LBC: Favourite Indie Lolita Brands

Come one, come all under the Lolita Carnival blog tent! I'm back on board this week, for a theme I not only looked forward to writing, but to reading. This week's theme is, "What is your Favourite Lolita Indies Brand?"

Let's start by answering, "What's an Indie brand?" It's a brand or clothing line that is independent from major labels. 

My first contender for favourite Indies brand was little hard to choose, because I wasn't even sure if it qualified as "Indies". But when I read the history of the brand, I thought it deserved its place here. If anything it shows the potential of Indies brands, and what they can grow into. 


Though it is considered a major Gothic and Lolita brand today, it was not always that way. The designer, Miho Matsuda got her start as a designer for a Tokyo fashion company, then left to design shoes in Osaka. Her unique designs, such as chunky wooden soles were a huge hit (this was before thick wooden soled shoes were popular). From there, she started designing her own line of clothing, "Miho Matsuda". Her brand was fairly successful, opening shops in Nagoya and Shibuya Parco department stores. 

Unfortunately, her business went bankrupt in 1999, and she was forced to close her brand. In 2001, with the help of sponsor Kobayashi & Co., Ltd., the brand Miho Matsuda was resurrected, with three directly managed shops in  Shinjuku Marui One, Vivre Okayama, Vivre Osaka and others. 

That is where I became skeptical... if Matsuda took on an official sponsor for her brand, then it is no longer "Indies". However, in 2003 Matsuda created her own label, GOLD BRAND, and took her own business back. Ever since it has continued to be a huge success and pillar in the world of Gothic & Lolita fashion. It has even had collaborations with Capcom's Devil May Cry series.

Today it is one of my favourite brands, for the simple and clean uniform style, the colour palette and textile choices, and the tint of darkness over the elegance.


Next on my list is Baroque, a truly independent designer from Korea who has been around since 2003. The brand has been successful with its adorable and unique prints in rare, hard-to-find colours, like orange, pale green and turquoise. In the fall I reserved a jumper skirt and hat set, from their line "Missing Rabbit, Key and Letters".

Their photography for this series looked like it could have been run in Kera, and the dresses reminded me of Emily Temple Cute with Metamorphose's colour palette. 

Ordering from Baroque was simple, and their customer service is wonderful. They are very kind and treat each customer with respect. If you follow them on Facebook, you can see the designers go to events and show their work. Since I love the idea of Lolita being an international phenomenon, I really like seeing pictures of Lolita conventions in Korea, and customers around the world submitting photos of their dresses. 

I look forward to seeing everything Baroque puts out in the future, and for my order to arrive. I have a feeling I'll definitely be ordering from them in the future!

Broken Label

This line was designed by Nagi Noda, a pop artist from Tokyo. She was well-known for her short films, including advertisements for the department store La Foret. (This is grossly underselling her work, so I recommend reading more about her if you have time.)

She created a line called "Broken Label", which featured this collaboration dress with painter Mark Ryden: 

It was shown in a spread of my first-ever Gothic and Lolita Bible. It has always stuck with me. Maybe it is because of my love for the grotesque, like guro art and manga, but I love the simple, girlish silhouette paired with a gruesome print. 

I was more than pleasantly surprised when this dress turned up on Tokyo Fashion early last year! If you click through that link you can see close-ups of the print.

Princess Doll

The last Indies brand I love is Princess Doll. They have the simplicity of Emily Temple Cute with a touch of classic elegance.

Since I first saw Misako Aoki modelling the "Le Couple" OP in my first GLB, the brand has established itself in the Lolita community.

The designer holds several tea parties a year, called "Twinkle Closet" in Nagoya and Tokyo... and though I didn't know it at the time, the Nagoya events are only a few minutes away from the train station I used to use all the time! That was a little upsetting. xD 

There, you have my favourite "Indies" lolita brands. Although Indies brands tend to be a little more expensive, I think it is worth the additional cost, because it is akin to "buying locally". Major lolita brands may be manufactured in China, whereas Indies brands are often made by hand or in limited stock. Also, Indies brands offer unique and exciting designs, because they are tailored for a specific taste or market, as opposed to major brands which try to appeal to a wider market. 

I didn't really mention Western Indies brands, but there are several worth looking into in order to support lolita designers abroad. Some I know of are Lusty n' Wonderland (France), The Snow Field (USA), Ergi by Piratessan (Sweden), Morrigan NYC (USA), and Lady Sloth (USA).

Of course, there are many, many other independent brands out there to discover! I am looking forward to discovering some too. Let's take a look under the Lolita Big Top this week...