Victorique’s Late Victorian Fashion, the Anachronistic 1924 Gosick

Gosick Victorian dress Victorique cute running glamor fashion

Most people, including me, watch Gosick for the heroine Victorique. Indeed, some of my favorite things about Gosick are Victorique’s gorgeous dresses. The flared trims, the fitted cuts, and the pretty waistlines—every detail on her is outfitted with cuteness and elegance. However, for a girl with such refined clothing and lovely looks, Victorique is certainly not fashionable. In fact, she is about a decade or two behind on her fashion sense.

Set in 1924, Gosick incorporates many elements of a world emerging from World War I into its overall flavor. However, Victorique, along with most of Saubure, seems to still be stuck in the past regarding fashion. It is a bit ironic that her fictional home state largely draws on French culture.

Gosick Victorian dress Victorique black

Take for example Victorique’s favorite outfit. It is mostly late Victorian—especially past 1890s when bustles fell out of use. The general cut of the skirt is a bell shaped A-line popular in the mid 1890s. The top features some common elements of Victorian era fashion: leg o’ muttons sleeves and a chemisette with fancy tucks.

Gosick Victorian dress-Victorique purple

Here, we have my favorite attire of Victorique. It is a cute petite top draped over a large looped puffy bottom. In addition to the overall silhouette and wasp waist, the tightly fitted pagoda sleeves with opera length fingerless gloves again indicate heavy Victorian influences.

Gosick Victorian dress Victorique blue stripes

Gosick Victorian dress Victorique orange

Gosick Victorian dress Victorique blue bonnet

These are a few other shots of lovely outfits that include popular late Victorian elements: puffed sleeves, leg o’ muttons, high necklines, draped and looped cloth, flares above the knees, skirts that brush the ground, top hats, hat-like bonnets… etc. While there might be small elements here and there that deviate from the general fashion sense of the 1890s to 1900s, they are unmistakably pre-1920s, and most definitely not 1924.

Gosick Victorique adorable eyes

Glamorous, lovely twenties. The roaring twenties that brought about radical changes. Indeed, not only fashion, but styles, art, and attitudes of this era are all far cries from those of earlier times. For example, the curves of art nouveau were replaced by the geometric art deco.

La Gazette du Bon Ton 1920 Autumn Doeuillet Worth twenties fashion

Likewise, fashion underwent major revolutions as well. In fact, 1920s is often considered the beginning of modern fashion. The strict, exacting Victorian styles fell out of favor for more comfortable and loose clothing. The S-curves, frills, and puffiness gave way to chemise, tubular dresses, and columnar lines. The women’s rights movement also inspired shorter skirts, more open clothing, and more masculine looks. The changes were so extreme and so rapid that by 1924, the new styles were widely adopted, especially by those more aware.

So where are the bob cuts, Marcel waves, cloche hats, Flappers, Jazz, and all the wonderful things of Gatsby?

Perhaps Victorique should pick up a copy of La Gazette du Bon Ton, because what she is wearing is so yesterday.

Gosick Victorique lolipop cater gothic lolita

All kiddings aside, this begs us to question Gosick’s authenticity and the author’s integrity. Is this an example of lazy research? Or is Gosick changing history to cater to the mostly oblivious anime fans obsessed with gothic Lolita?

Gosick Victorique pajama cute

Whatever it is, Victorique is super cute!

__________________________________________________
Side notes:

  • Post focuses almost entirely on women’s fashion.
  • Gosick (gothic) has little to do with the 1920s or with Victorique’s clothes. (A distinction should be made between Victorian, Gothic, and Lolita fashion. Still, I have at times referred to Victorique as a gothic Lolita. It is just simpler sometimes.) That the title does not reference the story’s era, but instead a modern fashion popular with anime fans may suggest something.
  • Victorique is not the only one out of tune with the twenties. Everyone else is a step behind as well. While not as Victorian and more Edwardian, the other outfits in the series mostly date to around the 1890s – 1910s. We see nothing of the radical change in fashion.
  • Gosick is very big on its historical context. To have something so major off is abit reminiscent of Romeo + Juliet (1996), the DiCaprio version—a jarring disaster. It is hard to take the post-WWI politics and mysteries seriously when the flavors and cultures of the era is so obviously missing.
  • Victorique could probably rock any style, even a falsely dressed kimono. I just want to eat her!
    Gosick Victorique kimono
  • Gosick Review
This entry was posted in Anime/ Manga, Editorial, Fashion, Gosick and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

80 Responses to Victorique’s Late Victorian Fashion, the Anachronistic 1924 Gosick

  1. feal87 says:

    I think it’s only a stylistic choice, Victorique is made to appear cute and victorian style. Just that…:P

    • Yi says:

      But it’s never just that, is it?

      A stylistic choice should take into consideration context among a lot of other things. For example, if I wanted to do an European medieval story, but I really love the traditional Japanese styles (kimono, armors… etc.), I can’t just use those styles without working it into the context.

      Gosick is a bit similar to that, but it never explains or works the awkward stylistic choice into the story. And for a story so reliant on being a historical take on 1924 (post WWI politics and all that stuff), I thought it should’ve paid a little more attention to contextual integrity.

  2. 2DT says:

    Gosick (gothic)

    Oh… dear.

    That “click” you hear is the combination pins all setting in my brain, because it makes sense, it makes sense, my god it makes SO MUCH SENSE!

    Yi, you are a genius.

  3. Ryo_kun says:

    I don’t think Gosick cared much about the details. They’re just aiming for anime fans with ghotic lolita fetish. But…anyway, didn’t know all that until you made this post. Very informative, Yi!😄

    • Yi says:

      I find it almost a bit disappointing that Gosick would prefer to pamper to the group of audience more interested in Gothic Lolita than try to make an authentic story. (And Victorique’s outfits aren’t even eally Gothic Lolita in the strictest sense.) It’s really hard for me to take Gosick’s post-WWI politics seriously when there is such an obvious piece of the era missing.

