Over the years our community has gathered across the internet in different spaces at different times. I've mentioned a few of these before, but I'd like to put them in order here. This order is somewhat fluid as I don't have distinct dates, but give or take a bit this is the order of communities as they have appeared.
- Mixi Group
- Mori Girl Livejournal
- Blogging circles
- Facebook Groups
- Amino Group
Although mori folk have appeared and disappeared across various social media, these were the largest communities. I joined the community in its Livejournal stage, and I still remember it fondly. How about you? What community did you first encounter?
Like all fashion styles, mori has had its fair share of trends and fads. Here are few that come to my mind!
For a short period where Mint Green was popular in the fashion community at large in the 2010s, it found its own short-lived success in mori. It was mentioned as something cute to wear more than it was actually worn, but a few pieces by mori brands featured the color and it was occasionally seen around. As the popularity of the color died down in pop culture, it became less popular and disappeared from mori as well.
Faun Makeup and Deer Antlers
Source: Casie C. and Deerlightful Forest
This one was somewhat of a mori counter to the popular "OTT" or "over the top" style worn by some Lolitas. Mori folk began experimenting with faun makeup and antler headbands which were often handcrafted and very beautifully made. Looks ranged from incredibly detailed and fantastical to simple additions. Although these aspects are still sometimes used by mori folk, they are seen a lot less often these days.
The Elusive Faun Collar and Faun Cardigan
If you were in the mori community in the early 2010s then just the sight of these images is probably sending you on a huge nostalgia trip. This specific cardigan from Syrup by Fellisimo x Disney was a highly coveted item for many mori folk. I can remember people making dedicated posts to this singular item of clothing, and "haul" posts dedicated to only receiving this one sweater! People really loved this cargidan.
In a similar vein, for a time fake "faun fur" collars were popular. I had one myself at one point although I didn't really wear it often.
This one is a bit harder to explain, but many mori folk were obsessed with another Japanese trend for a time called "zakka." The best way to explain this phenomenon is the aesthetic of finding joy in ordinary things. Images and spaces related to zakka, especially home designs, became synonymous with mori for a time and were widely reblogged. The aesthetic still has its influence on mori fashion, but the particular term has all but died out in the community. (For more information on Zakka, see this article.)
This one is something mori folk like to forget about. It's a point of pride for many moris that we are a relatively drama-free group, and while that is true, we have certainly had our own share of drama over the years! That being said, I'd like to reminisce on a few notable incidents and themes, but I won't be naming names. Let's all be civil. This will contain a discussion of negative people and situations though, so feel free to skip this section if that's not something you want to read about.
- The Fur Debate: This is the oldest debate I can think of in the community. It's hardly mentioned anymore, but in mori's early days, fur accessories were somewhat popular in magazines and outfit photos from Japan. Of course, for those who are animal rights activists or vegans, this would be something they wouldn't want to support. However, the debate was less about "should we wear fur" and more about seeking out and harassing those who were wearing it. The problem became that almost all mori folk at the time were wearing faux fur. So it turned into mainly tumblr users yelling at each other and trying to shame each other. It went on for about a year, before it finally died down. I myself experienced this firsthand when I wore a fake fur collar on a vest and received some interesting dms on my tumblr.
- The "All Neutrals and Lace" Debate: This one sometimes still pops up from time to time, but as most ridiculous things do it had its heyday on tumblr. I actually made a ranting post on it once. Basically, the argument goes that some random person believes mori fashion is only white and lace. They then complain loudly to everyone that everyone else is wearing the fashion wrong. This one was then usually immediately shut down by people who reminded them that magazine mori existed, and then those people disappeared suspiciously.
- The Interesting Interlopers: Unlike Lolita fashion, mori is (usually) free from creepy people looking to exploit the community. However, the community has not been spared from people trying to exploit it for other reasons. One notable example I can think of is a person who wore a bright bohemian style and a pirate hat (if I remember correctly) in a photoshoot and tagged it mori. Of course, lots of people interpret mori differently, and lots more misuse the tag with no harm done, but this person's photoshoot was not just tagged but was also shared to every social media around. When one such place where they submitted a photo saw someone giving them some advice on how to improve their outfits (very politely I might add) this person saw red and all hell broke loose. By this I mean they proceeded to comment, message, and rant to every person in the community with open dms on tumblr, made a drama-filled "call-out" post, and proceeded to cuss out various people before swearing off the community as a bunch of "elitists". I wasn't directly involved, but I actually got mentioned briefly by this person even though we never interacted at all and I only became aware of the situation after it had finished. It was a strange time for everyone. There have been a few similar things over the years, usually on tumblr by weird gatekeeping people or people who got really upset when concrit (the legit kind) was offered. Thankfully I haven't seen this happen on any other social media and certainly not anytime recently.
- The "Is This Mori" Discussion: Ok so this one is less of a drama thing, and more an annoying thing, but I feel like I should at least mention it. At one point, also mainly on tumblr, all mori folk were being bombarded constantly with questions of what was mori or not. You may remember this time if you were ever on the tumblr community. It went beyond "is this outfit mori" and more into the territory of "is listening to this musician mori enough" or "are glasses mori" (a legit question I saw asked of someone) or "can I be mori if I am not Asian" and "is my natural hair color mori enough or should I dye it" (another legitimate question that I was asked personally). A weird time indeed. These days people usually just embrace themselves and how they express mori personally, which I much prefer to the nitpicked "I have to be aggressively 100% mori" approach.
- The Aggressive Lifestylers: Lifestyle only mori folk have always existed, but for a short time on tumblr (yet again) there were a group of aggressive users who insisted that either a) only living the lifestyle was the correct way to be mori and the fashion style was not important at all or b) that lifestyle mori was incorrect and we should exclude lifestyle mori folk from the community. Both obviously hated each other and both were weirdly gatekeeper-y about it. It died down quickly when the rest of the community largely ignored them. Thankfully.
- The Name Debate: This one is legitimately funny to me. It had to do with the original naming conventions of the fashion. As most know, mori was originally called "Mori Girl/森ガール" by its Japanese creators. Due to the gendered name, the community began to suggest alternative names for the style, the two most popular being "mori kei" and "mori" both of which are still in use today. However, for some people, the name "mori" was abhorrent. The argument being that "mori" is simply the Japanese word for forest, so it sounds strange or dumb to call the style that. The funny part to me is that the majority of the community said "okay yeah but it's shorter and easier to say so let's use both and you can pick the one you like" and moved on. The anti-mori people did not. I remember seeing posts about this for around years, usually on tumblr. People who didn't like the name were loud and angry about such a small thing. The rest of the community didn't care and just ignored it. Eventually, the name became the main name for the style to invite more inclusivity to the community, and the naysayers have disappeared. I find that conclusion to be quite humorous.
Related CommunitiesOver the years, a number of other communities have interacted with and even crossed over with the mori community. Here's a list of a few notable examples. You may have even discovered mori through these communities!
- The Lolita community (see Mori Lolita)
- The "almost sister style" communities of Cult Party Kei and Dolly Kei
- The Strega community
- The witchy community
- The "boho" community
- The various natural living communities
- The cottagecore community
Did you find mori through any of these communities? I personally found mori while researching Lolita fashion myself!
What ways have you noticed mori changing over the years? I'd love to hear your own nostalgic thoughts below! Until next time, my deers!