It starts with a dress, or dresses. Among a menagerie of rainbow variations, certain features are standard: lace and ruffle-decked blouses under jumpers, aprons, or high-waisted belled and crinolined knee-length skirts; more skin covered than bare; headwear including bonnets, miniature hats, or massive bows over ringlets and long tresses. So many ruffles; so much lace (Fig. 1). Beginning in the late 1990s, gothic lolitas—overwhelmingly young women in their teens and twenties, and overwhelmingly girly in their outsized bows, platform Mary Jane shoes, and petticoated skirts—stood out as defiantly, bizarrely out of place and time on the Tokyo street scene, all bright white and concrete in Harajuku, a built-up postwar neighborhood of Tokyo known as a youth haven since the 1960s. More than twenty years later, although most Harajuku fashions have died out in keeping with a fad's typically short life cycle, the gothic lolitas have persisted and even multiplied, thanks in large part to the Internet, which has helped muster an army of misfit girl aristocrats not just in Japan but around the globe.