Gothic Lolita, also known as Gothloli, charts the trend of Gothic street fashion that has swept Japan over the last decade and made mainstream news across western media. Influenced by Western fashion trends from the mid 1980s, young teenagers, congregate in urban centres of Harajuku, Akihabara and a number of underground clubs in and around Tokyo, dressed head-to-toe in gothic costumes and late-Victorian dress.

The origin of the movement was in Osaka in the mid 1990s when young teenagers adopted Gothic fashion in response to the clothes worn and promoted by Japanese Gothic rock bands. In the ten years since the trend began it has expanded to a number of cities including Tokyo and now boasts many thousands of devotees who dedicate their lives to creating ever more flamboyant and bizarre variations on the Gothic theme.

Kimono wearing Goth

Kimono wearing Goth

Gothic Lolita The style

Gothic Lolita style is usually a combination of black and white colours, often black with white lace and typically decorated with ribbons and lace trims. Skirts are knee length and may have petticoat to add volume. As in mainstream Japanese fashion, over-knee socks or stockings are extremely popular. Black fishnet stockings and white or black tights are also common. Shoes or boots with high heels, complete the look.

Makeup is used sparingly and is seen more often with other incorporated styles. Black eyeliner is typical and a paler complexion is preferred, so white foundation might be used. Red or black lipstick is seen but lighter makeup is the rule.

Goken Lolita outfits may be accessorized with other props like handbags and other bags, sometimes in the shape of bats, coffins, and crucifixes. Teddy bears and other stuffed animals are also common, and some brands make special “goken” teddy bears out of black leather or PVC. Also, many Lolita own Super Dollfies and carry them around.

Lolita - Gothic Lolita

Lolita – Gothic Lolita

Gothic Lolita Culture

In Japan the gothic lolita trend is particular visible in the streets of Tokyo and Osaka. Currently the heart of the Gothic Lolita subculture, at least commercially, is the Marui Young department store in Shinjuku. This large youth-fashion oriented department store has 4 floors entirely devoted to Gothloli and related fashions. If you’re visiting Tokyo make sure you visit!

Marui Young department store
Address: 3-18-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Toyko, Japan.
Phone: (03) 3354 0101
Subway: JR Yamanote line to Shinjuku (east exit). Look for the street sign “OIYoung.”

Gothic Lolita Pictures

Gothic Lolita in Harajuku

Gothic Lolita in Harajuku

Lolita - Harajuku Fashion

Lolita – Harajuku Fashion

Gothic Lolita - Harajuku Fashion - 7249

Gothic Lolita – Harajuku Fashion