      But at least Victorique is super cute. And I’d guess most are watching Gosick almost entirely for her.

  4. Ashlotte says:

    Going by the rest of the show I think the Author mostly works off “Rule of cool” and throws in whatever they feel like. :p

    Still I kinda like the idea of Vicky being sort of out of step with the fashion of the day as it plays into her status of being a cloistered girl who hasn’t seen much of the world outside.

    Although it does beg the question where she did get her fashion sense from? An older maid maybe?

    • Yi says:

      That’s kind of how it feels to me too. I guess it’s fine because I’m kind of not that into the story. The mysteries are decent, and there are nice European Victorian flavors here and there. I just don’t like the insistence that this is set in a world that just came out of WWI. I’m not buying it.

      The thought of Victorique being sheltered away did cross my mind, but then I quickly realized that not only is Victorique out of date, the whole kingdom of Saubure is out of date. No one there dresses like our 1924 ladies.

      So it’s just a disappointing anachronism.

      Still, on the cuteness factor, Victorique is up there.

  5. Itachi says:

    Goth Loli Victorique is very lovely. I simply love the variation of the dress display in every episode although she is not very fashionable and outdated. But still, it suits her very well, and she looks very cute~

    Anyway, its a very informative post. Thanks Yii ^ ^

    • Yi says:

      Yea, agreed. I really like her various outfits too! They’re so intricate and she wears them well.

      p.s. Goth Loli is similar to Victorique’s Victorian clothing, but strictly speaking, Victorique is not sporting Lolita fashion. There are a few distinctions between the styles.

  6. Joojoobees says:

    I enjoyed your thoughtful post. I think the show is willfully anachronistic, that is, I think it is intentional, although the motivation is another question. In addition to the fashion style you discuss, the OP clearly shows a LOT of influence of Art Nouveau, which you mention, had gone out of style. Another major anachronism is the country of Saubure, itself, which is based on the Duchy of Savoy, a country that had disappeared (swallowed by France in 1860) in the process of the Italian Risorgimento (Unification).

    Anyways, I enjoyed seeing all of those different outfits, as well as your knowledgeable descriptions.

    • Yi says:

      I did not know that about Saubure. I had thought Saubure was completely fictional, but it looks like yet another left over relic of the Victorian era that somehow showed up in 1924 Gosick.

      Personally, I feel like Gosick is taking too many liberties with history. I’d much rather the anime be set in the 1860s-1890s if the style is so important. As is, it really makes the story hard to get into, especially the whole politics surrounding Europe after WWI.

      I’m not actually sure if all of this is intentional. The timespan for the two drastically different styles is really small. If Gosick were to be set only about a decade earlier, most of this fashion would be spot on. To set it in the twenties is a huge mistake, however, because this is the turning point of fashion.

      Ignorance or willful alteration… I’m actually not sure which is better. Either way, it seems most anime fans would not realize this anachronism, and would actually enjoy the fluffy flowery art nouveau image much more. I guess in that sense, it’s a successful story of that era.

    • feal87 says:

      Wrong, I’m italian and i’m pretty sure the Duchy of Savoy did not get swallowed by anyone, instead it unified the whole italy and was the king till the second world war in which we moved to a republic…:P (thought we do lost some territory to France)
      I mean, get your facts…:P

      • feal87 says:

        The territory that got passed over to France was named “Savoy”, but that’s not the Duchy (as the royal family and the title of duke remained till the unification in which it moved to King) itself, just a territory of it as a compensation for the help over the war.😛

        • feal87 says:

          The territory in Gosick instead is really only imaginary as the position indicated in the light novel are even now part Italian and part France territory.

          just compare these two images.😛

          Italy Saubure

          Gosick Saubure

        • Yi says:

          Ahh I see. You learn something everyday. I’m not at all familiar with Italian-France history, so this is great information! Thanks, feal87. ^ ^

          p.s. I reuploaded the images/ took my own screenshot because of hot-linking concerns. I hope you don’t mind.

      • Joojoobees says:

        Okay, dude, calm down. When I said, swallowed, I was talking about the territory, not the nobility. The nobility handed over the territory of Savoy (which is what Saubure is based upon) to France as part of the process of the Risorgimento.😛 back at ya.

  7. catchercatch says:

    These kind of articles are why I love your blog. I, myself, am not well-versed in fashion of the past, so I cannot make much of a judgment call in terms of facts. However, in my opinion, I would say that the choice of clothing was intentional on the creator’s part, whether or not the research was done, in order to appeal to the gothic lolita audience. After all, you don’t make too many sales if your character doesn’t exude some kind of charm.

    And yes, I watch Gosick for Victorique.

    • Yi says:

      When people say the twenties, the first things that come into my mind are flappers, Jazz, and The Great Gatsby, not the Victorian era.

      But I guess the straight lines of art deco, the loose 1920 chemises, and bob cuts aren’t exactly as moe moe kyun compared to the flowery art nouveau and the fitting curves, hips, and waist.

      The lack of integrity in the historical context for me makes the subtheme of post-WWI world almost irrelvant. It also further supports the estimate that 100% of the people watch Gosick primarily for Victorique, if not exclusively.

      Anyway, thank you so much for reading and commenting!! ^ ^

  8. Fabienne says:

    “Here, we have my favorite attire of Victorique. ” Hehe here we have my favorite dress of her as well, the fingerless gloves are such a pretty accessory ^-^.
    Overall I like Victorique’s fashion style, only the length of her skirt appears quite unpractical, when she puts herself into dangerous situations she can’t run away that fast and has to rely on Kujo.
    I guess Victorique’s would look good in everything she wear, the falsely dressed kimono was a nice example for that.

    • Yi says:

      Yep yep. Those gloves and the tightly fitted sleeves really sold the dress for me.

      Interestingly, very similar attires are common as women’s tennis wear. Can you imagine playing tennis in those?

      p.s. Love that huge ribbon on her kimono… in the front.

