They’re cute and fluffy. They are still evolving. It’s the Lolita fashion style. And no, it’s not inspired by the controversial novel Lolita. At the outset, it’s worth mentioning that Lolita fashion subculture has got nothing to do with the famous book of the same name. Rather, it’s a Japanese fashion subculture that is highly influenced by the Victorian and Edwardian clothing and styles from the Rococo period
. This style has evolved into various subcultures since its inception in Japan as well as other countries during the 1990s and 2000s.
The main feature of the Lolita fashion is the sheer volume and shape of the skirt that is girlish and pretty. The volume can be created with a petticoat or a crinoline underneath and its shape is mainly A-shaped or clock shaped. A Lolita costume mainly consists of a blouse with a skirt or a dress, that extends to the knees. Some Lolitas prefer to wear Victorian style drawers under their petticoats. Followers of this culture usually pair the dress with a fashion wig along with other headwear like hair bows or bonnet or ribbon, and high heels or flat shoes. The One Piece (OP) became a popular garment in that fashion.
Lolita clothing subculture has three main styles: Gothic, Classic and Sweet. Many other sub styles such as Tailor, Country, hime (princess), Ero, Guro, Oriental, Punk, Shiro (white), Kuro (black) and Steampunk are also present. The Lolita dressing style started at the end of 1960s and by the 1970s a new movement known as Otome-kei (Otome meaning Maiden) which slightly influenced Lolita fashion according to some, and some say it is a more mature version of the original Lolita fashion.
Alice in Wonderland is the inspiration source for the Lolita fashion, reason being, the character Alice is an ideal image of eternal innocence and beauty, which is the mainstay of Lolita fashion. Another inspiration was Marie Antoinette, the last queen of France. Mana and Novala Takemoto are two people who are credited for popularizing the Lolita fashion in the 21st century. Novala wrote a novel Kamikaze Girls (2002), about friendship between a Lolita girl and an American girl who is her antithesis. Mana
is a guitarist whose band was known for its elaborate costumes and ‘eccentric’ expressions.
You wear a Lolita dress to occasions or even to work (depending on the style). Many designers are continuously working on modernizing the Lolita outfit to make it more suitable to work or formal occasions, so it can be worn more frequently. If you are a Lolita enthusiast, do check out beverlyheels.com for more styles, especially shoes.