Print Story – Lilac Bouquet

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Hello everyone, it’s Yuko from the kay me atelier here again!

For today’s print story, I’d like to introduce one of our newest designs, Lilac Bouquet.

As you might already be aware, all kay me prints are original – you won’t find the same patterns anywhere else in the world.

Our Lilac Bouquet print is so pretty with lots of lovely flowers like pansies and violets as well as the Japanese summer flower morning glory, and really shows off the illustrator’s work and Junko Kemi’s dress designs.

Here’s the original concept:

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For my job, I have to build an image of the print and dress: what kind of occasion is it suitable for? Of course Junko has a lot of ideas and wants to wear kay me dresses all the time!

For this particular print, we changed the arrangement of the flower motifs as well as the size and placement.

It’s getting there:

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On paper first, we can get an idea of the colours and change some of the key tones in the print. Once it’s printed on a fabric sample, I have to really check it’s perfect.

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However…

In this case we weren’t 100% happy with the print colours and felt they weren’t a perfect match for kay me customers.

Back to the drawing board with Junko, and back to planning…

Finally, Lilac Bouquet was born, perfect for kay me’s concept of “instant elegance”, with tones ranging from pale lilac to deep bordeaux gradation for lovely flowers. Perfect for pairing with black, white and grey.

This print looks beautiful as both our Venus Drape and cache-coeur dress styles!

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Until next time… Yuko.

Introducing… New Prints for Summer

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New from kay me for the summer season, our mini collection of dark floral prints and pastel geometric styles is sure to be a favourite not only in the warmer months, but also through autumn and into winter. With versatile cuts and colours, our new season dresses look just as good with kay me jacket for the office, paired with matching knitwear and even one of our stretchy faux-leather biker jackets for the weekend.

Sunset Garden

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Bright and bold with a distinctly retro feel, our original Sunset Garden print features large florals created from brushstrokes in differing colours. With tones inspired by primary colours, there’s plenty to pick out for easy outfit coordination. Our wrap dress features a small collar and cufflink-style style buttons for the cuffs, with the soft and comfortable bodice contrasting with the structured crease-resistant A-line skirt. Knot the waist tie any way you wish – a traditional ribbon, or Japanese-influenced obi style is a favourite at kay me HQ.

Lilac Bouquet

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With watercolour purple tones and a pattern of violets and pansies, our Lilac Bouquet dresses in venus drape and cache-coeur styles are truly feminine and elegant. With a black base to the print, these dresses have a rich depth that lends an air of elegance and sophistication. Pair with a black kay me jacket for the office, or grey knitwear for cafe afternoons.

Horizon Blue

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A striking and simple geometric pattern with an on-trend pastel background, our new Horizon Blue dresses in venus drape and waist-gathered style combine this modern graphic style with flattering silhouettes. Our venus drape dresses are feat of engineering as well as fashion design, and create a effortless style. Add a white jacket for a fresh spring look, or match with black for a cool and edgy look.

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See all kay me new arrivals here, and don’t forget to keep in touch with kay me in Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for all the latest from kay me HQ in Tokyo.

Shinjuku Store Opening Event

Hello everyone, this is kay me founder Junko Kemi. I’d like to share with you a little about our new Shinjuku store which opened on Saturday 1st July. 

It was such a pleasure to celebrate the opening party with our customers!

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Since I started kay me in 2011 just six years have passed, and our new Shinjuku Sanchome store is now our 7th shop in Japan.

As well as the new store, we’ve also opened kay me CLUB at the same location, specially for members. It seems to be very popular, so I’m over the moon.

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For the past month and half, I’ve been rushed off my feet selecting furniture, working on the interior design and building a new team. I’m so grateful to everyone and happy that the opening was so well received.

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We’ve also just launched kay me SELECT, our new line of items produced by global artisans. Our first collection of beautiful scarves featuring elegant floral French lace. Customers at the opening party were able to try these luxurious scarves for themselves. There’s a different colour to suit everyone!

