Recently I stumbled across a post about the Brilliant Star event in Japan compiling some really stunning outfits under the name Art-Loli (short for Artistic Lolita). These outfits were all stunning! They really took the over-the-top decadent trends to the extreme, it's no doubt that these outfits are practically a work of art themselves! The styles bordered on what is generally considered "acceptable" in Lolita, lots of floor length gowns, quirky coordinations, and unusual trims.
Big elaborate hats are also something I saw a lot of! These girls are not content with just wearing a headdress or an Alice bow, but instead go for full size Victorian styled hats, completely covered in trimmings!
The stylings are very quirky, lots of mismatched patterns, and creepy-cute details. But despite the apparent haphazard look, they are all so thematic that even the most ridiculous accessory works perfectly with the outfit.
Unusual trims have always been a love-it or hate-it thing in Lolita, ever since Angelic Pretty put a pompom trim on their most infamous print (Puppet Circus!), Lolitas have not exactly known what to think of these types of details that maybe are more appropriate attached to a fancy pair of curtains or along the bottom of a couch. But with Art-Loli these trims are embraced! From tassles to fringe to braiding, these outfits have it all.
While most of these coordnates feature bold colors, antique golds, and jewel tones, pastels aren't left out in the cold! An outfit like this differs from the usual fare of OTT Sweet Lolita because the individual details are all so elegant. While it may share the same color pallet, and same amount of accessories, the details are all very elegant and opulent, as opposed to kawaii and childlike. Something like this reminds me of a more grownup version of OTT Sweet.
This outfit is actually relatively simple compared to the others! But the bold black and white, with touches of gold and rich red, in addition to the thematic accessories such as the eye patch, really makes the coordinate stand out from your average Lolita coordinate.
This might be more of just a style trend, than a proper Lolita substyle, but I think that Art-Loli really puts a name to a style I've been noticing a lot lately (most notably with the rise in the popularity of Shironuri and OTT Classic), and even been around in the background for a very long time.
Taobao's Classical Puppets is a brand that immediately spring to mind. A friend recently described it as "burlesque steampunk circus", which really hammers home how unplaceable this style was prior to discovering the term Art-Loli.
Kirakira Shoten was another brand that sprang to mind. They've kind of been on the outskirts of the Lolita fashion for years with their really over-the-top colorful corset dresses and crazy hats. There are a ton of other brands out there that would be perfect for the Art-Loli style, from Vierge Vampur to Atelier Pierrot even to Baby the Stars Shine Bright's special sets.
To see some more examples of Art-Loli, check out these posts about the Brilliant Star events by Triple Fortune at Rokkyuu Magazine and Style Arena. Art-Loli is the perfect style to break out for events like this! It's dramatic, eye catching, and very refreshing to see. It's a little different from the usual popular styles, a little more playful and a bit more Gothic. I am excited to see someone has put a name to the style, and I can't wait to see where it goes!
What do you think about this Art-Loli trend? I think it's unmistakably "out-of-the-box" thinking, and not exactly something that can easily be put into an already existing style (like the age-old Bittersweet Lolita, which is literally just Sweet Lolita in black), so where normally I'm not too keen on jumping on naming a style at the first sign it might be a trend, I think that this particular style has been around and relatively nameless for long enough that I really like the idea of finally giving it a name.