WA LOLITA: TRADITIONAL JAPANESE KIMONO DRESSES BY LACRIMA.
Wa Lolita is one of the minority denizens of the Lolita universe. The subset mixes traditional Japanese garb (such as the kimono and its casual summer variant, the yukata) with Loli styling (lace shirring, capes, the usual drill). The variation appeared relatively early on – the Gothic & Lolita Bible did a Wa Loli photoshoot with Kana – but hasn’t exactly boarded the popularity train. h.NAOTO’s East collection appears to have been discontinued, and the major Lolita brands rarely add a token Wa to their Sweet, Gothic, Classical and Punk lineups.
Leave it to the indies to pick up the slack. The small Japanese brand Lacrima (not to be confused with yours truly, La Carmina) calls itself a “kimono dress factory” and specializes in Wa Lolita works of art. Lacrima masterfully fuses the richest elements of the two styles: rich, traditional florals decorated with white lace, layered capelets with wide kimono sleeves, criss-cross corset lacing on the wide obi (sash). I think this hybrid is more striking but less accessible than Sweet and Gothic – perhaps because the latter two aren’t too far removed from historical European styling? I can picture a Juliette et Justine dress on Madame de Pompadour – but I’m hard pressed to imagine anyone in Wa Lolita other than a Japanese doll.
Still, these garments are breathtaking. Check out Lacrima’s website for close-ups of the intricate construction. Tell them La Carmina sent you!