You know that you’ve walked into a different world when the Japan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs named three models as their new ambassadors of cute. That’s right. You heard me.
Misako Aoki, Yu Kimura and Shizuka Fujioka represent the respective Lolita, punk, and schoolgirl fashions. Interestingly enough, it seems that unless you actually have had a liking to these niche fashions, you wouldn’t understand how to describe them very well as seen in the Reuters article on the announcement. While anime and manga have influences in some harajuku fashions, the school girl outfit stems from beyond there (heck, we also have that here in the States) while Lolita itself runs many different subsets from shirorori, kurorori, gurorori, to punk. The term EGL [ elegant gothic lolita ] was created by Malice Mizer’s guitarist, Mana and is usually for an older generation of lolitas which is more streamlined with the kuro style.
What’s amusing to myself is that while this is fairly commonplace in Japan, especially in the Harajuku district, the rest of the world is really seeing it for perhaps the first time. Thus the entire relations to dolls for lolita, instead of what the genre intended which was Victorian nobility. The punk style is one that is different than here in the United States mainly because it’s more about fashion than a statement. In Harajuku, the only thing that really takes the entirety of anime and manga influences are the cosplay costumes.
I believe that overall this sub-culture of the younger generation in an effort to be radically different for the more conservative older generation will perhaps inspire similar feelings globally. It’s not so much of a diplomatic move as much as a show of teenage rebellion much like the styles of the eighties for Americans with the big hair and tight leather pants.