  9. Overlord-G says:

    It’s quite simple really. Even though the writer’s sense of fashion is inaccurate, Victorique’s awesomeness makes up for said inaccuracy. Besides, I can’t help but laugh when I look at Kujo and thinking to myself…”hey, it’s a Japanese boy wearing a fedora.” Good stuff.

    • Yi says:

      The story is still pretty shallow, even though it is getting better with each arc. I think part of it is that I just can’t get into the whole “grander schemes” of things. Whenever Gosick insists on a historical context (i.e. world war references), I am reminded of the obvious anachronism.

      Victorique does make up for it though, but this series is little more than mere exploitation of our fetishes.

      About Kujo, I actually don’t have any problem with a Japanese boy wearing a fedora. The twenties is also when Japanese society evolves into a new culture drawing influences from the American Roaring Twenties and French fashion trends. So a Japanese guy wearing a fedora isn’t that uncommon.

      Further, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. Considering that Kujou is in Europe, I’d find it extremely awkward if he was walking around in traditional Japanese attire. That would actually just be a pretty bad stereotype.

      It’s also important to remember that 1924 is the beginning of modern era. Just as Europe is moving on from the traditional Victorian fashion, the rest of the world is also changing out of their traditional clothes.

      • Overlord-G says:

        Actually all I was saying was that he looked funny and cool at the same time. I wasn’t looking at it from a historical standpoint.

        I think from the fact that our lovely protagonist’s choice of clothing, we weren’t supposed to expect a deep plot, just something simple and straightforward with a few twists along the way. Actually the coolest revelations so far took place during the Leviathan case.

        • Yi says:

          I don’t expect a deep plot either, but even as a shallow story, it still is kind of a shame that Gosick doesn’t take the extra step to work its context out.

  10. Aya says:

    Yeah the Gosick’s Fashion is absolutely gorgeous, wish can see those in real life haha ^^

    • Yi says:

      I’d actually love to see that outside of special events. How nice it’d be if we all dressed in those fancy clothes in our everyday life. Or if Victorian isn’t someone’s thing particularly, maybe some other style. Just something a little different and refreshing.

  11. Sebz says:

    your favorite pick reminded me of what Helena Bonham Carter wore in Sweeney Todd🙂

    • Yi says:

      Yep yep, I totally see the resemblance. It’s not too surprising since Sweeney Todd is a Victorian era story, so it makes sense.

  12. Ryan says:

    I’m not currently following the series, but there’s quite an argument here. Without diving into the plot, I would assume, as a spectator, that perhaps she isn’t from the time period… I don’t truly know, but it isn’t that unusual to place contextually retro fashion into the scheme in order to denote a sense of timelessness, or even hint that the character is out of place… perhaps. (To give a terrible example, Blast From The Past.)

    If not, it seems a dead ringer for pandering to a certain aspect of pop-culture. ^ ^

    • Yi says:

      Victorique is a recluse in the story, and she does evoke that timeless fairy feeling. So at first I also assumed the Victorian clothing is exclusive to her. In some sense it is, because she’s the only one with such fancy clothes.

      However, once we started meeting more and more characters, it quickly became apparent that the entire Gosick world is stuck around 1900s, a few decades behind when it’s supposed to be. Some characters are a little more up to date, but the extent of their fashion in probably mid 1910s (as opposed to Victorique’s 1880s-1890s). Their attires still no where resembles the twenties “modern” fashion though.

      “If not, it seems a dead ringer for pandering to a certain aspect of pop-culture. ^ ^”
      Indeed. I find that a bit disappointing.

  13. Nathan says:

    I’m not overly familiar with what clothing in rural/conservative areas (as opposed to major fashion centres) looked like in the 1920s, but I imagine it would be slightly less hip and with-it. It is definitely a bit odd that the entire country is in a time lapse of ~10-15 years stylistically but I’d reserve judgment due to my lack of knowledge in the field of speed-of-fashion-dissemination-in-traditional-areas studies, particularly given that Victorique, the most egregious offender (as you’ve pointed out), is set so apart from the normal run of society in this as well as other ways.

    I don’t know if you’ve ever read any Dorothy L. Sayers (I just started following your blog a few days ago after being linked to your post on the Madoka finale) but the general look and feel of Gosick remind me a lot of ‘The Incredible Elopement of Lord Peter Wimsey’, a short mystery story set in Basque country in the late 1920s. I would generally be inclined to think that the time lapse in fashion and general material culture is due to Sauville’s status as a small and apparently mostly rural country, but my lack of expertise on the fashion end of this, as well as the fact that the story deals to a large extent with the upper class, renders me less than sure about this.

    • Yi says:

      That’s a really valid argument. The larger cities, like Paris, would have picked up modern fashion within a mere few years, but the countryside might certainly have been a bit behind.

      However, I would have expected at least some of the people, like those wealthy buyers from the arc with the human trade, to be keen on these things, since they should be in regular contact with the rest of Europe.

      The other thing is, I wouldn’t mind it so much if Gosick does tell a story about an isolated small country, like it was for the first few arcs. However, once Gosick tries to make Saubure relevant internationally, and insists on its political ties to the rest of Europe, it became a bit awkward.

      I’m not too familiar with Dorothy L. Sayers, but in searching about Lord Peter Wimsey, I came upon this:

      The beginning shows the columnar silhouette and cloche hat. And the girls are all classic twenties girls with Marcel waves and such. That’s what I expected.

      But I’d imagine Lord Peter Wimsey must have been the most fashionable person when he arrives at Basque country.

      Thanks for reading and the thoughtful comment! I think I was probably a bit too harsh on Victorique and Saubure.

