Outlandish pannier skirts with layers of frilly lace and larger-than-life make-up are the order of the day for Lolita girls.
The Japanese Lolita girl trend began as street fashion two decades ago.
The Lolita style has dozens of offshoots, but all share the distinct hint of sexuality and burlesque.
“Japanese girls love cute things, but they also love things that are slightly disturbing,” says designer Maiko Fujii.
What began as a street fashion two decades ago as youngsters aped the doll-like European styles of baroque and rococo has morphed into a near mainstream movement, with dozens of offshoots.
Popular Lolita models such as Misako Aoki were big hits at this autumn’s Japan Fashion Week, showing off white parasols and pastel pink puff sleeves with high-laced boots, tiny top hats and huge ribbons.
“This is definitely one of the latest trends in Japan’s fashion world,” said Akiko Shinoda, a director for the Japan Fashion Week Organisation, adding Lolitas appeared for the first time last year at the twice-a-year show.
“I think it will survive as one distinct category in Japan.”
Over the last 20 years, it has developed and splintered into a broad range of subdivisions, taking on elements of the Gothic – from black roses and coffin jewellery – to the pseudo-holy, with some girls sporting crucifixes