Gothic Lolita

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Canon 1DS MkIII; Tv: 1/200 sec; Av: f/11.0; ISO: 125

Alice got in touch to see if I’d be interested in doing a Japanese lolita shoot with her. She has several lolita costumes including this Gothic one. She got me curious so I went researching lolita fashion which I knew nothing about and found it to be completely different to what I expected. I thought it was going to be based on the Nabokov novel Lolita but it’s completely different. Here’s a section from the interesting Wikipedia article on it:

In the context of fashion, the term Lolita does not relate to sex. The usage of the word can be considered wasei-eigo or deriving from the female given name, Lolita relating back to Japan’s relations to Portugal. Early Japanese lolitas thought it meant something cute in Portuguese and therefore adopted the wasei-eigo term lolita.

The fashion is thought to have been partly created to react against the growing exposure of the body and skin in modern society. Adherents fight this with modesty, presenting themselves as “cute” or “elegant” rather than “sexy”. One follower of the Gothic Lolita fashion explained:

" We certainly do not do this for the attention of men. Frequently, female sexuality is portrayed in a way that is palatable and accessible to men, and anything outside of that is intimidating. Something so unabashedly female is ultimately kind of scary – in fact, I consider it to be pretty confrontational. Dressing this way takes a certain kind of ownership of one’s own sexuality that wearing expected or regular things just does not."

Artwork Comments

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