Fraise Macaron and Arsenic are three lolitas that just moved together in a mansion in the country — and yes, it's still cheaper than the city. Not only this dreamplace is the most perfect set ever for selfies, and is well furbished with numerous bookshelves that are not a mere accessory in a righteous lolita education, but the whole house seems to acknowledge their passion in an oddly understanding way. Their lifestyle is about to take a step further when at the end of some corridor the most incredible wardrobe ever worn opens its doors, supplying endless playful dressup sessions. Is there hope that Fraise's stubborn habit of going out sans-blouse is seeing its last days?

Fraise Macaron and Arsenic study #001
Preliminary study of the 3 characters by illustrator François Amoretti, showing voluntary transgression of Lolita's most hardcore dresscode. Looks and styles may not be quite set yet, but this gives a good idea.

Three characters by three authors, all passionate about Lolita fashion, united in sharing it through a story about lolitas. Should we introduce ourselves? I know I have to, for once, but you may know about the other twos. Ladies first:

Storytelling: Nella Fragola

Old pic from around 2008 or 2009 of Nella Fragola aka tsubamevalyNella Fragola has been into Lolita for quite a long time. She used to go by lj username tsubamevaly, for those of you to whom it might ring a bell. Her passion slowly outgrew her as an individual, as she dwelled into community management by opening one of the first lolita forums in France, known as Le Boudoir. With Cotton Candy and Gothic Lolita, these were the main online spaces of a much younger lolita community, just arrived (and plugged!) Ere long she was also setting up an association with a name waaaay too long which has been hosting events of various range ever since 2009. Only last year were they joined in the field by the guys from French Café. Though nowadays we've grown accustomed to monetized tea parties to invest in the location and maybe, some day, award a real compensation to some of the people that actually do their real job for free, I reckon the 5€ fee of the Convention Lolita used to be quite an asset for many Lolita lovers! Nella's creative projects are not restricted to Lolita fashion of course, many photographers get to capture her image in styling such as: pinup, retro elegance, comic books heroin and even… fetish!

Illustrations: François Amoretti

Portrait of François AmorettiFrançois is hasbeen an illustrator, to which feminism is no fancy theory. An old-timer Lolita admirer, he switched this scene for a while for burlesque women, of free will and empowered with their own images. But before that he managed to publish no less than 3 lolita-themed books via Soleil publishing house. Two of them were adapted from (fairy) tales and one was a complete original story written by Audrey Alwett. Too obliging for his own good (silly boy), he didn't look at the expense of his own money, time and knowledge of japanese language to make things happen for Lolita in France. Amongst them: catwalks with his japanese designer friends, organizing an broadcast for the NHK, being in charge of the Kokusyoku Sumire tours before they had an european label (and finding it), but also a tea party and exhibition both about his work — oh and I guess that Dr Sketchy from a few years back, with other lolita friends of his. Anyway his kindness has not always been repayed as it ought, as in abused of, and distasteful behaviors in the scene eventually led him to take a break — the burlesque break I spoke of earlier. Actually the very proheminent breast of Violette, the heroin of his book Burlesque Girrrl, is a direct response to critics about the poster for the first Lolita Convention back in 2010, because the lolita depicted (which happens to be an early version of our Fraise!) had unfit boobs. They were meant to be more european than japanese, emphazing the message conveyed by her stewardess outfit and european stars background. Damn it.
Despite being addicted to feminine clothing such as Lolita, he has never worn that fashion himself. When he can afford it, François' wallet is devoted to chap lifestyle (and fashion). You might see some traces of it in his next project which will be out before Fraise Macaron and Arsenic. Please note that the chap, unlike Lolita occasional scruffiness, NEVER compromizes on quality, no tweed print, aye! Mix all of this with a rather doubtful interest in comics, nordic mythology, and a few drops of poison for dummies, and the result is called Les Destructeurs (litteraly the Destroyers)! The thing is, when someone with such a path goes back to Lolita for a new book, obviously it's not to make a formatted product.

