I have never been a big fan of frills ribbons or lace, anything that defines femininity as arrested development. There is something about the literal mockery of the Gothic Lolita child like yet totally erotic elements that turns me off. BUT i do think taken in healthy proportions it can be a very interesting addition to fashion. I found some examples of these healthy measured appropriations that have been subtracted from a bigger landscape of Japanese inflections into a more western frame.
Photos by Young Kyu Yoo
Illustrations by Takato Yamamoto
Gothic Lolita or “GothLoli” (ゴスロリ, gosurori) is a fashion particularly popular among Japanese teenagers and young women. It emphasizes Victorian-style girl’s clothing and often aims to imitate the look of Victorian porcelain dolls.
Variations of the Gothic Lolita look include “Classic Lolita” (more traditional clothing) and “Elegant Gothic Lolita” (EGL, which is heavily influenced by gothic fashion). The male analog to this fashion is “Elegant Gothic Aristocrat” (EGA) which shares EGL’s emphasis on the Victorian era, though not on children’s clothing. Gothic Lolita is also influenced by the imagery of more feminine Visual Kei (or “visual rock”) bands. Visual Kei is a Japanese form of pop music where the musical style may vary but defined by bands featuring performers in elaborate costumes.