If you’re into Japanese Lolita fashion brands, the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “lolita” is not the Nabokov novel, but rather frilly dresses with bows and curls.
If you’ve always wanted to try Japanese Lolita fashion brands, but you’re scared of being branded an “ita,” fear not! What you need to do is go for trusted Lolita brands. So if you want to check out the stores in person, shop online, or rummage through second-hand markets, here are a few brands to look out for.
Japanese Lolita Fashion Brands : Angelic Pretty
Created in 1979 and initially called simply “Pretty”, the brand became Angelic Pretty in 2001. They specialize in Sweet Tokyo Lolita fashion brands, with a focus on every girl’s secret wish of becoming a princess. Colorful and whimsical, Angelic Pretty’s designs are perfect for dreamers who want to venture into their own urban fairy-tale. Also worthy of a special mention are the brand’s socks, which feature loads of lace and one-of-a-kind prints, making them a must-have for any fan of unique accessories.
Hours of Operation: 11:00 – 21:00
Leather and lace and perfect for your masquerade. Atelier Pierrot’s store in Harajuku has not only their own Japanese Lolita fashion brands, but many others from this article. It’s a must-stop for Lolita brands or any of the Punk brands from my previous article.
Nearest Station: 2-minute walk from Meijijingu-mae Station, 5-minute walk from JR Harajuku Station (click on the Google Map for walking directions)
Hours of Operation: Open Daily 11am – 9pm
Baby, The Stars Shine Bright
This brand is named after Everything But The Girl’s 1986 album. created in 1988, it is one of the Japanese Lolita fashion brands with connections to the visual kei scene. In fact, one of the models in their September 2008 runway show was Hizaki, guitarist for bands such as Versailles and Jupiter, and wearer of elaborate gowns. Alice and the Pirates, a sub-brand of Baby, The Stars Shine Bright sells gorgeous Sweet Lolita dresses inspired by 18th century European fashion. The brand is also the favorite of one of the main characters of the manga, book and movie of Shimotsuma Monogatari (aka Kamikaze Girls).
Nearest Station: 5-minute walk from Shibuya Station , inside the PARCO building (click on the Google Map for walking directions)
Hours of Operation: Open Daily 10am – 9pm
Whether you’re a dedicated Lolita or just someone who’s reluctant to go for a full-blown ribbons & laces look, Milk is the place for you. The brand, founded in 1970, even has its own mythology. According to them, as God was about to drink a glass of milk, he accidentally spilled some of it over Harajuku. In order to make up for this little whoopsie, He decided to change the spilled milk into the wonderful shop of the same name. Milk plays a strong Lolita game by offering pieces that embody an ideal balance between sweet, the frilly, and the practical. Milk has exactly the amount of sugar, dreams, and spice to make your day just a little bit more surreal. Check out our article on Milk here!
Moi-même-moiti is the brand you need to go for if you’re interested in Gothic Lolita. The brand was created by the cross-dressing visual kei musician Mana (of Malice Mizer and Moi dix Mois). Moi-même-moiti’s black dresses, skirts, lacy hair accessories, and jewelry are adorned with delicate crosses. Pieces from the brand’s 2007 cathedral print collection are still highly sought after on second-hand Lolita markets and would make a wonderful acquisition for any fan of the style.
Although Lolita style is about being demure, Pure One is a good brand for those who wish to experiment with the look. The brand specializes in corsets, and every piece is versatile enough to go with a variety of different outfits and styles. Pure One has created stage wear for several Japanese musicians, including the gender-bending Kaya. The brand offers plenty of choices, so whether you’re on the lookout for a Gothic corset or a brightly-colored one, risky cut-outs or a demure Victorian style, you will certainly find something to your liking. All you need to do is dare.
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