Invitation dress thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Japan, Room 45, The Toshiba Gallery

Invitation dress

Dress
21st century (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

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.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 4 parts.

  • Dress
  • Bow
  • Sash
  • Sash
Brief Description
Dress with bow and sashes 'Invitation dress', cotton, designed by Kumiko Uehara at Baby, the Stars Shine Bright, Japan, 21st century
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.
Dimensions
  • Height: 90cm
  • Waist width: 31cm
  • Hem width: 84cm
  • Bow length: 22cm
  • Bow height: 22cm
  • Sashes length: 75cm
  • Sashes width: 5cm
Gallery Label
  • 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. (11/12/2012)
  • Sweet Lolita ensemble 2011–12 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 Tokyo 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 (04/11/2015)
Credit line
Given by the designer
Object history
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.

Summary
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.
Collection
Accession Number
FE.305:1 to 4-2011

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdNovember 25, 2011
Record URL