      • Nathan says:

        In the short story in question Lord Peter arrives in Spain with his Daimler and all his fancy stuff from London but ends up having to take a pack mule into the mountains and impersonating a witch-doctor. If anything the time lapse is even more pronounced than in Gosick and can indeed be measured in centuries rather than decades, and given the shabby state of Spain as a country at the time this is historically fairly accurate (particularly as Sayers wrote contemporaneous to her own setting, unlike the makers of Gosick). So, yes, I’d say he’s definitely the most fashionable person there (the parts of the series set in England are definitely very, very twenties in the art-deco sense, though).

        I agree that the styling becomes awkward around the time they make geopolitics and the World Wars relevant to the storyline. I’m not sure exactly why they did this. I personally adore late-Victorian and Edwardian fashion including that of the sort on display in Sauville, but if they were just trying to make Victorique as cute and lolita-ish as possible they could have just kept her character the same as it is and updated the rest of the country a bit. Twenties styles in some situations and Edwardian styles in others could have been a really interesting look.

        • Yi says:

          Books written in the time period like the Lord Peter Wimsey novels certainly does give us a really accurate glimpse into the past. I have no doubt then that places like Basque country existed in that time. I’ve actually been having a lot of fun checking out stuff about Sayer’s novel series.

          I think I’d have preferred the direction you suggested much more. Keep the context accurate, but have Victorique be the sheltered, timeless cutie.

          Or at the very least, show the transition between the eras instead of a complete dismissal of what is arguably the most important change for modern fashion.

  14. bluedrakon says:

    I haven’t watch this yet, but do love the Victorian era. So much came out of that period that I love it all. The architecture, inventions and dress weer so fashionable during this time. This time has a heavy influence on the Steam Punk trends

    I still can’t fathom how in the hell they wore all those black and heavy clothes during the summer.

    • Yi says:

      Oh yes definitely. I love the Victorian era styles too, and it’s just so gorgeous. It also heavily influences a lot of modern subcultures as well, like goth, punk, lolita, and many others. Truly a beautiful -though overly romanticized- time.

      “I still can’t fathom how in the hell they wore all those black and heavy clothes during the summer.”
      What’s more crazy is that their tennis and sports costumes aren’t much better.

  15. abscissa says:

    Nice post, and very informative. It’s nice to read the intricacy of the designs. Btw I’m just wondering isn’t Victorian era was also heavy with fishnets, velvets and neck corsets? I’m not really following Gosick so I’m not sure if it featured these as well.
    Btw, Victorique is so cute, she looks like a very classy doll.

    • Yi says:

      Yes and no. There’s a very big difference between early and late Victorian era. It spanned from 1830s to the 1900s and fashion went through changes over this time. The bustles and other extremely constricting clothes gradually fell out of favor, such that by the late 1890s, they’re mostly gone. Corsets have also gone through several evolutions depending on the tastes of the time. They stayed around until late 19th century before people realized that it’s really bad for your internal organs when you force the body into an hourglass.

      Gosick doesn’t feature these, which is consistent with very late Victorian fashion (1890s, 1900s).

      In one of the episodes, a woman mistakes Victorique as a real-size bisque doll. I thought that was just precious. ^ ^

  16. ~xxx says:

    the Girls that would wear one in this present day and age are called strange and would even called a cosplayer…

    And Give credit to the designer of that 1920’s style.

    • Yi says:

      It’s true, which is kind of a shame. I wouldn’t mind if we all walked around in fashions of the past.

      The image with the 1920’s fashion styles are from La Gazette du Bon Ton, Autumn 1920. The designers are Doeuillet (left 3) and Worth (right).

      The image is tagged appropriately.

  17. hoshiko says:

    I’m completely clueless about fashion from the yesteryears so I had no idea that almost everyone in Gosick is out of style (I think Kujo’s safe? His attire can never go wrong…no?). I just thought Victorique looks really cute in her outfits even though it’s already outdated, especially her current red dress with that little hat. Besides, I always have a thing for anime series with this sort of setting. It’s beautiful.

    As I read this, my first thought was Gosick’s just a fictional story regardless what sort of real life facts that they draw on. But then again, it might be a lot better if it’s a little more accurate on its settings and stuff. More believable, in that sense.

    • Yi says:

      I’m not as well versed in men’s fashion, so I can’t say exactly. Besides, he is mostly in uniform. Looking at Grevil though, I think he’s actually fine for the period. Of course, the very subtle differences between men’s suits in 1900s and the twenties are lost on me.

      Victorique is indeed super cute! I love her clothes too. It just doesn’t jive too well with the setting in my opinion… Not that I mind too much since she’s adorable. Also just saw the red dress, and I think I have my favorite new outfit now.

      Gosick is a fictional story, but that shouldn’t excuse it from being consistent with its setting: 1924 Europe.

      Anyway, good point about menswear. I avoided it because honestly, I don’t know too well its past trends.

  18. jreding says:

    Your post was an interesting read and very much to the point!

    I think Victorique made some bad experiences in the past and therefore tends to set herself apart from other people. This might be a reason for her to dress in this old-fashioned way which reminds of a doll. It makes a strong contrast to Avril, who in my eyes looks much more like 1920s with her short haircut!

    I’ve also been thinking about the interiors of Victoriques “dollhouse”. It may not be 1920s art déco but to me it seems to be much more modern than her fashion, and it is not very “gothic” in any case. Her telephone looks to me pretty much 1920s!

    Talking about anachronistic things I also wondered why there are no cars to be seen in Saubure. I would expect that at least someone young and fashionable like Grevil would have used one in 1924, but instead everyone seems to use only trains and coaches. Maybe Saubure is really a bit backwards.

    • Yi says:

      I’d agree that Victorique is set off even further in the past than the rest of Saubure, but all the characters in Saubure are still behind by about a decade or so. While Avril’s short hair is more modern, the few times we’ve seen her outside of her school uniform, her dresses are around 1900s/ 1910s. If she had the Marcel Waves or wears a cloche, or even trousers, she’d be a twenties girl. Good point about the short hair though. ^ ^

      As for the doll house… I think it’s just more cute than Victorian or twenties. I don’t want to claim that nothing is 1920s. After all, there are references of WWI and such. But it’s precisely because Gosick insists on this time both in its story, its technology, and others, that a distinct lack of the era’s fashion/art is extremely jarring.

