Literally "Princess Lolita," Hime Lolita is a subcategory of Lolita fashion originating in Japan, which prioritises extravagance, regal bearing, dainty hyperfeminine ornamentation such as frills, ruffles, and ribbons, and fabric patterns featuring traditional symbols of royalty, such as tiaras and castles printed around the hem of a skirt.
This style of fashion derives partially from the Rococo era of art, fashion, and architecture, using pastel colours (usually pink, white, and pale blue), artificial pearls, and elaborately structured wigs reminiscent of Marie Antoinette and other iconic historical inhabitants of Versailles Palace. The other chief influence on this style is the Himegyaru fashion, itself a princess-themed subset of the Gyaru fashion movement, which emulates the California "Valley Girl" look. Like Himegyaru, Hime Lolita fashion often features elaborate artificial fingernails and false eyelashes as part of the overall ensemble.
Major accessories integral to wearing this style of fashion in public environments are lace-edged folding fans, lace or silk gloves with delicate beading or crochet detailing, parasols, scepters or walking canes, and Rococo-reminiscent headwear such as bonnets, fascinator hats, and headdresses of draping pearl beads.
Hime Lolita is visually easy to confuse with Sweet Lolita, which places similar priority in extremely softly feminine presentation, pastel colours, and complex wigs (usually with the hair curled). Of the two, Sweet Lolita is meant to seem the most childlike of all Lolita fashion categories, while Hime Lolita is not intended to make the wearer appear younger, and favours a mature and self-possessed overall presentation.
It should also not be confused conceptually with Aristocrat Lolita, which is an even more mature style, based on Gothic Lolita, using a relatively unadorned costuming and sharper silhouette that somewhat breaks away from the norms of Lolita fashion (which largely agrees across all subgenres on a similar overall bell-shaped silhouette). Aristocrat Lolita uses chiefly a black colour palette, suggestive of Victorian high mourning fashion.
Taken to its most extreme extent, Hime Lolita also breaks away from Lolita fashion silhouette norms, bordering on an outright cosplay of Marie Antoinette, with full-length ballgown-style skirts, cinched or corseted bodices, and the need to use hoops or petticoats to support the overall structure of the ensemble.
Iron Noder 2019, 28/30