14 October 2017

Gas Gas Gas! An Ode to Vintage Military Lolita

Thank Fear and Clothing for the pretentious title, a book I recently finished that appeals to my secret desire for unending, convoluted descriptions. Another secret of mine is my fascination for WWII and military history in general. I was that weirdo in middle school wearing 1940s wool pleated skirts, peddling to my classmates half a dozen USSR military caps that my mother bought for me off of Ebay because she thought I'd like one (emphasis on one yet six too-small caps came).

I know more about old tanks, airplanes, decommissioned military uniforms, Vietnam PTSD, and general history than I should for never really studying it in school beyond the basic stuff. This knowledge and hobby of collecting vintage military memorabilia also happens to be one of the ways I bond with my SO who is a serviceman, who so kindly helped me with this photoshoot.

He took the photos, posed me, coached me so I didn't look like a complete idiot holding a firearm, and even checked the 1953 American filter for a British gas mask I found at a surplus store that was issued in 1944 (and somehow they fit together?) so I didn't poison myself. So take this as disclaimer #1: I was supervised by a professional for safety and respect. No flagging here!

Now, when the oh-so-controversial Guerrilla Cats dress from Lyre Ivy was announced on Lolita Updates, it received strong mixed feelings. Many lolitas loved the adorable little cats dressed up as soldiers going off to battle a rat, but many others were disgusted by the theme and thought it was distasteful. "Not elegant" right... like the pizza or doge dresses are?

Of course, I knew I had to order it! I love cats and love military themes.

Now enough with the backstory! One more thing before we get to the photos. Disclaimer #2: While this firearm is real, all applicable laws and regulations were followed. Disclaimer #3: I am not a war-hawk nor insensitive to the tragedies the theme of this photoshoot brings up. I did it for the vintage, apocalyptic, totally strange but cool aesthetic of military lolita.

How did I choose my coordinate pieces?

Well, I debated leaving my hair down or putting it up. An up-do would fit the military style, but down felt more soft and feminine for lolita. I felt like a mademoiselle in the French resistance... or something. Plus it helped with the transition of putting on and taking off the gas mask.

The main pieces - jumperskirt, tights, brooch which I used on my beret - are part of the Guerrilla Cat series from Lyre Ivy. I thought about getting the light pink colorway which would match more of my wardrobe, but the army green just seemed to fit better!

The blouse is from Innocent World, the beret and boots are offbrand.

The green envelope hat is a Soviet hat I found in a lot with a uniform shirt and tie. I felt comfortable wearing it since the USSR doesn't exist anymore. The Green bag is Swiss also from WWII era. I already mentioned the gas mask (MK II Light Anti-gas Respirator if anyone cares), so I think I covered everything!

I really hope you liked the photos from this seasonally appropriate photoshoot (I don't usually get spoopy for Halloween) and enjoyed the aesthetics like I did.

If you're interested in how filters are stored, there's a short clip of me opening the totally cool and unique canister on my Facebook page. Go check it out!

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