I will be constantly changing and updating this to include more information and to make current information more accurate.

What is Lolita?

What does Lolita mean?  The dictionary definition is “a sexually precocious young girl”, this term was based on Vladimir Nabokov’s novel Lolita, 1955 (the novel however has no relation to the fashion) (Cassandra James 2008: (sp)). The fashion has nothing to do with sex, but is rather a critical theory of the over-sexualisation of women (Colette Bennett 2011 :( sp)).   Lolita therefore challenges, intimidates and confronts how women are portrayed in fashion and society; Dressing in Lolita gives women ownership of their own sexuality in a way normal attire doesn’t (What is Lolita? 2006: (sp)). The objective of Lolita is not a misplaced pedo-compex or to imitate little girls (As some people like to suggest) (What is Lolita? 2006: (sp)). The very word ‘Lolita’ is considered wasei-eigo originating from the female name Lolita (deriving from relations to Portugal), they had thought it meant something cute in Portuguese (What is Lolita? 2010: (sp)). Herewith the very meaning of the name is not to be sexy; in contrast it’s about being cute or elegant. It also refers to youth or the child-like nature of the style (What is Lolita? 2010: (sp)). 

It is for the above mentioned that Ero Lolita is controversial within this subculture, since it leans towards ‘sexiness’ (not as openly as in western culture) (What is Lolita? 2010: (sp)). To some Lolita is a life style- following a code of etiquette or a philosophy of ‘living beautifully’ (Cassandra James 2008: (sp)) & what is Lolita? 2006: (sp)). It is often referred to as ‘Goth loli’, this however is incorrect as it applies only to a certain part (Cassandra James 2008: (sp)). EGL –as it is also often referred to- stands for Elegant Gothic Lolita and was coined by Mana (a Japanese musician) to describe his fashion (Cassandra James 2008: (sp)).
The target market would be Asian girls or girls ages 12 to 17 (teenage) (What is Lolita fashion? 2009: (sp)). Men who dress in Lolita are not common, but they do exist (What is Lolita? 2010: (sp)). They dress in Ouji Lolita, Japanese gothic fashion or cross-dressing in any of the styles for girls (What is Lolita? 2006: (sp)). Lolita is known for its intricate, antiquated and delicate Victorian porcelain doll-like look (What is Lolita? 2010: (sp) & what is Lolita? 2006: (sp)). It is mainly inspired by Victorian, Rococo and Edwardian clothing –Even some 40’s, 50’s or Georgian inspirations are evident (what is Lolita? 2006: (sp)). Locally people are influenced by their culture such as: the streets (rich colours in shops and bakery goods that look spectacular, especially Harajuku is known for its fashion), Anime//cosplaying (There is a lot of design detail in the outfits that you don’t see in everyday fashion.  It can be compared to how in western culture we want to dress like our favourite actress/ singer, instead of that they dress as their favourite anime character) and BJD/ ball jointed doll (The doll look. This relates to women’s need to be girly and perfect. As little girls we play with dolls and dress up so girls are physiologically inclined to like it. Some still don’t like it but to each his own). Given the evidence their culture likes to dress up and have their own unique style. They like to make an excessive statement. Experimenting and expanding on their personalities and experiences. Also incorporating the things they like and influences into their style much like we do, the deference is the different culture and likes. 

Globally people like Venus Angelic, Dekota Rose and Anastasiya Shpagina has found inspiration in Asian fashion which in turn meant new innovative ideas in the Lolita fashion. Some other designers are: kumamiki, h.Naoto and Angelic pretty (Colette Bennett 2011:(sp))  . Gwen Stefani brought Harajuku and Lolita fashion to America with her collection ‘Harajuku lovers: A fatal attraction to cuteness’ ensuring international success and attracting attention from others like Walt Disney and Courtney Love (What is Lolita? 2010: (sp)).Actual Lolita’s were offended by this distilled western version of Lolita (What is Lolita? 2010: (sp)). Some outfits showed a lot of skin and would be considered ‘sexy’; going against what Lolita is (What is Lolita? 2010: (sp)). Some adapted it to their own Lolita style (What is Lolita? 2010: (sp)).There is no definite right way to dress Lolita; however with this we can agree there is a definite wrong way (What is Lolita? 2006: (sp)).

Source list
Bennet, C. 2011. lolita fashion finds a niche in the U.S. (O). Available: http://geekout.blogs.cnn.com/2011/10/21/lolita-fashion-finds-a-niche-in-the-u-s/. Accessed 11 February 2013.
lolita fashion. (sa). (O). Available: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lolita_fashion.  Accessed 11 February 2013.
Berrios, A. 2013. gothic lolita . (O). Available: http://www.squidoo.com/gothic-lolita. Accessed 11 February 2013.
minoris' amazing shiro-nuri makeup, pink hair and kimono coat in Harajuku. 2012. (O). Available: http://tokyofashion.com/minori-shiro-nuri-makeup-pink-hair-kimono-coat/. Accessed 11 February 2013.
James, C. 2008. What is Lolita? (O). Available: http://www.lolitafashion.org/index.html. Accessed 14 February 2013.
What is Lolita fashion?. 2009. (O). Available: http://www.redbubble.com/people/vestque/journal/2562941-what-is-lolita-fashion. Accessed 14 February 2013.
What is Lolita?. 2010. (O). Available: http://hellolace.net/styles/gothic#.  Accessed 14 February 2013.
What is Lolita?. 2006. (O). Available: http://lolita-handbook.livejournal.com/3431.html. Accessed 14 February 2013.

Berrios, A. 2013. gothic lolita . (O). Available: http://www.squidoo.com/gothic-lolita. Accessed 11 febuary 2013.
gothic lolita. 2012. (O). Available: http://pinterest.com/bluelacroix/gothic-lolita/. Accessed 11 febuary 2013.
hello kitty mania. 2012. (O).Available: http://pinterest.com/shizuma974/hello-kitty-mania/. Accessed 11 febuary 2013.
My style: lolita. 2012. (O).Available: http://pinterest.com/nycdancerkitty/my-style-lolita/. Accessed 11 febuary 2013.
Think Japan: Think street style (part 2). 2011. (O). Available: http://styleinsight.wordpress.com/tag/gothic-lolita/. Accessed 11 febuary 2013.
Innocent world. 2010. gothic and lolita bible. 37: 31.
True lolita. 2010. gothic and lolita bible. 36: 44.
Victorian maiden. 2009. gothic and lolita bible. 35: 32.
Mary magdalene. 2009. gothic and lolita bible. 32: 21.
Black peace now. 2008. gothic and lolita bible. 30: 84.
Juliet et Justine. 2006. gothic and lolita bible. 21: 20.

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