DECLINE OF SWEET & ELEGANT GOTHIC LOLITA FASHION IN JAPAN? STREETWEAR CLOTHING BLOG, SHOPPING IN LAFORET HARAJUKU.


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Let’s touch upon a touchy subject. Gothic and Sweet Lolita fashion is undoubtedly on the decline in Japan — in the sense that fewer Japanese are wearing the style, and it’s not as visible in magazines and media. Sad, but true.

Personally, I’ve been feeling indifferent towards Lolita fashion as of late. Metamorphose’s bonnets and prints are as cute as ever. But the silhouettes, styling, materials… not much has changed in the past decade.

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I still find Lolita designs beautiful. But I find more variety — and growth over the years — in other alternative street styles such as punk, electro, fairy kei.

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One might say that the static styling — the “variations on a set theme” — are part of the EGL appeal. However, to me (and many Tokyo consumers), it’s not enough to motivate continued purchases. My eyes wander to Hellcatpunk’s leopard prints and polka dots.

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Anyone have thoughts about why Lolita fashion is lessening in popularity? Perhaps the fuzzy bunny-girl and Mad Hatter aristocrat styles are not as accessible to customers.

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I feel that most Lolita brands haven’t made enormous strides in design and presentation. The Metamorphose dress on the mannequin and cluttered store don’t exactly signal “top of the game.”

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The catalogs and styling are also same-old.

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On the flip side, I remain impressed with h.NAOTO, who designs in a variety of underground styles. In his Frill collection, he isn’t afraid to take risks with unconventional materials and flourishes. I think he pushes the fashion-forward envelope and succeeds.

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I can’t wait for the IBI and Sixh runway show at Anime Matsuri in Houston; as you know, I’ll be a special guest at the anime convention! All information about the March 18-20th event is in this post; I hope you and your friends can make it.

SWEET & ELEGANT GOTHIC LOLITA STORES, FASHION SHOPPING IN LAFORET HARAJUKU. COOLEST BEST CLOTHING SHOPS, TOKYO JAPAN. HARAJUKU SHOPPING GUIDE: TOKYO GOTHIC LOLITA PUNK SHOP PHOTOS, trendy hip hot japanese CLOTHING STORES. LOLITA SHOPPING: GOTHIC SWEET LOLITA DRESSES & JAPAN MENS PUNK ROCK CLOTHING. JAPANESE STREETWEAR STORES BUY CUTE JAPANESE GIRLS ACCESSORIES & CLOTHING. cheap discount lolita clothes, DANGEROUS NUDE, SEX POT REVENGE, JAPAN BEST CLOTHING BOUTIQUES, FASHION GUIDE. JAPANESE young girls CLOTHING FASHION BRANDS, STYLISH STREETWEAR IN SHINJUKU TOKYO. goth alternative stores, punk clothing, japanese girls costumes, cosplayers

What are your thoughts on the controversial subject of Lolita fashion’s lessening hold in Japan? Are you also a little bored with the recent offerings from the brands? I look forward to your comments; be nice to each other.

All these images were taken in Laforet, the Harajuku department store. To see Lolita fashion and how it changed over the past few years, there are photos from almost all the Tokyo stores in my shop guide.

cat drawing, cute anime cat, scottish fold cat basil farrow, sketches of cats, how to draw japanese kitten, fat cat picture, whiteboard drawings, how to draw cats, funny lolcat, manga anime girl, japan style art

Bonus: Sebastiano Serafini drew us with my fat Scottish Fold cat! There are more photos of Basil Farrow on his blog, and posted on my Twitter.

Japanese Word of the Day: Gentai = Decline
Song of the Day: Onmyouza – Kureha

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  • Anonymous

    Just like western goth, it may become less popular over time, but it will never really die, just be a little underground for a while until the next generation of people find it.

    • http://www.lacarmina.com lacarmina

      I hope it’ll evolve – it’s such a creative fashion; I think it can blossom in new hands!

  • http://www.RockingDollMuseum.blogspot.com Rocking Doll Museum

    I really agree with you!

    • http://www.lacarmina.com lacarmina

      Been feeling this for a while…

      • http://www.RockingDollMuseum.blogspot.com Rocking Doll Museum

        I can relate to it! I sold all my lolita stuff recently. I think it depens on a few things;
        a) The money, bad time, financial crisis and so on.
        b) Or people (like me) realise they are too old for this, weither your a punk/goth loli or all over sweet.
        c) There are no inventions in lolita, it’s still the same, for the last few years nothing much has changed except the prints
        d) Maybe this generation is dieing out, but they were alsways be new teens to find out about lolita.
        e) It’s also not something much people would wear out, and thus it may look very small.

