Lolita fashion: 'The epitome of the kawaii'

SAPPORO - Beautifully frilled dresses, fantastic balloon skirts, and much more.

These Lolita clothes are displayed in abundance at a company office on the second floor of an old red brick building in central Sapporo.

"This is the epitome of the 'kawaii' that women dream of," said Yuko Ota, who cofounded the company, while applying makeup for a female customer. The woman visited the company office to try out Lolita fashion. Ota says this fashion style attracts customers across a wide age range, from teens to those in their 50s.

Ota, 60, established the company, Kitaloli, that manufactures and sells Lolita dresses, with Asako Mitsuhashi, a fashion marketing specialist, in August 2013. Three graduates of a fashion school where Ota had taught are now involved with producing the clothes at the company.

Born in Sapporo, Ota was employed by a cosmetic company after she graduated from high school, and worked in Kyoto. Then she moved back home and got married at age 21.

When she was 38, she became determined to work in the beauty industry again.

She received training in New York and made other efforts to improve the makeup skills she had initially acquired while working for the cosmetic company. Later, Ota began her new career as a makeup artist and started giving lectures at vocational schools and a high school.

Meeting Mitsuhashi became a turning point in Ota's life. Mitsuhashi, also 60, taught at the same vocational school as Ota did. Around 2008, when the nation was suffering from a recession, many of their students could not find work. Given such circumstances, the two found they shared a mutual ambition to create a business where their former students could work, utilizing their own expertise.

Lolita fashion was a solution the fashion expert and beauty specialist discovered after a serious search.

Around that time, at a vocational school, at least one student every year would choose Lolita fashion as their theme for the graduation exam. Also, many events related to the fashion style had been held in Japan and abroad as an example of the "Cool Japan" phenomenon. However, some Lolita fashion lovers could not enjoy such style of dress as much as they wished, as their families did not understand their taste in fashion, according to Ota.

The two wanted to create an environment where Lolita fashion lovers could become confident with the fashion style as an example of cool culture originating in Japan. So they set up Sapporo Lolita Club, an event planning group, in April 2012.

The club held an event where people could try Lolita clothes in an underground pedestrian walkway in Sapporo in February. "We expected five people or so to come at most. But more than 40 people attended the event, and that surprised us," recalled Ota.

Today, the group has about 280 members. About 80 per cent of them are from Hokkaido and some members live abroad, including in France and Taiwan.

When Ota and Mitsuhashi established Kitaloli, it was not easy for them to gather together the funds to start the company.

They still struggle to sell their products as major companies have greater market presence. Ota quit working as a lecturer in March.

Now she is devoted to running the company and trying to achieve their dream of joining hands with former students to create an environment where they can work together.

she strips down to racy lingerie in cheeky advent calendar video

She famously showcased her famous curves in the pages of Playboy before becoming a hit sensation in Baywatch.

And Pamela Anderson has once again delighted fans with her sex appeal for Day 12 of Love magazine's video advent calendar, following in the footsteps of stars including Suki Waterhouse and Kendall Jenner.
Dressed in a lacy black bra and skimpy knickers, the 47-year-old actress showed off her incredible figure in all its glory while writhing around.
Scroll down for video

The short black and white clip shot by Doug Inglish, shows Pamela blowing bubbles and flying kisses seductively towards the camera.
Meanwhile, the beauty recently opened up Us Weekly about her relationship with husband Rick Salomon.

In 2014 Pamela confirmed she had married Rick, though in July briefly sought to end her marriage.
After admitting the pair were still 'good friends', the actress told the publication about their 'odds' of staying together: 'What are the odds?"...I don't know. Who knows? Who knows? I think we're in it. I think we're doing fine.'
The couple called it quits just three months after originally tying the knot in 2007, and Pamela filed for an annulment following the separation, according to the entertainment site.

The pair were last pictured together at the Formula One U.S. Grand Prix in Texas last month.
Both Pamela and Rick appeared to be really enjoying each other's company at the event, rarely leaving each other's side as they hung out with members of the Infiniti Red Bull Racing team.
Standing near Rick almost the entire time, Pamela couldn't stop smiling and laughing as she tilted her head back in total exuberance.

Catwalk Lingerie Trends in 2014

Dressing fashionably is something we all like to do. By watching the models as they parade down the runways at the Paris, London, Milan and New York fashion shows, we get a glimpse into the glamorous world of haute couture – and wonder how on earth we can achieve those same looks?Last autumn the events showcasing clothes for 2014 aired more lingerie than usual. Trends showing our undergarments peeping through clothing and a general shift towards accentuating the feminine form have definitely started gathering momentum. Leading fashion designers, such as Stella McCartney and Dolce and Gabbana, teamed outfits with garments that borrowed heavily from lingerie styles, and lacy and ultra feminine fabrics were employed to great success.

