Japanese culture has spread throughout the world with food, anime, video games, and more. But one region that hasn’t taken in as much of what Japan has to offer as the rest of the world is the Middle East and other Muslim countries.
Until now. Pictures of young Muslim women incorporating Japanese Lolita fashion with their traditional hijab head scarves have been exploding in popularity online. Could this start a new trend toward Muslim idol groups and cosplay conventions?
It’s important to note that the photos of the Muslim women showing off their Lolita fashion skills on Twitter don’t originate from the Middle East; they’re actually photos of Muslim women in England and California. But you’ve got to start somewhere, so maybe the trends they set will pick up momentum in other Muslim regions around the world.
Here are the tweets, complete with the pictures, that have been blowing Japanese Twitter users’ minds: (Click photos to enlarge.)
▼ “Look, Japan! This is Muslim Lolita fashion. It’s cute!”
スパンロック・ラダー (@supan_caall) July 23, 2015
▼ “Seems like Lolita fashion is spreading among the comparatively liberal Muslim population in the West.”
kskでtwt (@ksk_twt) July 23, 2015
▼ “I think they’ve taken a liking to Japanese Lolita fashion”
山下陽光 (@ccttaa) July 22, 2015
▼ “Japan’s Lolita fashion has even come to places like this!”
【7/23 話題の画像】日本のロリータファッションは、こんなところまで影響を与えてるのかw http://t.co/70sGyPHA89—
超ツイッター速報 (@twi_chooo) July 23, 2015
The women were said to be inspired by Japanese Lolita fashion when they saw the cute outfits which, due to their long sleeves and long dresses, wouldn’t go against their religious requirements.
Alyssa Salazar, one of the Muslim Lolita women, had this to say in an interview about how she got involved in the Lolita fashion community:
“I feel more welcomed into the Lolita community than in the Muslim community. They actually wanted to get to know me. They invite me to stuff, and they interact with me at those functions. I met my best friend through Lolita.”
Alyssa also runs a Tumblr, The Hijabi Lolita, where she posts pictures of herself in various Lolita/Muslim outfits. Here are some of the photos of her showing off her cross-culture collaborations:
Of course most of the comments that Japanese netizens have made about the Muslim Lolita fashion are along the lines of kawaii! (“cute!”) or sugoi! (“amazing!”), but some other have kindly expressed their feelings using more than one word:
“Wow, glad to see them doing their best to express themselves as best they can.”
“Lolita fashion: overcoming national borders and religious obstacles.”
“I’m shocked that Muslim clothes and Lolita fashion go together surprisingly well….”
“The people calling them ‘not Lolita’ are missing the point; this is about them finding their own identity.”
“They’d better get started creating MSL48.”
So what do you think? Can Lolita fashion spread to more conservative Muslim countries as well? Or will it remain a niche hobby?