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Thanks again to everyone who made our event so special – come and visit our new Shinjuku store again soon!

Until next time… Junko.

Introducing… kay me SELECT

As well as opening our new Shinjuku store and members club on July 1st, this week also sees the debut of our new line, kay me SELECT.

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Specially chosen to compliment your lifestyle, kay me SELECT follows our principles of beauty, quality and practicality. produced by global artisans, you’ll find only the best techniques and workmanship, backed up by experience and high standards for everything from quality checking to labour conditions.

We’re very excited to introduce our first kay me SELECT collection, a range of stunning scarves handmade in India:

Antique Pink, Milk Tea, Grey and Indigo Blue

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Using German weaving technology combined with French lace, these delicate scarves are made from finely spun pure wool. With three layers to each scarf, these are a combination of complimentary tones that bring warmth and depth, and tiny hand stitches are used to attach the layers in an advanced technique.

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These scarves are available in Milk Tea (pink-brown), Antique Pink (warm pink), Indigo Blue (blue and off-white), and Grey (grey and off-white).

Pure White and Pure Black

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A luxurious blend of silk and wool, these black and white scarves feature a subtle jacquard weave contrasted with a large panel of lace. Measuring 105 cm x 220 cm, these large scarves look equally stylish looped around the neck or worn loose over the shoulders, making them perfect for travel.

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Currently available in Japan and coming soon to our all-new international online store, click here to see more from kay me SELECT’s debut line.

Want to know how we created our lovely editorial photos? Here’s a hint, starring Akiko from kay me HQ:

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kay me Shinjuku and kay me CLUB – Grand Opening!

The kay me team is very excited to announce the opening of kay me’s new store in Shinjuku, Tokyo on Saturday July 1st. A leisure and business hub, Shinjuku is the perfect place for kay me’s new location, just a couple of minutes from Shinjuku Sanchome station, and a great stopping point for busy women on the go in the city.

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The new kay me store will feature our signature selection of stylish and fuss-free dresses, business suits, accessories and underdresses as well as our Contemporary Kimono and 100% silk lines.

Even more excitingly, visitors to our Shinjuku store will also be able to custom order dresses in their fabric, style, length and size of choice  an archive of favourite kay me prints and styles will be available to choose from, and there’s almost no end to how many different combinations can be designed. Simply chat to one of our team in store for more information on how to create your unique dream dress.

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In addition to our beautiful new retail space, the kay me team also invites you to kay me CLUB – created exclusively for members, kay me CLUB is a restful space in the middle of the city and provides a place to relax and unwind. Inspired by five-star lounges and members clubs in London, Junko was motivated to create kay me CLUB as an opportunity for like-minded women (and men!) to have their own oasis of calm in the bustling city of Tokyo.

Open from morning until night, kay me CLUB has been specially designed by kay me founder Junko Kemi featuring 19th Century British antique furniture, with selected complimentary refreshments, as well as wi-fi and printing available on hand.

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kay me Shinjuku and kay me CLUB

6th floor, Kurihashi Building, Shinjuku 3-13-5, Tokyo

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Design Story – Venus Drape Dresses

Hello, it’s Yuko from the kay me atelier team again! Today I’d like to tell you all about our Venus Drape dresses.

The other day I had a meeting with our patterner, one of the most important roles in the kay me design team. With our patterner, each item of clothing is created piece by piece and professionally sewn together. Brand founder Junko Kemi received advice that for truly special clothing, pattern is more important than design!

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Our Venus Drape dress was one of the first designs created by Junko.

I’ve been in the fashion industry for a long time, but still when I first saw the Venus Drape pattern I couldn’t imagine the end result at all. It was the first time I saw a pattern where I couldn’t imagine the finished dress!

It was the same for our team of expert sewing artisans: even though there was a specification document, sewing the pattern for the first time was a real challenge due to the complex structure.

Once, Junko and I decided to unpick a Venus Drape dress, and it took us about five hours to completely disassemble the entire dress!

