Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Lolita Tea Party @ FIT

Yesterday I went to the JAPAN FASHION NOW show at the Fashion Institute of Technology(FIT).

Comme de Garcons pink gingham skirt
This is one fabulous, huge exhibit of Japanese clothing design from the '70s till now on through January 8, 2011.
I was in Tokyo for 6 weeks in the '80's on a Parsons' graphic design program led by CBS Art Director, John Berg and the memories came flooding back. The dollar was good in those days. Comme De Garcons had navy blue trucks daily delivering new merch to the department stores and I was there (instead of in class) to grab it - I bought a ton of stuff, most I gave away. It was impossible to figure out how to put it on. We got invited to an Issey Myaki sale and given garbage bags! to fill up - I bought a red bus conductor's belt with attached purse - I wonder whose wearing it now..?Current fashion trends called 'Cosplay' include "a kind of role play involving dressing up as characters from popular manga (comic books), anime (animated films), computer/video games" or as The New York Times mentioned,"a bizarre pastiche of Central European folkloric costume pieces." The WSJ has a video on the 'Hime' or princess style. Thanks TamiElegant & Gothic Lolita styles are represented in depth. With lifelike Volk dolls in matching outfits... Later there was a Lolita Tea party. Oh why did I leave my Sonia hairbow at home?
Hints of Alice
And Marie-Antoinette are part of the Lolita look.
Wear your cupcakes.
Or eat them.
Cat cookies for the cat fanciers.
And macarons bien sur!
Please wear pink shoes with your macaron skirt...
Bags with bows=essential
There's a dark side to this sweet Lolita subculture - like the Simpson's 'Itchy and Scratchy' - it's not all sugar and pink marshmallows. Character cats, Hangry & Angry creator, Gashicon, was there for a discussion with the show's fashion historian and curator, Valerie Steele pre-tea party to tell all.
A tea party attendee decked out in all the accoutrements - these outfits are elaborate and expensive...
If you're in New York, do NOT MISS the Japan Fashion Now show and there are lots more related events to attend.


  1. So fun. I wonder where they find the special printed fabrics and hair bows? Do the girls make them? I wish I could see the show. I liked that there were lots of PINK clothes Merci for sharing photos with us.
    Marie Arden Pink Living

  2. great post and exhibit...I will hope to get to it soon! how did you get them to take shots of the exhibit? I know when I saw the last one they said no photography or are you a former student of FIT?
    Have a great Wednesday!!

  3. Sherlock Holmes stepped in comme habitude and took a few shots...ahem

  4. Marie Arden-
    I forgot to mention Tokyo Rebel on Avenue B carries many of the Japanese brands in US sizes..eek
    They were part of the pre-tea party discussion at FIT.
    170 Avenue B
    East Village

  5. Geri, NJ10:49 AM

    Fascinating yet a little creepy all at once.

  6. Anonymous10:52 AM

    Oh I wish I have the guts to wear pink puffy lacy dresses and bowes wow what fun.

  7. Thank you for the interesting and fun tour of a world that I did not even know existed!

    The Comme de Garcons pink gingham skirt and the dress in the picture below more than remind me of Austrian Dirndl dresses.

  8. While I like a lot of things about the Lolita Goth style, I think there's too much emphasis on the cutesy side. The shoes (clunky platformed Mary Janes) kinda kill the look for me. But it's a lot of fun to see, especially on certain occasions here in SF in Japantown.

  9. Justine12:05 PM

    I think I'd rather be decked out in head-to-tow Comme de Garcons plus your lost Bus conductors belt/bag..

  10. Anna-Maria A.12:06 PM

    I would have LOVED to attend this tea party!
    You don't miss a trick do you?

  11. It surely is expensive to dress like that
    I just visited web site!

    Fun to see


  12. I was excited to see this because lolita is my favorite fashion style! I'm a cosplayer too, although I wouldn't call it a fashion trend, people have been making and wearing anime character costumes for a long time and they are costumes. I don't live in NY so I wasn't there. Thanks for sneakily taking some pictures of the event :) Thanks for talking about lolita fashion accurately too.

  13. Anonymous4:25 PM

    This way of dressing is seriously unreal. I love the role play aspect of it. It makes everything so fun.
    I'm leaving for London today! X

  14. Thanks Susie-
    The Gothic Lolitas are pretty much of a mystery to me. I feel like I left a lot out...

  15. I really find this style much too "busy" but at the same time it is interesting.
    As SoozNooz mentions, the role playing aspect of it appears to make it fun.
    Not my cup of tea, really.........

  16. Tootsie Roll4:40 PM

    Well boys have their 'Peter Pan' complexes and those video games...
    Why shouldn't GIRLS HAVE FUN!?

  17. Now I don't have what it takes to be a fasionista. But I did Love the riff on Hello Kitty! (cookies)

  18. Oh my Carol!!! this is fabulous ~ the macarons on the dress the cupcake neclates~ such style but so...different Love it Love it!!

  19. What a funky and spiky post,
    Carol. You sure do hang out with...
    well, we just never who or what will be next?
    But, it will always be fun, for sure!

  20. Carol, isn't this exhibit wonderful? Valerie Steele really creates some of the best visual treats in NYC over at FIT.

    I do envy you being able to get to that tea party. Tsk, tsk on those photos! I was not so brave when I visited the show, but do plan to return with a sketchpad.

    Best wishes.

  21. Great post, Carol--I've never been to Japan, and so it's fun to hear about it. Wonderful photos.

  22. We are busy as can be here in Harlem getting ready for this weekends Harlem ArtWalk but I had to STOP and comment on Sarabeth's! Oh thrilled I was to find that there is a simply gorgeous one on the Upper East Side when I moved to Harlem. Nothing like afternoon Tea at Sarabeth's.

  23. Anonymous1:27 AM

    Love Paris Breakfasts. But the homage to perverse Japan fashion-not so much. Paulette D.

  24. J' ai adore ton post sur le Japan fashion week.
    Vachement interessant....

  25. Turbulence7:36 AM

    Not everyone understands the Japanese style but it's very influential especially to French designers as noted in the NYTimes...

  26. I am so happy to see this post!!!I myself had been dressing in lolita style for a very long time. And PB is always one of my top reads. I find PB a beautiful accompany for morning teas and coffees!

    I have always been reading PB, but never posted any comments. I wish to leave a comment to you this time because I think there might be a Japanese subculture trend you might find interesting, too - the hime (princess) style. It looks similar to the lolita style with their ornamental bows, ribbons, and laces; but the hime style is actually rooted in the inspiration of Marie Antoinette.

    There is a report Wall Street Journal has done on this newer trend. Maybe you would be interested too?

    Have a nice day! :D


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