Japanese Culture: Lolita fashion

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Lolita fashion – (ロリータ・ファッション Rorīta fasshon)

photo credit: mangakas-onfire.blogspot.it

Molto probabilmente chi ha una vena molto romantica, sospesa in un tempo indefinito nel passato, vorrebbe apparire come una meravigliosa bambola di porcellana. Magari vorrebbe avere abiti talmente vezzosi da far invidia a Maria Antonietta e partecipare a Tea Party da favola.

Tutto questo è possibile farlo grazie al fenomeno Lolita, una delle più famose ed elaborate mode Giapponesi. Questa è un misto tra Barocco e stile Vittoriano , molto amata in patria ma conosciuta ormai in tutto il mondo.
Il nome evoca ma non celebra il romanzo di Vladimir Vladimirovič Nabokov, ma questa moda non è un tributo ad una giovane e provocante sensualità. Infatti questa rappresenta la bellezza che cela l’ingenuità, l’eleganza nel celare più che nello scoprire. In più, il nome Lolita è un Wasei-eigo, termine che include tutte quelle parole anglofone che in lingua originale hanno un significato completamente diverso o sono addirittura inesistenti, ma sono entrate nel dizionario Giapponese.

photo credit: honoluluacademy.org

Non si sa precisamente quando sia nato questo stile d’abbigliamento. Alcuni sostengono già dalla fine degli anni 70, benché effettivamente è diventato celebre verso la fine degli anni novanta. Questa moda è stata fortemente influenzata dal genere musicale Visual Kei. E non a caso, perchè questo tipo di musica è fortemente teatrale non solo nelle note ma anche nell’abbigliamento delle band stesse.

Esemplari sono i MALICE MIZER anche grazie a Mana co-fondatore e leader della band (chiamato anche Mana-sama dai suoi fans). Mana ha influenzata particolarmente la moda lolita coniando il termine “Gothic Lolita” e firmando il suo personale brand Moi-même-Moitié.

photo credit: pinterest

Gothic Lolita e Sweet Lolita

photo credit: my-lolita-dress.com

Lo stile Lolita e diviso in due correnti ben distinte (a loro volta divise in molteplici sottostili): il Gothic Lolita forse il più celebre, e lo Sweet Lolita.

GothLoli (ゴスロリ gosu rori): Il Gothic Lolita come detto è il genere più conosciuto ma questo nome viene erroneamente attribuito a tutta la moda. Colore dominante è il nero e né si celebrano tutte le più possibili sfumature. Non vengo però disdegnati nemmeno i colori scuri come il rosso bordeaux, il blu scuro, il viola o il verde smeraldo. Questi colori sono spesso utilizzati nelle stoffe come nel make-up con un pesante e drammatico smokey eyes e il rossetto che risalta su una cipria bianca. Di fatto è l’unica eccezione nella moda Lolita dove si utilizza questo tipo di cipria, perché negli altri stili si preferisce un look più naturale. I fitti ricami degli abiti si ispirano a macabri racconti con i loro teschi; o si ispirano a tematiche religiose con croci (appunto gotiche) presenti spesso anche nei gioielli. Bare usate come piccole borse e ombrellini neri di pizzo ne rifiniscono l’outfit.

photo credit: pinterest

L’Aristocrat è uno dei numerosi sottogeneri del Gothloli ma più maturo e sobrio, come dice il termine stesso, volutamente “aristocratico” e molto elegante.
Dato che la moda Gothic Lolita si basa sullo stille Vittoriano, che come ricordiamo è l’emblema del gotico e del raffinato, c’è da notare la similitudine con lo stile più occidentale detto steampunk.

