Summer Memories, from kay me

From grandmother to daughter to granddaughter – kay me’s new Coral Water and Ice Water dresses have a long history that begins with a gift…


As kay me fans may already know, brand founder and lead designer Junko Kemi’s grandmother ran a kimono boutique in Osaka, west Japan, packed with beautiful handmade kimono in seasonal colours and patterns. The story of our two new dresses starts with a special present, a lovely silk kimono in blush pink tones with contrasting mustard and green shades in a brushwork print, that was given by Junko’s grandmother to Junko’s mother for her wedding.


Reminiscing on kimono, Junko says, “Growing up I didn’t see my mother wearing kimono so much… She had many beautiful kimono from my grandmother but everything was like new even thought she was given it 45 years ago!

I often saw the kimono pattern and fabric but couldn’t wear it either – it’s mottainai (a bit of a waste) for both my mother and grandmother, so I felt motivated to do something.

This beloved kimono became the direct inspiration for the Coral Water and Ice Water dresses – now transformed from traditional clothing into easy-to-wear and care for dresses that meet the needs of modern women. There’s no compromise here: kay me dresses are handmade in Japan, use top quality materials that can be washed and drip-dried, and are soft and stretchy and move with you all day.

I would like to see my mother wearing this kimono, but she was too busy looking after us, so I decided to make into a dress so she can wear it easily. When we were taking photos of this dress I sent her a message to see if she recognised her kimono!”, laughs Junko.

Our Coral Water dress keeps the original pink colour tones of the original kimono, while our Ice Water dress gets a make-over with cool blues and touches of grey and purple – perfect for the office, and evening summer events.


Junko recommends pairing both of these dresses with white kay me knitwear, or a white kay me jacket for workdays or more formal events. Speaking at a recent conference, Junko chose to wear Coral Water with our white tailored jacket and matching white pumps, effortlessly updating the kimono given by her grandmother to her mother into a dress that’s perfectly suited for a thoroughly contemporary situation.


Fall in love with our gorgeous Coral Water and Ice Water dresses, and become part of their special history and heritage today.

(For purchase enquiries, please contact – the kay me team is looking forward to hearing from you!)

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