The term Lolita according to the Cambridge Dictionary is “a young girl who had a very sexual appearance or behaves in a very sexual way.” Yet if you were to use the word in a sense of fashion, the term would change for many people.
“Lolita is one of many sub genres of Japanese street-fashion and has evolved into different sub styles within the fashion,” said Marisol Anchondo, a Las Positas student who is also Lolita. Many people believe that the fashion is all about a sexual fetish just like in Vladimir Nabokov’s novel “Lolita,” which has a fairly large theme on the sexual desire and lust for a young girl. The Lolita fashion has no want to be seen in a sexual way but more to have a love for the sweet and innocence of a young child. There is a want to look “elegant and cute, rather than sexy,” according to hellolace.com.
One can identify the Lolita fashion if they “Think of a cute Victorian doll that you see on the shelves in antique shops,” Anchondo said.
As it may have already been implied, the Lolita fashion is very girly and sweet looking.
“Lolita can be defined by its many ruffles, cute accessories, and bell-shaped dress with a petticoat layer underneath,” Anchondo said. “Sometimes the darker styles, one known as gothic, may or may not include the petticoat. I like to think of it as a modernized version of the Victorian-era clothing.”
Even though there is no actual version for males, there are still many who do participate in the Lolita fashion. There are still many Japanese rock bands, or J-Rock, that have males who dress in the Lolita fashion. A great example of this is Mana from the band Malice Mizer who dresses in a female costume that is reminiscent of the Victorian era.
There is no set time as to when the Lolita Fashion started but it is thought to have started sometime around 1970. Lolita started to come around more and more into animes, magazines and the opening of shops that cater to the Lolita fashion.
“I started to learn more about Lolita when I started to buy more dresses, and brand companies like Baby the Stars Shine Bright and Angelic Pretty started to open in the United States. Looking at magazines like “KERA” and models inspired me to dress more like in the streets of Harajuku.”
The Lolita fashion style for many is a bit of a confidence booster. They choose to dress this way, and own all the love and pride that they put into that outfit. They also never have the intention of being sexy in their outfits.
Anchondo stated that, “(Lolitas) just simply enjoy the fashion, and looking really cute while maintaining modesty, that’s all.”
With all cultures there are dos and don’ts. The Lolita fashion also has some simple guidelines that people should know about.
“Do compliment a Lolita, but try not to tell her that her dress is a costume,” Anchondo said. “It would be insulting to call it ‘cosplay,’ or a ‘costume.’ Simply say, ‘I love your outfit,’ or let them know you know about Lolita fashion. Just hearing the word relieves (Lolitas).”
“Never touch their dresses without permission, or their hair. Some of us wear wigs, and even resell our dresses because of its value,” Anchondo said. With dresses ranging from 220 dollars to 594 dollars, just by looking at some of the dresses on Baby the Stars Shine Bright website for one piece dresses.
Lastly. This is something that is very serious, “Always ask before taking pictures of Lolitas. Many Lolitas are harshly criticized for their outfits already in the Lolita community, and even get their images slandered on the internet. No one likes having random pictures being taken of by strangers, so please don’t (photograph) us without permission.”
The Lolita fashion seems to be slowly making its way into the Tri-Valley area so people can expect to see more events with Lolita fashion being the center of the action.
So if you end up encountering a Lolita one thing you can do is, “Smile at us, and give us a sense of reassurance that Lolita fashion can always be learned about or understood.
Society doesn’t have to accept the fashion, but learning more about the fashion gives us less chances of being ridiculed,” Anchondo said.