A downtown Auckland view on Japanese street fashion
September 15 – November 18 2007
Free with entry donation
Asian popular culture and fashion has forever changed the look of downtown Auckland. Auckland Museum’s latest exhibition, Loli-Pop, explores one of the extreme edges of this culture: the Japanese Gothic Lolita phenomenon.
Curator Kathryn Hardy Bernal, lecturer in Contextual and Theoretical Studies at AUT says that the exhibition aims to explore the relationships between the Loli-Goth and popular culture.
Hardy Bernal explains that “The Gothic Lolita, or Loli-Goth, style is designated by fashions inspired by the Rococo, Romantic and Victorian periods. It is based on a particular notion of the Gothic, represented by historical mourning garb, maidservants’ wear, children’s dresses, and dolls’ clothes. The Loli-Goth thus demonstrates a predilection for bloomers, petticoats, pinafores, ribbons, ruffles, bonnets, lace headdresses, parasols, and Mary Jane shoes. The appearance, therefore, often evokes that of a Victorian doll.”
Loli-Pop brings together the relationships between the Loli-Goth and popular culture, and the strong association of the Loli-Goth with the doll, including a selection from Hardy Bernal’s personal collection of Japanese Lolita dolls. This display is supported by the highlight of the show, five full-sized garments created and constructed by AUT University Fashion staff members, Angie Finn, Yvonne Stewart, Lize Niemczyk, Gabriella Trussardi, Carmel Donnelly and Kathryn Hardy Bernal, which demonstrate the designers’ own interpretations of Gothic & Lolita, inspired by Japanese street style. The exhibit is complimented by a backdrop of photographs that illustrate the impact of the outfits when worn, modelled by AUT University Bachelor of Fashion Design students, Emily Huang, Shangshang Cookie Wang, Emily Wang, Shiahug-Wen Sean Kuo and Yanling Wang.
A visual framework is incorporated by two further photographic series, taken on the streets of Tokyo, documenting current incarnations of Gothic & Lolita in Japan. This is supported by images of local Loli-Goths, contributing to the New Zealand context of the Exhibition.