Ama-loli (甘ロリ ama rori): Lo Sweet Lolita invece predilige colori pastello preferibilmente il rosa. E lo stesso vale per il makeup qui meno drammatico, quasi più naturale. Resta comunque elaborato, enfatizzando gli occhi con toni rosati e ciglia finte per uno sguardo da bambola, così come nuance tenue per le labbra. Questo stile come il precedente prende spunto dall’epoca Vittoriana ma è più influenzato dal Rococò francese. È uno stile Lolita più “infantile”, e qui la fanno da padroni fiocchi e nastrini. Le trame dei vestiti sono ispirate al mondo delle favole, unicorni e piccole miniature di pasticcini francesi come i Macaron. Sono gioielli da sfoggiare assieme a zaini a forma di orsetti o coniglietti e l’eroina a cui ispirarsi è “Alice nel paese delle meraviglie”.

photo credit: pinterest

Sottogeneri e il Principe

Il mondo lolita è davvero molto vario ed elaborato, esistono generi per tutti i gusti. Il Wa Lolita ad esempio è un mix tra i vestititi lolita e le stoffe dei Kimono tradizionali, con Obi ad adornare la vita e i classici sandali Geta come calzature; Il Qi Lolita che si riffa allo stille Cinese dove al posto dei Kimono si modificano i qípáo; il Sailor Lolita che si basa sulla classica divisa scolastica con la sua variante più elaborata; o ancora il Pirate Lolita.
E se si pensa che lo stile lolita sia solo “zucchero e cannella” abbiamo anche il Guro Lolita. Qui le lolita si ispirano all’horror con sangue finto che risalta su candidi abiti bianchi per dare l’idea di essere bambole di porcellana in frantumi.

photo credit: pinterest

Ma ci sono davvero molti altri esempi da citare. Una nota particolare bisogna farla però per lo stille Ōji (王子 principe) per chi crede erroneamente che la moda lolita sia solo femminile. Lo stile Principe si basa sui modelli di vestiti usati dai giovani Dandy Vittoriani e qui vediamo la comparsa di pantaloncini corti e calze al ginocchio. Questo però non significa sia solo maschile. Se una ragazza si affacciasse al mondo lolita ma volesse avere uno stile più androgino questo tipo di abbigliamento fa per lei.

I must have, i vari Brand, anime e l’influenza fuori dal Giappone

Esistono alcuni oggetti di culto che ogni Lolita che si rispetti possiede nel proprio guardaroba: le Cutsew, camicie con enormi fiocchi e maniche a sbuffo o le Petticoat ovvero sottovesti per ampliare i vestiti e le gonne. Per chi si domanda invece come fanno le Lolita ad avere dei capelli tanto meravigliosi e folti … beh, sappiate che sono parrucche. Le lolite le decorano poi con enormi fiocchi e i Bonnet, i classici cappelli di una volta, e le scarpe iconiche sono modello Mary Jane. Queste, anche se nate all’inizio del secolo scorso per i bambini ormai sono le scarpe che ogni lolita che si rispetti indossa.

photo credit: pinterest

Oltre il brand di Mana-sama, altri molto conosciuti sono Angelic Pretty, e Baby, The Stars Shine Bright quest’ultima con boutique non solo a Tokyo ma anche a Parigi e San Francisco. Bisogna ammettere che la moda lolita è molto dispendiosa, ma esistono Indie brand belli quanto le marche più famose ma sicuramente meno dispendiose. Ed in Giappone è possibile acquistare abiti lolita anche nei grandi magazzini e volendo ci sono siti web appositi per comprare abiti lolita di seconda o terza mano. In altre parole è diventata una moda per più tasche.
Il fenomeno lolita ha trovato la sua strada anche in molti anime di successo. Esemplari sono Paradise Kiss di Ai Yazawa meglio nota per essere la mamma di Nana; Princess Princess anime dove la moda lolita e vista tramite gli occhi di tre ragazzi; Le Portrait de Petit Cossette, versione femminile e Noir del ritratto di Dorian Gray; e Rozen Maiden dove protagoniste sono appunto delle bellissime bambole.

Come già detto, le Lolita non sono famose solo in madre patria, ma dall’America a tutta l’Europa si possono incontrare piccole comunità di Lolita. Queste si riuniscono in raffinate Tea House per celebrare il Tè delle cinque con la classe e lo stile che le differenzia da qualsiasi altra moda.[:en]

Lolita fashion – (ロリータ・ファッション Rorīta fasshon)

photo credit: mangakas-onfire.blogspot.it

Probably, those who have a romantic vein suspended in an undefined past, would like to be like a beautiful porcelain doll. Maybe they would like to have lovely dresses that would rival those of Marie Antoinette ad go to a dreamy Tea Party.

