The girls dressing style is called 'gothic lolita' (probably a reference to Nabokov's famous book).
The very best comments about the Harajuku girls in TE now can be found here (not tourist (like me :-)) boring comments).
These links can be interesting if you want to know more about cosplay:
Please take a look at the workshop.
Gothic Lolita, EGL or Gothic Lolita for short, is a Japanese teen or young adult who dresses in amazingly elaborate Gothic looking babydoll costumes. On the weekends these women walk the streets of Tokyo and Osaka and fill Yoyogi Park and Harajuku neighborhood where they pose for tourist’s pictures and sit around looking pretty. They are beautiful, glamorous, doll-like manifestations of their favorite Visual Rock stars.
This subculture’s physical look began around the fall of 1999 as a sort of French Maid meets Alice in Wonderland style and has expanded gradually to encompass many nuances in a Victorian Gothic look. Make no mistake – these women want nothing to do with our Western Gothic ways. They do not listen to our music and they are not Gothic in the American and European sense. (Don’t worry there are Japanese Goths but they are just not a prominent mainstream subculture.) The Lolita’s music of choice, for the visuals and sometimes the sounds, is a version of Heavy Metal with gothic hints. Visual Kei or Visual Rock is a form of Japanese pop rock music where the musicians dress in elaborate costumes. Anything from a twinge of glam to full blown female impersonation can be called Visual Rock. These artists feel they must dress up to act out their music. X Japan seems to be the band that started it all. Visual Rock is a blanket term that encompasses J-Rock or J-Pop. J-Rock is not usually the music Gothic Lolita’s listen to. J-Rock is very influenced by the American Heavy Metal Glam bands like Motley Crue. Gothic Lolitas want to emulate the Visual bands that dress the most feminine. There are male fans of all forms of V-Rock but men do not participate in the Gothic Lolita culture. Male fans are uninterested in looking feminine and it is the women who want to look like their idols. Dir en Grey and Malice Mizer are the most popular and authentic of the bands the Gothic Lolitas follow. Malice Mizer’s (pronounced Marisu Miseru) guitar player, Mana, is commonly given credit for starting the Gothic Lolita look. Sometimes he wears a kind of modern Victorian mourning style with large elaborate dresses, big hair, and dark make-up. The amount of time, energy, and money all these people put into their appearance is truly amazing and inspiring at the same time.
Critiques | Translate
JennHen (498) 2005-01-15 20:47
I like the 3 girls in the foreground, and think that they should be the main focus here. Here's what I'd probably try - first, I would clone out the red date stamp. Then I would crop some off the top, and apply a blur to the background - placing all of the attention on this interesting trio. I like that they are unaware of you photographing them, and are in interesting poses. The blue hair is wild! -Jenn
justa (0) 2005-01-17 6:08
Hi Jaed! Very nice photo, very nice girls- they clothes and shoes- cool. They are busy, they not look at you- that's cool too. Nice composition, I like it, you've interesting note, very nice modification on your account, greetings.
jrockartychan00 (0) 2005-11-04 17:46
As a gothic lolita, I must inform you it has absolutely nothing to do with Nabokov's book. Now, don't feel too bad, it is a common misconception by outsiders looking in. But, please, ask some people involved with the fashion, anyone, and they'll tell you that it's about being elegant first, cute second. Dressing Victorian-ish, or like a porcelain doll. We're not sluts, and we don't dress like this to be sexy, or for that matter to attract male attention at all. We dress this way for ourselves. It started as a reaction to the over-sexualized gyaru, us lolitas felt they were too slutty. You see, lolita is merely a reference to the young girl aspect of it. Before Nabokov, the word merely meant "a young girl", or a name.
nicoelrico (34) 2006-02-09 14:59
The look girls have is very cool, besides the note was very informative. The workshop seems to be better than the original pic, but i´d rather choose always original versions. I like it very much.
Manamo (3682) 2006-08-10 16:15
I think Jenn has got very clever idea about your picture. The main subject is very interesting and very well taken, but to see everyone behind, looking in your direction, it looks weird...I tried a quick workshop to do what Jenn proposed. Tell me what you think!:)
wolf38 (31284) 2007-01-25 7:33
Hello Jaed. Photo with people. Usually from the proximity photographs. Wonderfully. The photo "Harajuku Gothic Lolitas" is really very interesting. It shows a cutout from the Japanese society and a new understanding of individuality. Very beautifully and worth seeing. Best regards, Wolfgang.
Hanso2 (633) 2007-01-28 14:44
I think I'll opt for the altered photo's 1 and 2. For Harajuku I rather want one or two subject in the frame and isolate them, if possible. Sometimes I "show" more background when it adds something, blue sky, funky cars or just something that's the opposite of what the girls and boys want to show us.
And because the left girl is really looking nice I would have asked her to do some posing. Also the right girl doing her thing is perfect for an isolated shot.
But I'll go for the altered photo's they are much better.
Tempodulu (168) 2009-08-25 2:41
interesting shot: bizarre times we live in!
smash2707 (3320) 2012-12-14 16:34
I've always been amazed by this cultural contrast in Japan between the traditional women who dress in kimonos and these modern girls which go over the top. interesting daily life scene. Well seen.
- Copyright: Jaed Fonseca Toledo (jackpkn) (863)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2004-10-17
- Categories: Daily Life
- Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC-P92, Sony Memory Stick
- Exposure: f/4.5, 1/20 seconds
- Map: view
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Travelogue: My third trip to Japan
- Theme(s): CosPlay, Three graces [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2005-01-15 16:35
- Favorites: 5 [view]