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Working with our patterner, we designed and made many versions of the Venus Drape dress to capture Junko’s vision perfectly. We considered every aspect of how to create the elegantly flowing drapes, how to make it three-dimensional, what the back of the dress would look like, how to define the waist, and more.

For our sewing artisans, it’s a complicated design as the stitches are shorter so it takes much more time and effort than basic long seams.

It’s a process that can only be done manually by expert craftspeople.

kay me also uses large prints, creating more hard work – we have to really consider the print and the placement of each pattern piece when cutting and sewing.

The pattern for Venus Drape dresses creates shapes using perfectly places darts, switching and joints, and it’s especially difficult to create this type of dress without putting too much strain on particular seams.

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It’s been a real commitment to design and make our gorgeous Venus Drape dresses!

Looking forward to next time… Yuko.

Introducing Shadow Florals, from kay me

Today on the kay me blog, we’re introducing our new mini-collection of original print fresh florals designed for summer. Available in a variety of signature kay me designs, our new dresses are great for summer days at home and abroad: our specially selected jersey materials are drip-dry and non-crease, making them perfect for vacations and trips away.

At kay me HQ our current record is 60 of our dresses rolled and fitted into a single suitcase – we’d love to see if you can beat that number!

Shadow Flower Piping Dress and Venus Drape Dress

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Our new Shadow Flower print features contrasting black and white shadows and highlights in elegantly flowing floral forms to create a beautiful modern monotone style. A kay me classic, our venus drape dresses give wearers an instant dramatic hourglass figure with hand-placed tucks and drapes that take hours of intricate stitching.

Our piping dress combines the look of a top and skirt with the ease and convenience of a dress. With a structured skirt and lighter top, the cross-over neckline features a piped edge in black to add extra interest.

Navy Flower Cache-coeur Dress and Orange Flower Ribbon Dress

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Shadow Flower gets a make-over – also available in orange and navy! One of our favourite designs, kay me’s cache-coeur dresses is a deceptively simple A-line fit-and-flare style that’s just as stylish in the office as out for dinner with friends. Three-quarter sleeves make this a versatile dress.

The central twist of our ribbon dresses creates a visual centre-point that’s enhanced by the riot of rich florals of the print. Special case is taken when pattern-matching and sewing this design to create the most visual pleasing combination. Pair this vivid and juicy orange with white kay me knitwear for a sunny summer style.

Butterfly Daily Dress

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Capture the effortless joy of summer with our charming new butterfly print. Simple white butterflies flutter across a warm navy background on our daily dress. With a round neck, short sleeves and a decorative waist-tie, our daily dress is an easy to wear wardrobe favourite that you’ll be reaching for… every day!

While we’re working hard on our fantastic new online store, these dresses are currently available in Japan. Please email shop@kayme.co.uk for international inquiries.

kay me Contemporary Kimono and Japanese Summer Festivals

As the weather continues to heat up here in Tokyo, we’re talking a look at just a few of the many summer festivals in Japan, as well as some of our favourite Contemporary Kimono dresses to match.

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(Tokiwa-Midori 100% silk asymmetry dress)

Tanabata – July 7th

Also known as the star festival, this celebration is named after the legend of a Japanese weaving maiden who  was believed to create clothes for the gods themselves. In early July, you can often see displays of bamboo branches with small slips of paper hung from them – written on these papers will be wishes, dreams and aspirations.

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(Belvedere waist-gathered dress)

Toro Nagashi (Floating lantern festival) – July 19th

A traditional Japanese custom to mark Bon festival, small paper lanterns containing candles are let go into the air or set on lakes and rivers to guide the spirits of ancestors.

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(Coral Water waist-gathered dress)

Sumidagawa Fireworks festival – late July

One of the most popular summer events in Tokyo, the fireworks display over Sumidagawa river in Asakusa is an annual favourite. Expect dramatic displays lighting up the night sky and large crowds to match.

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(Ice Water waist-gathered dress)

Bon festival – mid-August

Important in the Buddhist calendar, Bon festival is the time to honour the spirits of ancestors. Many people in Japan take this as an opportunity to visit their hometowns away from the big cities and spend time together with families.

