A Dream Dress for Girls: Milk, Fashion and Shōjo Identity

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The image of shōjo is largely conveyed through visual cues of dress, gesture, and appearance. With the exception of the now well-documented Japanese Lolita fashion, however, theoretical analysis of the association between shōjo and dress is still a rarity. Paying particular attention to fashion brand Milk, and romantic ballerinas and Victorian girls as underlying inspirations, this chapter aims to uncover significant meanings behind shōjo fashion. It contends that fashion aesthetic is crucially intertwined with the process of crafting and sustaining the image of shōjo, and further that this aesthetic subverts the stereotypical equation of girlish (shōjo) femininity with derogatory sexualization, values denounced as passive and unfavorable in many Euro-American societies. The shōjo fashion aesthetic, this chapter argues, inverts these negative associations into positive and empowering ones.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationShōjo Across Media
Subtitle of host publicationExploring "Girl" Practices in Contemporary Japan
EditorsJaqueline Berndt, Kazumi Nagaik, Fusami Ogi
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9783030014858
ISBN (Print)9783030014841
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2019
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameEast Asian Popular Culture
ISSN (Print)2634-5935
ISSN (Electronic)2634-5943


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