“I never thought it was something that other people outside of Japan could do,” a young woman named Dina says. Her hair is sun bleached turquoise and there are fake flowers and tiny silk bows framing the top of her head. She wears a big, fluffy pastel dress and could be mistaken for either a little girl or a Victorian woman on acid. She wears Lolita fashion. Like Goth and Prep fashion movements, Lolita is its own fashion world—and it thrives in Los Angeles. To give you a peek inside of this world, 72U made a brilliant documentary called Sugar Coated to immerse you the the LA Lolita world.
For those unfamiliar, Lolita fashion is a cutesy clothing movement originating from the Harajuku district in Japan. You know the movement thanks to Gwen Stefani and her ushering in of Harajuku culture into America—but did it stick? We don’t have a Harajuku and, despite Little Tokyo being a bustling destination, the fashion scene there is nothing like it is in Japan. So we thought! Because LA is so spread out, our Lolita fashion scene is too…and the people who are into it are really into it. The video brilliantly introduces you to a handful of LA Lolitas, a group that span all ethnicities and genders and religions. It’s fascinating to hear these women and men explaining how this style of dress has made them so much more confident and able to embrace the world. It really is sweet.
We’ve had a few interactions with LA Lolitas but we’ve never actually connected with them enough to hear their stories. This video is so well done and so thorough and so brilliant in doing that: it’s an absolute must watch, one of those videos that you will not be able to stop watching. It’s also important to note that 72U is a pretty rad educational program and this video is one of the many products of their unique educational system. The mini-documentary is a little over ten minutes long and not without any lulls: it will draw you in and keep you watching it the entire time. You’ve been warned.