Gothic Lolita or "GothLoli" (ゴスロリ, gosurori?, sometimes "Loli-Goth") has two definitions. The term "Gothic and Lolita" is used by the Japanese to describe a sub-culture of teenagers who wear a wide range of fashions. It is used by English language sources mainly to describe a specific subset of Lolita fashion.
History of terminology used by English language fandom
Among English language fandom, the term Elegant Gothic Lolita was originally used to describe a sub-set of Lolita fashion that was either all black, or mostly black with white accents. However, there are many subsets within 'Gothic Lolita,' including, but not limited shirorori (white lolita), kurorori (black lolita), gurorori (Gory or grotesque lolita), and punk lolita. Black (kuro) and white (shiro) lolitas wear all black and white respectively, guro lolitas are often defined by bandages and an "injured" appearance, and punk lolita adds a punk touch to lolita fashion. There are fashions similar in feeling to gothic lolita but they are not regarded by the gothic lolita community as authentic, rather "lolita-styled".
Elegant Gothic Lolita (EGL) is a term coined by Mana (Guitarist and leader of Moi dix Mois and Malice Mizer, creator of clothing line Moi-même-Moitié). It can be considered a more mature version of gothic lolita, often worn by older teens and young women. The male 'counter-part' to EGL is EGA (Elegant Gothic Aristocrat); it is very tailored and stream-lined, both being mostly black and white. However, the term Gothloli (gosurori) is used by some foreigners to describe anyone in gothic or lolita.
Gothic lolita fashion is regarded by some of its adherents as more than simple dress, and can be an etiquette and mindset as well. In magazines/written works devoted to lolita fashion, this is also emphasized by advice given on how to behave and modest use of makeup. Some lolita just like the clothing/scene though; they are likely to have read this material, but may not actually follow any of it.
Lolita fashion draws much of its inspiration from Rococo, Victorian-style and Edwardian fashion and often aims to imitate the look of Victorian children or porcelain dolls. Gothic Lolita applies the aesthetics of Gothic fashion to the childlike, pretty Lolita fashion. The word Gothloli comes, quite naturally, from a combination of Lolita and Gothic fashion.
Gothic Lolita is the best-known of the various "Lolita" looks. Other categories include "Classic Lolita", which is often more mature-looking and contains more muted colors and floral prints and "Sweet Lolita" which is identified by childish pastel colors and cute prints.
Gothic Lolita style is usually a combination of black and white, often black with white lace and typically decorated with ribbons and lace trims. Skirts are knee length and may have a crinoline or petticoat to add volume. As in mainstream Japanese fashion, over-knee socks or stockings are popular. White or black tights are also common. Boots, rockinghorse shoes, or child-like shoes such as Mary Janes complete the look. Frilly, ruffled or lace-trimmed Victorian blouses are also popular with Gothic Lolitas and designs are usually modest, sometimes with long lace-capped sleeves and/or high-necked blouses.
Some additions may include mini top hats, parasols, and lace headdresses, which resemble wide, elegantly decorated headbands. Other popular Lolita headgear are ribbons, lace or bows, an alice band with a bow or sometimes even a bonnet. Hair is sometimes curled, or a curled wig is worn to complete the porcelain doll look. Blonde and black are the most popular hair colors, though as the fashion continues to develop, other colors (such as brown and red) are increasing in popularity.
Lolita outfits may be accessorized with other props like handbags, small backpacks and purses, sometimes in the shape of bats, coffins, and crucifixes, as well as conspicuous pocket books, pocket watches, and hat boxes. Teddy bears and other stuffed animals are also common, and some brands make special "gothic" teddy bears out of black leather or PVC. Some Lolitas own Super Dollfies or other ball-jointed dolls and carry them when wearing the style, often going so far as to dress them to match.
The lolita style began in the 1970's with brands such as Milk and Pink House making outfits that resembled Canada's Anne of Green Gables (which is widely loved in Japan) and, to a lesser extent, Little House on the Prairie. Angelic Pretty opened in 1979, Baby The Stars Shine Bright opened in the 80's, and Moi-meme-Moitie opened in 1999.
Mana, ex-Malice Mizer (co-founded with Kozi, also guitar), is widely credited for having helped popularize Gothic Lolita, though he is not a founder of the style. He coined the terms "Elegant Gothic Lolita" (EGL) and "Elegant Gothic Aristocrat" (EGA) to describe the style of his own fashion label Moi-même-Moitié, which was founded in 1999. Other influential figures in the scene include the singer Kana, who often modeled for Lolita related fashion magazines, and Mitsukazu Mihara, who drew the first eight covers of the Gothic & Lolita Bible.
