Gothic & Lolita charts the current trend of Gothic fashion that has swept Japan.
Masayuki Yoshinaga and Katsuhiko Ishikawa
Gothic & Lolita charts the trend of Gothic street fashion that has swept Japan over the last decade. Influenced by Western fashion trends from the mid 1980s, young teenagers, predominately adolescent girls, congregate in the urban centres of Harajuku, Akihabara and a number of underground clubs in and around Tokyo, dressed head-to-toe in gothic costumes and late-Victorian dress. The psychological characteristics of the average Japanese Goth is one of introversion and exclusivity. The majority of girls in the scene are teenagers and most usually stop dressing and behaving this way by the age of eighteen. The origin of the movement was in Osaka in the mid 1990s when young teenagers adopted Gothic fashion in response to the clothes worn and promoted by Japanese Gothic rock bands. In the ten years since the trend began it has expanded to a number of cities including Tokyo and now boasts many thousands of devotees who dedicate their lives to creating ever more flamboyant and bizarre variations on the Gothic theme.
Masayuki Yoshinaga is one of the leading fashion and reportage photographers of his generation, his images have appeared in such magazines as Dazed & Confused and The Face. His work was recently shown in the Barbican Art Centre's Jam exhibition and at the Dazed & Confused Gallery in London. He lives in, and continues to investigate, the subcultures of Tokyo.