        And I have to tell you this: http://community.livejournal.com/egl/16921988.html Apperently some goodfaith person got very terrified and thus it’s an oproar on the EGL community XD

  • http://twitter.com/RisaZirakchi Audriana Zirakchi

    Well it is an expensive lifestyle, maybe people just don’t have the money right now.

    • http://www.lacarmina.com lacarmina

      True, the prices are not getting any lower for the clothes…

  • Camila

    I think japanese are always looking for something fresh and new. Unless there´s a ´´new Mana Sama´´ to bring Gothic Lolita brand new things, gothic lolita is going to decline to fresh stuff.

    • http://www.lacarmina.com lacarmina

      let’s hope for a Malice Mizer reunion!

  • Lilly

    wow

  • Natalia

    Well I heard about it before. But lolita is a fashion that sometimes have bigger, sometimes smaller popularity but is still somewhere around. Expecially outside of Japan it is quiet popular and don’t look like fading away. I’m crossing finger for loli. It’s still my most favorite style :)

    • http://www.lacarmina.com lacarmina

      Excellent thoughts!! keep em coming!

  • Kevin

    Like some other comments, it probably won’t completely die out, but will still be around. They need something that still remains Gothic Lolita and Aristocrat, but makes it different from the classic EGL/EGA.

    • http://www.lacarmina.com lacarmina

      I think it’ll be around in some form, but it’ll be unfortunate if the brands close or are no longer readily available..

  • Squishysama1

    well gothic loli maybe declining in Japan but it’s really rising in the US. And Seba’s drawings are really funny xD

  • http://twitter.com/LovePinkMilkTea Keisha Cake

    Isn’t Sweet and Elegant Lolita style expensive to keep up? With this economy I bet it’s not easy keeping up with this lifestyle. I doubt that this style will become extinct.

    • http://www.lacarmina.com lacarmina

      Certainly. However, a lot of Japanese Lolitas wear Bodyline and cheaper brands (when I see them at concerts etc). I think many Japanese are losing interest in the style…

  • http://twitter.com/Parangnabi ☆ Parangnabi ☆

    amazing topic, like always. I think every style has it moment and maybe lolita fashion is just over, why? maybe because as you said before, brands are not taking risk as H Naoto does. I think that even if EGL is something that “has to stay” static, designers may adapt themselves to the new fashions. I really thing that every style has to evolve and not stay forever in the same point.

    I dunno if I’m explaining myself I’m tired and my english is not the best today.

    have a nice day xoxo

    • http://www.lacarmina.com lacarmina

      I think you’re right – it’s not necessarily a bad thing to have things in decline or change. Evolution is exciting :D

  • Richard

    Dress up and create a scandal with mass press coverage. The fashion will rebound instantly.

  • Shafeqah

    Aawww~ I just begun my journey as a lolita~ XD

    • http://sweetgentlemen.blogspot.com/ Randibutlerx3

      same ;_;

  • Mary

    I really do love and adore Lolita-Fashion and made it the main topic of my photography.
    sample:
    http://anata-no-akuyu.deviantart.com/art/Metropolitan-Vampire-194729505

    (don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to misuse your entry as ad for my photos, I just wanted to illustrate what I am talking about ^^~)

    Popular depends on what you call “popular”. This fashion has always been an absolute minor mode and happily never made it into main stream (and I like it this way) ^^. I know I will always love it, even I am aware of the fact that in 5 or 6 years Lolita as we know it nowadays will likely not exist anymore. So I enjoy it know as much as possible.

    Well, you know – things in Japan are changing quicker than in the rest of the world, end esp. fashion ever faster. New things come, old things go – same old story.

    Just walk through Harajuku, collect your impressions of the fashion style there – then go into a shop which sells old magazines, browse through old issues of G&L Bible or Kera – with all the lovely street snaps – and then compare yourself what has changed … ^^

    … nearly an endless topic to talk about – so I make a break here :D

  • CandyNoir

    凄い議論になっている!薄々感じていたことをズバリ言われちゃった感じだけど

  • Miko

    It is an expensive lifestyle, so expensive that it is more of a hobby for me because I can’t possibly wear it ever day. I save the money for one dress throughout the whole year. Besides, even though lolita fashion made a genuine progress here in Europe in the past few years, it is sometimes almost dangerous to wear it. I’m almost terrified to wear it on the subway, in the evenings especially o_O People are not very…um, nice about it.
    But Japan is at least 7 years ahead in almost everything. When people here are going crazy over expensive Roxy and Quicksilver, you find these brands in outlet stores for ridiculously low prices in Japan…personal experience… I got kinda laughed at for buying Roxy surf pants there 2 years back:D
    So yeah, maybe we’ll find Meta’s Twinkle Journey pinafore dresses in some outlet few years from now and I will probably cry my heart out about it…and the price I once payed for it…the good old days…

    • http://www.lacarmina.com lacarmina

      Ah, I’m sorry to hear that people are sometimes mean when you wear the fashion… I’d hope that attitudes would be more lenient as the fashion becomes better known in the West… Keep strong!

