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Invitation dress

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Japan (designed)

  • Date:

    21st century (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Uehara, Kumiko (designer)
    Baby, the Stars Shine Bright (BSSB) - Alice and the Pirates is a diffusion line of the brand BSSB dedicated to a slightly more punk/pirate side of the Sweet Lolita (designer)

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the designer

  • Museum number:

    FE.305:1 to 4-2011

  • Gallery location:

    Japan, Room 45, The Toshiba Gallery, case 7 []

This item is part of one of the "Sweet Lolita" outfits on display from 23 April 2012 to January 2013 in the "Kitty and the Bulldog Lolita fashion and the influence of Britain" exhibition at the V&A. Part of the V&A British Design Season.

Lolita fashion emerged during the 1990s as a radical form of street style born out of the Japanese taste for Hello Kitty cuteness. Whether dressed in pink, powder blue, red, white or black, Lolitas are immediately recognisable by their doll-like make-up, frilly skirts, fanciful headgear, ribbons and lace. A striking feature of Lolita fashion is the extent to which it is influenced by British culture: Alice in Wonderland, Glam Rock, the New Romantics, Gothic, Punk and Vivienne Westwood. Although the attitude and aggression of Punk and Gothic have no place in the world of the Lolita, the movement represents a similarly powerful rebellion against the conventions of contemporary society. The first three sections of the display are devoted to Sweet, Gothic and Punk Lolita. The final section, Japanese Lolita, shows how a fascination with the exotic and alternative has resulted in the reappropriation and sometimes extreme recasting of traditional modes of Japanese dress.

Physical description

Pinafore dress of pale blue lace trimmed cotton twill. With a printed tea party design, ribbons, a large detachable bow on the front and detachable sashes at the back.

Place of Origin

Japan (designed)


21st century (made)


Uehara, Kumiko (designer)
Baby, the Stars Shine Bright (BSSB) - Alice and the Pirates is a diffusion line of the brand BSSB dedicated to a slightly more punk/pirate side of the Sweet Lolita (designer)


Height: 90 cm, Width: 31 cm waist, Width: 84 cm hem, Length: 22 cm bow, Height: 22 cm bow, Length: 75 cm sashes, Width: 5 cm sashes

Descriptive line

Dress with bow and sashes 'Invitation dress', cotton, designed by Kumiko Uehara at Baby, the Stars Shine Bright, Japan, 21st century

Labels and date

Baby, The Stars Shine Bright was established in Tokyo in 1988 by Akinori and Fumiyo Isobe. Its clothes are regarded as the epitome of the Sweet Lolita look. The company was launched to fame by the 2004 screen adaptation of Novala Takemoto's novel Shimotsuma Monogatari, in which the heroine dresses throughout in outfits by BTSSB. The film was re-released with English subtitles as Kamikaze Girls.
Sweet Lolita ensemble

This outfit by the cult brand Baby, the Stars Shine Bright is an example of the so-called Sweet Lolita (amarori) style. The pinafore dress is designed to be worn with bloomers, double petticoats and a lace-trimmed, puffed-sleeve blouse. The tea party print, clock and playing card motifs are all references to Alice in Wonderland, as is the style of the dress.

Baby, the Stars Shine Bright
Cotton, lace and synthetics; synthetic wig (by Prisila)
Given by Baby, the Stars Shine Bright
Museum nos. FE.305 to 313-2011; FE.5, 11-2012


Clothing; Fashion


East Asia Collection

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