In August, I began to see promotional Instagram posts and Youtube videos about a lolita fashion zine called Dentelles. While I hadn’t heard of the zine, the latest issue, Back to the Basics, is the 4th installment, making Dentelles a well established publication. The zine is bilingual, written in both French and English. Of course, no zine would be complete without images, and Dentelles is packed full of photos and original illustrations in full color.
The team at Dentelles put out a call for submissions on their Facebook page in December 2019. On August 14, 2020, they launched a Kickstarter with a goal of €2100. The goal was reached in less than 24 hours. The campaign ended on September 14 with pledges of more than €5400. I pledged €19 to receive a physical copy of the 4th issue, as well as issues #2 and #3. (Issue #1 is only in French, a language I don’t speak). On November 2, 2020, an unexpected package arrived at my door from France. I was delighted to find my Dentelles goodies had arrived!
Dentelles smashed its Kickstarter goals and unlocked multiple stretch goals, so my pledge came with a physical copy of the zine, PDFs of the prior issues, a collection of prints of the original illustrations, a wooden basket brooch, and a coloring book. Not bad for €19!
The zine itself is a perfect bound book of 184 pages with a glossy cover and pages. There’s a running header and footer with the page number and zine title, as well as the section of the book you’re in (more on this in a minute). There is a glossary of lolita terms, a table of contents for easy navigation, a preface by the editors, a list of the contributors and their social media, and a special thanks with the names of those who supported the zine’s publication.
Dentelles is a bilingual publication, so every piece inside this issue is written in both French and English. I was impressed at how elegantly this format worked. This editors should be proud of making this content accessible to as wide an audience as possible (and I look forward to the rumored translation of issue #1).
This issue is focused on the “basics” of lolita, but the content is sure to delight newbies and veterans alike. The book is broken down into two parts “basics” and “iconic pieces”, which is further broken down by item type. The zine reads like an “ABCs of Lolita” with gorgeous illustrations or photos of each piece. Each artist brings their own flare to the fashion and the result is an impressive collection of art, all about lolita. The “basics” section is an excellent, beautiful resource for anyone just dipping their toes into lolita.
The iconic pieces section serves as a nostalgic look at the way lolita fashion has morphed and evolved as well as a collection of inside jokes only people within the fashion will find funny (this section begins with an entry for “17 left sleeves”). Iconic prints and classic pieces are rendered in loving detail by a variety of artists. Its hard not to add all of them to your wish list.
The other goodies are equally delightful. The prints are A5 and are all original illustrations from inside the zine. The coloring book is the linework of more than 40 illustrations from the zine, ready for you to color. The pages are thick and glossy, so the coloring book pages are going to stand up to colored pencils or markers. The wood brooch is an illustration of overflowing basket of flowers. While my favorite part of my package from Dentelles is the zine itself, the rest of my goodies were a fun addition.
If you’re interested in getting a copy of Dentelles issue #4, there are still some physical goodies left. You can check out their Ko-fi and get prints, pins, or copies of the zine in physical or digital form. You can also follow Dentelles on Facebook and Instagram for news about their upcoming projects.
By day, Jenna is a legal professional living in Los Angeles, California. By night (and weekends), she is a frill wearing monster who loves Innocent World and lolita indie brands. When she isn’t taking mirror selfies of her coordinates, she enjoys reading comic books, playing board games, and snuggling with her pup, Lily. You can see her mirror selfies on her instagram @lovelylaceandlies and contact her at email@example.com.
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