Alice au Pays des Merveilles
Alice au Pays des Merveilles
Blancheneige et Rougerose
Blancheneige et Rougerose
Étincelline Poster for the first Convention Lolita
ÉtincellinePoster for the first Convention Lolita

Illustrations : messalyn

And me. I'm far from being a public figure, and my communication (or lack thereof) is a disaster so I'd understand that you don't know my work. Many big actors of the web are going down a route I really don't caution so I'm either not using them or simply gone. I'm too cautious and way too slow and all that time has to be taken from somewhere, such as a) sleep b) leisure, communication time. I love handmade a bit too much so instead of using ready-made solutions I have to build my websites (and sometimes, others as well). A shame because I'm clearly missing out on the traffic and highlights these things provide their users with (blogspot, you selfish bastard.) Have you noticed how people often need a human face they can relate to in order to trigger any interest into the things you actually do? Well too bad, I'm not photogenic enough to achieve a good shot under 140 trials AND I live in a very dark cavern or something like it (incidentally it's very sunny everywhere but this place). And as if there was anything to salvage, when left alone, I'm easily going back home from my workplace at midnight to enjoy a meal of cereals. In short, I'm a mess. But not this time, I have a goal, a book, my first! Either way, I studied graphic arts, but I was obviously a clandestine illustrator. Let's see… I layed out the 5th issue of the fanzine (and most likely the next), realized a poster I wish I had done differently for the third Lolita Convention, designed and coded François' website, crafted new logos for RDRR and wrote and designed the clues from our lolita murder party. Lolita has inspired me plenty of illustrations. I have my own story to tell someday, but it's too incomplete for the moment. Meanwhile, I'd be very happy to publish first as a collaboration with my dear fellows!

Old Ferris Wheel
Old Ferris Wheel
Grenier London Holle The Show Must Go On
GrenierLondon HolleThe Show Must Go On

(Unlike what you may deduct from this deceitful and a tad nostalgic selection of work, the book is going to be painted in watercolour, just like my recent illustrations. What, what is it with my link? Nay, that's the right one.)

More about the book…

Well, you get the picture, and now you know who we are. I hope we convinced you because for this book, we rely on you, the readers! Absolutely, we jumped too on the crowdfunding bandwagon. The book will be published under our label Four Horsemen. Four Horsemen, in short, is a ‘quality label’ by artists for artists, an opportunity to officially support each other in many ways. It's not a holy trinity, there are other people as well, such as artist Lostfish and photographer Alexandra Banti, and when their own works will be released, you will difinitively hear from them here, that's one sure thing! Now, you might have noticed that the pitch was quite elusive, because for the moment we don't want to reveal details about the story itself. Bus as a physical object we don't need such mystery: it's going to be an illustrated book, like Gothic Lolita, Alice in Wonderland and Little Red Riding Hood (Caperucita Roja y lo que sucedió en el vientre del lobo for the spanish edition). And like two of these books, it's going to be bilingual! Yes! English and french. The story imagined by François is going to take the form of Nella's writing, and François and I will share the illustrative work in a way we figured out so as to not clash our styles. Remember that lolita books are a rarity save for a couple artbooks, so don't miss out!

Even if I couldn't start right away on the book, a first illustration was painted to be used later as an exlibris. I'll post it later this week, but if you're clever enough you have found it already ^^. The planning is a delicate matter, especially for François and we haven't decided yet on what exactly we will offer to backers etc… Similarly, we cannot announce a date: because it was delayed, François had to work on something else (Les Destructeurs, feel free to support as well)… the project won't start before next year. As a result, I created a useful newsletter so you can keep in touch with the minimum investment on your part — just register and you'll know when we'll be about to start. Teasers and the like will be posted on our respective blogs or social networks as I don't want this newsletter to be cluttered by annoying marketing announces. Just remember to confirm your subscription, you'll then receive an email that sums up this post.

See you lovelies!