Kawaii-B All About: The Wonderful World of Lolita

Lolita fashion, its a world of magic and wonder, lace, petticoats, frills and bows. From the outside it can seem both mysterious and memorizing. This hugely popular sub-culture from Japan has spread all over the world in recent years, and in this article we will be exploring it, in order to teach you more about the wonderful world of Lolita!

Sweet Lolita Style
What is Lolita Fashion?
Lolita is a Japanese fashion trend, with most of its famous sub-cultures as we know them today, originating from the streets Harajuku (the best known location for street fashion in Japan). Over time, its popularity lead to it developing into its own lifestyle sub-culture, online and offline communities, and even its own association (Japan Lolita Association headed by model Misako Aoki) and today has spread all over the world, being enjoyed by girls in almost every country across the globe. 

Lolita, is predominantly famous for its intricate, high quality garments, cute designs and doll-like outfits. Lolita clothing is greatly inspired by the Victorian and Rococo eras, but started life as a fashion which focused on modesty, and the quality of fabric and manufacture over it's style alone. As the style developed, it has taken on all sorts of styles and amalgamations.

There are many sub-styles of lolita including Traditional, Ami/sweet, Gothic, Hime, Guro and Ero as the main sub styles, and then others such as Punk, Pirate Lolita and some forms of Shiro-Nuri as less popular spin offs. Lolita is worn by almost exclusively by females, but there is also a male version of the look called Ouji/Kodona. The movement of Lolita is thought to have started in the late 1970s when labels such as Pink House, Milk and Pretty (later known as Angelic Pretty) began selling clothes that would now be considered "Lolita". Shortly after came Baby, The Stars Shine Bright, and Metamorphose temps de fille.

Gothic Lolita
In the 1990s, Lolita fashion became better recognized, with bands like Princess Princess coming into popularity. During this time, the popular visual-kei rock band Malice Mizer's guitarist (and famous Lolita fashion staple) Mana caused a huge boom in the trend by wearing and publicizing the fashion, and creating his own brand Moi-même-Moitié in 1999, which subsequently became very popular with their fans. New brands and their intricate garments, began being adapting by wearers to their own style, driving sales and bringing online stores into the picture too. Lolita then continued to spread, eventually reaching the fashionistas in Harajuku, where it was again adapted further by youth fashion and culture there. From the streets of Harajuku, the fashion has been photographed and spread through fashion magazines and online blogs all across the world. Although there is still a shortage of larger Lolita clothing manufacturers outside of Japan, the style has grown hugely, and is now being catered for by smaller companies and handcrafters all over the world.

Classic Lolita

 The Name Lolita
Lolita the word, originated as a nickname used by the main character in Vladimir Nabokov's novel with the name name "Lolita" (1955), for another character, a young girl, whom he was sexually obsessed with. However, even though that is the origin of the word, this original definition does not apply nor have anything to do with Lolita fashion. Lolita fashion is also not to be confused with the term lolicon. Lolicon is also another reference from Vladimir Nabokov's book "Lolita". Lolicon is a word used by the Japanese to refer to sexual attraction to underage girls. 

Because of the words origin, the term "Lolita" can be a confusing one for anyone who doesn't know much about the fashion itself. And even thought the word "Lolita" originally has a sexual meaning, the word "Lolita" when used to describe fashion, is not related to anything sexual at all. The fashion term Lolita is generally believed to be a result of wasei-eigo (meaning Japanese words that are borrowed from English and twisted by Japanese use), and not a direct reference to the book. The origin of the term in a fashion sense is unknown, but it's thought the Japanese found the word "Lolita" cute sounding, so they adapted it for the fashion.

While some adaptions of lolita fashion such as Ero can be more sexy, most who follow Lolita fashion strive for the opposite, aiming for a very modest look that is elegant, cute and feminine, with most if not all skin besides the lace and neck and hands covered, and often wearing bloomers and layers of petticoats. Lolita outfits are also sometimes confused with costumes, because they are so unique looking, but this is not the case. Lolita is simply a fashion style of dressing, just like Punk or Goth, or any other style.

Lolita Lifestyle and Meet-Ups
While many just just enjoy Lolita as a style of clothing, some like choose to lead a Lolita lifestyle as well. Often called "lifestyle Lolita" they usually dress daily in the fashion, interact with the local Lolita community and take part in what might be called "feminine hobbies" such as baking, sewing or embroidery.The lifestyle of a Lolita also calls for Princess like behavior and morals. Kindness to others, a gentle demener, politness and good etiquette with every day tasks are all important when it comes to behaving in a Lolita type fashion.

Community is a huge part of Lolita fashion, and all kinds of Lolita embrace and enjoy both Lolita and other types of kawaii fashions by attending kawaii and J-culture events across the UK. Lolita communities often arrange themed meet-ups to bring Lolita fashion lovers together; often holding picnics, tea parties and special dinners. Some groups meet up at boutiques or kawaii stores. One of the most famous Lolita events of the year is Enchanted (Held in London, organised by StreetFashionEurope). But there are many other smaller events organised all over the UK by smaller local communities. Many of them are organised through facebook,

Lolita Fashion In Detail
All variations of Lolita outfits are mostly made up of knee length skirts or dresses, puffed up with petticoats (or several) underneath as well as bloomers or drawers. Knee socks or coloured or patterned tights to conceal bare skin on the legs, a frilly blouse with puffed sleeves (normally worn underneath the dress or layered), shoes (usually mary Jane style, adorned with bows, youthful platforms for even wings) a cute often shaped handbag, and a whole assortment of accessories including large hair bows, headdresses and wigs.

Dress or skirt patterns usually include motifs such as berries, cute animals, carnivals or flowers, and outfits are colour co-ordinated in every way. The most popular motifs seen worn by Lolitas come from Angelic Pretty (some of which are replicated by other companies who sell lower quality garments) including Berry Garden, Fantasy Theater and Melody Toys. (Shown Below)

And to draw this article to a close, here are some of our favourite examples of Lolita fashion from Enchanted, as well as a whole heap of links we hope you will find useful!

Photo Credit: Marie Tuonetar
Photo Credit: Marie Tuonetar

Photo Credit: 4ilsa Tumblr

Princess Peachies UK Lolita Guide and FAQ
HeckYeahLolitaFashion Tumblr
Lolita Handbook 
Hello Lace Website
Lolita Dress Shop UK
Elegant Gothic and Lolita Community (EGL)
 List of EGL Lolita Communities World Wide
Tea Party Club - Biggest lolita fashion club in the UK
Lolita Sales Group UK

Thanks for choosing Kawaii-B! Your number one place for Kawaii in the UK!


No comments

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment!

© Kawaii-B | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Crafted by pipdig