from The Essential Paradise, series sourcebook
Doc. 5.12.11. Edit
'Anime look' is a label given to a fashion style, popular amongst young-adolescent girls in the territory between early 1996 and mid-2001, in the British Paradise Islands.
The 'look' comprises the pairing of a form-fitting top, often closely-tailored or of stretchy material, and with a dramatically short skirt, often pleated or ruffled, as though in deliberate or direct homage to Japanese anime characters who are often depicted wearing implausibly short school-uniform skirts. It is sometimes referred to as 'the bell' especially when pertaining to the look of a petite, slightly-built girl in a short flared skirt and skin-tight top.
Like many organic trends, the 'anime look' cannot be traced to one originator or even a small group. It appears to have begun at Hurricane Hole High School sometime around 1996, amongst first- and second-formers rather new to the school who may have hoped that by shortening their skirts they might receive attention from the opposite sex. Perhaps because of this, second-former Gwendolyn Dahl is often credited with being its initiator; though that may be only due to her visibility in HHHS and BPI society both as an early adherent of the style and as the steady date of Lord Jonathan Cavaliere. Nevertheless, after early 1997 the style becomes equally often called the 'Fashie look', after Dahl's nickname.
Despite its formalised codes of dress, Paradisian culture is nonetheless tolerant of the public sight of young people in extremely reduced attire, even, especially amongst females aged 10-20, actual lingerie or underwear, without any automatic attachment of prurient contexts. It is generally accepted that for girls, especially those only pubescent, the wearing of such short skirts represents nothing more naughty than a desire to comply with a popular standard, to be amongst the 'in-crowd. Though most so attired still endeavour to maintain ladylike decorum (tucking skirt under bottom when sitting, holding knees together when squatting, avoiding any bending from the hip), the possibility of one's knickers being glimpsed does not seem to be a concern.
Many, especially those of forms 3-6, seem keenly aware of their perceived vulnerability and, to counter it, take to wearing thigh-high hose whose stay-up tops, often trimmed in lace, can be easily glimpsed under the skirt hem. Further, many chose knickers of shiny materials or of wild colours or else trimmed in lace, or even old-fashioned bloomers and slips whose ruffles serve to fluff out the skirt and to flaunt the wearer's audacity.
Sensing a palpable trend, territorial clothing makers and retailers respond to local demand by supplying ready-to-wear skirts, some even less than 30 cm high, as well as dazzling knickers in smaller girls' sizes and and a vast array of colourful and elegantly-decorated hose.
Whilst this fad, like many others, might well be viewed as just so much lighthearted fun in a place like Paradise, many school officials found it overly distracting, if not merely to male students than to teaching staff as a whole. Hurricane Hole, somewhat late in mandating any discernible dress parameters for students, responds in September 1997 with a rather strict code to which staff and students begin to call the 'Fashie rules', as though to blame Dahl.
In the event, many schools come to tolerate, rather than to discipline, incidences of girls attending school in 'anime look' short skirts. A significant reason for this lenience may be that the style, in itself, despite its propensity to attract, and distract, young males' eyes, is otherwise entirely harmless. Most Paradisians, whatever their age, are not given to taking offence upon seeing any young girl's knickers, regarding the sight as only another facet of life in these islands. After all one need only visit a beach to see much more socially- and sexually-aware females past the age of legal consent deliberately wearing far less clothing, even (indeed often) eye-openingly brief, unlined cotton underpants alone.
Indeed the style becomes less prominent by early 2001, though eager first-formers may still try their popularity with super-short skirts for some time to come.
Characters of the 'Two Paradises' story realms considered proponents of the anime lookEdit
- Gwendolyn Dahl
- Heather Tewce
- Kimberley Cavaliere
- Nilsa Bonetti
- The Devon Girls
- Hayden Palmer
- Starla Truro
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