Lolita Fashion is a niche fashion which originated in Japan and is based on Victorian – era clothing. The most noticeable difference being the length of the skirt and the colors and prints used in the fabrics which make up Lolita dresses.
Other than that you can clearly see Victorian era fashion influences in all the garments. I feel Lolita fashion became popular in Japan because aside from the Kimono, in their past clothing choices were somewhat restrictive and conformist. This fashion is just about as ‘out-there' as it gets and is so deliciously pretty. If you're a girly girl, what is not to like about Lolita fashion? Big skirts, pretty bows, lots of lace, frilly undergarments and pretty baby doll type shoes.
Lolita fashion has spread across the world and is now being enjoyed as a subculture fashion in many countries in the West. There are certain ‘rules' that accompany Lolita fashion, despite it's many subsets. The main one being that it is intended to be ‘modest'. Just as it was the case in Victorian times. It was about elegant, modest beauty.
The notable element is the ‘cupcake' shaped skirt which is knee length. Petticoats worn below attain the shape and are just visible below the skirt. Some times the skirt design features a center split to reveal more of the frills of the petticoat.
These dresses are generally worn with long sleeved lacy blouses, over the knee frill topped socks or tights. The hair is elaborately styled often with ringlets. Given Japanese hair isn't so easy to curl, Cosplay style wigs are brought into play. These may be pink or black etc. depending on the type of Lolita fashion and of course the outfit. The Gothic Lolita for example would wear black and the Sweet Lolita Pink. A Steampunk Lolita may wear shades of brown and blonde.
Lolita Fashion was made popular by famous brands such as Angelic Pretty and Baby. The music scene also helped it to take off with bands like Princess Princess wearing intricate costumes.
Types of Lolita include:
Gothic Lolita – Gothloli ゴスロリ
- Sweet Lolita
- Classic Lolita
- Punk Lolita
- Princess Lolita
- Shiro & Kuro Lolita
- Ōji Lolita (Boystyle)
- Guro Lolita
- Sailor Lolita
- Wa Lolita
- Casual Lolita
Despite the fact that Lolita fashion appears to be all about girls, it was a male cross-dresser guitarist called Mana who coined the terms “Elegant Gothic Lolita” and “Elegant Gothic Aristocrat” to describe his style of dress and what later became his fashion label Moi-même-Moitié, founded in 1999.
Gothic Lolita is as the name implies like all Goth fashion, dark, black, red lipstick, darker eye-shadow and so on. Gothic Lolita is often paired with Steampunk Lolita though I'd say there are stark differences. Given steampunk is more suited to copper, bronze colors and shades of brown.
Sweet Lolita which PinkyP favors (also known as ama-loli 甘ロリ) in Japanese), uses pastel colors
mainly pink with very cutesy patterns and designs. The lips for most Lolita styles are painted in a Geisha fashion, down the center, but with more subtle coloration. Popular themes include Alice-In-Wonderland, red cherry patterns, cupcake prints and so on.
Classic Lolita and an Aristocrat Classic Lolita focus more on Regency and Victorian styles. This would be the half-way point between Gothic Lolita and Sweet Lolita, not too dark and not too sweet. It is thought of as a more mature style of Lolita and this is reflected in the skirt shapes which may be more ‘A' line than cupcake.
Punk Lolita is as the name implies ‘Lolita' fashion with a dose of Punk infused. Punk infusions including safety pins, tartan fabrics, chains and so on. Vivienne Westwood has captured Punk Lolita essence in some of her collections. Punk Lolita is less restrictive regarding the ‘rules' of what can be worn and what cannot. In this regard it is perhaps more popular as it allows freedom of expression.
Princess Lolita is very much as the name implies Princess style – as in Disney Princess!
Shiro & Kuro Lolita
Shiro Lolitas can be any style of Lolita as long as it is exclusively white and Kuro is the same but all black. You may find a Shiro girl paired with a Kuro girl to show off the difference.
Ōji Lolita (Boystyle) is the Japanese male version of Lolita though it resembles the dress style of young boys in the Victorian era. Below is the girl version of Oji.
Guro Lolita is kind of gory! It would be Zombie version of a Lolita! Fake blood and broken bits is the theme. Imagine a broken doll with blood. Eeeewww 🙂
Sailor Lolita is as the name implies, Lolita with a Sailor theme.
Pirate Lolita is another subset. I like this 🙂
Wa Lolita combines traditional Japanese clothing with Lolita fashion. There is generally a Kimono influence.
Casual Lolita is a toned down version of Lolita, more suited to everyday life and generally more tolerated by older relatives. It is still very cute and adorable 🙂
Are you a fashion Lolita? If you are please forward some pics and tell us about your style.