long ebon hair,
And a sharp scent of brimstone and cloves choked the air.
His arms were outspread in the shape of a cross,
And I quailed when I saw him, feeling sorrow and loss;
He narrowed his eyes with a twist of his head,
And I felt the full weight of his angst and dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his task,
Left some Dead Can Dance CD’s; before I could ask,
A single tear fell across his aquiline nose,
And then, like an angel, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his hearse, to his team he then hissed,
And away they all drifted like early dawn’s mist.
But I heard him intone, ere he vanished from sight,
“Gothic Christmas to all, and to all a good fright!”

The Gothic Lolita, examined.

A Japanese 'kurololi', characteristically dressed entirely in black.

Back in August of 2011, I wrote a blog entry about my fascination with the Goth subculture, an entry appropriately entitled Goth like me; or, why does little Jenny mope in her bedroom all day, wearing black and writing bad poetry? Indeed, for several years I have held an interest in Goth-inspired art, music and fashion, even before I was aware of that particular label. As my earlier post explained, there are several different fashion styles that fall under the broad category ‘Goth’, all with their own distinct rules and conventions. One of the most interesting and — for some Westerners — difficult to understand modes of Goth dress is the Japanese Lolita.

One of the most common misunderstandings of the Lolita subculture is the belief that the associated costuming somehow relates to either sex and/or cosplay. Neither, however, are true. The Japanese use of the English name “Lolita” is likely a case of wasei-eigo, or Japanese-derived English, and does not refer to the novel by Vladimir Nabokov nor its titular 12-year-old “nymphette” heroine. The Lolita mode of dress places a strong emphasis on Victorian-era elegance and modesty, and is not intended to be ‘sexy’. Nor is Lolita garb derived from anime or manga characters, like the cat-ears and spiky blue-hair of cosplay costumes.

Lolita fashion grew out of the 1980s-90s Japanese music scene, inspired by flamboyantly-dressed pop music icons such as Princess Princess and the cross-dressing Malice Mizer. Much like Goth dress in general, the Lolita also has several different fashion incarnations:

The Gothic Lolita

A Western version of the Gothic Lolita, from the Canadian-based fashion label Gloomth & the Cult of Melancholy.

Gothic Lolita (or ‘gothloli’) fashion originated in the late 1990s in Harajuku (region in Tokyo). This style is characterized by the wearing of black and white clothing, though black + another colour (red, purple) is not uncommon. Clothing generally includes ruffled blouses with bows and puffed sleeves, knee-length skirts (often worn with crinolines or petticoats for that classic bell-shaped silhouette), stockings or knee-high socks, and girlish mary-jane shoes or Victorian-style boots. Hats, ornate headbands, gloves and parasols are common accessories. The Westernized versions of the Gothic Lolita tend to downplay the ultra-feminine ribbons, ruffles and bows of the Japanese look, while still adhering to the Victorian doll-like Lolita aesthetic.

The Sweet Lolita

A small pack of Sweet Lolitas. So sweet, your teeth might ache.

Similar in dress to the gothloli, this style adopts saccharine-sweet, lighter colours — often pink or baby-blue — and childlike motifs like Alice in Wonderland, hearts, strawberries, cupcakes and teddy bears. I firmly believe that there are some modes of dress that can only be successfully worn by 16-year-old Japanese girls. This is one of those. The Sweet Lolita attempts to emulate the porcelain skin and blonde ringlets of a European, Victorian-era doll.

The Pirate Lolita

Not a particularly common Lolita style, but certainly a fun and flamboyant one. The fashion label Alice & the Pirates (a side-project of Baby, the Stars Shine Bright) offers all an aspiring pirate needs to look to part. Ahoy, maties!

Gurololis compare their wounds.

The Guro Lolita

This style is one of the most curious of the Lolita fashions. The Guro Lolita dresses as a “broken doll”, with band-aids, eye-patches, and bloodied gauze bandages. Often, they wear white — a colour that provides the perfect canvas on which to splatter pretend blood and gore. It is common for the gurololi to carry around an equally bandaged & bloodied doll or teddy-bear.

Shiro & Kuro Lolita

Shiro Lolita, or ‘White Lolita,’ is a Lolita outfit made entirely of white/cream/off-white co-ordinates, while its counterpart Kuro Lolita, or ‘Black Lolita,’ is an outfit made-up of entirely black co-ordinates. Shiro and Kuro Lolita can be taken from any style of Lolita, whether it be Gothic, Sweet, or Classic. If the co-ordination is completely white, then it is accepted as Shiro Lolita, while if it is entirely black it is accepted as Kuro.

Wa Lolita

The Wa Lolita.

The Wa Lolita combines traditional Japanese clothing — namely the kimono — with the Lolita style. The kimono-style garment is modified to accommodate the fullness of a petticoat and Japanese wooden sandals (called okobo) sometimes replace the typical Lolita boots or platform mary-janes. Another East-meets-West Lolita mashup is the Qi Lolita. This style uses Chinese clothing and accessories in place of Japanese, and usually this includes qipao dresses modified to accommodate a petticoat.

Even though I’m going to end my blog post here, by no means should you consider this list an exhaustive account of all of the Lolita styles. For the complete list, visit this Lolita Style Handbook.