We are living in pretty sexy times right now. Pop culture is alive with erotica, whether it’s in the Fifty Shades books or twerking musical starlets, and the fashion world is reacting accordingly. Taking the pulse of the cultural mood, style leaders are pushing things in a sensual direction.

Fashion shows with their edgy designers and sometimes outlandish costumes deliberately push the style boundaries, and this is where the most innovative and bold ideas get laid down. After the catwalk shows, the signature looks gradually filter down to the high street and the more mainstream designers attempt to interpret the new styles.

The world of lovely lingerie is never forgotten on the catwalks. Let’s be honest, beautiful lingerie is not really designed to be hidden under clothing, it’s created to be admired. With this in mind, in 2014 lingerie designers really go to town on the sexiest, skimpiest and most exquisite creations ever seen in the boudoir.

Trend spotters for lingerie brands have noticed a push towards the babydoll nightie in all its forms. Whether it’s cute and fresh in white poplin with a retro feel, or vampish and dangerous in dark silks and satins, sexy lingerie nighties are calling the tune in the bedroom this year.

Other trends include patterned fabrics for ultra-feminine bras and briefs. Lingerie lovers should look out for geometric and honeycomb designs coupled with sheer metallic fabrics and fine lacework and embroidery detailing.

The trend for wearing sexy swimwear on the outside will result in pieces that are finely decorated. Jewels, beading and sequins are becoming popular, as lingerie is adapting to a wider audience. Mixing formal day wear with a visible camisole in lace or vintage silk is no longer considered inappropriate and the rise in seamed stockings and fishnets for every day use is really taking hold.

Achieving current lingerie styles needn’t be expensive. A simple, sheer camisole with lace trim is easy enough to get hold of, and customizing it with pretty pearls, beads or sequins will lift it into another realm. Do the same with bras, briefs and nighties so they shimmer and catch the light. A corset or bustier coupled with jeans or skirt makes a fantastic evening outfit, combining fun, flirty and feminine all in one.

Oh yes, our love affair with lingerie has definitely been rekindled. Who knows where we go from here? The only certainty is that from now on, we will be seeing a lot more of lingerie… both in and out of the bedroom.

Global Lingerie Market

Global intimate wear market is estimated to be around $29.15 billion USD in 2004, $30 billion USD in 2007, and is further projected to increase at the rate of 9% to become $31.6 billion USD by 2012. Organized players constitute over 40% of the lingerie market currently. Branded lingerie market is further expected by industry experts to see a rise of 25% by 2010. Of the total global lingerie sales, bras account for 56%, briefs at 32%, and daywears make the remaining 12%. Retail lingerie market has grown by $770 million USD. The main concern in the marketing of lingerie's; worldwide, is the fight for market share between the global brands and the retailer's local brands. The leading global key player is Sara Lee, a US based manufacturer who also have a strong hold in the European market. Followed by this are other companies like La Perla, Truimph, Maidenform, VF, and Warnaco. In chain stores, Victoria's Secret of US, Knickerbox of UK, and Hunkemoller of Europe have a whiz market.

The growing appeal of lingerie has driven the market into the designing of innovative products. Retailers concur with the fact that lingerie's have a higher profit margin than any other apparel. Vendors are now concentrating on having coalitions with lingerie specialty stores. A survey states that an average woman buys approximately five lingerie's in a year. It also states that an average woman has six bras and eight pairs of briefs in her wardrobe, which is normally more than what she requires. This implicates that sexy lingerie sales are normally driven by style factors and current fashion more than its need. Growth in the level of disposable income, and increasing number of working women enhance intimate wear sales, and this situation favors the growth of the global lingerie market.

Emma Harris Signature Collection

Emma Harris is a new brand that is most definitely on my lingerie radar right now. Producing everything in-house, from the design creation of the collection, to the patterns, samples & the manufacture, this is a luxury lingerie brand with a difference.

The conception of Emma Harris sexy lingerie began back in 2008 by Claire Emma Harris. Claire designs lingerie boasting beautiful quality, luxury silks and lace, fabulous fit, and high impact designs all in limited order runs and bespoke comissions.

The Signature Collection is flirty and provocative, but with a definite bridal feel. The collection includes a padded plunge bra, ½ padded plunge bra, balcony bra, soft bra, suspender, skirted brief, skirted thong, lace front brief, lace front skinny thong, babydoll, and garter all available in two colours, bridal ivory and vintage rose.
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