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Controversial designs.

August 16th, 2006 (06:56 am)

current mood: confused

Hello, darling friends list. Your mayuki_miyazawa is having something akin to an ethical dillema. =(

Not too long ago, I designed an SS-uniform inspired lolita outfit. I designed the outfit with the desire to create a beautiful, smart, powerful and somewhat frightening. (Obviously not sweet lolita). Whilst I'm generally opposed to themed lolita outfits, (as I find that they don't usually work), I gave this long thought and I felt that this would work. So, one problem left.

Is it reasonable to design, manufacture and sell this garment?

Obviously, I am not a Neo-Nazi. I abhor racism, fascism, Hitler and anti-semitism. I've studied European history extensively, my disgust towards Nazism is justified. But I appreciate Hugo Boss' sense of style. I might be repulsed at his beliefs, but his uniform design is appreciated and acknowledged by fashion critics. It's an intimidating, powerful uniform with a stigma attached to it. It's controversial, it's wrong.

But Range Murata sees it and creates character outfits based on it. Hermes adopts the crisp SS uniform style in their winter collections. Would I be opening a can of worms if I went ahead and created this? Of course, for glaringly obvious reasons, I draw the line at the arm band, the iron cross and the swastika. None of these elements would be incorporated in this design. I'd very much love to create this, but I don't want to offend or hurt anybody.

Advice, please. =)


Posted by: ローレン (laila_astri)
Posted at: August 16th, 2006 09:20 am (UTC)

Ya know. I really like this one a lot and would gladly commission it from you in a few months time when I can afford it. I still want a denim JSK too at some point, LOL. Damn life being on hold until after my move.

Posted by: Kai Nimura (kai_nimura)
Posted at: August 16th, 2006 09:29 am (UTC)

i love it, but i've seen people go ape over outfits like this, on DOLLS, I can't imange how they'd react to a full out outfit. also you always risk the wrong sort buying it, and being labeled as pro nazi.....

it's have to be in a color like black, with a change of the armband color to a more -lolita- logo an dthe hat logo would need to be changed..

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Posted by: TheOsakaKoneko (theosakakoneko)
Posted at: August 16th, 2006 09:58 am (UTC)

I don't think most people could tell the difference between the swastikas... O.o;;

I think if you revamped it a bit, and kept the strict smooth clean gorgeous lines, but lost the accessories/armband/cross/etc, and perhaps changed the color scheme (although I love the grey, so i might keep that...), you'd be okay. But you have to be really careful with making it look a bit different. Because that's not something you want to take chances with.

Posted by: onizuneko (onizuneko)
Posted at: August 16th, 2006 09:59 am (UTC)

the iron cross is fine because its actually a symbol of honor and achievement in World War 1, a medal only given to those approved by the Kaiser

Posted by: onizuneko (onizuneko)
Posted at: August 16th, 2006 10:01 am (UTC)


Posted by: kyra_cat (kyra_cat)
Posted at: August 16th, 2006 10:19 am (UTC)

I've said it once and i'll say it again. This is great and i'd buy it.

I find it strange that the general public are in favour whereas your friends list caused drama.... But anyway, you can't just escape something by ignoring it. It's wrong to celebrate terrible things but at the same time, isn't it offencive to pretend it didn't happen? To people involved i mean.

Keep the armband, and the hat. Just change the logo to something like a heart. Hooray for ironic nazi lolita clothes

Posted by: Teipu (kyo_dingz)
Posted at: August 16th, 2006 11:43 am (UTC)

I'm German, I'm not a Nazi, and I love this design!! I think the German army was always one of the best dressed, so I think it's great to use the designs of them to make a Loli-dress.

I think you can keep the accessories and if you make them detachable (like the armband, the cross and so on) everybody can decide by themselve if they want to use them or not (but maybe don't put the Swastika on the armband... it would be a pity not to wear it because other people might get it wrong)
I'd buy it because I especially love the design of the skirt.

Posted by: Dewy-Eyed Disney Bride (tropigalia)
Posted at: August 16th, 2006 12:01 pm (UTC)

Hugo Boss designed some hot outfits. I'd say keep the theme but make it more general in its military style, like maybe just changing the color to olive green instead of grey could fix it.

Posted by: Dewy-Eyed Disney Bride (tropigalia)
Posted at: August 16th, 2006 12:02 pm (UTC)

Also it's way hot and I'd totally commission that.

Posted by: Moon Yen (moons_creations)
Posted at: August 16th, 2006 12:06 pm (UTC)
Mm. Ex's and coffee

I would commission you in a second for this. I love military uniforms and honestly the SS had the most aesthetic designs. I don't think anyone would be offended and if you're iffy on it, just don't use the arm band or make it a black armband as a sign of memorial.

Posted by: Ingrid Helene (tiggielil)
Posted at: August 16th, 2006 12:20 pm (UTC)

I second the "no armband = go" for this. It's really elegant!

