Alyssa Salazar is a 25-year-old convert to Islam who lives in Southern California. She is known as The Hijab Lolita and is the author of a blog by the same name. Hijab comes from the Arabic word “hajaba” which means “to conceal or hide from view.” Alyssa wears the hijab—a headscarf that covers the hair and neck and is worn in accordance with Muslim beliefs to preserve modesty.
Any who are familiar with other connotations of the word lolita, or the novel by Vladimir Nabokov, would see Alyssa’s moniker as ironic at best. Lolita fashion in fact strives for the opposite image the novel would convey. Lolita fashion is very modest and elegant, not sexy or slutty as the uninformed may suspect.
How did a Muslim convert become involved in this community of fashion enthusiasts? Her interest was piqued when one of her friends was selling a Lolita skirt. Alyssa wondered if she could adopt Lolita fashion while conforming to her Muslim dress code. A little research led her to Noor Al-Kattan, also known as SugarNoor, a Muslim who embraced Lolita fashion while wearing the hijab. SugarNoor inspired Alyssa to adopt the style.
Alyssa now has 10,000 followers on Tumblr, whom she delights with frequent images of her Lolita outfits, more accurately known as “coordinates” or “coords.” Lolita fashion originated in Japan and is inspired by Rococo and Victorian fashion. Main features of the fashion are puffy, knee-length skirts that create a cupcake silhouette, heavy emphasis on accessories, and a doll-like impression. Lolita is all about the details, and a lot of time and money go into procuring quality prints, socks, boots, blouses, head bows, bonnets, wigs, purses, and other unique frills.
Many subcategories within the fashion industry make it amenable to the tastes of many unique individuals throughout many cultures. The combination of faith and fashion exemplified by SugarNoor and the Hijab Lolita yields a new and becoming aspect to Lolita fashion.
Being a slight subculture of today, Lolita fashion has been on the rise around the world and is most definitely and borderline uncharted territory in the fashion/beauty industry. From the pastels, giant bows, to frilled skirts, these Lolitas are opening up a new, niche market to be explored!