Of course there are a large variety of different fashions everywhere, but I only feel like discussing the fashions I am fond of and not the ones that irritate me or that I find ugly in anyway. What can I say, I am too lazy to talk about clothes I do not like. Anyway, many designers and styles to discuss so let us begin.
I will start with: Japan. Why? Because I already had a few Japanese fashion links open.
Lolita, as per how its seen today, reared at around the 1970 time period in Japan. But it was not until around the 1990's where, one of the most influential bands in the Visual Kei scene, Malice Mizer, truly gave cause for its increase in popularity. One cannot speak of Lolita fashions without mentioning Malice Mizer or Mana. They are one of my favourite true Visual Kei bands. This of course was picked up by Visual Kei bands then on. They wore intricately detailed costumes in videos, as well as performances, which were subsequently adopted by their fans.
In essence Lolita fashion can be categorised by a few key influential points and time periods:
- -Victorian Children's Clothes
- -Rococo Time Period Costumes
- GoruLoli (Involves Gore)-
- This style is not as commonly found as some of the others. It tends to pertain to lolita styled outfits which include bandages, blood, scars, etc. Some other names it has been called are HorrorLoli, PainfulLoli, where as some just consider it a type of cosplay. (It is neither a style I particularly have any interest in but I figured if I am to discuss Lolita I should discuss all the various aspects of it.)
- An example:
- WaLoli (Involves Traditional Japanese Clothing modified to fit with Lolita style)-
- Waloli can be identified by its usage of traditional Japanese clothing. Kimonos or hakamas will be modified to adhere to common Lolita fashions. There are different styles of alterations. For example, the bottom of the garment will be altered so that a petticoat may fit beneath it. Or one may even see the kimono blouse styled with a Lolita skirt. Haori/adult-sized hifu-vests may also be seen. Accessories and shoes for this style include what one would traditionally wear, such as kanzashi flowers, and geta, zori, or Okobo.
- An example:
- The counterpart to WaLoli is QiLoli. Instead one would use traditional Chinese articles of dress with their Lolita garments. Modified qipao and cheongsam-dresses, for example, for use with a petticoat. Plat-form slippers and bun covers as well can be seen.
- OujiLoli (Male Lolita but can be worn by females as well)-
- What one would use to tell a OujiLoli from the rest would be if they are seen wearing: masculine blouses/shirts, knickerbockers/short trousers, knee high socks, top hats, newsboy caps, and the like.
- As soon as one begins to incorporate tattered fabrics, safety pins, chains, screen-printed fabrics, plaids, and short, colouful androgynous hairstyles we get PunkLoli. It is very easy to tell this one because Punk is Punk no matter where you go.
- h.NAOTO Spring '08 Collection:
- This style looks more Baroque, or Rocaille even. They speak in a far more formal and reserved manner and dress accordingly. It is meant to look sophisticated, elegant. The accessories can be seen as far more functional ones than some of the counterparts to this style.
- Juliette et Justine Onepieces:
- GosuLoli (GothicLoli)-
- Though Japanese Gothic fashion trends can be traced back towards the 1980's, during the spread of the New Wave movement, the scene out there is far different from the scene out west. If you know what Goth is then you can safely picture what a Lolita in a Gothic style like clothing would be. The atmosphere they carry, their personality, etc will all be very Goth. Goth is Goth is it not? You can tell GosuLoli by its use of much darker make up, clothing, and themes in the design. It is categorised by its use of black and white, though many colours such as purples and dark blues will be seen. Fabrics do not contain as many detailed prints, as some of the counterparts do, either. (The KuroLoli -GosuLoli- subset strictly adheres to a black on black rule of dress.) Make up styles will include, to name a few; red lipstick, smoky/neatly defined eyes, But one must note that the make up style is a lot lighter and far less dramatic than one would see in Western Gothic Styles. Some newer styles though will show lighter colour in make up styles but the dark eyes are retained. Accessories can range from numerous religious symbols, such as crosses. (I myself own a Middi-Nette Malice Mizer Klaha Era Cross from the Cathedral de la Rose fotobook release.)
- AmaLoli (AKA SweetLoli the opposite of GosuLoli)-
- This style is considered by some to be the cuter more innocent of all the styles. A lot of pink, bows, laces can be seen worn by people of this style. A lot of all white outfits or all pink outfits will be seen. Also, a lot of deserts/sweets prints can be seen on the pieces. The jewelery will also have many sweets/deserts. Some consider it a fantasy-esque theme. Some also include ShiroLoli (all white could be considered the counterpart to KuroLoli?) and CountryLoli (gingham print) as a part of this theme.
There are numerous "common" articles always worn in Lolita:
- knee length skirt/dress
- knee length socks/stockings
- rocking horse/high heel/platform shoes
- teddy bears/dolls(Super Dollfies) ((Mostly worn when striving for AmaLoli style.)
Because the term Lolita is a direct reference to the novel written by author Vladimir Nabokov, it has the stigma for being an overtly sexual style. But followers of the style will attest that they consider it something that does not necessarily have anything at all to do with sex but that it is a cute style meant to illustrate innocence and youthfulness. This can be attributed to the supposed inherently cultural Japanese appreciation of youth and cuteness.
Famous labels include (among others):
- Pink House (L.)
- Milk (L.)
- Baby, The Stars Shine Bright (L.)
- Metamorphose temps de fille (L.)
- A+Lidel (PL.)
- Putumayo (PL.)
- h. NAOTO (PL.)
- Na+H (PL.)
- Moi-même-Moitié (Mana's famed GL label.)
- Atlier Boz (GL.)
- Juliette et Justine (CL.)
- Innocent World (CL.AL.)
- Victorian Maiden (CL.)
- Mary Magdalene (CL.)
- Angelic Pretty (AL.)
Elegant Gothic Aristocrat/Lolita:
This style and terminology were first coined by Mana of Malice Mizer. So, to most truly adhere to this style would mean wearing Moi-même-Moitié clothing or clothing styled to adhere to what you would find at Moi-même-Moitié.
- Madam- The term for female EGL styled clothing.
- Sir/Aristocrat- The term for male EGL styled clothing (worn by females).
I actually do not know too much about decorer but it is quite cute and I like it.
It contains a lot of accessories and a lot of colours worn simultaneously. It is a very fun looking style though I do not know how anyone can handle having so many things strewn upon them at once.
Links for further references (or links that pertain to trends not discussed because I have no interest in them but thought others might.):
- A very useful site I considered during my writings: http://lerman.biz/asagao/gothic_lolita/guide.html
- Official FRUiTS Site: http://www.fruits-mg.com/
- Tokyo Street Style: http://www.style-arena.jp/index_e.htm
- Numerous images of various fashions seen in Harajuku: http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=harajuku&s=int&page=1