Friday, 15 November 2013

My Personal Take On Japanese Fashions: Dolly Kei

Okay, so this time I will actually write the post I intended to write about fashion instead of diverting to Transformers (Iloveitsomuchokay)! After Doki Doki I wanted to do a Taobao order with a few friends so I've been browsing Taobao for the past few evenings, for hours at a time. XD I have wanted pretty much everything but had to limit it down by reminding myself this isn't the last Taobao order I will ever do - I will, in fact, place other Taobao orders so I don't have to empty my life savings into this group order!

When I buy more than one or two fashion items, I usually choose what I want by choosing which fashion style I want to buy for, or what items I really need at the moment. I really want to dress in lots of Japanese fashion styles but sometimes I end up buying things that, even though they are quintessentially Mori Girl, Dolly Kei, etc, they might not suit me and my personal style. Therefore I thought it'd be fun to take a fashion style I want to dress in and give my personal take on it, saying what I like and don't like in the fashion, what I'd tweak to suit me and even add in things that might not be considered 100% Mori Girl, Dolly Kei, etc. Today I'll pick Dolly Kei as I bought a dress on Everything5Pounds.com the other week, I've just bought a grey waistcoat to match and have been feeling in a 'Dolly Kei' mood ever since! E5P doesn't have amazing stuff all the time but it has some great hidden gems and their shoes are amazing for £5. I got these beauties the other week for, yep, £5!

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If you don't know what Dolly Kei fashion is, please see my post about it here!


When most people think of Dolly Kei, they immediately think of Grimoire, a vintage thrift store in Tokyo created by Nomura Hitomi (pictured above in the yellow). She sources all kinds of items suitable for Dolly Kei fashion from all over the world and I'm extremely pleased to be able to say I met her at Frock On earlier this year. She is so lovely and the success of Grimoire means she has been able to design her own items suitable for Dolly Kei (and other) fashion styles such as tights, iPhone cases and perfume.

Interior of Grimoire, fashion shop in Shibuya, Japan.
This photo pretty much sums up Dolly Kei fashion for me. Dusty, creepy, warm antique bronze tones, browns, golds, black, taxidermy, magic, alchemy, the occult, pinned butterflies, heads in jars, apothecaries, etc. Other motifs I love in Dolly Kei are fur, embroidery and general texture stuff like knits, studs, etc. and insects and witch and occult themes.

layered skirts!

Things that I love, or would love to wear in Dolly Kei include pretty prairie style dresses from brands like Gunne Sax, intricately designed tights, velvet, fur, lace, crochet, cute hats, weird jewellery with things like taxidermy and doll parts on, brooches, antique style rings and a satchel or book bag.

Harajuku girl in Grimoire, Tarock with Ricco & Qosmos vs guy in top hat, round glasses & lots of silver jewelry. The guy is one of the fanged models in our recent Fangophila video!

Things I've found that don't suit me in Dolly Kei are long skirts, tons of layering (really need to strike a balance between cute layering and frumpy layering >_<), long cardigans/layerables that make my waist disappear and make me look frumpy and flat shoes. Basically it's all stuff that is very hard to get right unless you have the right cut of item and body shape. I don't consider myself fat but I'm not skinny either so it's easy for me to look frumpier/fatter than I am in fashions like Dolly Kei and Mori Girl.

dolly kei

Things I want to do to make my personal Dolly Kei style more 'me' is that I want to make my version more glamorous. I want to wear shorter skirts like below in order to make me not look so frumpy XD Lots of wide belts too, to cinch in my waist and add to the 'I'm not frumpy, honest' thing I'm trying to go for. I think it's still possible to layer items like cardigans and peignoirs and still look unfrumpy - I'd really like to try wearing the wide belt over the outerwear for an interesting look! Also waistcoats have to be a bit cropped in order to not make my waist disappear - either that or wear it with a belt underneath! The military inspired jackets with braid and fringe are really cute!

dolly kei

I also wanna wear big high heels and amazing shoes with my amazing tights! I don't mean stilettos, I mean chunkier shoes like above. Basically that girl is my whole inspiration. XD I want to have a sort of glamorous witch or gypsy look with really pretty hair and make-up too! I know Dolly Kei make-up is more natural but I would wear circle lenses and false eyelashes with it (not saying girls don't already wear them with Dolly Kei) and have the whole doll thing going on with my make-up.

Dolly Kei. Japanese fashion. bohemian
I bought these tights at Frock On, oh hohohohoho

I really love the amazingly patterned tights that Grimoire popularised and expensive tights adds to the glamous haha. I'm going to add a few pairs of tights to my Taobao order including some black and gold cat ones (maybe the black, red and gold version too if I can afford it - total Dolly Kei colours!) and the vein style tights that I adore. I would only ever buy original Grimoire tights and I try so hard to not buy replicas but I don't think those mentioned above are replicas? I haven't seen them around. Lace ankle socks with heels would have a really cute doll vibe too.

Dolly kei

Other things I wanna wear with Dolly Kei are cute hats and hair pieces! I really need a 'Hat 101' course to try on all the styles of hat and see what suits me...I feel really silly in hats for some reason and like none of them suit me. XD Cute motifs like berries, needle felted animals, small taxidermy skulls, creepy insect items, etc. will adorn both my hats and hair pieces as well as lots of lace, fur and perhaps feathers. I told you it was glamourous!

Dolly Kei

 I would also like lots of shrugs and boleros to wear as they really help pull an outfit together and can change up the look of an outfit easily. I have a black velvet shrug with a fox fur collar at home and I love it to pieces for a real UCG (upperclass Goth, courtesy of Adora Batbrat/Iva Insane) vibe and I feel it'll work really well with Dolly Kei too. Accessories I'd like to buy/make to wear with Dolly Kei include lots of antique bronze, cameos and book page cameos but I'd also like to try and make some lace collar necklaces, tassel necklaces and belts (maybe even bracelets!) and buy some taxidermy items, especially a necklace reminiscent of the one worn by Ginger and Brigitte in Ginger Snaps. Wooden items such as brooches would be nice and I'd love to try some of Rekami Stworzone's real insect jewellery!

I think if I'm able to put all this together, it could turn out really cutely and interesting! I'm really looking forward to browsing Taobao yet again and finding items suitable for my new 'glamorous gypsy witch' look! I also want to make new items and possibly upload them to my store if other people like them! Thanks for reading, if you have any tips or questions, please feel free to ask!

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