One thinks of the japanese as a fairly conservative society, quite different from the east of Asia, and profoundly so when you look at these multitude of subcultures that is burgeoning since the mid 90's. The two I found most fascinating as a form of material culture study are the Lolitas and the Gyaru (direct translation of 'girl'). Many different branches of Lolitas has since evolved from the original composition of a living doll and historical western culture, specifically french from the renaissance era. A nice confirmation to the importance of history to a fashion perspective. As for the Gyaru, they used to be known as Ganguro, and off shoots of the general theme has evolved since. The overblown level of 'ownership' they have placed on these so-called influences are anything but direct. There is a whole new level of 'borrowing' involved here. Much of the inspiration is wildly specific and in some ways sensible, for example if you are a gothic-loli, you would love Tim Burton and Dracula, you would love to own a bat as pet and have skulls spread all over your handmade skirt.
The fascinating business of being a Lolita is the absolute commitment. Once you become one, you have a whole set of rules that you must follow, often times this involves making your own clothes, if you do, you garner more respect in your lolita community. The more dress-making skills you have, the better you are at realising your whole identity.
If you have time and want to learn more about this, I suggest you have a little peek at some of these sites I link here.
Ama-Loli also called the Kotekote Lolita or the OTT Lolitas goes for the all over pink, the hyper cute, the overly lacey fantasy, strawberry shortcake look by taking the doll to the extreme. This description does not justify what you will see and the product of the synthesis. There is incredible level of competency, perhaps we can call it obsession in their commitment to their identity, the hand-made clothing, the attention to details, the hours spend collecting,
The Gothic Lolita subculture is a branch of the lolita mainly inspired by Visual Kei's band gothic lolita costumes, a band that's quite difficult to categorise, a specific combination of sounds that could be heavy metal, glam rock, and Jpop, with quite effortlessly androgynous singer.
Check out these Gothic Lolita Brand by Mana Sama
The Moi-meme-Moitie Brand online and their Facebook page
Here's the whole article on Kuro-Gyaru