Lolita fashion is a relatively new subculture that has gained in popularity since 1990 in Japanese pop culture and on an international scale. This subculture is the Japanese answer to the Rococo and Victorian era with lace, petticoats, ruffles and oversized bows (Rocket News 24, 2014). With the emergence of Lolita as a subculture, the identity of the individual wearers have made a significant impact and influence on designers and the mass-consumer culture. Including the Singer, Avril Lavigne and actress, Kirsten Dunst, referring to the subculture in their respective songs, ‘Hello Kitty’ and a remake of ‘I’m turning Japanese’.
Unlike most subcultures Lolita is more than just a fashion statement. The petticoats and ruffles allow Lolita wearers to revert back to an almost doll-like innocence in a world where the current population is growing up and losing their childhood innocence faster. Lolita’s have revealed that one of the attractions to the subculture was the lack of sexualisation in the fashion. “…Lolita is seen as a reversion to demure clothing which allows women to dress for themselves, rather than for the attention of men” (Neko 2008). There are three main types of Lolita; Classic, Sweet and Gothic. However, the styles are often combined or overlapped together.
Just like any fashion the Lolita scene sees evolution and waves in trends”
(Rocket News 24, 2014)
Lolita and Kawaii have gained a growing fan base globally, with singer Avril Lavigne and her single ‘Hello Kitty’, and Kirsten Dunst with her version of ‘I’m turning Japanese’. As can be seen in the two video clips, they’re both wearing typical Lolita fashion.
Despite only gaining recognition in 1990, Lolita has already begun to make an impact on a global scale, with followers of the subculture all over the world. As well as, making an impact on designers and the mass-consumer culture. In the form of Takashi Murakami, who was a designer of ‘Lolita’ styled handbags for Louis Vuitton in 2003. Refer to the video below.
“Lolita fashion” Rocket News 24. Date accessed September 3, 2015, http://en.rocketnews24.com/2014/04/14/deconstructing-lolita-fashion/
Manuel Gomez, Juan. Superflat~Monogram~for Louis Vuitton Takashi Murakami Mamoru Hosoda 2003 (online video, September 3, 2015). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nus8PYT6qk
Neko, Nessa, “Lolita and Japanese Society (Part 1)” (blog). Posted 2008. Accessed September 3, 2015, http://www.lolitafashion.org/lolita_culture.html
Vevo, Hello Kitty – Avril Lavigne (online video, September 3, 2015). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiaYDPRedWQ
Weston, Aiden. Kirsten Dunst in Sexy Cosplay – Kirsten Dunst, Turning Japanese. (online video, September 3). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UM8-nNWuoc