Gothic Lolita culture
In Japan it is mass-marketed, though not widely worn, but has visibility particularly in the streets of Tokyo and Osaka, on television, in manga (see Paradise Kiss) and computer games. The fashion is being picked up worldwide, thanks to the foreign publication of Japanese magazine anthology FRUiTS, where the outstanding style actually blends in with the other quirky teen trends in Japan. More "faithful" adherents to the style take many influences from the Rococo and Victorian periods of European history, believing it to be in the nature of a Lolita to be respectful, polite, and demure at all times; even more extreme adherents are often known to attempt to cultivate interest in hobbies or activities considered appropriate to high-society ladies during these periods, such as needlework, opera, classical and baroque styles of music, painting, sewing, and the traditional observance of high tea. For the most part, however, most Lolitas live a day-to-day life very similar to any average person.
Lolita outside of Japan
Outside of Japan, the Lolita fashion is still widely unknown; however, it has slowly begun to spread to other countries. Lolita, along with cosplay and other Japanese cultural phenomena, can sometimes be seen at concerts and anime conventions throughout Canada (see Anime North),the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, France, the Netherlands and the United States, although certain individuals truly committed to the fashion will confirm that Gothic Lolita is not a fancy dress costume, rather, a way of life. The style has not yet been mass marketed outside of Japan, though small, stores based outside of Japan are starting to emerge and a store selling the style, itself called "Gothic Lolita" opened in early 2007 on a prominent stretch of Elizabeth Street in central Melbourne.
Major brands, such as Metamorphose temps de fille, Angelic Pretty, h. Naoto and Baby, The Stars Shine Bright have recognized the international recognition of lolita fashion, and have begun to ship goods to the international market. This is still not very widespread, as many of the clothes produced by non-Japanese designers are not accepted by the Lolita community for being inaccurately portraying the style as related to the British 'goth' or French maid look, and not as high quality as the expensive Japanese brand clothes. Lolita magazines are widely available for purchase on the internet and at Japanese bookstores, which also deal in anime and manga.
Currently the commercial center of the Gothic Lolita subculture is the Marui Young department store in Shinjuku, after its predecessor Marui One closed at the end of August 2004. This large youth-fashion oriented department store has 4 floors entirely devoted to Gothloli and related fashions. Some Gothloli boutiques may be found in the area between Harajuku and Shibuya.
Goth and Lolita
Lolita as a fashion is not as strongly associated with a particular style of music or outside interests as Goth, and individual followers of Lolita fashion may listen to a wide variety of music, from Classic music to pop and rock.
In Japan, Goth is a minor subculture with few followers, partly because the emphasis upon visual identity in Japanese youth culture makes other factors such as music and literature less important signifies and perhaps partly because Christianity is a minor religion here. In Japan, people who have heard the term "Goth" usually assume that it is simply a contraction of "Gothic Lolita", except for the Goths themselves, who strongly emphasize the differences. Likewise, some non-Japanese observers assume that "Gothic Lolita" is the Japanese version of "Goth", purely on the similarities in fashion.
Previously in Tokyo, the largest "goth" club events, such as "Tokyo Dark Castle", would also attract a noticeable proportion of Gothic Lolita customers. However, since 2005 their numbers have dwindled and such events now primarily attract more typical goth, industrial and metal music fans. Concerts of visual kei themed bands are often attended by many Lolitas, but conversely, few goths.
Anime and Manga
More often than not, "Lolita" in anime and manga is generally considered cosplay and not genuine lolita.
Some prominent manga and anime featuring Gothic Lolita fashion are Paradise Kiss, Coyote Ragtime Show, Le Portrait de Petit Cossette, Le Chevalier d'Eon, Rozen Maiden, Godchild, D. Gray Man, Othello, xxxHolic, Gothic Sports, Trinity Blood, Pitaten, Vampire Knight, Venus Versus Virus, many of the works of Kaori Yuki, and all of the works of Mitsukazu Mihara.
The 2006 anime, Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge, also known as The Wallflower, features four sisters who attend the high school of the main characters, who are called the Goth Loli sisters (Lassine, Madeline, Roxanne, and Yvone). They are depicted purely as the subject of much comedy and they always leave the scene chanting "Goth! Goth! Loli! Loli!"
In some manga, such as Othello, lolita fashion is portrayed as a method of individualizing and becoming less shy. Most of these titles appeal primarily to male fans rather than the lolitas themselves; however, large numbers of lolita girls are visible at manga events such as Comiket. They often buy doujinshi based upon their favorite bands, dolls and movie characters; and some are interested in other kinds of dressing, including cosplay. However, the Gothic Lolita style should not be considered a cosplay; it is an alternative fashion.
Most lolitas, especially those who wear the style on a daily basis, state that "we say we're not cosplay, but they don't listen. Of course we're not happy, but there's nothing we can do about it.". The comments of this style being cosplay is usually from the otaku who only know of this fashion through anime and manga.
The Marvel Comics miniseries Livewires features a Life Model Decoy that calls herself "Gothic Lolita." "Lol" picked up the fashion while on a mission in Japan. She is described by one of her teammates as liking the idea of being the team's "Ben Grimm in black baby doll lace," Lol minimalistically describes her role as "smashing and bashing duty."
Sursa : aici