Kawaii Fashion: MISAKO AOKI/青木美沙子

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Kawaii (かわいい, pronounced [kaɰaiꜜi]; “lovable”, “cute”, or “adorable”) is the culture of cuteness in Japan. It can refer to items, humans and nonhumans that are charming, vulnerable, shy and childlike.The cuteness culture, or kawaii aesthetic, has become a prominent aspect of Japanese popular culture, entertainment, clothing, food, toys, personal appearance and mannerisms.

Lolita fashion is a very well-known and recognizable style in Japan. Based on Victorian fashion and the Rococo period, girls mix in their own elements along with gothic style to achieve the porcelain-doll look.The girls who dress in Lolita fashion try to look cute, innocent, and beautiful.This look is achieved with lace, ribbons, bows, ruffles, bloomers, aprons, and ruffled petticoats. Parasols, chunky Mary Jane heels, and Bo Peep collars are also very popular.

Sweet Lolita is a subset of Lolita fashion that includes even more ribbons, bows, and lace, and is often fabricated out of pastels and other light colors. Another subset of Lolita fashion related to “sweet Lolita” is Fairy Kei. Head-dresses such as giant bows or bonnets are also very common, while lighter make-up is also used to achieve a more natural look. Curled hair extensions, sometimes accompanied by eyelash extensions, are also popular in helping with the baby doll look.

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