  • Erin

    i think its not the style itself that ppl r losing interest in. i think its the fact that its no longer unique. everyone is wearing it and that simple fact is what makes a trend lose its… trendyness. the styles and outfits ppl wear are usually a way of expressing themselves and keeping themselves different from evryone else but when evryones wearing it u end up losing that individuality u strive for and then u go searching for a different style. i believe thats why lolita fashion is losing its popularity in japan. but thats only my opinion. ^-^

  • Infinity10

    mori girl trend has taken over

  • Erika

    Economy vs. Prices~~ that’s just what I believe. . . I think Lolita will stay consistent as long as it’s buyers have the money for it ; u;

  • Alexandra

    This and maybe the fact that people are starting to realize that a simply printed dress DOESN’T worth $300 ?

    • Joy

      (Doesn’t worth 300?) Here is my opinion I think the labels should come to America, it does not have to be huge but I know plenty of people who would empty their pockets for cute dresses like that and clothing from those labels

  • Lourdes

    Maybe it’s just too expensive?

  • Kim

    i dont actually think it is getting less popular in japan. i saw craploads of lolitas while i was in japan. i dont think there was a day where i left the house where i didnt see 2+ regardless of what suburb in tokyo i was in.

  • Jrockonhigh

    This is an interesting topic. It is an expensive lifestyle but it’s also the fact that maybe like you said, the designs haven’t change which can lead to a decline. It’s not as excited and the same design patterns can be seen everywhere. Maybe these designers will see the risks h.Naoto is taking and try to do the same.

    • http://www.lacarmina.com lacarmina

      I think that’s a big factor… Innovate!!

  • http://twitter.com/deathcherub333 Catherine Strauss

    i was shopping for a dress and got one from Angel Secret,,wrong size, sent it back at my own exspense,,got a second dress,,again the wrong size,,,paid to send that one back as well,,,wanted my refund and hadn’t gotten it yet,,all this was way back in June 2010! I am steering clear of the lolita look if this is how the shops treat their customers. Bah,,,wouldn’t you? Am i wrong?

  • http://twitter.com/deathcherub333 Catherine Strauss

    i was shopping for a dress and got one from Angel Secret,,wrong size, sent it back at my own exspense,,got a second dress,,again the wrong size,,,paid to send that one back as well,,,wanted my refund and hadn’t gotten it yet,,all this was way back in June 2010! I am steering clear of the lolita look if this is how the shops treat their customers. Bah,,,wouldn’t you? Am i wrong?

    • http://www.lacarmina.com lacarmina

      >__< I wouldn't return to them, for sure. I think other brands have much better customer service, but it's hard to order from overseas no matter what.

  • Adri

    Even, or especially, the fashion industry can’t avoid the swinging pendulum of “taste”. What’s new will always be old at some point, and vice versa xo

  • http://iomoo.wordpress.com sara (iomoo)

    stop the propaganda? :/

  • Eri-bassist

    I would definitely have to agree with it being a lack of originality in the sweet and elegant communities. There are so many brands that focus on this area that it is easy to get stuck. I do love Mary Magdalene and VIctorian Maiden, but it does feel like the same pieces are making several rounds. They are beautiful, and classic, but there is little need or money to sustain a closet buying the same piece over and over.
    ON the other hand, I too am always pleasantly surprised by H.Naoto. I have always cherished this brand as my favourite and went nearly ecstatic when GRAMM came out. It is a shame that line is not moving as much, but I am never disappointed by the other lines.
    Versatility is essential is this kind of economy and I think that there is a lot to be said about designers that can keep up with the demands of the market…
    Any comments?

    • http://www.lacarmina.com lacarmina

      Yes, I used to be very excited to browse these dresses, but now, I have no urge to repeat the same types of pieces…

  • Dan

    Interesting.I don’t know about Gothloli’ it’s not my scene but all of harajuku in general has lost it’s edge. Everything is becoming more and more mainstream.

