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Lolita 101

Well ages ago, before I stopped updating here I said I was going to do a fashion blog. Well now I am going to pull my finger out and actually do it. I plan to focus on Lolita fashion, its sub-genre’s, the prominent labels and the people who wear and promote them. What I want to do is like a visual handbook of Lolita fashion. I will include definitions, but beyond this first article I don’t think anything will be quite so expansive.

I believe that in fashion what you see is what is important. What the major brands are doing, as well as what people on the street are doing. And Lolita fashion is great for street fashion. It is strangely half home made and half head to toe brand names, with a bit of second had stuff thrown in.

But yes, expect this to be image intensive, with more less text from now on.

My main sources are Wikipedia, Lolita Handbook on Livejournal (http://lolita-handbook.livejournal.com/) and for images http://www.avantgauche.co.uk/ and the websites for the brands.



First things first then, what is Lolita fashion? Sounds a bit sus…

No, the Japanese have taken the word ‘Lolita’ to mean little girl, so while it does come from the Nabokov book, it has become separated from the sexual connotations that western people hear in it.

The overall aim of the Lolita fashion movement is to look like a little girl, specifically, like a Victorian doll. You know those porcelain dolls you can buy with all of their ruffles and curls and cute little hats. That is what a Lolita girl wants to be. It is an image of sweet innocence and cuteness separated from sexuality (unless you follow Ero-Loli…but I will get on to that later).

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oh what a pretty doll


Lolita fashion has been around since the 70’s but did not become popular until the 90’s. The 90’s boom was due to some visual kei starts wearing Lolita fashion, Mana from Malice Mizer being the most obvious and influential example. Mana has been probably the most influential person in modern Lolita fashion, and I think I have written about him before, so I will see if I can fish that article out.

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Mana, the queen of Lolita


Lolita’s behave politely at all times, or at least that is what they say. They can seem snobby because of this, using very formal language.

Clothing wise, Lolita fashion features A-line skirts which sit at the knee, tailored shirts with necklines that sit either above the bust, or on the neck. The sleeves tend to be puffy on the shoulder, either finishing there or continuing with a straight, fitted long sleeve. Hair is either dead straight or ringlets, pretty much always long. Make up is always worn, but tends to be natural. To get the puffy A-line skirt bloomers or petticoats, also known as panniers, are worn.

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Pannier and bloomers from Angelic Pretty...ooh, butt ruffles :)


Popular accessories include: bonnets (the horror!!!), alice bands, hair bows, loli-headresses (I will explain these later, since they are a Lolita only thing), mini-top hats, cute hand bags, chunky shoes, knee high socks and Vivienne Westwood Jewelry and shoes.

headress and boy both by moi-meme-moitie


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THE necklace, i don't quite understand, but Viviene Westwood jewlery is very popluar in the Loli community, and this here is the piece-de-resistaunce. The shoes are from a scan from the Gothic and Lolita Bible


There as may genre’s of Lolita as people can think of, but the main ones are (and I will do an entry focusing on each of these):

Classic Lolita: Quite a simple Lolita variation, but sticking pretty close to the line of basic Lolita. The A-line skirt and puffy sleeves silhouette is work, with ruffles, but not overdone. Worn in either dark shades or floral prints this can be confused for either Sweet or Gothic Lolita. Tends to seen as a more mature variation.

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The first pic is from Home Made Gothic and Lolita and the second is from the label Angelic Pretty


Sweet Lolita, aka Ama Lolita: Well this is what it sounds like, lots of pink, floral, cute prints, giant bows, love hearts, crowns and teddy bears. Particularly demure, high necklines and knee length skirts, with very subtle make up, and ringlets, blonde being popular. County Lolita is a sub genre of Sweet Lolita, pretty much Sweet Lolita on a picnic. :) Gingham and floral are popular fabrics, and cream is worn more than white. Picnic baskets and sun hats are the accessories of choice here.

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The first pic is from Home Made Gothic and Lolita and the second is from the label Angelic Pretty again


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This here is Country Lolita, by Angelic Pretty


Gothic Lolita – Also known as Elegant Gothic Lolita, or EGL. Some people refer to all of Lolita fashion as Gothic Lolita or Goth-Loli, but this is not correct. I have a tendency to do this myself, and my reasons are that it creates a gap from the sexual meanings of the word Lolita, so I am less likely to have to defend Lolita fashion. . . . Anyway that aside, Gothic Lolita is, well, the gothic side of Lolita. Lots of black and white, but dark blue and red are worn too. Cross motifs are popular. Fishnets and knee high boots are worn. The make up tends to be quite over the top, while foundation with LOTS of black eyeliner and lipstick. Pretty much put your typical western goth into a Lolita dress and this is what you get. This is HEAVILY influenced by Mana, he even came up with the term ‘Elegant Gothic Lolita’. Kuro Lolita (Black Lolita) and Shiro Lolita (White Lolita) are extensions of Gothic Lolita.

