Lolita outfits harken back to the storybook days, when females flounced around in panniers and nibbled on tarts at high tea. Fittingly, several Japanese clothing lines are named after literary icons (Jane Marple, Emily Temple Cute, A+Lidel, Mary Magdalene, Juliette et Justine). Who are these women, and why are they figureheads for Lolita fashion?


A+Lidel is a nod to Alice Pleasance Liddell, the 10-year-old girl who inspired Lewis Carroll to pen Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865). The illustrations show Alice in a puffy dress and frilly apron, which aren’t far removed from A+Lidel’s output. Their clothing has a punk and modern attitude, just like the spunky girl who crawls into a strange new world. Adding to the Lolita element is the rumored sexual relationship between the child and the author, although there has never been any direct proof of this.


It’s no surpirse that a Lolita clothing line is named after the controversial Mary Magdalene. She is described in the New Testament as a devoted disciple of Jesus and the first person to witness his resurrection. Prior to her conversion, she may have been an adultress and/or prostitute, and this archetype of Mary was followed by many writers and artists. The Mary Magdalene clothing line is elegant and beautiful, and remind me of Titian’s paintings of the saint in flowing fabrics.


Jane Marple is the little old lady turned amateur detective who appears in twelve of Agatha Christie’s crime novels. Introduced in 1930, Miss Marple is an elderly spinster who lives in the quaint English village of St. Mary Mead (which is also the corporate name of the clothing line!). She dresses neatly in tweed and is frequently seen knitting or pulling weeds in her garden. Miss Marple can be something of a space cadet, but when it comes to solving mysteries, her mind is sharp. Although she looks sweet and frail, Miss Marple is a tough cookie: she is not afraid of cadavers and cannot be easily intimidated. The Jane Marple brand pays homage to her verve with its Gothic Lolita/English villager designs.


The first name ushers in bookish and celluloid recollections: Emily Bronte, Emily Dickinson, all the heroines in tales of ghosts, crumbling mansions, and boarding schools. Then there’s “Temple” for Shirley, the cinema child star; the girl with curl in the middle of her forehead; the lollipops and lemon-drops of movie kitsch. (The brand also makes childrenswear under the name Shirley Temple.) And we end with “Cute”, which describes the clothing well: gingham, polka dots, flowers, teddy bears, fairytale imagery, 1950s and 60s silhouettes.


Le Marquis de Sade is the author of Justine (1787) and Juliette (1797), but he is best known for his libertine ways and violent sex descriptions that gave rise to the term “sadism.” In these novels, Justine is a kind young woman who encounters nothing but despair when she tries to safeguard her virtue. Her sister Juliette is an amoral nymphomaniac who ends up rich, successful, and happy. Juliette et Justine’s dresses incorporate Napoleon-era details, and many of the looks straddle naughty and nice – just like the sisters.



  1. Freedom
    Posted June 19, 2008 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Their so pretty. where do i order the wig?

  2. Freedom
    Posted June 19, 2008 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    Their so pretty. where do i order the wig?

  3. lacarmina
    Posted June 19, 2008 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    I did a post on Goth Loli wigs here:

    hope it helps! ^__^

  4. Nella
    Posted August 21, 2008 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    these dresses are the cutes! i love them!

  5. Nella
    Posted August 21, 2008 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    these dresses are the cutes! i love them!

  6. Nella
    Posted August 21, 2008 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    these dresses are the cutes! i love them!