One thing I wanted to ask - if possible, what would be the extra charge for leaving design work to you for a commission? Say I wanted a dress, and I said "I like these colours, this aestethic, here's a pretty building that I'd want this dress to look at home in." and left the actual decisions to you, how much would that be? Just curious. :)

Posted by: They Died for Beauty (nudeonthemoon)
Posted at: August 16th, 2006 02:30 pm (UTC)

um, i really want this outfit, with the armband. if you make it, i will buy it :)

Posted by: The Abominable Chax (miyu_sakura)
Posted at: August 16th, 2006 02:51 pm (UTC)

I actually wanted a Nazi lolita outfit for a long time and almost commissioned one. I wanted to get the coat in a nice wool for the winter.

My opinion is this, if hipsters can have Mao Bags, Che T-shirts, and Stalin buttons, let's go for broke and do Nazi-loli. Communists killed more people in their own crazy-assed purges than Hitler ever dreamed of. And evidently they're okay because they believe in sitting on the grass, holding hands, singing, and sparking the worldwide revolution.

Goddamit. I'll totally buy one and wear it whenever I mod egl.

Posted by: Raven (ravenmelonai)
Posted at: August 16th, 2006 03:03 pm (UTC)

I would definitely buy this, particularly if you did it in black. I love the black military uniform style. Hugo Boss' style sense is so fantastic. Perhaps instead of a swastika armband, you could do a fleur-de-lis or a crown or something? Perhaps a different color on the band, or no band at all? I see armbands more in punk-loli/just plain punk style, and even red ones, quite frequently. No problem with the cross though.

I think if you take away the swastika, it's no longer symbolic of the racism but still conveys the mystique and power of the uniform.

Posted by: Satoru / Satochan (warumonokyo)
Posted at: August 16th, 2006 03:18 pm (UTC)

I think it's a beautiful design and don't think you will offend anyone as long as the "typical" controversial things are eliminated like you said.

Posted by: Iko (iko)
Posted at: August 16th, 2006 03:37 pm (UTC)

I actually would like to see the iron cross incorporated into the design. I think it's beautiful and feels "military", not "Nazi" to me. In fact, I think the iron cross-as-jewelry is gorgeous.

(Full disclosure: I am a bit of a WWII ETO buff.)

As to the arm band... I think that can be done well if it is done whimsically. Imagine a pink arm band with Hello Kitty on it. As kyra_cat mentions above, "hooray for ironic nazi lolita clothes"!

Posted by: Patty (aoimizuyume)
Posted at: August 16th, 2006 07:27 pm (UTC)

Maybe getting rid of the hat and armband (And sash? Is it a sash...?). But they MAKE the outfit! Accessories are always a hard topic. But all in all, changing the logo might help! Crown, heart, umm... kitty? The gray color makes me feel down...

Don't worry about the iron cross, I don't see a problem in this. It's lovely, this design!

Posted by: kawaii_mon (kawaii_mon)
Posted at: August 16th, 2006 08:39 pm (UTC)

I really like it. I hate milli-loli, and think its almost always terribly done, but this design is really nice and clean. I like clean tailored things. The only thing is that if i bought it, I'd want it properly tailored, which would mean that there is a ridiculous amount of hand sewing involved, and the whole suit would cost up to $1000. (I made half of a tailored jacket in class, and that half took me about 20-30 hours. So much hand sewing -.-;;)

Posted by: +Vanilla Star~* (evilpinkferret)
Posted at: August 17th, 2006 03:50 pm (UTC)

Oh my goodness. *loves* Without the arm band, or with a different colour armband without the swastika, I think it would be amazing. Like others have said, if you made it, I would most deffinately buy it. ^_^

Posted by: ~Sheyne~ (neku_niku)
Posted at: August 28th, 2006 08:43 pm (UTC)

honestly? it's kinda freaky
i don't wan to sound like a wimp or the odd man out in this thread...
1) i do like the basic idea of fascists inspired outfits. the hard clean lines are intimidating yet eerily beautiful.
but, the inclusion of the red arm band, no matter what image you put on it scare the crap outta me. i am jewish and even though the holocaust was over 1/2 a decade ago, i still feel fear deep in my being when i see nazi related imagery.

the outfit itself is very lovely and well designed, you seemed to grasp all of the aspect of fascists fashion in that loli outfit, but it still creeps me out.
i'm just being honest and I hope that i won’t come off as a weakling with no sense of humor.

Posted by: mayuki_miyazawa (mayuki_miyazawa)
Posted at: August 29th, 2006 02:56 am (UTC)

I hope I haven't offended you.

I understand and respect your opinion. I've actually come across young people within Harajuku who actually wear SS uniforms, which, to say the least, was something akin to a major culture shock for me. Lolita and gothic I'm used to, full blown Nazi paraphanalia- no.

I suppose, in a way, this garment is supposed to shock- but never in a pro-Nazism way. I'm honestly at sea as to how to go about this. I've contacted EGL mods to ask their thoughts on how I should go about introducing this to the community, as I would like to have this design made in the future.

"Of course, for glaringly obvious reasons, I draw the line at the arm band, the iron cross and the swastika. None of these elements would be incorporated in this design."


