Avant Garde female enthusiasts are currently searching and discovering more underground and beyond-the-norm culture to adapt not only in film, music, visual arts, but also in fashion. One of the things that take interests these girls is the Lolita fashion.
Odessa Tan, 18, is one of thes girls who wear Lolita. During days with no classes, she only wears Lolita. When asked why she wears Lolita, she said, “I wear Lolita not to be noticed but I wear it as a way of rebellion. Rebellion to society: to the people who only live within the conventions and not being open to new things.”
Odessa also opened up that there are posers who wear Lolita. They are posers in a way that they only wear Lolita to attract people and to get attention, not even knowing what Lolita fashion really is.
So what really is Lolita Fashion?
Lolita Fashion is a fashion culture in Japan. It is a unique fashion statement that is intensified by gothic and classical foundations. The Lolita look consists primarily of a knee length skirt or dress, headdress, blouse, petticoat, knee length socks or stockings and rocking horse, high heel, or flat shoes. Dolls and teddy bears are added to complete the whole style. It was influenced by Western Gothic, Victoriana, Baroque, and Rococo style.
The origins of Lolita fashion is not very clear and it is said that it started in the underground and avant garde scene in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan. It was then adapted during the late 1970’s by Japanese clothing lines. Although the style was already hitting the waves during that time, it wasn’t until the 1990’s that Lolita fashion boomed due to the rock bands who adapt the fashion. Since those bands were getting so popular, a lot of their fans settled in the style, until it became widespread all over the world.
There are several classifications of Lolita Fashion: Gothic Lolita, Sweet Lolita, Classic Lolita, Punk Lolita, Wa or Qi Lolita, and Ouji or Dandy Lolita.
The Gothic Lolita is a mixture of the Gothic and Lolita fashion. Gothic Lolita has been classified as Lolita fashion by the use of darker clothes with gothic designs, including dark make-up to complete the look.
Sweet Lolita, which was profoundly influenced by Rococo style. It uses pastel colors and its accessories include ribbons, lace, bows, hearts, candies, and stuff toys for the sweet and childlike look.
Classic Lolita is the style that is more mature. It is lighter than the Gothic Style, but not as light as the Sweet Lolita.
Punk Lolita took on the punk style: altered fabric, safety pins and chains, screen-printed fabrics, plaids, and short, boyish hairstyles for the rebellious look.
Wa or Qi Lolita was made so that the Japanese tradition still remains with the style. It is a combination of Lolita and Japanese tradition clothing.
Finally, Ouji or Dandy Lolita is made for the men, influenced by the Victorian era.
Since Gothic Lolita is the most popular type and most widespread around the world, it will be discussed further. Gothic Lolita started during the late 90’s and was influenced by the Victorian gothic look and Alice in wonderland. Alice in wonderland influenced it in a sense that there were a lot of gothic versions of literature that were made for it like in goth music and film noirs.
Gothic Lolita was further popularized by visual rock bands. Most of these bands are male-dominated, but they still dress up elegantly with big hair and dark make-up.
The Lolita fashion also has its deeper meaning, especially for the women who wear it. Besides self-expression, showing avant garde lifestyle, and getting attention by looking like their rock idols, it pertains to an amazing contrast of innocence and sexuality. The child-like physical look of Japanese women contributes to this alluring illusion.
The Japanese have the most fascinating fetishes around the world. A lot of older men are into younger women, that is why this fashion statement appeals to the Japanese women. By wearing Lolita, women create an allusion of being younger and innocent.
Pop culture has adapted the Lolita Fashion. It became more widespread and thus, being worn by a lot of the biggest names in the entertainment industry.
Recently, it has been featured in teen magazines around the world. A lot of contemporary rock and pop artists wear it in their music videos, which may also combine with the song and the video’s theme.
Sometimes, it is just worn for its style, eliminating the real meaning and reasons of wearing it. Some wear Lolita merely for fashion purposes, like when celebrities wear it on an Award’s night or a movie premiere.Some of the celebrities who wear Lolita are Japanese rock artists like Kana and Mikabomb. It shows their identity as artists. Gwen Stefani has also adapted the style, especially in the years 2006 and 2007 when her second solo album was hitting the waves.
At the moment, a lot of fashion trends are slowly being influenced by Lolita fashion. During the 21st century, mini and maxi dresses with ribbons and ruffles became popular again. These latest fashion trends can be classified as a combination of Lolita and contemporary fashion.
Slowly, Lolita fashion is booming. These days, people are more daring and open to new things. Whether Lolita’s real meaning is understood or not, it would sure enter the mainstream culture and be worn by different kinds of people.