Cultures often come together in unexpected ways, and that intersection is represented in the fashion of Alyssa Salazar. She’s a 25-year-old convert to Islam and online, she’s known as The Hijabi Lolita. Her style is bright, girl-ish, and not necessarily what you’d expect when you picture a traditional Muslim ensemble. Salazar has taken Japanese Lolita fashion and infused it into her wardrobe while adhering to Muslim standards and the results are delightfully subversive.
Lolita fashion is loosely based on clothing worn in the Victorian era, and the silhouettes of outfits are cupcake-like—petticoats are used to add pouf to knee length skirts—but they’re actually not called outfits, though. In an interview with Vice, Salazar explains they’re called “coordinates” or “cords” because every last detail is given attention. Assembling a cord is more than pulling pieces at random out of a closet. It’s a process: a process that takes patience and planning.
Salazar became interested in Lolita fashion when she saw a friend selling one of her skirts. Once she learned about another hijabi Lolita named SugarNoor, she saw it was more than possible to combine the two styles and went from there. As she points out, Lolita fashion is actually pretty modest, so it wasn’t hard to adapt it to the rules of hijab. With over 10,000 followers on Tumblr, Salazar is definitely contributing to the development and awareness of the fashion trend—but she’s far from the only Muslim going Lolita. And I’m fascinated by the concept; it challenges expectations, and I think that’s always a positive thing.
Have you ever come across other fashion mash-ups you’ve loved? Let us hear about them in the comments.