All this things are possible thanks to the Lolita phenomenon, one of the most famous and sophisticated Japanese trends. As a mix between Baroque and Victorian style, it is really appreciated in its home-country but is also known all around the world.

The name refers to, although it doesn’t celebrate, Vladimir Vladimirovič Nabokov’s novel, but this trend is not a tribute to a young and provocative sensuality. In fact, it represents beauty that hides innocence, the elegance in hiding more than showing. Moreover, the name ‘Lolita’ is a Wasei-eigo, a word that includes all those anglophone words that in their original language have a completely different meaning or don’t even exist, but that are part of the Japanese vocabulary.

photo credit: honoluluacademy.org

It’s not certain when this type of clothing was created. Some think in late 70’s, although it is true that it become popular by the end of the 90’s. This trend was greatly influenced by the musical genre of Visual Kei. It is no coincidence that this type of music is really theatrical not only in its sound but also in band members’ dresses too.

Exemplary are MALICE MIZERE partly thanks to their co-founder and leader of the band Mana (also called Mana-sama by his fans). In particular Mana influenced the “Gothic Lolita” also signing his own brand Moi-même-Moitié.

photo credit: pinterest

Gothic Lolita and Sweet Lolita

photo credit: my-lolita-dress.com

The Lolita Style is divided into two distinctive trends (also divided into many sub-styles) : The Gothic Lolita, maybe the most famous one, and the Sweet Lolita.

The GothLoli (ゴスロリ gosu rori): The Gothic Lolita as we said is probably the most famous type but its name is erroneously attributed to the whole genre. Black is the dominant color celebrated in all its possible shades. But it doesn’t disdain other dark colors like burgundy, dark blue, violet, and emerald green. These colors are often used in both cloth and make-up with heavy and dramatic smokey eyes and lipstick that stand out on the white powder. In fact, this is the only exception to the Lolita style in which this type of powder is used because in all the other styles a more natural look is preferred. The dense embroideries of the clothes are inspired by grim stories with their skulls; or religious themes with crosses (gothic crosses) used in jewelry too. Coffins are used as small purses and small black lacy umbrellas refine the outfit.

photo credit: pinterest

The Aristocrat Style is one of the many sub-genres of the Gothloli but is more mature and somber, as its name suggests, purposely more “aristocrat” and very elegant.

Since the Gothic Lolita style is based on the Victorian Style, that as we remember is emblematic of the Gothic and the refined, we have to take notice of the similarity with the western steam-punk.

Ama-loli (甘ロリ ama rori) : the Sweet Lolita on the other hand prefers pastel colors and especially pink. The same goes with make-up here less dramatic, almost more natural. Nevertheless, it still remains an elaborate style, especially emphatic on the eyes with light shades of pink and fake eyelashes for doll-like eyes, as well as light nuances for the lips. This style too is inspired by the Victorian Age but even more it is influenced by French Rococo. This is a more ‘child-like’ lolita style, were ribbons and bows are dominant. The embroidery are inspired by the world of fairy tales, unicorns and small miniature french sweets like Macaron. They are jewels to show off together with small rucksacks with the shape of small bears or rabbits and the inspiring heroine is “Alice in wonderland”.

photo credit: pinterest

Sub-genres and the Prince

The world of lolitas is various and elaborated, there are genres to suit every taste. The Wa Lolita is a mix between lolita clothes and traditional kimonos, with a Obi around the waist and the classic Geta as shoes; The Qi Lolita, that comes back to the Chinese style where instead of kimonos it modifies Chinese qípáo; The Sailor Lolita is based on the classic sailor uniform with its more elaborated variation; or the Pirate Lolita.

And if you think that the Lolita style is all “Sugar and cinnamon” we also have the Guro Lolita. Here lolitas are inspired by the horror genre with fake blood standing out on pure-white dresses to give the idea of broken porcelain dolls.

photo credit: pinterest

But there are really a great number of examples we could speak about.
A particular note must be given to the Ōji (王子 prince) Style for all those that think that the lolita style is only a girl’s trend. The Prince style is based on models of clothes used by young Victorian Dandies, so here we have short trousers and knee socks. But this doesn’t mean it is a men-only style. If a girl would like to get close to the lolita world and wanted to have a more androgynous style this is the right choice for her.

