There’s a small “Lolita” fashion community in Singapore made up of about 100 members – and one of whom is a transgender individual.
Location sound recordist Kerraine, 36, told Yahoo Lifestyle Singapore during a recent interview that she had decided to come out as a transgender woman in 2016, the year she began her journey to becoming an avid fan of the kawaii and feminine cult fashion that originated in Japan.
Kerraine, who was born male and hasn’t gone through gender reassignment, bought her first Lolita-styled clothing in January 2016 from popular Chinese e-marketplace Taobao. Her first buy was a grey jumper skirt made of wool. Today, Kerraine, who shops at least twice a month, owns 20 pairs of tights, three over-the-knee socks, 11 jumper skirts, a one-piece dress, several hair wigs and a puffy petticoat that will give her that signature A-line or “cupcake” silhouette many Lolita fans aim for. The Lolita look is a combination of cute and elements of fashion from the Victorian and Rococo era.
“I love that it’s cute, it’s feminine and very modest-looking. For many Lolita dressing, the silhouette stands out the most and I like that,” gushed Kerraine, who also thinks that the Lolita look helps to add “curves” to her “skinny” figure.
Kerraine’s favourite Lolita styles include classic and sweet. Other styles available for Lolita fans to experiment with are, country, gothic, Wa-Loli (has elements of traditional Japanese fashion), Qi-Loli (has elements of traditional Chinese fashion) and steampunk, a style inspired by science fiction.
Members of the local Lolita fashion community attend meet-ups – commonly known as tea gatherings – during which members discuss outfits, styles and shopping, among others. However, due to her unpredictable working schedule, Kerraine hasn’t been able to participate much.
During some of these tea gatherings, members can also meet up to swap or give away clothing or accessories. For the ones organised by local event planner Haru House, members are encouraged to join “meet and swap” tea gatherings as a means to “cut wastage and save money on buying new stuff”, according to their Facebook page.
Lolita fashion can be a very expensive hobby, admits Kerraine, who was dressed in a classic-style Lolita fashion during this interview.
“I have spent so much in the last year just on clothes and accessories,” said Kerraine guiltily before she went on to take this reporter through the estimated cost of every single thing she was wearing – starting from her hair accessory.
“This is $20, the wig is $45, the blouse is $75, the jumper skirt is $350, the petticoat is $40, the tights $2 and the high-heeled leather boots $200,” said Kerraine.
Kerraine later whipped out her latest purchase, a pair of cupcake-themed high-heeled shoes from British brand Irregular Choice, which she pointed out was not a common brand for Lolita fans but it “shows that you don’t necessarily need to stick to popular Lolita brands to pull off the look”.
A number of popular Lolita brands Kerraine usually shops from are Mary Magdalene and Innocent World from Japan. She also checks out secondhand online marketplace Lace Market, where people can buy, sell or trade their items. For wigs, she prefers Taiwan-based brand Dream Holic.