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Tuesday, 20th December 2011
In General Japan News,

Lolita Girls bring Japanese fashion craze into the mainstream

Japan is renowned for its unique fashions and cultish approaches to clothing and entertainment, it is, after all, the country which gave the world Nintendo, Sony, Hello Kitty and Manga.

Lolita Girls are making a fashion statement which is causing people to look twice, however.

What began around twenty years ago as something of a subculture has now thoroughly permeated mainstream culture in Japan, with Lolita Girls recently the starts of this autumn's Japan Fashion Week.

Embracing youthful, child-like images and styles, with a hint of the burlesque about them, Lolita Girls in many ways are a celebration of a quintessentially Japanese approach to life.

Adopting dollish looks inspired by Victorian, baroque and rococo styles, heavily accentuated with eccentric make-up, laced-up boots, over-sized ribbons and many a parasol, AFP has reported on the surge in popularity of this idiosyncratic fashion culture.

It is now such a ubiquitous style that some have gone as far to call it a movement.

Famous models like Misako Aoki embraced the style at the autumn Fashion Week, with the event organiser saying the trend first appeared in the show last year.

Director of the Japan Fashion Week Organisation Misako Aoki told AFP: "This is definitely one of the latest trends in Japan's fashion world.

"I think it will survive as one distinct category in Japan."

Inspired by the celebrated novel Lolita by the Russian author Vladimir Nabokov, the style has come to represent the youthful world of fantasy, fairytales and comic books.

During the two decades in which Lolita Girls have existed, the style has fractured, with new subdivisions of the culture emerging.

Gothic, cutesy, pseudo-holy, and fairytale are just some of the interpretations of the style that Lolita girls are making.

One designer who has been making the most of the style is Maiko Fujii, who has taken inspiration from Snow White.

"Japanese girls love cute things, but they also love things that are slightly disturbing," she told the news agency.

Lolita Girls may also be drawing inspiration from Nintendo's Princess Peach character, a star of the Super Mario games franchise.

Princess Peach features in Nintendo's latest best-seller, Mario Kart 7. The game's release has helped the computer game company break the three million units sold milestone for its handheld 3DS console.

Written by Kimberley Homer

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