Intro to Gothic Lolita by Aisha Ahmed

062Aisha Ahmed, our favourite author at Anime Picks,  introduces us to the beautifully dark world of Gothic Lolita… 

What is Gothic Lolita?

Gothic Lolita, sometimes shortened to GothLoli is a combination of the Gothic and Lolita fashion. The fashion movement began in Harajuku around the 1990s. Gothic Lolita fashion is essentially Lolita fashion but the darker side. Using a palette of darker make-up and clothing. Looking at Anime’s like Rozen Maiden you see the characters wearing red lipstick and smokey eye makeup or neatly defined eyes, although as with all Lolita sub-styles the look remains natural, you merely enhance the look. Typical dark colour schemes including black, dark blues, reds and purples, although black and white remains popular. Following the Western Gothic looks, you will see the stereotype cross jewellery, religious symbols, bags and purses in shapes like bats, coffins, and crucifixes.

387Japanese brands which correspond with the darker lolita style include Atelier-Pierrot, Atelier Boz, Black Peace Now, h. NAOTO Blood and Moi-même-Moitié.

Why be Goth-loli ?

I was always interested in Lolita fashion movement but the sweet version never really appealed and I could never feel comfortable in the bright colour schemes, it did not match my personality. Being tan skinned too also didn’t also work with the pinks and bright blues. Most of my fashion sense came from the depths of Camden, where I would find unusual items of clothing and mix them into my normal day wear. Eventually whilst exploring I came across a shop specialising in Lolita clothing and they had a range of Gothic dresses. All in black & white combinations, even though they had bows, I was much more inclined to wear them. They were mysterious looking like me!

How to style yourself Loli-pretty!

You can make the Gothic Lolita look without having to splurge all your cash on designer brands. If anything it’s more fun to create your own look. Start with a base ie. A black dress or a puffy lacey skirt and work around it. It’s amazing how adding high street buys can create a convincing look. There is a lot of elitism out there but it should not be a question of ‘how much you spent’ it’s about your personal expression of style.

048psWhere to shop smart?

When I started dressing Lolita the internet was new so now you have everything available, with cheap postage prices too, on Ebay, Etsy and Facebook stores. Also the recent boom of Japanese related conventions has opened up a huge market for Bring ‘N Buy sales of Lolita wear and cosplays. Also if you’re mum has a sewing machine lying dormant in the house, why not practice and even create your own masterpieces. With sources like Lolita Bible available in London shops you can take a pattern of your choice and even fabric to your taste and make something completely unique.

Thank you Aisha for this great guide! 
Follow all of Aisha’s adventures on Anime Picks, We Are Arcade and Rice Digital