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1st is a from Atelier Peirot, a label not a comic book, the second is more Angelic Pretty, can you tell I like that brand?


Aristocrat – Also known as Elegant Gothic Aristocrat, EGA or Dandy. This is a more masculine form of Lolita, but can be worn by either gender. Both men and women wear long-line Jackets, whether fitted to the waist or hanging straight. Ruffled shirts are popular, as are gothic accessories and gloves. Top hats are very popular. Men tend to wear this with slim but flared legged pants with chunky shoes while women wear long skirts, either simple floor length numbers or more elaborate Victorian skirts. Another Mana influenced area, With him creating the term ‘Elegant Gothic Aristocrat’.

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Both of these are from the Home Made Gothic and Lolita Bible


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..and this here is the Dandy variation, from Home Made Gothic and Lolita Handbook as well.


Shota/Kodana – Another masculine form of Lolita, but this time instead of being an elegant gentleman, it is a cute little boy. Pants are always worn, but they usually sit between mid thigh and just below the knee, either straight and wide like shorts or puffy like bloomers. These are work with either ruffley or simple shirts, chunky shoes and lots of plaid.

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CUTE!!! Home Made Gothic and Lolita Handbook again.


Punk Lolita– More plaid here. :) this can be worn by both men an women. Women tend towards shorter skirts, pleated and plaid, sometimes full like traditional Lolita skirts, and some times without petticoats. Men tend towards pants of any style or shorts. This is punk style so there are no hard and fast rules, but holey stockings, suspenders, ties and zips are all popular features.

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Home Made Gothic and Lolita Handbook again.


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And the more deconstructed variation. Home Made Gothic and Lolita Handbook


Wa Lolita and Qi Lolita – This is really two separate sub-genre’s but both are very rare so they get put together a lot. Wa Lolita is traditional Japanese dress, Lolita style. Qi Lolita is traditional Chinese dress, Lolita style. Both tend to be worn short, and quite often the dresses are cut with splits from the waist, allowing the petticoats to be seen on the side. This keeps the straight shape of the traditional dresses, but adds the cute skirt of the Lolita. Sometimes the skirts are cut A-line, with top half of the dress keeping the traditional shape. Classic shoes and hair styles tend to be worn, or over the top goth/punk stylings.

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This is Wa, the first is from Home Made Gothic and Lolita Handbook and the second is from the label Lidel.


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And this is Qi from the Home Made Gothic and Lolita Handbook


Ero Lolita – Also known as Erotic Lolita….pretty self explanatory there. This is all about sex, short skirts, cleavage, corsets (both lacing style common in other Lolita styles and boned corsets), heels, vinyl, hand cuffs, collars and heavy make up. Puffy sleeves are less common here, but costumes are more common, especially maids. This is the style which has really hit off in the West, but is comparatively rare in Japan.

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To prove that Ero Lolita is comparitivly rare, I had to hunt these down from other random websites, the first is from mangaimart.web.ve and the other two are from danishlolitas.probroboards84.com


Guro Lolita – This all about gore. The clothing style does not matter, the focus here is on injuries. Bandages, eye patches and slings are worn. Sometimes blood, bruises and ripped clothes are added for a more gory effect. This can be quite creepy

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Guro Lolita is simmerly rare. The first is from greyendir.mundoforo.com and the second is from danishlolitas.probroboards84.com


Cosplay Lolita – Pretty self explanatory. Lolita style costumes. Maids, Sailors and school uniforms are popular, but it can be anything…look at that bakery uniform…sooo cute. :) This also includes dressing as Lolita characters from Anime and Manga and J-Rockers. This can be looked down upon by other Lolita’s…they are a snobby bunch. Maids and Alice in Wonderland costumes have made it into more 'mainstream; Lolita fashion. Angelic Pretty, for instance, have aprons and Alice outfits on sale most of the time.

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I love that bakery uniform. <3 These are both from the Home Made Gothic and Lolita Bible


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Maid variation, from the Home Made Gothic and Lolita Handbook.


I hope you liked my introduction to a fashion movement I love dearly. It took me sooo long to do this. I started it the day after putting up my last post. :S

Next up: Moi-Meme-Moitie <3 Hopefully it will not take so long, but it is taking forever finding the pictures...back to EGL blouses...

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Mar. 13th, 2008 12:56 pm (UTC)
Thanks, a nice introduction with lots of interesting information and the photos are very nice, thank you.

http://www.cosplaytoday.com/forum/
nemfx
Dec. 25th, 2008 11:20 pm (UTC)
Can we see you in an ero-lolita outfit?
cowgirlgem
Dec. 27th, 2008 12:49 pm (UTC)
maybe, I will make one someday, I have lots of lolita outfits to make, but probably.

I do have a pretty similar outfil i will be posting to Gothic Babes soon, I have to post a years supply of outfits, hehe so I will slowly get to it. :)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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