      And yea… I think cars should be around by now. Another great point!

  19. Solaris says:

    Let aside the fact the title is Gosick and it just ring a bell about something, think about how Victorique is herself something from an old century. She’s labeled as Gray Wolf, a secluded fairy girl that bears a mysterious and tragic past. So being out of style should be pretty normal for a girl nobody has ever heard of about but rumors and legends. Gothick style also points to mistery and exotic, and that style can’t be less appropriate for her too. The anime’s environment features a decade of changes, the advent of modernity itself. So why to set an old style mistery serie at that age unless to take full advantage of the struggle between the old age and the new at the verge of the biggest cataclism the world was about to face some years after?

    • Yi says:

      I’m willing to give Victorique a pass for being stuck in the past, because she is supposed to be that isolated mysterious girl. ^ ^

      But I’m not giving the entire Saubure that luxury. Saubure is supposed to be a country that’s fairly important geopolitically in the story, which should make it in step with the rest of Europe. However, what we see in the fashion of all the women is that they’re still stuck around the turn of the century.

      I also don’t agree that the environment features a decade of changes. (Talking strictly about fashion here). To set up a struggle between the old and the new, the anime should feature both, not a complete lack of one side.

      Further, even if not everyone has caught on (which they should have by 1924 if Saubure is not an isolated rural country), I’d expect to see at least one girl dressed appropriately.

      Personally, I think if Gosick must keep its fashion, it should’ve have pushed the story back to right around 1919 or 1920 if it wanted to depict strictly and only late Victorian/ Edwardian fashion. I know only a few years may not seem like much, but that’s how fast fashion evolved right around the corner. When something catches on, it really catches on. Or it could just do a story that is about an isolated country, and not insist on its relevance to WWI.

      As a side note, Victorian is way way way late for the verge of WWII if that is really what Gosick is going for. (I’m actually not sure if the catastrophe is going to be WWII though.)

      Otherwise, I’d have loved it if Victorique is the only one in Victorian fashion, while all the other characters (i.e. the teacher and Avril) are sporting the appropriate twenties styles.

      As is, it certainly pleases the Gothic Lolita fans, but it’s an anachronism that just seems too jarring for those keen on the era.

      I think Nathan’s comment above and my replies sum up my feelings on this pretty well: https://listlessink.wordpress.com/2011/05/08/the-anachronistic-1920s-late-victorian-fashion-in-gosick/#comment-18431

      p.s. In terms of fashion, art, and architecture, Gothic has even less to do with the 1920s. And in a discussion about fashion, Gothic should not be equated to Victorian. Gothic fashion draws heavy influences from Victorian, but also borrows from Elizabethan, punk, and others. Gothic Lolita is also a bit different as well. I think the author gave away the primary motive behind the fashion when its title has nothing to do with the setting or the story, and instead references a modern fashion style popular with anime fans.

      But this is a really minor point.

      • Solaris says:

        Well, at the very least this Saubre is somewhat a secluded country lost in the heart of the Alps. (It resembles remote regions of central alps where they keep old traditions still alive today). It is not so weird its population looks quite back on fashion.
        And you got a cast off girl in such a retro-country. Weird how she’s not still wearing middle age’s clothes instead😛

        I still say that’s intentional for the sake of environment. I mean, Saubre’s count, Vic’s father wants to bring his own country to the spotlight in an Europe that’s changing. His country still lived in the past, and you notice it from its clothes and customs. It’s a country full of magic and the count want to use that old power for the sake of bringing up the new age. That is it
        I can’t comment more about fashion, but I guess they actually did some researches and shaped Saubre’s customs pretty well plot wise.

        • Yi says:

          There’s an argument to be made about Saubure’s seclusion, but I don’t quite agree. With the more recent arcs, Saubure is apparently in regular contact with the rest of Europe. Its attitudes and changes are equally affected by WWI and global changes. At the very least, Saubure’s wealthy should be in step with the rest of Europe’s high class. The most apt example is the arc with the illegal human trade – at least several participants should probably have dressed more appropriately of the era. Instead they are all still stuck in Edwardian/ late Victorian.

          Further, even in an old country, unless the state is completely isolated, which Saubure is not, there shouldn’t be a total lack. In fact, that Kujo is there suggest Saubure is actually a very international state, not the secluded state with no mobility. That would further mean that ideas should be flowing in and out of Saubure, such that even if the country is not a major power, its attitudes and tastes are still affected.

          I do agree that the styles are there for the sake of the environment, but only in the sense that the author doesn’t really care about authenticity or actually building a realistic context. It’s like the comparison I drew to like Romeo + Juliet (1996). Though set in present day, the characters still speak Shakespeare speak. Sure, that is probably for the sake of the “environment.” The author wanted to create a sense of old school, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the right “environment” for that story, or that it’s not incredibly jarring.

          Or as Nopy aptly puts it below: “It’s like how westerners believe that Japanese women in every era all wore kimonos before the opening of Japan.” Intentional, for the sake of the environment, but probably wrong.

          “Weird how she’s not still wearing middle age’s clothes instead ”
          Victorique in Elizabethan~ ^ ^

        • Solaris says:

          at least several participants should probably have dressed more appropriately of the era. Instead they are all still stuck in Edwardian/ late Victorian
          This is interesting. What kind of idea gives that off? Doesn’t it suggest those people being some kind of heavy old relic of old times totalitarianism?
          I agree fashion is quite biased according to Nopy’s concept, but I still believe there’s some work being done under the scenes.
          Gosick has rather some points of interests. Mysteries are utter shallow, but, now they’re kicking in since they’re adding a higher level plot. Visuals aren’t thought about carelessly at all.

