masukii (masuku_c) wrote in egl,

PHAIDON's Gothic & Lolita book

I'm not sure how many knows about PHAIDON's newest realase, which is lolita -themed. I actually did preorder it already in February but it was realased just in May, so not too long ago. Anyway, I got it today (finally!!) and now I have scanned 10 pages (I hate scanning, so that's why so little) and I have wrote up the text which introduces lolita style in the book.
It's actually interesting to read, since it tells about lolita style a bit differently than the texts we (okey at least me) have used to.

PHAIDON's Gothic & Lolita book

The evolution of Japan's Gothic & Lolita movement has been unique. Although its origins can be seen in the English New Wave movement of the 1980s (a trend made famous by the 'Batcave', an English Gothic club), the Japanese scene has acquired and originality and popularity all of its own, and is fundamentally different from its Western counterparts. The social and cultural history of Japan is very different from that of the West, which has allowed the country's teenagers to co-opt the codes of Western Gothic counter-culture and create a new and specifically Japanese Gothic & Lolita style.

The term 'Gothic' first became part of Japanese fashion terminology in the late 1990s. The main impetus for its appearance was a succession of highly popular bandds of a Japan-specific rock culture called visual kei</i> or 'visual rock bands' (characterized by New Romantic-style make up and elaborate costumes, but accompanied by Japanese pop music). The enthusiastic supporters of these 'visual' bands started to copy their flamboyant make-up and fashions. Before long, the fans took to gathering in the streets and clubs at weekends. Those who dressed all in black or wore occult-influenced styles became known as Goths and those who dressed in girlish outfits and draped themselves with frills and ribbons were called Lolitas.

By the end of the 1990s, the Gothic & Lolita phenomenon became a fashion genre not only associated with rock music but also with film, animation and computer games. Like many of the successful visual rock bands that appeared before them, individuals started up their own Gothic & Lolita fashion labels to cater for the new fashion. The majority of these brands were based in Osaka, Japan's second city, and only later spread to the rest of the country. It is often said in Japan that most innovative culture is first seen in the west (Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto) before being acknowledged by the general public in Tokyo. The Gothic & Lolita movement was no exception, although today it has become a countrywide phenomenon.

Yet when analysing the Gothic & Lolita fashion trend, it is interesting to note how diverse the whole scene has become since its starting point less than decade ago. Today the term 'Gothic' can be subdivided into Goth Punks, Cyber Goths and WA Goths (a Goth who dresses in a traditional Japanese style) while the term 'Lolita' can include Maid Style, Early American Style and even the heavily frilled Sweet Lolita. Acknowledging this diversity, all of these subdivisions appear in the hundreds of portraits in this book, which were taken over many months by the Japanese photographer Masayuki Yoshinaga. Focusing on the Gothic & Lolita scenes in both Osaka and Tokyo, Yoshinaga uncovers devotees of the trend both in the street and in the various underground clubs of both cities.

Shot with digital camera and a basic portable flash, these images show an alternative vision of the Gothic & Lolita sensibility. Having removed the darkened atmosphere that Goths prefer to envelop themselvs in, they become more human and the rich detail of their outfits can be seen more clearly. The Lolitas are recorded not as dwellers of a romantic fantasy but as real women living in contemporary Japan. It is only when we enter their homes and personal spaces that reality and fantasy overlap.

Looking at these remarkable pictures, we can see that Yoshinaga's photographs are an essential record of contemporary Gothic & Lolita fashion as lived by thousands of teenagers across the country today. Most of the young people featured in this book were born after the New Wave Movement of the 1980s and the intial rage for visual kei glam rock bands of the 1990s. Therefore they love Gothic & Lolita primarily as a fashion statement. They love the clothes and they love the lifestyle. Indeed, this is the only world in which they feel they can truly be themselves.


If you wanna see my scans of this, please take a look to my own homepage, over here. You'll find them from the "BTW" section. Hope I didn't made this too complicated.

I'm interested of your opnions about that text also :3
Tags: media: novels/magazines/books
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