Must-have, various Brands, animes and influence outside Japan.

There are some cult objects that every Lolita with this name must have in her wardrobe: the Cutsew, blouse with big blows and puff sleeves or the Petticoat, the undergarment used to give a larger shape to skirts and dresses.
For those who would like to know how can lolitas have such beautiful and thick hair… well you must know that it is a wig.
Lolitas embellish them with big ribbons and Bonnets too, the typical small hats used in the past, and this goes together with iconic shoes in a Mary Jane like style. Even if these shoes for kids come from the past century they are the shoes that every Lolita wears.

photo credit: pinterest

Aside from that of Mana-sama, other popular brands are Angelic Pretty, e Baby, The Stars Shine Bright, this last one with boutiques not only in Tokyo but in Paris and San Francisco too.
We must say that the lolita fashion is very expensive, but there are Indie brands
as beautiful as the most famous one that are certainly less expensive. And in Japan there’s the possibility to buy lolita clothes in department stores too, or there are dedicated web sites that sell second or third hand clothes. In other words it is a style open to everyone.

The Lolita phenomenon found its way to many successful animes too.
Some examples are Paradise Kiss by Ai Yazawa better known as the ‘mother’ of Nana; Princess Princess, where the lolita fashion is seen through the eyes of three boys; Le Portrait de Petit Cossette, female and Noir version of the Portrait of Dorian Gray; and Rozen Maiden too, where the protagonists are precisely beautiful dolls.

As we said, Lolitas are famous not only in Japan but we can meet a great number of small communities from America to Europe.
Lolitas gather together in refined Tea Houses to celebrate the 5 o’clock tea with the class and the style that distinguishes them from any other trend.[:ja]

Lolita fashion – (ロリータ・ファッション Rorīta fasshon)

photo credit: mangakas-onfire.blogspot.it

Probably, those who have a romantic vein suspended in an undefined past, would like to be like a beautiful porcelain doll. Maybe they would like to have lovely dresses that would rival those of Marie Antoinette ad go to a dreamy Tea Party.

All this things are possible thanks to the Lolita phenomenon, one of the most famous and sophisticated Japanese trends. As a mix between Baroque and Victorian style, it is really appreciated in its home-country but is also known all around the world.

The name refers to, although it doesn’t celebrate, Vladimir Vladimirovič Nabokov’s novel, but this trend is not a tribute to a young and provocative sensuality. In fact, it represents beauty that hides innocence, the elegance in hiding more than showing. Moreover, the name ‘Lolita’ is a Wasei-eigo, a word that includes all those anglophone words that in their original language have a completely different meaning or don’t even exist, but that are part of the Japanese vocabulary.

photo credit: honoluluacademy.org

It’s not certain when this type of clothing was created. Some think in late 70’s, although it is true that it become popular by the end of the 90’s. This trend was greatly influenced by the musical genre of Visual Kei. It is no coincidence that this type of music is really theatrical not only in its sound but also in band members’ dresses too.

Exemplary are MALICE MIZERE partly thanks to their co-founder and leader of the band Mana (also called Mana-sama by his fans). In particular Mana influenced the “Gothic Lolita” also signing his own brand Moi-même-Moitié.

photo credit: pinterest

Gothic Lolita and Sweet Lolita

photo credit: my-lolita-dress.com

The Lolita Style is divided into two distinctive trends (also divided into many sub-styles) : The Gothic Lolita, maybe the most famous one, and the Sweet Lolita.