        • Yi says:

          “This is interesting. What kind of idea gives that off? Doesn’t it suggest those people being some kind of heavy old relic of old times totalitarianism?”
          Yes exactly. It does give off a sense of old country isolated from the world, but that’s precisely my problem with it. It doesn’t fit the story. Saubure is not set up to be that, not once the story took a “higher level” plot and suggests that Saubure is not isolated (think of all the contacts its wealthy/ aristocrats should have with other major European centers.) I also never got the feeling that Saubure is totalitarian… More just a monarchy.

          This is not a story about an isolated country if Saubure has integrated itself into the rest of Europe geopolitically and is so influenced by post-WWI changes in attitude. Thus its visuals should fit that.

          And I don’t doubt that Gosick pays attention to its aesthetics, but that still doesn’t mean it’s not the wrong aesthetics for the story… Not that most would care though, which is a shame. Fathomlessblue below makes another great points that I agree with:

          “I think often people without a great understanding of historical events and culture tend to idealise particular types of clothing, hairstyles, art, architecture etc, with particular types of stories or settings. ”

          “the classic portrayal of old-fashioned detective stories is based in the Victorian era, mainly due to the Sherlock Holmes stories, and conjures up classic imagery from the late 1800’s. ”

          “it’s also the easiest way to make the story palpable to those that see such stories in general, idealized forms, and either do know or care about the historical accuracy of the novel/anime.”

          Well, that’s my interpretation…

        • Solaris says:

          I think we’re trying to say something similar. Why don’t we reach some accordance yet?
          I am suggesting you that Gosick depicted a developing country that was yet tied to tradition and magic for the sake of advancing to modern age. The anime is set up in 20’s for a reason, that is to say soon after the WWI that was the first great change from a former old times politics that never changed for centuries. That’s been reflected both in fashion and environment. There are great efforts from the government to keep in touch with the continent, but according to the picture Saubre gives off, they’re yet a bit back. You said yourself just 5 years back in fashion were a huge gap.
          The school is a good example of this duality. (I repeat: a country back in time that struggles to advance to the rest of the world standards)
          Remember that post about eyes-contact racism? People were ostracising Kujo for some reasons. Cause they’re quite the enclave in the mountains vs a stranger freshman? Yet that and also more. All that stuff about legends and fairy tales should give you the idea the school, and Saubre are yet the mountain country they indeed are.
          Look back also to the kind of mysteries Vic solved till now. They all were kind of magic looking riddles that hide some very human and down to earth explanations.
          That should yet give you the Idea Saubre lived on a fabricated aura of magic, the round of times are slowly pulverizing. Magic vs modernity is a great topic of Gosick, and their clash can be witnessed in the characters’ clotes and habits.
          The ol’ good gothic loli herself is the fairy who wiill ferry Saurbre from middle ages to modern century by the use of the fountain of wisdom. Ya’ll see it!

      • Yi says:

        I know what your arguing. We are on the same side for almost everything, with the exception that I don’t agree Saubure is as isolated and as backwards as you think, and I don’t agree the fashion shows the clash the story shows.

        Gosick doesn’t set up a duality between old and new. It only has old (in terms of fashion). That’s not a duality. In fact, the few glimpses we see of people who do go all over Europe (i.e. Victorique’s mother, Brian Roscoe, the human traders… etc.), those who do represent the modern change are not dressed appropriately for modern.

        “(I repeat: a country back in time that struggles to advance to the rest of the world standards)”
        Even if that is true, the rest of the modern world isn’t dressed right either in Gosick… So yea, the story might be about the coming of age, but the fashion isn’t. And the story might show a clash, but the fashion doesn’t. It shows homogeneity of a past outdated age. This only makes the styles that much more jarring when it isn’t in line with what the story wants to be.

        I hope that makes sense. I’m only talking strictly about the context. The story is indeed a clash of mystical past and modernity, but the setting, Saubure, and the fashion isn’t.

        I understand where you’re coming from though, and it all boils down to different takes on Saubure.

  20. Nopy says:

    I think it’s a mix of catering to the fans and of false beliefs on European fashions of the time. Victorian clothes look so much more stylish than clothing from the 20’s which more closely resembles today’s western fashions. The belief that European women all wore fancy dresses and whatnot in the past also seems to be popular in Asia. It’s like how westerners believe that Japanese women in every era all wore kimonos before the opening of Japan.

    • Yi says:

      Yea, I’d say so as well. I honestly wouldn’t have minded too much if Saubure wasn’t set up to be important geopolitically.
      “It’s like how westerners believe that Japanese women in every era all wore kimonos before the opening of Japan.”
      Ooh I love this analogy! Spot-on. ^ ^
      And in Gosick’s case, it’d as if Japanese women still all wore kimono even a few years after it’s opened up.

  21. shockerz says:

    That’s a handful of research there Yi! You must love the time of the past to write such thoughtful post. I, myself usually mix up with Victorian clothing to the 20th century although there are only popular in the 19th century. I’m also with other commentors that the using of Victorian era clothing for Victorique is intentional and after all it’s a story that the author wants to create which does not really need to follow accordingly to historical facts to pin-point precision.

    Now that you mention it I think I watch it because of Victorique only. Mysteries wise it’s at best decent.

    • Yi says:

      One of my favorite books is The Great Gatsby, so I’ve always kind of enjoyed this era. In fact, I had to double check to make sure Gosick is indeed set in this time, because it just seemed so off.

      I th the author should have followed the historical facts accordingly. Maybe not for Victorique to set her apart as the mysterious isolated girl, but certainly for the rest of the world. Gosick stopped being a story that could work in any time period or a story set in a rural country when it started referencing post WWI changes to Saubure and its effect on aristocrats like Marquis de Bloise. This makes the history become and important part of the story as well as make Saubure a relevant part of Europe. Further, what’s missing is a pretty big part. It’s not a mere few inaccuracies, but a whole cultural context.

      But really, none of this is as relevant as Victorique being cute. ^ ^

      And totally agreed about the mysteries.

