Wa lolita : is that possible ?

Edited in June 2015 : added a second outfit and a tutorial video.

A few weeks ago I released on the internet this picture of a style born in hell : wa-lolita.

Needless to say that as a lolita, wa-lolita is to me a dreaded term and I was kind of wary of an eventual backlash which never happened

Now as a kimono and alternative fashion lover, I always try to add a twist to my kimono outfit. I have a fond love for hakama style.

Of course, the pleated hakama look was going to be the easiest way to do wa-lolita. The color blocking part was a bit off for it, but it help conserving a more traditional look and is safer (I only have black skirts anyway).

The big question was then : how can I keep the balance between lolita and wafuku ?
One again the hakama style had the answer. As you can see above, I'm wearing boots with hakama. Longer hakama for more formal occasions are supposed to be worn with zori and tabi (which I dislike, really) but shorter ones are okay with retro looking boots. My Axes Femme boots are a bit of my go-to shoes as a classic lolita. The shoes belonging to both styles, it was perfect for this outfit.

Then the problem of the collar. Under your kimono you're suppose to wear a juban (underkimono) which will only show at the sleeves and collar of your outfit. I choose to suppress it to avoid some supplementary bulk and went the fake collar route. Lace accessories are often worn in modern kimono styling, so a white lace collar and matching lace tighs were my first obvious choice, making the outfit a bit lighter in color.

As for the hair, one is supposed to wear an updo with kimono. I choose to wear a modern kanzashi but one can use flowers matching the kimono pattern or an hat.

Overall I went for a retro style which match my usual classical lolita look, using a nice high waist skirt to avoid the obi problem (obi which is almost hidden in an hakama look anyway).

I made a quick photo tutorial to explain the dressing process (sorry for bad lighting and weird angles, I need to buy a tripod) :

1) You want to use an underdress to protect your kimono from getting body oil and everything.
It's time to do your hair and makeup, choose your legwear and shoes.

2) Place the fake collar. I use some random lace bobby pinned to my underdress and secured with a koshi-himo (thin silk or gaze belt)

3) Put on your kimono. You can use a yukata or a kimono, I picked this one because it's really thin and easy to fold. The thinner and shorter the best.

4) Fold the kimono knee-lenght, left over right then secure with another koshi-himo.

5) Adjust the upper part, close down the collar and tie it with a last belt. You can shorten a bit your kimono as well as pull your collar back a bit.

6) Add the skirt and tadaa ! You're a wa-lolita.
No your kimono shouldn't peek from under the skirt. You saw nothing.

Final result
A few last tips :

Kimono and lolita do have really different rules on what's acceptable or not. Knowing them before breaking them is a good point !
Kimono color coordination can be tricky and mostly have nothing to do with lolita's view on colors, I think erring of the safe way with being a bit more matchy-matchy than usual in kimono fashion is better.
Traditional kimono patterns may work a lot better for classic and gothic, but colorful yukata fabric are spot on for sweet imo.

Edit :
As I see more and more people linking this post, I'll try my best to up the quality content.  So I though I could present to you the second, more complete version of my wa lolita outfit.

Outfit for La Vie en Rose 2015
As I guess I'm a bit lazy, I didn't really want to compete on the old school or classic grounds for this winter's big event, so I though about wa lolita. I took my initial idea and changed pretty much everything except the skirt and collar.

For the kimono I chose a chuufurisode (half-lenght sleeves) which is the traditional lenght for hakama wear, and settled with celebratory patters like fans since the event was so fancy. As jewerly is pretty rare in kimono styling, I elected a single ring with carnation flower on it, which is the symbol of traditional japanese beauty.

Modern hakama styling with a chuurfurisode, reminiscent of Meiji with the yabane kimono pattern

While the bold orange-pink color of the kimono and the lace accessories are definitely Taishô inspired, the western hat and shoes are really reminiscent from Meiji.
Wearing a hat with this outfit not only balance out the skirt volume but paired with short hair give a much more free, young and careless vibe to the outfit.
For long, it was only men who adopted the western vestry since they had to work in a western environment while the women remaining at home kept wearing their kimono. Such a short hair cut (only worn by children and really young women) topped with a hat makes the look bold and daring in this historically inspired context.

Cue for the shoes, that should have been boots since mary janes are in this context too reminiscent of child clothing to fit in. The striped stockings add a little bit of dynamism to the legs and make a nice, historically accurate accessory.

Generally speaking, as the hakama is most of the time male clothing I like to add more "manly" elements. In regular kimono styling, people tend to try and overshadow the male elements with a lot of makeup, jewelry and curly hair, but I find the outfit much more fun when it goes the funky route. It's still look like a female style without a doubt, but it has a lot more energy and flow than your regular overly padded and straight formal kimono outfit.

And now for the video. This is the video tutorial for kimono folding 101 in wa lolita. As you may have noticed, english is not my first language and I made my best to be audible, so please bear with my obvious discomfort and the wonky phrasing.

That's all for today, I hope you liked it and sorry for the rambling, unedited pictures and everything !