Posted by: ~Sheyne~ (neku_niku)
Posted at: August 30th, 2006 12:38 am (UTC)

thank you for thoughtfully explaining out your reasions to me. you are very well spoken and i understand the want to shock, i myself would be lying if i said i never incoruplated a fashest twang to an outfit or two before due in order to add a lil'bit of shook vaule.

I don't believe i could say anything as well thought out and elaquint as deedlelu did below me (we chatted on IM a lot in regards to these sort of issues, some in my journal, where this post was linked (hense the kinda delayed responce)

Posted by: nothing but trouble... (deedlelu)
Posted at: August 29th, 2006 02:26 am (UTC)

Wow... I'm disappointed at some of the replies here.

Nazism is something that you are either ok with or not ok with. There is no neutral, no middle ground. Now, that being said, this discussion is about fashion. However the stigma of trying to wipe out a whole ethnic group would ruin anything vaguely related to nazism for me. I try to adhere to my principles, and my beliefs/what I do/how I dress are all closely correlated.

A lot of the old WWII uniforms have similar looks, so I think you could have taken design ideas from various uniforms without having to include the obvious nazi cues and still had a sharp, stunning outfit. I really appreciate and admire your skill as a designer and as a seamstress, but I don't fancy this particular outfit. Quite likely because of the obvious nazi undertones, which for me and I am guess for many others, is hard to get past.

Speaking generally, even if you claim to not follow the nazi belief in any way but still align yourself with any aspect of it (such as fashion or symbolism) don't be surprised when people associate you with nazism. Not to mention risking bodily harm in many areas of this country (and probably world-wide?)

The nazi discussion can run mountains high and rivers deep, but I leave it at this: if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

Posted by: mayuki_miyazawa (mayuki_miyazawa)
Posted at: August 29th, 2006 03:08 am (UTC)

That being said, I feel that I should apologise if I've offended you. But at the same time, I feel as though design needs no justification. "L'art pour l'art". But this does tread some very thin and precarious ice, so I'm going to do a little talking here.

I respect the fact that you have zero tolerance for Nazism, or anything even mildly related to Nazism. Your opinions and your expressing of such opinions have not changed or altered my perception of you in any way. I hope that you can extend that courtesy towards me.

I tend to differentiate between my beliefs and what I perceive as beauty. That which is beautiful for me is purely emotional- It's a chemical reaction that I feel, not contemplate. If I find something that appeals to me, I'm hopelessly drawn to it- my mind and ethics has no sway over attraction.

"Of course, for glaringly obvious reasons, I draw the line at the arm band, the iron cross and the swastika. None of these elements would be incorporated in this design."

I have a strong intellectual curiosity with the Holocaust, and a grudging respect for Hugo Boss. It's unfortunate that such a beautiful uniform had to be marred with such a disgusting stigma- I feel that my reverance for Hugo Boss' designs (not principles) and Nazism should not have to be mutually exclusive.

"Speaking generally, even if you claim to not follow the nazi belief in any way but still align yourself with any aspect of it (such as fashion or symbolism) don't be surprised when people associate you with nazism. Not to mention risking bodily harm in many areas of this country (and probably world-wide?)"

I've mentioned that the arm band, swastika and iron cross would not be included in production. Do you feel that there are any other 'nazi cues' within the design which ought to be removed? If I am going to go ahead with this, it'd have to undertake a few drastic alterations.

'Military-style Lolita Uniform'- Does this tread on the thin line of acceptable?

Posted by: nothing but trouble... (deedlelu)
Posted at: August 29th, 2006 04:42 am (UTC)
Debi Chibi

Thank you, I appreciate the time you took in reading my post and replying in a thoughtful manner. I always have some trepidation when addressing serious matters because a lot of people go into defensive mode and are not open to engaging in discussion of the matter. As far as some of the previous posters, I can only hope that those comments were unintentionally offensive, and not posted with serious intent.

I can certainly relate to and appreciate the concept of art for art's sake. Most artists are critical thinkers, and we explore new ideas by incorporating them into our art (ie your curiosity of the holocaust leading to this idea). Separating yourself and your beliefs from what you think is aesthetically pleasing is something that all artists do to one extent or another. For me personally, there are a few ideals that I do not allow myself to deviate from, lines that I will not cross even for the pure aesthetics of it. It would be unrealistic for me to expect everyone to do the same, and obviously everyone has different boundaries.

I am not that well versed in vintage WWII uniforms, but if I were to modify anything else to remove nazi association, I would change the color from grayish to a brown or a drab green (or even navy? that would be cute) and remove the (for lack of the actual name) diagonal strap across the chest. In my opinion, this would make it a more marketable and widely accepted "Military-style" Lolita outfit.

Likewise, now that I better understand your point of view I can appreciate the thought behind it and hold no ill feelings. If anything, your openness has harbored greater respect in you and your work.

Posted by: Chris Fury (isteillia)
Posted at: March 20th, 2008 04:59 am (UTC)

*peeps in* I found this post through google- I've been searching for an outfit very much-if not exactly like this- did you ever make it? if so, are you taking commissions for it?

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