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Gothic and Lolita Paperback – May 1, 2007

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Editorial Reviews


'Lovers of the flamboyant Japanese harajuku style will eat up this sumptuous, colourful, coffee-table offering ... For the Vivienne Westwood cyber-junkie in us all.' Diva 'more than a pretty coffee table book - it's a history book ... Fans, designers and anyone with the slightest interest in fashion and pop culture will certainly be amused, entertained and inspired.' i-D

About the Author

Masayuki Yoshinaga is one of the leading fashion and reportage photographers of his generation, his images have appeared in such magazines as Dazed & Confused and The Face. His work was recently shown in the Barbican Art Centre's Jam exhibition and at the Dazed & Confused Gallery in London. He lives in, and continues to investigate, the subcultures of Tokyo.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press (May 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714847852
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714847856
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.8 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #933,117 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 52 people found the following review helpful By harlequin-beetle on May 21, 2007
Format: Paperback
]this book doesn't have the creative variety that the 2 other books in the Phaidon Fruits series have. I am a follower of the Gothic Lolita style, and i was very disappointed in the mediocrity of the fashion shown.

it is less "gothic lolita" and more "club goth" styles, with a large percentage of rather lackluster gothic ensembles: mostly just a black skirt, black shirt and over the top (frequently smeared) make-up without the individual flair and creativity i was hoping to see. there are also many photos of girls wearing what appears to be nothing more than their underwear, which might appeal to some, but i feel is out of place when paired with Gothic Lolita, which values modesty, and it takes the book in a more voyeristic direction. a lot of the photos seem very random, like they just grabbed the next kid who walked in the club, regardless if he/she was dressed in a unique style or not.

there were a few notable exceptions: there is a stunning 2-page photo of a girl wearing a sweet lolita alice dress in her room, with striped stockings, and a pair of girls wearing handmade outfits and crinoline cage skirts (amazing! why wasn't there more like this?) . but for the lolita component it's mostly just a few Baby the Stars Shine Bright and Metamorphose dresses worn by the book.

there was also not very much representation of the various sub-genres of the Lolita style (of which there are MANY) which is what disappointed me the most.

i would recommend purchasing instead of this book: the japanese fashion magazine Kera, or one of the Gothic Lolita Bibles, which are published several times a year.

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Michael Valdivielso on August 26, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a book on both fashion cultures NOT just on Gothic Lolita. I did notice on one of the pages that the information about two of the girls had been switched - but that seems to be the only mistake I could find. I am not sure why there are so many bad reviews. These are not models but people found off the street. Many have great skill with sewing and tons of money. Most have to do with what they can find second hand. So you're going to get a mixture. There is a big mixture, from the very serious Gothic to the just starting, or seems to be just starting, Lolita.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Brian on February 6, 2010
Format: Paperback
When I lived in Japan (in a suburb of Yokohama), my friends and I sometimes flirted with the girls who wore these kind of fashions and hung around Harajuku station. We didn't know the fashion was called Gothic Lolita, and we called these girls "Amish Punk chicks", although in retrospect, there is nothing really Amish looking about this style.

I give the Harajuku girls a lot of credit for their creativity. Most of them made their own clothes, and customized them in very imaginative ways. The whole Harajuku scene was definitely not the same thing as the "club kids" scene in NY (popularized by that McCauleigh Kaulkin movie), because Harajuku girls were not (as far as I could tell) about irresponsible hedonism or being at the center of attention. I think they really were about being creative and expressive, and having fun with fashion. The girls who took it seriously had a friendly competition about it, and I think they did have a lot of fun, but being a bohemian (probably the best characterization of this crowd) is harder in Japan than in the West- there are more social pressures and expectations, especially on women, than in the West... so if you think these clothes are a bold statement, it is actually twice as bold (a random figure that feels about right) for being in Japan.

*sigh* I can't believe I'm writing so much about a topic that I have only a passing familiarity with, but another big fashion in Japan in the late 90's/ early 2000's was the Yamanba or Ganguro fashion, which was all over Tokyo back then, and characterized by bleached hair, excessive tanning, excessive eye makeup, and outrageously tall platform shoes.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By CY on September 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
Many of us in the West were introduced to Harajuku street fashion through a) Gwen Stefani and b) Fruits and Fresh Fruits by Shoichi Aoki. These photo collections, published by Phaidon Press, document the over-the-rainbow style of Japanese teens. Last May, Phaidon released a new lookbook, titled Gothic & Lolita. Each page has a full-color portrait of one or more youths on the streets of Osaka and Tokyo. Included are their names, ages, and replies to questions about their outfits.

Gothic & Lolita is a prime example of never judging a book by its cover. The term "Gothic Lolita" refers to a distinct category of fashion, along with its subgenres and social culture. The title and cover image (of two Sweet Lolitas) imply that the book focuses on Gothic Lolita and its complementary styles. But the "&" proves to be crucial: the introduction differentiates Lolita from Goth, and the portraits include a number of Punk, Cyber, and Club Goth looks with no Lolita elements whatsoever.

At least half of the photos have little to do with Gothic Lolita; in other words, we're got a lot of pancake-powdered extras from Dawn of the Dead. All this is fine - but if someone picks up the book looking for an overview of Gothic Lolita fashion, then she will be disappointed, or even worse, utterly misled.

Phaidon's lookbook DOES contain unequivocally Goth Loli outfits, such as dresses and coats from Baby, Metamorphose, and Black Peace Now. But the wide and exhilarating spectrum of Lolita subgenres is under-represented (see next post). And the outfits portrayed are rather bland.

When I read Fruits, my eyes were popping out as I turned each page.
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