UAE Cute Stuff is the biggest fans of Lolita and we just hope to share with all of you all we know about Lolita Culture in depth.
Lolita is seen as a reaction against stifling Japanese society, in which young people are pressured to strictly adhere to gender roles and the expectations and responsibilities that are part of these roles. Wearing fashion inspired by childhood clothing is a reaction against this. This can be explained from two perspectives. Firstly, that it is a way to escape adulthood and to go back to the eternal beauty of childhood.
Secondly, that it is an escape to a fantasy world, in which an ideal identity can be created that would not be acceptable in daily life.
Some Lolitas say they enjoy the dress of the subculture simply because it is fun and not as a protest against traditional Japanese society. Some Lolitas also gain self-confidence by dressing in Lolita fashion or enjoy expressing an alternate identity.
Full History of Lolita
Although the origin of the fashion is unclear, it is likely that the movement started at the end of the 1960s with the fashion style and subculture Natural Kei, which romanticized the Victorian Period. At the end of the 1970s, this resulted in a new movement known as Otome-kei, which slightly influenced Lolita fashion since Otome means maiden and maiden style looks like a lesser elaborated Lolita style. Before Otome-kei emerged, there was already a rise of the cuteness culture in the earlier seventies; during which there was a high emphasis on cute and childish handwriting in Japanese schools.
As a result of that, the company Sanrio began experimenting with cute designs. The cuteness style, known as kawaii style, became popular in the 1980s. After Otome-kei, Do-It-Yourself behaviour became popular, which led to the emergence of a new style called 'doll-kei' the predecessor of Lolita fashion. Between the years of 1977–1998, a large part of the Harajuku shopping district closed for car traffic on Sundays. The result was an increase in interaction between pedestrians in Harajuku. When brands like Pink House (ja) (1973), Milk (1970), and Angelic Pretty (1979) began to sell cute clothing, the resulted in a new style that would be later be known as 'Lolita'.
The term Lolita first appeared in the fashion magazine Ryukou Tsushin in the September 1987 issue. Shortly after that Baby, The Stars Shine Bright (1988), Metamorphose temps de fille (1993), and other brands emerged.
In the 1990s, Lolita became more accepted, with bands like Malice Mizer and other visualkei rising in popularity. These band members wore elaborate clothes that fans began to adopt.
During this time Japan went through an economic depression, leading to an increase in alternative youth and fashion cultures such as gyaru, otaku, visual kei, and Lolita, as well as visualkei inspired clothing such as Mori, Fairy Kei and Decora.
The Lolita style spread quickly from the Kansai region and finally reached Tokyo. Partly due to the economic difficulties there was a big growth in the cuteness and youth cultures, that originated in the seventies. In the late nineties, the Jingu Bashi (also called the Harajuku Bridge) became known as meeting place for youth who wore Lolita and other alternative fashion. Lolita became more popular, causing a growth in warehouses that were also selling Lolita Fashion. Important magazines that contributed to the spread of the fashion style were the Gothic & Lolita Bible (2001), a spin-off of the popular Japanese fashion magazine KERA (ja) (1998), and FRUiTS (1997).
The Gothic & Lolita Bible was also translated into English and spread outside of Japan through the publisher Tokyopop. In addition, FRUits published an English picture book of the Japanese Street Fashion in 2001. As the style became further popularized through the Internet, more shops opened abroad, such as Baby, The Stars Shine Bright in Paris (2007) and in New York (2014)
Unique Styles of Lolita Fashion
Lolita is a beautiful fashion craze seen along the fashionable streets of Japan. Women of all ages dress in clothes with frills, laces, and patterned fabrics decorated with even more ruffles. Its popularity paved the way for an enormous fashion industry where several brands sprung from. Lolita is a fashion subculture from Japan that is highly influenced by Victorian and Edwardian children's clothing and styles from the Rococo period.
A very distinctive property of Lolita fashion is the aesthetic of cuteness. The main feature of Lolita fashion is the volume of the skirt, often created by wearing a petticoat or crinoline. The skirt can be either clock-shaped or A-shaped. Components of the Lolita wardrobe consist mainly of a blouse (long or short sleeves) with a skirt or a dress, which usually comes to the knees. Lolitas frequently wear fashion wigs in combination with other headwear such as hair bows or a bonnet (similar to a Poke bonnet).
Lolitas sometimes also wear Victorian-style drawers under their petticoats. For further effect, knee socks, ankle socks or tights together with either high heels or flat shoes with a bow are worn. Other typical Lolita garments are a jumper skirt (JSK) and a one-piece (OP). Lolita Fashion is a popular subculture as well as a type of street fashion in Japan.
For the past 10 years, it has gradually gained popularity across the globe. This look is based on a youthful doll-like appearance. There is a high emphasis on being ‘cute’ while maintaining an elegant aura. The basic items to Lolita Fashion are a good blouse, a skirt or a jumper skirt, a petticoat, bloomers, a head accessory, socks, and shoes.
Sweet Lolita, Gothic, Aristocrat, Classic and Wa are just a few of the many dazzling styles you can see in Lolita Fashion. Many other substyles such as 'Sailor', 'Country', 'Hime' (princess), 'Ero', 'Guro', 'Oriental', 'Punk', 'Shiro (white)', Kuro (black) and Steampunk Lolita also exist.
Despite the diversity, however, the look for most of these styles shares a similar underlying principle: a round, poufy bell-shaped skirt and a round peter-pan collar blouse. Of course, this is only the most basic example, as there are no strict fashion rules.
How known is Lolita Fashion outside world?
The government of Japan has also tried to popularize Lolita fashion. The Minister of Foreign Affairs in February 2009, assigned models to spread Japanese pop culture. These people were given the title of Kawaa Taishi (ambassadors of cuteness).
The first three ambassadors of cuteness were model Misako Aoki, who represents the Lolita style of frills-and-lace,
Kimura U who represents the Harajuku style
And Shizuka Fujioka who represents the school-uniform-styled fashion.
Another way that Japan tries to popularize Japanese street fashion and Lolita is by organizing the international Harajuku walk in Japan, this should cause those other foreign countries would organize a similar walk. Possible reasons for the popularity of Lolita fashion outside of Japan are a big growth in the interest of Japanese culture and use of the internet as a place to share information, leading to an increase in worldwide shopping, and the opportunity of enthusiastic foreign Lolitas to purchase fashion.
The origin of the Japanese influences can be found in the late nineties, in which cultural goods such as Hello Kitty, Pokemon, and translated manga's appeared in the west. Anime was already being imported to the west in the early nineties, and scholars also mention that anime and manga caused the popularity of Japanese culture to rise.
This is supported by the idea that cultural streams have been going from Japan to the west, and from the west to Japan. There are so many fans all over the world who have embraced Lolita fashion along with several Lolita fashion shows and conventions. This type of style can also be a way of making yourself appear younger than you really are.