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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Lolita fashion in Japan

Tokyo is a city filled with fashion. Young women in this city spend a fortune on clothes and accessories. Just a quick look at most Japanese magazines makes this obvious, but that is not all; their fashion is centered on brands. Japanese people love expensive brands. They consume 50% of all luxury products worldwide.

One of my first surprises when I when to Tokyo back in the mid-nineties was to see that every other woman had a Louis Vuitton bag. Taking into consideration that Louis Vuitton at the time sold for about $1,000 in Japan, that makes this fact even more surprising.

There are clear divisions on the fashion scene in Tokyo from teenagers to middle agers and office ladies (corporate female employees), fruits (a fashion trend among some young people) and the Lolita fashion. Each group has a defined fashion style and there are magazines for all groups.

Lolita fashion is one of the most unique styles (see the pictures); it is a Japanese created style, originally created by young girls, not famous designers. It has become expensive, but originally it was not like that. There are a few types of Lolita: black Lolita, white Lolita, Lolita (plain Lolita), sweet Lolita, and Goth Lolita. The names are self-explanatory.

Usually in Japan, girls (teenagers) dress like this for a few years and then grow up and adapt to a new fashion trend.

The Lolita fashion has inspired designers around the world (Gwen Stefani is a classic example with her Harajuku line) as well as followers in other countries, especially Asian countries. It offers an alternative to the young Japanese to be fashionable and unique, to follow their creative instincts and not to buy into the expensive brands culture. The concept of uniqueness is a problem in Japan, a society that emphasizes a group mentality. The Lolita fashion, as well as all other alternative fashions in Japan, is a rebellion against the standards.

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