Friday, November 26, 2010

Dolly Kei = dressing with joy

Imported from

Hey boys and girls, let's play dress-up! (Grimoire party June 2010)

Thus begins the first post in my new series. You could say it's cheating, because what I intend to do is take pictures of Indianapolis street-style examples. This first post, though, is something I desperately want to import.

I was looking around a little bit ago, and I found this Japanese fashion subgenre called Dolly Kei. It's only been around for a couple of years. So, being NOT a total Japanophile, I am a little late to the party. But it is one SERIOUSLY fun party!!

Dolly Kei might just be the coolest thing, the best example of dressing with joy, that I have ever seen. It's a little bit antique babydoll, a little bit Japanese lolita, a little bit boho-vintage. It's whimsy plus refinement. It reminds me of every pre-Raphaelite painting I've ever fallen in love with, mixed with my old (HUGE, naturally) collection of dress-up clothes from my childhood. And I had a really hard time narrowing down my favorite pictures, so I chose quite a few.
What I really love is the diversity even within this small niche. So many subcultural styles I've fallen in love with over the years were co-opted and Hot Topic-ized before I even had a chance to really appreciate them. But this is fresh. This is something that, for all appearances, you have no choice but to make your own if you're going to do it right. Know what, I'm gonna shut up and post pictures now. All pics were found on and Click on any of the pics to embiggen.





You see what I mean?! I love the color. I love the goofy little touches, a stuffed animal here, a costume-mask accessory there. The mixing of sumptuous fabrics. The amount of variety. The fact that it's SO hard to incorporate so many little complex details without cluttering up the whole thing. I love the purses. They're all perfectly adorable. I LOVE the one girl who managed to incorporate a KISS tee-shirt into the mix. It's enough to make me want to run to the thrift store, overhaul everything in my wardrobe, and just dress like this all the time.

What the hey, I'll throw in one gothic lolita girl since I love them so much!
 This is what I'm talking about! Doesn't it get your noggin going in a million creative directions, all at once, just being inspired by a few of these pictures? Don't you want to take in every nuance, every texture and thread, and feel the joy that went into putting it all together?

I had to pick out just a few more, from Grimoire's second-anniversary party that took place just a few months ago. Grimoire is the where-it's-at shop for everyone in Tokyo who's into dolly kei, so that's your info on that front. It is to dolly kei as Baby, the Stars Shine Bright is to Lolita fashion. And you've got to look at every single snapshot in this photoset, right here, or you are missing out. SO badly. Here's a preview:

My hat is a boat. Your argument is invalid.

So, who wants to hit the nearest thrift store and play dress-up? Get crafty, get creative, get this fashion crackin' around here because it is amazing!

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