Editors of Gothic & Lolita Bible
With their frilly and lacy frocks and eye-catching style, devotees of Gothic and Lolita fashion have been making the scene on the streets of Tokyo for years. But recently, this stylish subculture has taken root in America as more and more girls are discovering its beauty, romance and mystery. The roots of this fashion revolution can be found in the pages of Gothic and Lolita Bible.
Too pretty and collectible to be a mere magazine and too timely to be a just a book, Gothic & Lolita Bible is a "mook", a hybrid of both. TokyoPop has imported Gothic & Lolita Bible to American shores, and produced the first English edition of this influential publication, which made its debut in February 2008. To learn more about this fashion phenomenon, I spoke with Gothic & Lolita Bible Editor-in-Chief Jenna Winterberg and Coordinating Editor Michelle Nguyen to learn more about what makes this Japanese trend so appealing to Western fashionistas, and their plans for the Gothic and Lolita style invasion.
Q: It's great to see the American version of Gothic & Lolita Bible debut this month. But for those readers who might not be familiar with it, can you explain what the Gothic & Lolita Bible is?
enna Winterberg: Gothic & Lolita Bible is a magazine-book hybrid (or "mook" ) that first debuted in Japan, and it's dedicated to two related forms of Japanese street fashion, Gothic and Lolita. Most people recognize Gothic & Lolita Bible as the source for information on Lolita fashion. It not only tracks the trends but also influences them with its coverage.
Q: When was it first published in Japan, and who were creators of this magazine and this style?
Michelle Nguyen: This magazine was first made as a spin-off of the popular KERA magazine, which focused on all street fashion in Japan. Thanks to the establishment of major brands for Lolita, the style grew so popular that it merited its own mook. Both publications are published by the same parent company, INDEX Communications.
Music artists such as Mana of the band Malice Mizer (who first suggested the idea of creating the G&LB) and singer-songwriter Kana further supported Gothic & Lolita Bible and Lolita style itself. They often would wear Lolita or Gothic clothing in their performances, which helped spread the awareness of the fashion. Also of note: Takemoto Novala is an author who wrote many essays on the proper behavior and attitudes of "young maidens", inspiring many people to become interested in Lolita lifestyle, in addition to the fashion.
Lolita clothing is by nature very conservative; perhaps as a reaction to the modern image of sexy and powerful women, Lolita instead showcases an innocent and modest look.