Mori Girls: A Declaration of Love

by Emma Claire Goodman

They look like the love children of antique dolls and woodland fairies.

They practically float instead of walk, with their wafting, floral print fabrics and gauzy layers, their vintage blouses and baby doll dresses, romantic lace paired with tights and/or a-line skirts, stiletto heels or ballet flats, and tiny trinkets.

While beloved and adopted by American and European girls as well, “Mori,” as every source will tell you, derives from the Japanese word for “Forest.” The idea is to live and look as though they are forest fairies or wood nymphs even while wandering in urban sprawl. A true “Mori” lifestyle consists of wearing multiple layers of gauzy dresses and airy cardigans, and enjoying hobbies such as knitting, travelling, tea drinking, reading, art, and music.

Adoration and fascination of innovative Japanese fashion trends and movements is nothing new. As we all know, Gwen Stefani has oft professed her love for all things “kawaii” and Harajuku, co-opting elements of Japanese street fashion in her LAMB line and surrounding herself with a posse of Japanese girls.

Unlike Stefani, my love for the Mori aesthetic is not about an obsession with all things Japanese, or even an obsession with wanting to look a certain way, so much as it is an obsession with living a certain way.

Mori girls are all about seeking tiny miracles and returning to a simpler, more aesthetic way of life, even if they inhabit the bustling, upward mobility of New York City. Mori girls seek to remind us to just enjoy life, which is part of why I am attracted to the idea of this being a “thing,” an intellectual and aesthetic subculture.

And yes, a lot of it is about the look, as Fashion always is. But so much of it is about feeling comfortable in your own skin, and in your own garments.

I love to make and build things, I love to decorate, so naturally I want to assemble my clothes in a certain way. I love to layer my clothes, I love things with lace, vintage fabrics and tiny and cute trinkets, and I love pairing anything and everything with an interesting pair of tights.




So, yeah, I really want to run away and be a Mori girl now.

Photo Credits: Mori Girls on Tumblr, Mori Girl on Blogspot (Via WonderRocket, and Mori Girls Interior Magazine), and Corridor 40

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