Lolita is a Japanese fashion inspired by the J-Rock and
Kei music scene. It has has little in common with traditional western
goth culture except for the color black (and even *less* to do with the
traditional meaning of Lolita!) however it has become more common in
US alternative scene over the past few years.
Strict Gothic Lolita style is very brand
conscious, although there are a lot of lovers of the look these days
that are muchmore relaxed, and mix in clothing with a general dark
"dolly" or maid look, often blending in a helping of cosplay.
The color scheme is usually BxW
(black with white trim), WxB (white with black
trim), or BxB (blackwith black trim). Related to
the Gothic variety, the Sweet Lolita clothing is made of dainty,
colors, often with flower, fruit and other "cute" motifs. Pale blue
(think Alice in Wonderland) is also nice.
Home made clothing and DIY accessories
are a part of many Gothic Lolitas' wardrobe. The authentic brands are
to get outside of Japan (although more companies have started shipping
to the US), expensive, and Japanese sizes often do not fit well.
Luckily, much of the clothing
in the Gothic Lolita style is easy to make yourself, and many of the
magazines, mooks and "bibles" have patterns .
The skirt is usually slightly above the
knee, full,and decorated with a variety of lace trims, bows, ruffles,
pintucks, flounces and bustles.
The shape of the skirt is often
bell-like, made ofstraight pieces gathered at the waist, although
sometimes you see a gored (made of several trapezoids) or circle skirt
shape is most flattering to those with a straight/slim hipped figure
(and is more traditional), while the latter is more flattering to those
with larger hips or a more hourglass shape. The reason for this is that
the straight-gathered skirt will have the same amount of fabric in the
waist area as at the hem, while the other styles, because they taper
towards the top, will have less bulk gathering at your hip area.
Petticoats, petticoats, petticoats! One
of the signatures of the doll-like Gothic Lolita style is a
skirt withan abundance of stiff petticoats to hold up the skirt.
Square dance suppliers are a good source
of petticoats and patterns that can be modified for a Gothic Lolita
look, but be careful not to just grab the biggest poofy thing you see.
The general silhouette of a Gothic Lolita skirt is different, more bell
shaped, where a square dance petticoat is often flounced to the point
of ridiculousness so that the skirt practically turns upwards like a
tutu.(Not that that can't be a fun look, but the shape really
screams "squaredance!". and it's not keeping with the EGL style.) Keep
to the smaller, more controlled shapes.
Tops are usually button down blouses,
often including details like puff sleeves, peter pan collars,
pin tucking,lace, frills, and sleeves gathered with ribbons.
Lace trims and ribbons are used profusely. Many kinds of lace
can be used for different effects. White agains black is particularly
striking. Often you will see a plain ruffled nylon lace. More expensive
Venise laces give a richer look. Eyelet lace (cotton fabric
with embroidered holes) is very sweet and innocent looking. Beaded lace
holes cut out at intervals and a piece of ribbon threaded through) is
very popular, usually found in eyelet style lace, but also in
Shoes are usually exaggerated and doll
like, for example platform mary janes,often shiny patent leather in
black or white. Stockings or tights maybe black or white, or striped.
Lace trim and ribbons often embellishover the knee stockings.
Tea parties are a popular Gothic Lolita
A lace or silk parasol is an important
acessory. Small versions are better. You can often find these in bridal
stores, or you can make your own by buying a kit or re-covering an old
Headwear is key to a Lolita's outfit. It
may be afull blown Victorian style bonnet, a simple lace &
ribbon square, a tiny top hat or even a little jewelled crown.
Gloves are a nice touch to your loli
costume, go for the short dainty ones.
Pinafores and aprons go well with the
maid or Alice look. A tiny heart shape apron is also very cute!
Other accessories include tiny purses,
dolls and teddy bears.
Decorative motifs may include crowns,
gothic crosses, bats, coffins, skulls and hearts.
Resources and sites
to drool over:
some places that sell Gothic Lolita clothing. They mostly only sell in
Japan, but a few will ship to the US. Even if they are too
pricy for you though, theyare fun to window shop!
the Stars Shine Bright
on Gothic Lolita
some good places to find out general information, as well as pictures
and directories of Gothic Lolita resources.
other Gothic Lolita fashion pages? Here are some communities you can