Gothic Lolita is a fashion movement that has spawned a bunch of magazines dedicated to it in the past few years. Gothic Lolita consists of, obviously, gothic and lolita type clothing and jewelry. There are many famous J-rock bands that were heavily influenced (or influenced it themselves) by this style. For example, one magazine called The Gothic and Lolita Bible features Mana from MALICE MIZER in a photo shoot in pretty much every issue, and it is possible that Mana may have had something to do with the creation of that magazine as a whole. It is basically western Goth style, although the outfits worn by the adherents to the style are usually extremely complex, and encompass the lolita side of it as well. Magazines usually have different things such as gothic-themed manga, free patterns, pages of gothic and lolita designers' new clothing and prices, jewelry, wigs, hair and make-up tips, photoshoots, articles with people "in the community," pictures of everyday people on the streets in gothic and lolita clothing, etc.
There are three major categories in the gothic lolita subculture: Gothic Lolita, Elegant Gothic Lolita (EGL), and Elegant Gothic Aristocrat (EGA). EGA is not lolita, however it is included in the category due to other factors such as label, creator, and the type of people who tend to wear it.
Note: The extent to which it has to do with Gothic architecture and Gothic literature is unknown.
Gothic Lolita, also named "gothloli" started sometime around 1997 in Japan. The person that got credited for creating this style is Mana, a Japanese guitarist of the former band MALICE MIZER. He thought up the name of this style to describe the clothes of his own clothing label. His label, Moi-même-Moitié was founded in 1999 and still is a very wanted label in the Gothic Lolita scene.
The style itself can be described as a mix of western gothic elements with alice in wonderland influence and historical victorian costumes. Cute bows, lacey skirts and frilly dresses fit in here. Some people who wear Lolita try to look cute and "doll" like to complete the look. But there are different styles in this fashion, such as:
- Classic Lolita: A more traditional, girly look, with many references to victorian costumes.
- Sweet Lolita: It's all about the cuteness factor here, frilly dresses, lacey blouses and bows to make the wearer look.
- Elegant Gothic Lolita: A term coined by Mana of MALICE MIZER fame. Applies only to his clothing line Moi-même-Moitié,
- Elegant Gothic Aristocrat: The male counterpart of Moi-même-Moitié Mana's clothing line.
As you can see there are different styles in this fashion, and it's not always easy to point out which costume is which exactly, but they share alot of elements together.