  • Juxica

    ;~; <3

  • Shadowpal2

    Ah so the topic appears here for discussion. Hmm…well Lolita fashion isn’t exactly for me (since I don’t cross dress just yet haha, besides it’ll take me god knows how long to reach Malice Mizer’s status)…but I do enjoy soothing my eyes upon viewing the clothing being worn. Which is one of the reasons I started reading this blog.

    It remains beautiful and gorgeous in my eyes, but you bringing up the issue of the fashion having a decline certainly brings up an interesting bigger topic: “If something was liked before…why should it not be liked again?” or “Why not stick with tradition?”

    Well in my opinion I don’t think people are asking for revolution in Lolita fashion, but rather an evolution. I personally don’t mind the current state of Lolita fashion currently, but I can understand the frustration in wearers of the clothing to not see something new. If they have something similar from before, why spend the money to buy again? No one wants to see a change in the DNA of Lolita fashion, but just aesthetic change to bring a wide variety of clothing for the fashion.

    Personally I just find it so hard to see what to exactly change since I like it so much as is already. Time will tell, I’m sure some creative genius will come along to bring something new. Though I love h.NAOTO, it can’t just be him pushing Lolita fashion along.

    I wish for the best…it’d be quite scary to see me somehow end up taking action haha d(>w<)b

    • http://www.lacarmina.com lacarmina

      Perhaps a new subculture or aesthetic will arise and make waves!

  • Melissa

    You hit it on the mark…styling and design for Lolita clothes hasn’t progressed, even the most beautiful of cakes will get stale

  • Yashayuki

    I love fairy Kei! And Visual Kei, and Japanese Punk fashion like Sex Pot Revenge!( but I dont think I can fit into their pants or clothes) I never was fond of lolita fashion I never understood it because I dont like the frilly dresses I would feel like a doll wearing it, but I don’t knock it I respect other people’s feelings and if they want to be a lolita let them be it, but if you enforce it on me I will refuse. lol I just hate wearing tights they never fit right lol I guess I’m not really the girly lolita girl lol

    • http://www.lacarmina.com lacarmina

      haha :D

  • Yashayuki

    but maybe because everyone is moving on to things they can buy I mean who has the money to buy it? The young kids need to borrow daddy’s credit card to even afford but even daddy might not be able to afford it, and times are tough now with the economy being low and all, it effects every one and if your into a lux fashion trend it means you have to wait till you can afford it. Plus, It’s a trend and trends come and go like that, but they all ways pop up again like bell bottoms made a comeback in the 90’s for a bit, like now in the us we see allot of retro stuff, so maybe lolita will make a comeback so lolita fans keep your fingers crossed what ever is old will be new again some day =)

  • Serena

    I like EGL-inspired fashion, but when it’s “pure” it tends to be a little formulaic, almost like a uniform.

  • Tiff2

    Maybe people tend to go on to the next thing in fashion? But for me, I don’t think I’ll ever be bored with Lolita, at least not for a very long time :D

  • Danae

    The first generetions of lolitas are all grown up now. How old is the oldest loli and for how long will she go on wearing cutsie little dresses? It’s a youth fashion and I agree that the new generations need fresh ideas.

  • Kamen

    I actually think a lot of h.naoto’s clothing looks the same now, too. It’s not just Lolita fashion that’s getting repetitive.

  • Kyotopunk

    When I was in Japan I didnt see many lolitas on the street, but the vast majority of girls at the concert I was at wore lolita. I dont think its a mass fashion, but it still must have some popularity at the rate prints and shoes sell out…grrrrr. I would like to see the fashion evolve and mix it up with other styles, be more casual, less rules etc. And it probably will.

    • http://www.lacarmina.com lacarmina

      Which concert did you go to? I always see Japanese Lolitas at Versailles and Moi dix Mois concerts in Tokyo. Not all wear brand and by-the-book coordinates.

      • Kyotopunk

        There were a few bands, it was a Halloween Concert. I was there to see Aural Vampire. I loved everyone’s style, creative and elegant, mostly gothic and no OTT. :)

        • http://www.lacarmina.com lacarmina

          Halloween is the best :D

  • Anonymous

    there are a few things that could do this to lolita.

