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.

clubblog1.jpg

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.

clubblog2.jpg

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.

clubblog3.jpg

kay me Shinjuku and kay me CLUB

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

東京都新宿区新宿3-13-5 クリハシビル6

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!

venusdrape1.jpg

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!

venus2.jpg

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.

venus3.jpg

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

shadow1.jpg

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

shadow2

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

shadow3.jpg

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.

k-toki

(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.

k-belvedere.jpg

(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.

k-coral.jpg

(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.

k-ice.jpg

(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.

k-quiet.jpg

(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.

k-aka

(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.

k-japan.jpg