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(Quiet Garden cache-coeur dress)

Awa-odori – late August

Koenji is the modern home of one of the largest awa-odori festivals featuring traditional dancing and music, plus food and entertainment to match, but other smaller festivals can also be found around Tokyo.

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(Aka-Michelle waist-gathered dress)

Here at kay me HQ we love to get into the spirit of the season, and summer is a lovely chance to explore more about Japanese culture and traditional dress. For those who are looking for dresses with all modern comforts and high-tech materials but with a uniquely authentic Japanese influence, our Contemporary Kimono dresses are the perfect match.

With print designs based on brand founder Junko Kemi’s grandmother’s kimono, fabrics including our unique washable 100% silk jersey and flattering styles suitable for a variety of occasions, there’s never been a better time to discover the beauty of Japanese kimono dresses from kay me.

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Print Story – Denime

Hello, this is Yuko from the kay me atelier team! Today I’d like to tell you all about our Denime dress.

kay me is a brand that supports working women, so we love to create versatile prints for every occasion: presentations, parties, dinners and the office, as well as dates, outings, travel and resort vacations.

When we look at a design, various scenes and situations run through my head. For example, for a formal dinner, what kind of industry is it? Have they met before? What is the balance of men and women at the dinner? How conservative should attendees dress? And so on…

Even though I’ve spent a long time in the apparel industry, I haven’t encountered many designers who think about materials and designs from this point of view.

Take our Denime print, suitable for every day, you can carry the casual feeling of denim with you.

By overlaying elegant flowers and lace, you can wear this dress on not so casual days as well. We were also conscious of the stitching to maintain the image of actual denim, so we selected a contrasting orange as an accent colour.

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We trial printed fabric over and over until we achieved the perfect delicate nuance of authentic antique faded denim. Finally we found the ideal colour and were able to print it using specialist techniques on our top-quality stretchy and washable rayon. The matching design for this print is our signature drape style that flatters your natural figure.

This dress was entirely made in Tokyo from start to finish, so come and take a look!

Looking forward to next time… Yuko.

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Get Ready for Special Events, with kay me

Weddings, graduations, birthdays, baby showers and parties… The summer season schedule is often packed with special events from morning to night. kay me is here to help – handmade by a small team of skilled artisans here in Japan, our dresses are machine washable and drip-dry with no need to iron, as well as being crease-resistant.

Perfect for travel and long days, there’s no need to worry about wrinkled skirts or expensive cleaning bills, and you can certainly dance up a storm in our premium stretchy fabrics!

Here’s our selection of pretty party dresses fit for a variety of occasions:

Amaranth Cross Dress

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The distinctive vivid pink colour and specially tailored cross paneling of our Amaranth dress is sure to make you stand out from the crowd. Sleeveless and with small side-slits for easy walking, let this dress shine by keeping accessories light and minimal.

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Royal Blue Double-twist Dress

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Our double-twist dresses* are created from a complex pattern that ensures the front and back twists are perfectly positioned to enhance and flatter your natural figure. This rich shade of royal blue is pretty with pearls and contrasting footwear.

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Black Halter Dress

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Simple and elegant, this little black dress is sure to be a favourite! Our halter dress in black features a removable neck ribbon that can be tied and draped in multiple ways, an in-built waistband and handy pockets for keeping small essentials close by.

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Green Cache-coeur Dress

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A bold green sets apart this cache-coeur dress*, with classic fit-and-flare design and long sleeves. Attend a graduation, toast a happy couple and enjoy a dinner party with this versatile dress. Just add kay me knitwear for chilly evenings.

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Navy Swarovski Crystal V-neck Dress

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Delicate hand-placed crystals are the focal point of our navy v-neck dress, accented by the softly fluttering double-layered A-line skirt. A feature zip in bronze at the back of this dress creates a contrast, and can be given extra edge with a kay me biker jacket.

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*Available in Japan, please email shop@kayme.co.uk for inquiries