    1. The lack of change- this is for multiple reasons – a, brands aren’t really changing, and if they do it tends to be terribly done.. **cough** angelic pretty **cough** (http://www.angelicpretty.com/shopping/item/sk/112s-1398/112s-1398.htm ~ terrible change) the worst part about their “change” is that they were doing fine as is as the last sorta OTT sweet brand and the new dresses are just bad prints, not really a giant change. Many people who love AP are disappointed with them claiming 2011 is a year of change and won’t be purchasing dresses if they look like this one…

    Both baby and angelic pretty have re-released prints in the past year. It shows an insane lack of creativity on the designers parts, not to mention ruins the value of the originals because there is a new version and more opportunity to get it. (i’m sure other brands have too but i don’t really keep an eye on them)

    b. is online and group influence, too many lolitas are too busy trying to “follow rules” and such to make it their own or different, be creative and free.. yes we need a petticoat, and not to look like hookers.. but after that you should be able to go wild, and many people new to it are too afraid of rejection or to be creative so things don’t change, and everyone looks the same.. SO people either loose interest in matching 8324701974 other people or they are sick of being attacked for not following “rules/guidelines”

    2. Price – it’s not cheap.. and many people don’t seem to be able to save for things :P I guess it could be a lack of commitment to the style too. “I could save for a lolita dress or goto the mall not and buy something else… “. The average girl in lolita is 17-25, so more than half of them are still in school; money might not be as flowing as those of us with jobs.

    Not to mention though these stores are coming to the usa, and paris, (and maybe one day toronto lol) and they are “translating” the prices to make them even more expensive. 23900yen is not 365usd.

    Even used items can be insane!! I mean yes you can get good deals sometimes on closet child and fururun (if you have sniper fingers and a good timing) but you still see girls selling their used dresses for insane amounts. Yes some are rare and worth more (like sugary carnival ~ recent purchase ^_^) but i’m sorry your bodyline dress you bought for 25 dollars and is still available on the website is not worth 50 dollars or more used.. lol people are crazy!!

    3. Comfort – lets be honest a lot of people don’t want to wear 80 layers in the summer or even at all.. most lolita outfits have undershirt, bloomers, petticoat, blouse, jsk, knee high socks and accessories.. it’s quite hot and if it’s not cool outside. Sometimes it’s just not comfy to wear a giant petticoat sitting at a desk or on a crowded bus. So, people don’t tend to wear it as everyday practical clothing as much.

    I personally wear it only on weekends or special occasions because of comfort, and working at my desk in a petticoat is a bit much, that being said i will wear dresses and things without pettis or non lolita things; in fact my btssb heart purse is my everyday purse but i also work in an environment where i can wear whatever i want (haha and have half pink hair)

    4. People – some people just grow out of it, maybe outta boredom or not wanting to be “childish”, feeling to old, ect. Maybe they find a style they like more. (i started out gothic lolita.. now i mostly wear sweet)

    Again a lot of people are effected by those around them and online communities, some girls are turned off by people online (same way they were brought in) being mocked online when your already different in real life can’t feel to great, and of course a lot of girls get into things in groups.. and as one or two people change they all will.

    5. Knowledge – I honestly, even in Toronto, can wander around on a weekend and see at least 1-2 lolitas (or 5-10 people influenced by it) this could turn off a lot of the original girls, because the appeal of being unique is just gone.

    lol i could go on.. but my fingers tire.. haha

    • Word. Art. Demon.

      Yay! Go Toronto girls! Do you know where to shop for loli in Toronto? I don’t =(

      • Anonymous

        there are a few options. There isn’t much real brand in toronto.

        her majesty (which is closing this month) is located in banana blue market in kensington, it’s second hand brand and some swimmer new stuff and such. twylight (which has alot of cosply and punk items too) is on kensington rd, right by dundas, has alot of chinese brands and a lil bit of bodyline.

        other stores like H&M and forever 21 are great for acessories and cutsews and stuff like that.

        YOu can also goto queen street and visit many of the vintage stores on the street, also kensington market it self is filled with stores, i find there are a ton of things you can use at stores like that.

        pacific mall in the north end is great, you can find all kinds of asian clothing and accessories.

        just depends what your looking for!

        • Word. Art. Demon.

          Thank you so much Mujitsu! I will be sure to check those places out! =)

    • http://www.lacarmina.com lacarmina

      All these are fantastic points!! I think the online communities and rule-mongering are quite specific to the Western interpretation. The Japanese girls don’t treat EGL as a lifestyle – it’s a fashion, and they can get tired …

    • sn0rkmaiden

      I think 5. is why I stopped wearing lolita 3 years ago, as it became more popular in the UK I felt as if I had my identity snatched away!

    • Elena

      I totally agree – I feel awful saying this but Angelic Pretty REALLY went down the toilet this year with their ugly, garish prints. They used to be GORGEOUS – Sugary Carnival, Miracle Candy, Tiara Rose… Now I wouldn’t touch their prints.

      However, I feel like Baby has really improved on their prints this year, returning more to their classical roots (in their main line). They used to be a bit boring to me but now I’m devoted!