20 commentaires:

  1. Je pense que la première façon d'éviter les écueils classiques du wa-loli est, comme tu le fais, de te tourner vers des pièces traditionnelles. Plus complexes à agencer qu'un ensemble déjà prêt, mais plus de chances de trouver des matériaux de qualité. Le côté color-block est une bonne façon aussi de ne pas tomber dans le cheap. Quel besoin de multiplier les imprimés clichés quand on possède des pièces authentiques ? Ta façon de traiter le sujet est dont d'emblée plus élégante. La taille haute de la jupe rappelle aussi l'obi du vêtement traditionnel – encore un plus. Bref, j'aime beaucoup, et tu le portes bien, ce qui ne gâche rien.

    1. Merci ! De toute façon à part quelques imprimés Méta je ne vois pas grand chose qui serait portable dans un style wa. Après choisir d'autres couleurs c'est possible, mais c'est assez hasardeux et honnêtement je ne me sens pas assez avancée dans la connaissances des couleurs et usages du hakama pour m'y risquer. Puis je suis une classic, j'apprécie le coté rétro du truc. J'aimerais trouver un moyen d'intégrer le obi dedans, on avait déjà essayé avec Tzadkiel pour un résultat pas trop mal.
      En tout cas merci beaucoup !

  2. Je suis aussi conquise, tu évites bien les dangers du wa-lolita en utilisant de véritables pièces traditionnelles et de pièces unies.
    Je me souviens avoir pensé à un hakama une fois en voyant dans la vitrine de Baby une jupe taille haute portée sur une blouse à manches princesse , du coup je salue le choix de la jupe !

    1. Merci ! Enfait c'est en relisant mon dernier article sur D&R qui parlait des points communs entre le lolita et les wafuku (je les relis de temps à autre pour corriger les grossières erreurs) que je me suis dis qu ça se tentais, mais le parallèle entre la jupe et le hakama est assez évident et je m'en veut de ne pas y avoir pensé plus tôt.

  3. I LOVE when traditional kimono is combined with a lolita skirt to create wa-lolita--I think that's when it looks its prettiest and not costume-y. I actually blogged about doing so as well and used another girl's coordinates as an example--I thought you'd be interested in seeing it!



  4. You're post is pretty neat ! Every point you make is accurate and pretty much meet what I was saying above.
    I really took inspiration from the girl who's picture you posted, the second one with the cream kimono and dark skirt is my favourite. I chickened out of wearing an obi though, I really went the safest way since I'm still kind of a kimono noob.
    Thanks for the link.

    1. No problem! =D

      I'm still learning too, but I just looove how obi looks so I might try to do it sometime soon. I'm still collecting pieces though. *A*

    2. I look forward to see that ! I was thinking about it, just need to find the right hanhaba obi. I think it would be easier to manage than fukuro or Nagoya. Still collecting pieces too though :)

  5. Thank you for this!
    But hoyw so you make the kimono sit so flat?
    I'm very thin so the kimono overlaps a lot when I put it on - I can't seem to make it sit as neatly as you do:(

    1. It's practice and practice again :) You can buy kimono clips, korin belt etc to make it easier, but I personally like the traditionnal way more. But once again this kimono is really thin and lightweight, it really helps !

    2. The practice thing sounds useful - but I'm so lazy and it is so hard XDD
      I have two kimonos and they are both lined, so I assume they are not the best for this, but I'll do my best!
      (don't mind the sloppy kimono wearing, I was only trying the method to see what it'll look like.


    3. Not too bad, I really like the second one, you could find a nice han'eri to go with that :)
      I think a chest binder or a kimono bra could help for the silhouette.

    4. I don't have a big collection of kimonos, but I love them so much.
      Maybe I will get a han'eri, especially for the black one!

    5. I think you could try to bring a bit of the colours from the print into the collar, it could be nice !

  6. This is a gorgeous post and very wonderful outfits!
    I love kimono patterns to death (even did my graduation collection with this theme) and already made a kimono-patternd lolita dress, but this is something I´ve never thought about.
    We have this lovely little thrift shop in town, that sells mostly british vintage fashion, but I discovered they also have a small selection of vintage kimonos.
    I´m very sure, I´ll have to look for one there very soon, since I have to try out this outfit style myself <3
    (won´t look as adorable as you, but still want to try^^)

    1. Thank you. Did you study fashion ? That sound pretty awesome, I'd like to see your work ! I look forward to see your take on this style, it'll be super nice I'm sure :)

    2. Sorry for my suuuper late reply! Yes, I was a student of fashion design, and my graduation was about the fusion of western and eastern fashion influences :)
      You can see my final garments here on my models: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-4pwfOiWqRe4/UWmwFYap2lI/AAAAAAAAGx4/5PI4V98H02c/s1600/IMG_20130413_150907.jpg
      And since I finally took the chance to wear my new (old^^) Haori to our cherry blossom festival yesterday, I can show you a picture too:
      It is at the end of the post. Thanks so much for your inspiring post! <3

    3. Wow, all of your creations are to die for, and your haori outfit was really cute too !

  7. You look adorable in your wa lolita outfit. The way you wear it really pays respect to shape and form, it looks so flattering on you.

    1. Thank you :) I love kimono so much, I really wanted to do it justice !