Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Fashion Fraction: Focus On [Lolita] -Part 1-

Hello readers, Taka here again to give you your dose of fashion here on Project: Lixx!

Time to open up the "Focus On..." articles where I open up a specific genre of fashion amongst the community and dissect it as thoroughly as I can... which means these may be in a few parts.
The current focus? Lolita and it's various subgenres.

Before I begin the discussion, I must provide a disclaimer. I am not a lolita. I do not part-take in lolita fashion very often. I tend to prefer a specific type of lolita. So, all in all, I am not an expert on lolita. If I say anything that is wrong or that you think I missed, please let me know! And also a giant THANK YOU to the providers of some of the picture examples for today's article: Krystal D. and Stephanie R (and friends).

Above, I have the best (and my personal favourite diagram) that shows a whole variety of lolita. Credit goes to the original artist, of course. A lot of these are pretty self-explanatory but we'll dissect them anyways!

First: What is "lolita"?
                    According to Wikipedia (whom we use sparingly and with a grain of salt), the lolita fashion genre is described as "a fashion subculture originating in Japan that is based on Victorian-era clothing, but the style has expanded greatly beyond Japan. The Lolita look began primarily as one of modesty with a focus on quality in both material and manufacture of garments. The original silhouette is of a knee length skirt or dress with a "cupcake" shape assisted by petticoats, but has expanded into various types of garments including corsets and floor length skirts. Blouses, knee high socks or stockings and headdresses are also worn. Lolita fashion has evolved into several different sub styles and has a subculture that is present in many parts of the world."

A very general statement that gets you on the right track of the style as a whole... but this week we're going to group together the following subgenres of: Classic, Gothic/Sweet, Wa, and Ouji/Aristo

Gothic/Sweet -  Gothic Lolita, a personal favourite of mine, is a mixture of the Gothic elements of Victorian-era clothing. Gothic in general is known to be based on the "time of mourning" attire worn in the 1800s. It is characterized by darker toned clothing and makeup- even darker symbolization with crosses, bats, and blood red gemstones. Favourite brands that cater to the more "GothLoli" pallette are Atelier-Pierrot, Atelier Boz, Black Peace Now, h. NAOTO Blood and Moi-même-Moitié (the popular brand started by ex-Malice Mizer member, Mana).
                         Sweet Lolita prefers a more candied tone. Brighter colours and pastels mixed with flowers, animals and fruit themes are popular amongst "Ama-Loli". There are also many references to fantasy characters and themes such as Alice In Wonderland. Brands that cater to Sweet Lolita are Angelic Pretty, Baby, The Stars Shine Bright and Metamorphose temps de fille.

Classic - This is the middle genre of Lolita; caught between Gothic and Sweet. It bases its attire on the British Regency and Victorian-era styles. It is a more mature look and most of the accessories (besides jewelry) are muted down and functional. Classic Lolita brands include Juliette et Justine, Innocent World, Victorian Maiden, Triple Fortune, and Mary Magdalene.
(Photo example (left) courtesy of Krystal D; a borderline mixture of Gothic/Classic)

Wa - Another favourite of mine. Wa-Lolita fashion takes the traditional garments of Japan (kimono or hakama) and mixes it with the basic Lolita style. Many kimono tops are modified to wear over a plain lolita skirt and traditional accessories such as geta/ori/okobo and kanzashi are there to replace the normal lolita jewelry.
(Photo example of Wa-Lolit (right) courtesy of Stephanie R)

(Mixture example of Wa-Loli, Sweet, and Classic lolitas courtesy of Stephanie R)

Aristo/Ouji - Also known as "EGA/EGL"; Elegant Gothic Aristocrat and
Elegant Gothic Lolita. In normal lolita attire, skirts are no shorter than 2 inches above the knee and no longer than 2 inches below. In Aristo, long flowing skirts are added for a more mature look. This style was pioneered by ex-Malicer Mizer member, Mana. This is my true favourite subgenre and one I part-take in every so often.
                  Ouji means "prince" and is the more masculine approach. Comprised of  blouses and shirts, knickerbockers and other styles of short trousers, knee high socks, top hats, and newsboy caps. It can cross over into other subgenres such as Gothic and Sweet as well as stand alone.
(Photo example of Aristo (left) courtesy of myself)

(Photo example of two Sweet Lolitas and an Ouji (right) courtesy of Stephanie R)

Thanks for reading part 1 of the Fashion Fraction's Focus on [Lolita]. Join in next time for Part 2 where I cover Country/Casual/Sailor, Ero/Guro, Punk, and Qi. If you have examples of these fashions you wish to send in to be featured in the article, please feel free to email me personally at taka_kagaku2011@hotmail.com. Please include your name (or name you'd like to be referred to) and the particular subgenre of lolita you want to be referenced under.
If I have used your photos in this article and you feel they are wrongly categorized, please email me and let me know! I shall re-arrange accordingly.