The GothLoli (ゴスロリ gosu rori): The Gothic Lolita as we said is probably the most famous type but its name is erroneously attributed to the whole genre. Black is the dominant color celebrated in all its possible shades. But it doesn’t disdain other dark colors like burgundy, dark blue, violet, and emerald green. These colors are often used in both cloth and make-up with heavy and dramatic smokey eyes and lipstick that stand out on the white powder. In fact, this is the only exception to the Lolita style in which this type of powder is used because in all the other styles a more natural look is preferred. The dense embroideries of the clothes are inspired by grim stories with their skulls; or religious themes with crosses (gothic crosses) used in jewelry too. Coffins are used as small purses and small black lacy umbrellas refine the outfit.

photo credit: pinterest

The Aristocrat Style is one of the many sub-genres of the Gothloli but is more mature and somber, as its name suggests, purposely more “aristocrat” and very elegant.

Since the Gothic Lolita style is based on the Victorian Style, that as we remember is emblematic of the Gothic and the refined, we have to take notice of the similarity with the western steam-punk.

Ama-loli (甘ロリ ama rori) : the Sweet Lolita on the other hand prefers pastel colors and especially pink. The same goes with make-up here less dramatic, almost more natural. Nevertheless, it still remains an elaborate style, especially emphatic on the eyes with light shades of pink and fake eyelashes for doll-like eyes, as well as light nuances for the lips. This style too is inspired by the Victorian Age but even more it is influenced by French Rococo. This is a more ‘child-like’ lolita style, were ribbons and bows are dominant. The embroidery are inspired by the world of fairy tales, unicorns and small miniature french sweets like Macaron. They are jewels to show off together with small rucksacks with the shape of small bears or rabbits and the inspiring heroine is “Alice in wonderland”.

photo credit: pinterest

Sub-genres and the Prince

The world of lolitas is various and elaborated, there are genres to suit every taste. The Wa Lolita is a mix between lolita clothes and traditional kimonos, with a Obi around the waist and the classic Geta as shoes; The Qi Lolita, that comes back to the Chinese style where instead of kimonos it modifies Chinese qípáo; The Sailor Lolita is based on the classic sailor uniform with its more elaborated variation; or the Pirate Lolita.

And if you think that the Lolita style is all “Sugar and cinnamon” we also have the Guro Lolita. Here lolitas are inspired by the horror genre with fake blood standing out on pure-white dresses to give the idea of broken porcelain dolls.

photo credit: pinterest

But there are really a great number of examples we could speak about.
A particular note must be given to the Ōji (王子 prince) Style for all those that think that the lolita style is only a girl’s trend. The Prince style is based on models of clothes used by young Victorian Dandies, so here we have short trousers and knee socks. But this doesn’t mean it is a men-only style. If a girl would like to get close to the lolita world and wanted to have a more androgynous style this is the right choice for her.

Must-have, various Brands, animes and influence outside Japan.

There are some cult objects that every Lolita with this name must have in her wardrobe: the Cutsew, blouse with big blows and puff sleeves or the Petticoat, the undergarment used to give a larger shape to skirts and dresses.
For those who would like to know how can lolitas have such beautiful and thick hair… well you must know that it is a wig.
Lolitas embellish them with big ribbons and Bonnets too, the typical small hats used in the past, and this goes together with iconic shoes in a Mary Jane like style. Even if these shoes for kids come from the past century they are the shoes that every Lolita wears.

photo credit: pinterest

Aside from that of Mana-sama, other popular brands are Angelic Pretty, e Baby, The Stars Shine Bright, this last one with boutiques not only in Tokyo but in Paris and San Francisco too.
We must say that the lolita fashion is very expensive, but there are Indie brands
as beautiful as the most famous one that are certainly less expensive. And in Japan there’s the possibility to buy lolita clothes in department stores too, or there are dedicated web sites that sell second or third hand clothes. In other words it is a style open to everyone.

The Lolita phenomenon found its way to many successful animes too.
Some examples are Paradise Kiss by Ai Yazawa better known as the ‘mother’ of Nana; Princess Princess, where the lolita fashion is seen through the eyes of three boys; Le Portrait de Petit Cossette, female and Noir version of the Portrait of Dorian Gray; and Rozen Maiden too, where the protagonists are precisely beautiful dolls.

As we said, Lolitas are famous not only in Japan but we can meet a great number of small communities from America to Europe.
Lolitas gather together in refined Tea Houses to celebrate the 5 o’clock tea with the class and the style that distinguishes them from any other trend.[:]