  • So_Cute_For_YOU

    I don’t really Know. These stores are way too cute, but I don’t see La Carmina as cute as these stuff. I’m not the only one thinking that your style is not enough loli or visual kei, or whatever you want to do. Starting with your bad dyed hair.

  • Word. Art. Demon.

    I think one of the reasons Lolita is declining in Japan is that the rules appear so strict. As someone who is interested in the fashion, I was put off trying to be Loli because of the rules, and of course, the fear of the horrible “Ita” stigma. It is a difficult circle to break into, especially if you don’t have loads of money to spend on Baby prints, etc.
    Also, you have to be pretty ballsy to run around dressed up in frills in lace. Unless your friends are doing it too, you might get a lot of stares and points. Not everyone wants to go through that.

    Personally, I love the Lolita style, and I hope it doesn’t go away for good.

    • http://www.lacarmina.com lacarmina

      The strict rules and bullying are only found in Western circles… believe me, the Japanese Lolis aren’t anything like that.

      • Elena

        Totally! I was shocked when I moved to the US after years of wearing Lolita in Tokyo and found that I wasn’t “Lolita” enough here. Haha!
        In Japan there were always certainly girls that chose to be very strict in their style and generally only wore a single brand, but they never pushed it on anyone else. US Lolitas were frighteningly strict to me so I completely dropped out of the scene here.

      • http://twitter.com/TenchiTen Liv

        I could see that. I happened upon a lolita meet here in Canada when I wasn’t dressed up, and it was a very scary experience for me! I am experienced in Lolita fashion (like in my above comment, 10 years), but I was looked up and down and was made fun of and teased because I wasn’t wearing brand, etc.

        It didn’t turn me off of the fashion, but it definitely made me want to be part of the community less and less. I find the VK crowd much more accepting and kind here in Canada.

  • Lucy

    =( Do you think the brands will stop the Lolita? (or make something else?…)

  • Emilia

    Kind of ashamed to admit because I don’t remember much but… ^^; I’ve studied fashion design for 4 years and if there’s something they kept telling us is to bring new ideas and designs on a permanent basis.

    Where I’ve studied my teachers seemed kind of against ‘exaggerated’ Japanese fashion styles like EGL but I like Gothic clothing, so as long as it’s not all frilly or pink and full of things that make it look like a cake ornament it’s OK. Even so if you keep repeating the same A lines or balloon dresses they’ll fade away into the fashion history as a temporary style.

    Don’t get me wrong I love the sweet lolita designs & prints but not all designs look that good on a.. lets say 50 year old woman, no matter how lovely her face might look once a lolita in her teens now has to change styles, so… yes it’s a generational thing. With time there will be less and less Japanese wearing it whilst it’s barely making it’s debut as a fashion style outside of Japan, inside it’s started to fade away.

    I agree about h.NAOTO, it’s more likely they’ll stand the test of time, due to their continuous research of underground styles and experiments with materials. (-* w *-)v

    Unfortunately it is true that the price tags are pretty high for your average teen since the recession took away many working places. EGL and even h.NAOTO are quite unaccessible in these conditions, sadly if I get the time to I also prefer making my own punk clothes rather than ordering online ;__;

  • http://www.lacarmina.com lacarmina

    I don;t think Mana would want to be a figurehead setting the rules and conditions… I wonder what he thinks of all this too.

  • Ashley

    I will die if they stop making Lolita :O

  • Magnales

    In the 90’s, European countries took over trends from North America with a few years delay. I think that is what now is happening with Japan and the west (actually its more the rest of the world). Alternative girls outside Japan/Asia find the EGL/EGA-style renewing to what they are used to see in their daily live.

    To me the lolita styles where always combinations of sweet + more sweet or dark + more dark. Where a sufficient amount of accessories is needed to complete the style and give it the extravagant looks that attract so much attention. It’s not more than logic that this kind of accessorizing bores the Japanese by now.

    I recognize what h.Naoto is doing, because I myself look for a new kind of accessorizing to. He uses fewer accessories and makes them stronger and more striking by contrasting classic colours and texture of the fabrics/materials. As you can see with the feathered coat above. By emphasising the clothing this way, it creates a different ambiance. I think this is quite hard and the reason for h.Naoto to use more from different styles like punk and underground.

    • http://www.lacarmina.com lacarmina

      It’s true, I remember many people were blown away when Fruits came out, but now, that type of decora styling seems common to them.

  • Tara A. Dettman

    lol!! you snuck a photo of Mint’s back! mua ha haaaa.