      Anyway, thanks for visiting and reading!

  22. “Pandering?” Are you sure it’s not just that the author/illustrator likes goth-loli outfits? Pandering implies that it was done *just* for the readers, which isn’t something I think would happen, especially because it’s not like goth-loli is *that* popular amongst otaku.

    Skimming the comments others have given good reasons Victorique would be wearing this during the 20s and mention the willful anachronic nature of the show, but here’s another point: it takes place in a fictional European country that is both small and somewhere in the mountains. Maybe fashion trends just *don’t reach there.*

    Anyway lovely screenshots and I do so love her outfits to death❤

    • I see you mention above Sauville is important and stuff—I’ll note my knowledge may not be wholly accurate for this post, as I’m not following the show and have only read the first of the novels (which I think the show blasted through in like 3 eps)

    • Yi says:

      I think I was unfair when I suggested that the author/ illustrator panders to the audience via Twitter (and in this post to some degree). It’s likely that they’re just infatuated with the Victorian style and era – and who wouldn’t be.

      Anyway, thanks for pointing that out.

      As for goth-loli’s popularity, I’ve always assumed it was one of the more popular ones, but I’m very biased because of my own love for it.

      “which I think the show blasted through in like 3 eps”

      I actually didn’t mind the anachronism so much in the earlier arcs precisely because early on, we don’t really go outside of Saubure. The fictional state kept this air of an isolated country. However, recent arcs have suggested that it is an important part of the geopolitics. It’s also made the influence of WWI and the resulting change in attitude relevant to the story and the characters. So I kind of assumed that Saubure is a fairly fashionable state. At the very least, its wealthy should be in regular contact with the rest of European high class society.

      Absolutely agree with you on Victorique’s outfits. I just saw episode 16 today, and so loving the red dress with the top hat right now. She is sooo adorable~ ♥

  23. fathomlessblue says:

    I hear what you’re saying but by my reckoning any expectation for a genuine sense of realism or authenticity should have vanished in the first episode (the only one I watched) with the introduction of that detective and his gravity-defying barnet. Anime hairstyles… ‘shudders’

    Like others have already said, the anachronism is likely deliberate attempt of pandering to particular audiences, but not necessarily the goth-loli crowd alone. I think often people without a great understanding of historical events and culture tend to idealise particular types of clothing, hairstyles, art, architecture etc, with particular types of stories or settings. Take 1920-30’s fashion; to many people they evoke classic images of the roaring twenties; jazz bars, smoky French cafes, even things not native to particular regions like Europe, eg Prohibition. As such they tend to associate particular types of narratives with particular eras, such as mob wars or sensual love stories in the case of the 1920’s.

    Like you’ve mentioned, the classic portrayal of old-fashioned detective stories is based in the Victorian era, mainly due to the Sherlock Holmes stories, and conjures up classic imagery from the late 1800’s. Since for plot based reasons the light novel is set in the interwar period, the story and setting are associated with different pre-established narratives and do not gel together. As such something had to give, in the case of Gosick its fashion and aesthetic accuracy. I know that’s not particularly fair, but it’s also the easiest way to make the story palpable to those that see such stories in general, idealized forms, and either do know or care about the historical accuracy of the novel/anime. That and anime fans love goth-loli’s.😛

    Things like that used to bother me a lot more, but to be honest expecting accuracy in an anime is like expecting me to be sober on St. Patrick’s Day.🙂

    • Yi says:

      Surprisingly, Inspector Grevil’s crazy hair is actually given explanation, more explanation than the complete lack of a culture so defining for the period.

      I’d agree that it’s probably more misconception about the time than anything else. And indeed, the roaring twenties imagery is too often overly used for certain stories. Still, for Gosick, I would’ve preferred an over-stereotyping of the roaring twenties than be off completely in a different time.

      Really really really good point about the classic detective stories. Sherlock Holmes is actually set in late Victorian, and the sort of styles it evokes is exactly that of Gosick. I guess the biggest hole Gosick fell into is trying to force all of the imagery and feel of old school detectives into an era well past it.

      “I know that’s not particularly fair, but it’s also the easiest way to make the story palpable to those that see such stories in general, idealized forms, and either do know or care about the historical accuracy of the novel/anime. That and anime fans love goth-loli’s. ”
      Yea… It doesn’t seem like many people care or even know about this inconsistency.

      I’m still bothered by it. I know I probably shouldn’t, but…

      Anyway, great point about the comparison to Sherlock Holmes. I hadn’t thought of that, and it fits so wonderfully. ^ ^

  24. shinra says:

    Gosick reminds me of Conan, but better.😄

    I do really like the anime but I stopped on episode 14 due to the mass release of new animes. :C Her gothic look is the reason I watch the anime too. (Hence the name GOSICK>Gothic. LoL)

    Except for Victorique, I like Anastasia a lot, even tho she only appeared like less than 15 minutes. I just love silver long wavy hair… Sad. T_T

    P.S: Here’s my new duet cover, with an actual singer from NicoNicoDouga.😀
    (A YURI/SHOUJO-AI CONTRIBUTION FOR THIS BLOG! CAUSE THE PV IS YURI/SHOUJO-AI! =D)

    • Yi says:

      Agreed about Victorique; she’s precious~

      p.s. Her fashion isn’t actually strictly “Gothic.” There are some differences between Gothic Lolita and Victorian. Still I use them interchangeably at times. Just a minor fun trivia. ^ ^

      I can’t remember Anastasia too well. I had to go back to see who she is, but yea, she’s pretty.

      Really nice cover again! I think you did a really wonderful job!! Lovely~

      • shinra says:

        Yeah, for some reason I always forget the “Lolita” word… Everytime i see Lolita stuffs, “Gothic” always pops up to my mind. Its kinda confusing. :C

        Anastasia appeared on the “Victorique got sick and the missing blue jewelry” episode.

