Saturday, July 28, 2012

Cute Overload

I had just got off the bus when this group decked out in pastels and ruffles passed me, causing me to spin around in hot pursuit and convince them to stop for a photo.  I recognized their style as the Japanese street style, "Lolita", which is unfortunate to share the name with the main character in Nabokov's novel.  While his Lolita was all about looking temptingly sexy, this Lolita style is more about looking cute and elegant, incorporating pastel colours, pretty patterns, bows, lace and ruffles.  Apparently there are different Lolita style; the young woman in the front shows off a Gothic Lolita look.

After reading some of the comments that this photo was receiving, I felt like I needed to add some of my own.  This is a group of friends who happen to share a love of the Japanese street style known as Lolita.  Yes, there is a definitely a sweet and childlike element to it, which has resulted in some people seeing it as "creepy".    I'd like to think that if I had a daughter this age, I would be much happier to see her decked out in an outfit like this, and feeling confident enough to express herself, than if she was wearing a skin-tight mini dress and 6 inch heels, which is not an uncommon outfit for teenagers out on a Saturday night.  To me, that's creepy.  These young woman are dressing up for themselves, not to look sexy to men, and they are having fun.  More power to them!

20 comments:

  1. So, did the girls tell you anything about the occasion for them all to dress up? I'm interested in Japanese street style...

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's a slightly odd look to me, the whole little girl styling, Doesn't really do it for me, but they look good all together as a group. The girl with pink hair and flowery tights looks great. xxxx

    ReplyDelete
  3. That's a great picture of them all together but I'm with Curtise, I find that wanting to look like an overgrown toddler a bit off-putting. I wonder if they're bloggers on a meet-up? x

    ReplyDelete
  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  5. They are a community that is featured all over the world. The sweet style can be a little disconcerting due to the "porcelain doll" dresses and bows yet they capture innocence and fun that is lost amongst most youth and young adults now. There are several styles ranging from Gothic, Classic, Sweet and many other substyles. I am pretty proud of my daughter who is quite shy typically finding a niche that appeals to her! www.egl.livejournal.com is there community for those interested! Thanks Fashionista for getting this gorgeous pic!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love this post! Anything that shakes up cookie cutter fashion which is the staple in staid old London Ont. I can get behind! Whatever the little girl styling is all about, I am sure the cultural physchologists will have a heyday. I hope these young ladies are on thier way to a more independant thinking style but for now I'll take it!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am the one in the blue wig. We had decided to meet up yesterday and have lunch and go shopping. It's hard not to get offended by the above comments and all I have to say to them is that Lolita is a wonderful fashion. These clothes make me feel good and I do not, in any way feel like I am an "overgrown toddler" or what have you. Yesterday was one of the most greatest days of my life. I felt, and still feel amazing. All I have to say to people who do not know this fashion, is to maybe look it up, and read about it before labeling it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YamiHime, thanks for responding to the comments above, which inspired me to go back and add a few of my own to the original blog post. I think it's wonderful that you and your friends are not afraid to stand out, and express a common passion for dressing up in Lolita style.

      Delete
    2. Hi,

      YamiHime, if you could contact me at mead.jess@yahoo.ca that would be great.
      I'm looking to do some photography projects involving this style of dress.

      Delete
  8. I am reading this post for the first time, and I have to agree with the latter portion. I think it's unfortunate that this style is termed "Lolita". That puts a twisted sexual pall over it when it doesn't have to be about that at all. I see young women having fun dressing up like dolls. Call it Doll style. Does anyone remember Ginny Dolls? They were the dolls of my childhood before Barbie came out with her boobs and high heels. Politics aside, dressing up, especially with your friends, should be fun. I think they are having fun!

    ReplyDelete
  9. you all look fantastic ladies!!! I love love love your dresses!! I totally dig the vintage inspired patterns mixed with the colorful hair! It makes me want to have tea!! wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  10. My sister lived in rural Japan, off the main island, in the 1990s, and life was very dated back then (ie: no birth control; girls were considered "Christmas cake" if they weren't married by their early 20s). I remember my sis telling me that the look on women on her island was cutsie-feminine: buttons in the shape of hearts, ruffles and the like. This fashion phenom could pay homage to a time past, or to one that still exists in some areas.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I must have been right behind you. I ran into these girls in The Sentimentalist. All those ruffles, bows, and crinolines in that tiny shop was pretty cool..!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Im the tall one in the middle with the long blonde hair. Thank you for the picture! We had so much fun. The fashion itself is very popular in Japan with many designers and brands that specifically make these dresses. It started to go overseas in the 90s I think it was, and to this day, there has been many indie brands opened and people who make their own clothes. Big popular brands such as Angelic Pretty and Baby the Stars Shine Bright which have opened shops overseas for their customers. I do see why people think its childish and costumey, which is their own opinion, but as YamiHime said, you should look into the fashion before labeling it. Theres a lot more to know than just what you see in the picture. To some people its a lifestyle.

    So thank you to all the comments above! When we went out, London was a lot more accepting than I thought it would be. It gives us all more confidence to dress up more often :D

    ReplyDelete
  13. I think they look fabulous! I love the colours and the sparkles and bows, petticoats and details... yay for having the freedom to be who we are and not having to subscribe to anybody's expectations or demands. I am interested to know the average age of these gorgeous girls. Sarah xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi! I'm so happy that everyone after my comment is being so kind. THANK YOU so much for being open minded. In our group the age ranges from 15- to at least 23. If you every find yourself reading up on Lolita you will find that it has no age restraint. It is for everyone and anyone who wants to wear it. Weather you are 6 or 60. ( Though I don't think a 60 year old would want to put on layers and layers of clothing.)

      I'd also like to mention that the majority of us that day were wearing sweet Lolita. But there are many different styles in Lolita and I encourage people to look it up! Be warned though, there are many pictures on Google that are labeled Loli but are actually just anything with a lot of lace and a poofy skirt as Lolita. The style is actually quite complex!

      Delete
  14. I read about this style some time ago in a magazine. Let's hear it for creative self expression.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love these women! Anything that lifts us out of the humdrum or tedium of greyness has my 100 percent support! I'm glad you captured this photo. I wonder what the male counterpart to this is. I would love to see them if there is such a thing...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Theres a few styles for boys that are involved in the Lolita fashion. Theres Kodona (Boystyle), Aristocrat, Dandy, and some guys even dress in Lolita. Theyre usually nicknamed Brolitas, haha. Boys usually dress very Victorian-era outfits.

      Delete
  16. Hi Shelley!

    Catching up with your posts!
    I see them once in a while in Montreal - they are cute

    ReplyDelete