The 'Nationality' of Lolita Fashion

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapterpeer-review


This chapter focuses on Lolita fashion in the Japanese context and looks at the Lolita trend outside Japan by way of a textual analysis of an Anglophone online community for Lolita fashion lovers, Elegant Gothic Lolita The Gothic & Lolita Fashion Community. It explores how concepts such as local and global have been relativized or renegotiated in Lolita fashion. Fashion can thus be a useful means of investigating the flow of culture between geographically distant locations, with Lolita fashion but one example from our times. The manner in which historical accuracy gives way to aesthetic preferences in Lolita style is representative of Walter Benjamin’s philosophy of fashion. Wearers of Lolita may wish to identify with the Japanese aspects of the fashion at one point, and assumed or imagined European “origins” at another. Many participants in the community strongly deny any direct correlation between Lolita fashion and the concept of a sexualized “Lolita.”.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAsia through Art and Anthropology
Subtitle of host publicationCultural Translation Across Borders
EditorsFuyubi Nakamura, Morgan Perkins, Olivier Krischer
Place of PublicationUK
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Pages165 - 178
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9780857854490
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2013


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