        And Thanks😀 I do really love the song from the cover, one of the reasons is that it’s Yuri-ish. (wktk >w<)

        • Yi says:

          Victorian, Gothic, Gothic Lolita, and Lolita are all similar, but slightly different. Most, including me more often than not, just use them as the same.

          Also, I love that cover too. ^ ^

  25. necro says:

    Victorique’s style resembles Le Portrait de Petite Cossette, and Cossette is really similar in look to heroine of gosick, i like gothic fashion, and she has quite a big choice here. She is lovely, thou I am kinda dissapointed that she has hime cut, i dont like blonde to have it. Thou my favorite outfit she wires is dess in blue stripes, it looks just way to cute. On side my knowledge about fashion is so pure that i fall six feet under ground^^.

    Btw the chat idea seem not to work out, thou as i said u must make a post or smt about hat.^^

    • Yi says:

      Good point. It does remind very much of Le Portrait de Petite Cossette. I really like the styles in both Cossette and Gosick. I don’t really mind the hime cut too much. I think it’s a style that shouldn’t be so limited to black hair or kimono wearing girls, and I kind of like it on Victorique. Just a personal preference I guess.

      The blue stripe one really is cute! But I think my current favorite is the red dress that debuts in episode 16. It’s adorable!

      (p.s. About the chat… It seems like I can never catch anyone on there with the odd times I’m on. Also, Twitter kind of has most of my attention now in terms of “chatting” online. Thank you so much for the idea though! I wish I could work it out better.)

  26. lovelyduckie says:

    I recently started watching Downton Abbey (Netflix Streaming) and I think one of the reasons I just couldn’t put it down was my fascination with the outfits. They were really lovely, especially in setting where for generations most ladies women were wearing something more similar to how Victorique dresses.

    • Yi says:

      I just checked out Downtown Abbey, and oh wow, it is really beautiful! Their clothes are amazing. Gosh I wish I had more time for TV and stuff.

  27. Accelerator says:

    Gothic lolitas are instant attention grabbers. They have mine.
    Need I say more?

    • Yi says:

      They have my attention too, even if it comes with some mixed feelings. In any case, I love the fashion.

      “Need I say more?”
      I guess not. ^ ^

  28. Pingback: Gosick Review | Listless Ink

  29. illwill says:

    well, to begin with I suppose it is not so strongly required of a media work, especially of an anime series, or probably the same could be stated about all the fiction and literature in general, to feature every fact, even historical situation, precisely according to the reality, for there takes place an interesting phenomenon which is called something like “artistic truth” – art isn`t necessarily obliged to depict historical truth, but can use the alternative reality, as, for example, we can find in a game of Katahane and the like portraying past eras or just some fictional countries.
    and, concerning the actual times of 1920`s and precise depicting its fashion – i`m not sure if you watched the “Midnight in Paris” by Woody Allen, but this film is nicely displaying to us the syndrome of past eras becoming the want-to-live-in reality for some groups of people, and one of the main ideas of the movie is that every era has the community of individuals unpleased with the present time and willing to escape to the world of the past, usually just several decades ago. The protagonist finds himself having supernaturally leapt to that same Paris of 1920`s-1930`s with Jazz, marcel waves, elegant women smoking sigarettes in night bars and famous artists of that era, moreover, all gathered in one place due to French capital being a fashionable place for whiters, painters, actors, and the like. the main hero was a fan of this time all his life, and finally touched upon it for real, but then he realised that people themselves tend to retrospect to even greater past, the times of exactly Belle Epoque, or late XIX century in France would be placed above their present, so, living in twenties, some of them would still prefer to sport an outdated way of life, sitting in pretty much belle-epoque stylized restaurants, liking the art nouveau rather than art deco, wearing preferrably frills more than chemises and updo hair in somehow neo-antique way more than bob cuts.
    So first thought that visited me when reading your perception of the fashion styles featured in Gosick was that there probably might be a fictional area, where plenty of people were incontent with their given time, and this retrospective liking ov Edwardian and Victorian fashion is just an act of escapism or subcultural wave, just like the phenomenon which was touched upon in Woody Allen`s work, don`t you think that might be the case?

    • Yi says:

      On the point of “artistic truth,” I think it’s a fair point. My counter argument would be this: considering that Gosick emphasizes the time period, and at times felt very like a period piece, its attention to the culture should be on point even if other aspects, for the sake of the story, needed to be fictional. History, politics, geography can be altered in it, but the overall setting shouldn’t be. For example, Inglourious Basterds is a period piece that significantly alters its history, but keeps what makes the essence of that time period true. I wanted the same for Gosick.

      “Gosick was that there probably might be a fictional area, where plenty of people were incontent with their given time, and this retrospective liking ov Edwardian and Victorian fashion is just an act of escapism or subcultural wave, just like the phenomenon which was touched upon in Woody Allen`s work, don`t you think that might be the case?”

      To this point I concede. ^ ^
      It is entirely possible that there would be a group that still wishes for the past. And if such sentiments exist, Victorique would likely harbor it. I guess what bothers me is that there is almost no hint of what should be mainstream fashion. If only we could have seen more of what was going on with the rest of the world of Gosick, we might be able to see if it is just Victorique’s kingdom that pined for the past, or if the author took liberties with the time period. My guess is on the latter, but the former is certainly a fine point!

      Thank you so much for the lovely insight, illwill. ^ ^

  30. corey says:

    i belive the idea behind victorique’s fashion leans more twords haveing her look like a doll…most high-end dolls use victoran fashion. the story line of the anime talks about the fact she wont grow much bigger and even goes into the fact her father wants to keep her locked way. so thats where i draw on for her clothing… but thats just me

    • Yi says:

      I can see your point. However, the other characters also wear those same styles, which suggests to me that the fashion of this series is not limited to Victorique’s character development, and also suggests that the author might not have done proper research to the time era she intended. In fact, if only Victorique dressed as such, she would feel even more locked-away in space and time as a doll. Alas, it was a missed opportunity.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s