    Lolita fashion is on the decline but I don’t think it will fizzle out all of the way though. I was never really into lolita. I tried it and failed. I prefer goth and punk styles. I am a huge h.Naoto junkie. I can always find things I like at his stores. Also most of his styles are pretty timeless. I have several pieces that I bought several years ago and I still wear them. I also started buying more Takuya Angel accessories and hair pieces. I think the lolita clothing brands should start incorporating more variaty into thier clothing. Also it wouldn’t hurt to lower the prices a bit too. I wish Alice and the Pirates would do more steampunk styles/ pirate styles.

    • http://www.lacarmina.com lacarmina

      mauaahaha ;)
      I love Alice and the Pirates; it’s one of my favorites.

  • Valeree

    I actually had a conversation with some of the staff at Baby the Stars Shine Bright/San Francisco about 2 or so weeks ago, and our mutual opinions are that the style is moving more towards “Alice and the Pirates” flavor- that is, Gothic and Gothic Loli with a Steam Punk edge to it. Atelier Boz also comes to mind…

    Part of the problem is the extreme rigid adherence to “rules” by the Lolita consumers themselves (especially the western ones): they’re not allowing the designers to break out of that set template and get truly creative, so we’re seeing increasingly that there’s not much of a point paying a fortune to get the same dress or blouse you bought 4 years ago, with a different print motif on it. Designers are producing less to streamline budgets (which actually has the negative effect that they no longer have a good selection), and design houses are
    closing.

    Lolita need to remember that enjoying the style movement and self expression must come first- we’re not in a competition to see who can nail the “look” of particular models from Japanese magazines! Get creative! Be original!

  • Erika

    I’m glad you’re doing this coverage. My goal in the future is to create a brand of Alternative Gothic and JSF clothing that’s inexpensive and original. I hope I can contribute some day ; x;
    I really do agree with the repetition, though. . .

  • Riff

    I think the reason it’s dying out is precisely that those who participate in it don’t see it as a lifestyle – just as fashion. So, like all trends, it will fade or change.

    Original scenes from the 70/80s like trad goth/post-punk and various punk scenes have lasted for decades because of the immersion in the culture, both musical and ideological, that the styles require. Of course, neither are as “popular” as they were in the past, but you see old-timers sticking to it even now.

    Now, look at various Western alternative fashion trends in the past decade, particularly emo-scene and other Hot Topic-related/mall-goth fashions.
    The arc of these styles’ popularity and decline (or dispersion into different varieties like popcore, crunkcore, etc-core) actually quite closely reflects that of EGL/Lolita fashion in Japan.

    If a style is nothing more than a fashion, you can’t expect it to stick around when it, inevitably, falls out of favor.

    I would feel more sad about this, but I came to this realization a while ago and haven’t been all that intrigued by lolita fashion since then… No interesting new cuts or radically different styling.

    Part of me feels like I’ve outgrown a lot of street styles… I don’t dye my hair or do nearly as crazy make-up as I used to… and my wardrobe is starting to become more unified. I still have a very distinct style, but I think I started to separate myself from all the subculture fashions I used to flit between like goth-punk and lolita and made my own style from it.

    • http://www.lacarmina.com lacarmina

      I hear you on that. I think when people are younger, a subculture or fashion or lifestyle is life-and-death. When you get older, perspectives change…

  • RunRinRun

    I’ve been on and off with EGL, mostly because it’s such an expensive style to get into and maintain, but I’ve gotten back into it thanks to a NYC based brand that is trying new things with the style. I’m sad that I can’t afford Victorian Maiden, but I’m excited that for at least $100 less I can get a nice, limited edition EGL dress. ♥

    • http://www.lacarmina.com lacarmina

      I always buy from Closet Child… SO much more affordable (everything is secondhand)

  • aja

    I find it ironic that the picture of H Naoto features a bunny bag character. I mean, cliché! I will always love lolita fashion because it’s unique, and I would argue you have to be the change you want to see in this fashion. If you want different changes, bring it!

  • aja

    I find it ironic that the picture of H Naoto features a bunny bag character. I mean, cliché! I will always love lolita fashion because it’s unique, and I would argue you have to be the change you want to see in this fashion. If you want different changes, bring it!

  • http://twitter.com/BBxWASxHERE Susan Byrnes

    I think lolita is becoming less popular is because their not bringing anything new! Which is really sad since I do adore lolita fashion but I also crave for variety and change!

  • kunp

    ha ha, change and new, in reference to punk? not changing is ten years is nothing for punk, try over 30 years of the same,

  • Elena

    Haha, people have been saying Lolita was in decline for years.
    I lived through several waves of Lolita fanaticism and decline in Tokyo, and honestly it never really goes away.
    I think the change now has been that there is a move away from the insane sugary OTT stuff that was huge in about 2005 – 2008. These days that look is feeling tired (correlation to the economy much?) and a lot of girls have moved to Gothic or Classical, which honestly just stands out less in a public space than Sweet Lolita.

