Lolita is an alternative fashion and also possibly subculture, depending on how seriously you wish to take it. There are many very different substyles under the lolita umbrella but one thing they all have in common is a voluminous skirt, and an aggressively feminine appearance. The style's birth is hard to pin down but the earliest uses of the name to describe what evolved into what we have today were in the early 90's, but the fashion was rarely seen outside of it's origin country of Japan until the turn of the millenium. Lolita fashion does not have any ties to the book btw, the name is simply an unfortunate result of a poor understanding of the english language. Accusing someone who wears lolita of trying to emulate the book is an easy way to get pepper sprayed.