The Eternal Garden is an intimate account of the earliest years of the United States Gothic and Lolita (EGL) subcultural fashion scene, but also an exploration of the stylistic tropes of melancholy, memory, and loss in photography. The small, lushly printed images chart a drifting gray course though public events such as high teas, fashion shows, photo shoots, movie premiers and dinners, but also through quiet, private moments.
EGL clothing (and it's innumerable related micro-styles) came into the Western consciousness with the ubiquitous Fruits books that documented Japanese youth street fashion. But even within that world of kitchsy-cute, the overwrought clothing obsessions EGL and it’s fans' obsession with Rococo poshness and French nobility’s poise, were considered outsiders. My significant other at the time was a fashion designer who became obsessed with these frilly, ornate clothing brands and found a tightly knit group of people who shared her passion online. These images are of this group of friends (and sometimes enemies), but focus on the personal and interstitial moments that would never find a home in a glossy fashion spread.
The Eternal Garden is ultimately an embrace of the ambivalent expectations of fashion and art, or the private and public, the glamorous and the mundane, and how photography often holds both.