At the bottom of my left ventricle there is a small, round jewel, made up of the girlishness I was never truly capable of expressing in my girlhood days. And that shining jewel comprises many soft, gentle things . . . but mostly Ghibli Dresses.
They deserve capitalization- Ghibli Dresses!– worthy of the statement each Dress made. Your daydream of sweet countryside walks and contentedly doing chores isn’t complete without those Dresses, and you know it to be true, you’ve just never properly registered that fact. Sweet, simple, straightforward sweeps of fabric with maybe a sturdy apron to really drive home the AnimexCottagecore collab. Back when anime still wasn’t that cool, I could happily (quietly, in the privacy of my own room, North Miami 2007 was not a place to casually talk about anime fashion) fawn over the vintage style of the heroine’s dresses, tea length hems roughly mid-shin length; each skirt with either a sort of grande flair that added excellent flounce and dramatics to their insanely animated running. Seriously, why the hell did everyone run so smoothly?
I wanted so badly, as an awkward girl of twelve, to have skirts that flared if I ran- which I wouldn’t ever do, running is for energetic people- to have soft, simple dresses that would feel so gentle against my skin as I nestled amongst tall grasses on a hillside surrounded by wildflowers and clean streams. Maybe I would have even worn an apron, intent on doing some dusting or sweeping, or just to keep smooth river stones in my one apron pocket. Maybe I would have looked soft enough, in my gently flowing dress, to have a sweet and slow piano tune made for me.
Perhaps it’s not too late to wipe the blood off my Jewel of Lost Girlishness and reclaim the fantasy of dressing like a Ghibli Heroine in a Ghibli Dress. Fashion is fickle but the whimsy of flared skirts is forever. It just wouldn’t be the same, would it? I could buy a dozen dresses that closely emulate those from the movies, but would they fit? Would the whimsy and delicate enchantment that colors every line and note in a Ghibli film translate from hand drawn frame to reality, and paint me in its graciousness? Have my chances been ruined by the astronomical price tags attached to anything Cottagecore/Bloomcore/Fairycore/[insert future -core subgenre here]?
The answers are unclear.
The only thing that is clear, is that one desire tucked deep inside that little jewel in my heart. To one day find out those answers for myself . . . and learn how it feels to smooth down the skirt of my magical Ghibli Dress.
Danny Fantom is a writer hailing from the Godless void of Florida. She is published in Defunct Magazine and (soon-to-be) Rejection Letters, with more work found on Vocal. You can find her retweeting pictures of dessert, horror movies, Eric Draven, and sunsets on Twitter @ThrillandFear.