There's been mention of this fashion here at The Grimm Tea Party but I have not had the decency to explain it, until now. But before I go into my explanation I would first like to add a little disclaimer. I am not claiming to be an “expert” on the subject, so please do not get your bloomers in a bunch if you see something on my blog that you do not agree with. Also, the fashion of Lolita has nothing whatsoever to do with the novel by Vladimir Nabokov. And now with that bit of house keeping out of the way, shall we look at what Lolita actually is?
Lolita fashion got its start on the streets of Japan in the 80’s. One of its influences was one of the most glamorous and over the top fashion eras, Rococo. The other main influence was a darker time, the Victorian era. Since its humble beginnings Lolita has evolved, but lolitas still strive to achieve a doll-like look of elegance and cuteness through modesty. Some of the dresses popular today are a far cry from those that started the trend. Take these two photos for example.
The following photos both show clothing from the brand Angelic Pretty.
The photo on your left is an early form of Lolita, very simple and elegant.
The photo on your right is displaying the current trend of OTT (over the top) Sweet Lolita.
The fashion also seems to be split into two main categories, Sweet Lolita and Gothic Lolita. The Sweet Lolitas seem to draw heavy on Rococo, while the Victorian era is the inspiration of choice for Gothic Lolitas.
Upon closer examination of the outfits, what do you see?
♥ Cute shoes
♠ Knee length socks
♦ Skirt that is knee length with petticoat to create the bell shape
♣ Make-up is fresh and simple, hair has been tended to (in the more recent trend of OTT Sweet, make-up and hair are not quite as simple. Just as the clothing is over the top, the hair and make-up can be as well, with contacts lens and big poofy hair)
♥ Head is adorned with bow or headdress
Perhaps the only real negative point about the fashion is its name. For some, the name just sounds cute. For others, there is a more disturbing association with the name. Lolita is the title of a novel by Vladimir Nabokov. In the book a man by the name of Humbert Humbert becomes sexually involved with a prepubescent girl by the name of Dolores Haze whose nickname is Lolita.
As a side note, I have yet to read the novel. Previously (winter 2008) I looked for the novel in my university’s library but was unable to find it. I did however read another novel of Nabokov’s “Look At the Harlequins”. I found it an easy read and most entertaining and intend on reading more by him.
For more information on the novel Lolita please visit SparkNotes.com
Now, back to the frills...
The following are some links that will assist you, if you feel so intrigued, to learn more. These are the very website that I discovered during my early Google searches:
The Lolita Handbook
Lolita Fashion – For Lolita’s of All Styles
Avant Gauche – this site has such an amazing collection of magazine scans!
And if you’re looking for something more interactive or still have unanswered questions, make your way over to LiveJournal. There is a very large Lolita presence on LJ. The main Lolita community has 12,000+ members!
However, a warning to any of you eager beavers... please read the rules of the community before posting. My advice to you would be to lurk about the communities, get a feel for them before joining or posting, which can be great fun indeed! Well, for a wallflower like me, it is delightful! And from my lurking, I learned so much!
The EGL Community on LiveJournal – This is the main Lolita community.
Daily Lolita Coordinates on LiveJournal – This community is dedicated to the showcasing of Lolita coronations.
I hope I have enlightened you on the subject, or at least entertained you to some degree.
Kindest person regards,