Kon’nichiwa my little ones! How are you doing ^^? Before I start talking about the products I like, let me explain a little about one of the styles I’ll be covering here, the Lolita Style. I want you to understand a little more before I jump into the dresses and such. I’ll talk about what it is, where it came from, how the style works and it’s different sub-styles. Hope you girls enjoy the post and learn something new.
What is Lolita Fashion?
It started in Japan in the 1970s, alongside the kawaii craze (literally cute craze), with things like Hello Kitty merchandise, pastel and stuffed animals’ aesthetics, and curly handwriting getting more and more common. Inspired by Western’s children stories, fairy tales and especially British culture like Alice in Wonderland, it brought a different kind of cute to the streets of Tokyo, while also using that to empower and celebrate women’s beauty, femininity and cuteness, something unique to them at the time. It also focused on new brands and artists, instead of the vintage clothing usually used in their style.
Visual Kei rock bands played a huge part in spreading the Lolita aesthetic. Similar to Western Glam Rock, Visual Kei makes use of dramatic costumes, several layers of make-up and crazy hairstyles, which had a significant impact on their audience and therefore helped the community embrace this style.
Where does the term Lolita come from?
Many people associate the term to the novel “Lolita”, by Vladimir Nabokov (1958) or the movie of the same name by Stanley Kubrick (1962), based on his book. It is hard to say if that is where the term really originated, but the meaning couldn’t be further to the truth.
In the book the main character, Humbert Humbert, sexualizes a 12-year-old girl called Dolores, Lolita is the nickname he gives her in the story. For that reason, on hearing the word Lolita, many people here in the West tend to associate with the novel and sexualize the term, while what Lolita really stands for is entirely the opposite.
The right term used for the sexualization of young girls is Lolicon, short for “Lolita complex”. This meaning comes with the desire of men towards more adolescent girls, to control and dominate them. The Lolita style is to empower women; it lets them escape from the mainstream, to dress for themselves and express their feelings, their authenticity, their emotions. It brings back memories from their childhood, growing up and being able to be anything, not living to impress, adapt or please anyone.
What makes a Lolita Outfit?
A Lolita outfit usually consists of lacy dresses, a hair bow, beret, or headdress, over-the-knee socks or tights, rounded-toe shoes or high-heels, frilly, A-line or bell-shaped skirts (usually with a petticoat or crinoline underneath), jumper-skirts, one-pieces, doll-like make-up, tulles, bows, ribbons, laces and sometimes accessories like parasols. The dresses can sometimes be costly because of all the details and the high-quality materials, so some people use handmade accessories and sew their own dresses.
Different types of Lolita Style.
There are many sub-categories inside the Lolita Fashion. These are one of the most famous ones:
Sweet Lolita is the most famous and most recognizable sub-category of all. It takes inspiration mostly in Victorian dolls and children’s literature, making use of dolls, stuffed animals’ and such. It emphasizes on looking cute and girly, with more of the little-girl image, like seen in Angelic Pretty. Sweet Lolita focuses on pastel colours, cute themed prints, bows and ribbons.
Gothic Lolita came in the 1990s, more inspired in the Visual Kei bands style, with more theatrical outfits. Among the most significant influences was the band Malice Mizer, whose leader created Moi-même-Moitié brand. They take inspiration in British Gothic rock, from artists like David Bowie and the androgyny associated with him.
Even with their darker and more melancholic style, Gothic Lolitas care just as much about cuteness and innocence as the other sub-categories.
Classic Lolita is a little more mature than the other sub-categories. Classic Lolita focuses more on elegance than cuteness, and more on floral patterns or solid colours, usually with dusty pastels and neutral colours, as seen in Victoria Maiden. It usually boarders between Sweet and Gothic Lolita, and some outfits can even pass as a fancy event dress.
Punk Lolita is heavily inspired by the British punk culture and Vivienne Westwood, but unlike its inspirations, it still makes use of the cute and delicate side of the Lolita. They use mostly tartan, chains, studs, wild haircuts and bondage trouser, mixed with frilly skirts, cutsews, delicate blouses and feminine accessories, as you can see in Putumayo.
My Lolita Wardrobe.
I am also going to be talking about things related to the Lolita world such as kawaii, cute in general, chibi, probably some cosplay (because I REALLY love D.Va ♥). But the Lolita Fashion is by far the most complex one, and I wanted to explain it a little before throwing it at you. There is still a lot of taboo around the term, and hopefully, this post was able to show you something new and explain what I will be talking about here on my blog. To be very honest, I personally don’t have as many pieces of Lolita Fashion in my wardrobe as I wanted (yet!), but I am very passionate about it, and I am working towards building my outfits. As times go by, I will be showing you the pieces I bought or plan on buying, and how I’ll slowly start changing my wardrobe to a Lolita one ^^
I know the brands I quoted in this post are Japanese only, but you can still learn a lot just by looking at their products like I did. In my next posts, I will be showing you options on where to buy these products here in the West, especially more accessible pieces, and you can walk with me and help me build my perfect Lolita wardrobe =)
Thank you so much for being here, and see you girls soon!