    In addition, many girls have gotten much more comfortable mixing and matching their Lolita clothes with other labels or vintage pieces, a la Mori girl or Dolly kei. The head-to-toe brand devotion of yore has become a bit tacky, just like head-to-toe Louis Vuitton and Gucci logos are now incredibly gauche in the high fashion world.
    I know this is true for myself – four years ago, I was all about a total Lolita look, and now I simply mix skirts/socks/bows/whatever in every day outfits with vintage blouses or Vivienne Westwood or Topshop.

    I don’t think the Lolita labels need to change – they are Lolita, they sell Lolita clothes. Their customers are perfectly capable of changing things up for themselves – and they certainly are.

  • http://closetvoyage.blogspot.com/ Jiawa

    I can’t speak for Japan now that I don’t live there anymore, but lolita continues to spread throughout the world even now, and in Europe its popularity will probably outlive that of Japan. In any case, this subculture/style has really demonstrated lasting power against all the other subcultures that have come and gone.

  • http://closetvoyage.blogspot.com/ Jiawa

    I can’t speak for Japan now that I don’t live there anymore, but lolita continues to spread throughout the world even now, and in Europe its popularity will probably outlive that of Japan. In any case, this subculture/style has really demonstrated lasting power against all the other subcultures that have come and gone.

  • http://closetvoyage.blogspot.com/ Jiawa

    I can’t speak for Japan now that I don’t live there anymore, but lolita continues to spread throughout the world even now, and in Europe its popularity will probably outlive that of Japan. In any case, this subculture/style has really demonstrated lasting power against all the other subcultures that have come and gone.

  • http://closetvoyage.blogspot.com/ Jiawa

    I can’t speak for Japan now that I don’t live there anymore, but lolita continues to spread throughout the world even now, and in Europe its popularity will probably outlive that of Japan. In any case, this subculture/style has really demonstrated lasting power against all the other subcultures that have come and gone.

  • http://twitter.com/Jappleng Jappleng

    My friend wants to know what that pink pom-pom coat is called so she can buy one. Does anyone know?

  • http://twitter.com/TenchiTen Liv

    I kind of have to agree. I love lolita and have been into it for 10 years, but I find the style has stagnated. The make up of the outfits remain the same, following the same guidelines they always have. It is still very beautiful, but I agree that it’s sort of becoming the same old same old in that not many designers try to design “outside the box”, but rather within the same guidelines and styles they always have.

    Within lolita communities, especially in North America, there is a overabundance of people believing there are rules to lolita and there is not room for experimentation. Doing your own thing with lolita is almost frowned upon by many, and if it’s not brand, it’s not considered true lolita. And let’s be realistic, in a time of global recession, who can really afford an entire wardrobe of only brand? Is it such a bad thing to wear brands people don’t know about?

    That being said, part of it’s charm is that it is a very recognizable and complete look, but I also find it can be very easy to pull off– many people just buy matching sets and wear them the way they were meant to be worn on the mannequin. I feel like that takes the fun away from any fashion, when personal taste and combination are no longer involved. If everyone is wearing the same brands and items, it loses it’s fun and unique feeling. Where’s the creativity in that?

    I love lolita but I do feel it’s losing it’s initial charm over time.

  • Stella

    Hi I am italian girls, in March this year I was in japan, harajuku made ​​me do a shopping spree, but fortunately there were a sale, in the body line I come back for sure, but I wanted to know please, where is La Foret? I have dont seen it! 

  • Lea

    I personally dislike that brands do not offer more simple dresses for everyday wear to work or school. See, everyone is impressed by girl in nice feminine dress, but very few are impressed by girl who looks like kids toy which run away from playing room. I also feel like many prints are just too strange OR too boring. There is no surprise, no “This is SUCH great idea, why did noone invent it before?” moment. Well, except JetJ, who is 1:1 casual and surprising, but they are too expensive. Also, that is another problem of brands. Prints are interesting, but expensive. Solid colors designs need the key thing – DESIGN – to be interesting and THAT is the main problem of lolita fashion as whole – too many main brands just stick on their past designs. Look at all these taobao shops, how wonderfull they can be with good old pattern-cut work. For example White Moon do really nice things with common fabrics and their own FANTASY. h.NAOTO and Beast are also very inovative and still progressing. I think the key is not to sleep on the victory crown and keep moving.