Out of the Closet

It is so: Sometimes grown women in the 21st century like to dress up like grown women from the turn of the last century, all decked out in frilly, bell-shaped gowns and modest, lace-fringed blouses, with layered petticoats, satin hair bows, parasols, kneesocks and, oh, maybe a pink wig topped off with a hat shaped like a cupcake. And some 150 of those women — adherents of the totally pulled-together Gothic Lolita style inspired by Japanese pop culture — who are scat-tered throughout the Rocky Mountain region have banded together under the aegis of the Colorado Gothic Lolita Society, because, as Katie, a CGLS member, notes, it’s hard to find others like them here, lost as they are in a sea of commercialized conformity. Naturally, when Katie and her friends take to the streets, people can’t help but notice them. “Nobody doesn’t have a reaction,” she says. “Some people just stare at us, but others come up and ask questions, as if it’s so strange that it somehow gives them license to. They’ll ask us things like, ‘Are you in a play? What’s the occasion? Are you going to a costume party?’” Other folks are just plain rude and crude, she adds, and the most complimentary tend to be older women.

But it’s an innocent enough obsession, and to prove it to the world, they’re hosting A Modern Salon: Colorado Gothic Lolita Society, a free public event at the Fu Collective + Gallery that begins at 7 p.m. and includes a flock of Lolitas dressed to the nines (and happy to answer your questions), music to match by DJ Andrew Novick, a performance-art installation by Aurora-based Gothic Lolita designer J-Chan Designs, food, local artwork and more.

Fu Collective is at 810 West 10th Avenue; for event information, go to www.coloradogothiclolita.com.
Fri., Dec. 12, 7-9 p.m., 2008

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd

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