The enduring appeal of cherry blossom

Here in Tokyo, yet again we’ve been anxiously glued the the cherry blossom forecast, with the peak predicted to hit around the end of March in the Kanto region. But why do we love these delicate little flowers so much?

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Cherry blossom ( sakura), cousin to the early-appearing and more richly coloured plum blossom, has long been seen in Japan as a metaphor for the transience of life, the pale and fragile petals quickly falling to the ground almost as soon as they bloom.

It’s no wonder that this imagery has given inspiration to countless poets, as it’s a sight to inspire even the most stony-hearted.

kay me staff love to spot the tiny chartreuse-green mejiro, Japanese white-eye, birds sitting among the branches – if you’re lucky enough to be in Japan this month, see if you can spot one too!

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The highlight of spring sakura season for many people is hanami, or cherry blossom viewing picnic, under the trees, usually in park and with friends, family or coworkers.

Needless to say that with drinks both hard and soft flowing it’s a chance not only to wax lyrical about sakura and the coming spring but also to appreciate the people we surround ourselves with.

To celebrate one of our favourite flowers, here’s a charming haiku written by Matsuo Basho around the 17th century:

Very brief –

Gleam of blossoms in the treetops

On a moonlit night.

If you’re in the mood for all things pink thanks to our flutter with sakura, take a look at our pink dress gallery, and our unique Japonism prints inspired by authentic Japanese kimono.

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Top five easy-care clothing for the office and days off

With spring in the air, we’re always searching for ways to spend more time on things we enjoy rather than getting stuck with loads of dry cleaning and pretty but impractical clothes. Enter our top five favourite fuss-free items for work and weekends – one of Junko Kemi’s main needs when founding kay me was clothing that was fully machine washable, drip-dry and non-iron, as well as being stylish and comfortable.

Read on for our fabulous five…

In the office

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Navy daily dress, Light grey flare skirt, Vanilla macaron twist top, Navy trousers, White bolero jacket

Look smart and totally put together in a flash with our office ready tops, bottoms and dresses. Our navy daily dress is always popular here in Tokyo, and it’s easy to see why – the ribbon tie at the waist adds a charming finishing touch. New to kay me, our navy trousers are stretchy and easily washable, simply pop in the washing machine after a long week and hang to dry, ready to be worn again!

kay me stylists love pairing these items together in different combinations for mornings when time is of the essence.

Out and about

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Pink shirt dress, White bolero knit, Plume sack dress, Off-white cache-coeur knit, Light grey flare dress

Wear light colours without fear of stains, smudges or expensive cleaning bills! Our plain and printed dresses are also easy to look after, with our special printing techniques ensuring that colours stay bolder and sharper for longer. Available from mid-March 2018, our Plume and flare dresses are made from soft luxuriously thick fabric with a lovely weight and drape. Our made-in-Japan knitwear is of course also machine washable and made from super soft wool that keeps your warm and cozy.

We think you’ll agree that both our top fives would made a charming travel capsule for a trip that combines business and pleasure – count us in!

Event Report: kay me talk show with andu amet’s Hiroko Samejima

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Long time kay me blog readers might remember our wonderful interview with andu amet founder Hiroko Samejima.

Hiroko founded andu amet in 2012, a high-end brand specialising in producing luxury handbags made in Ethiopia by locally trained and supported artisans, using quality Ethiopian sheepskin.

kay me stylist Yoko gives us a glimpse into our recent talk show held at our Shinjuku store and members club, with Hiroko in conversation with kay me founder Junko Kemi…

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Hi everyone, it’s Yoko from kay me Shinjuku!

Lat month we held a special talk event with andu amet founder Hiroko. Prior to the talk show, andu amet items were on show here at our Shinjuku store and guests could touch for themselves the super soft sheepskin and see all the lovely colours and designs. All the kay me stylists and I were so excited.

For the event, we prepared drinks and nibbles and Junko Kemi even specially selected which wine to serve!

As we don’t use a podium for our talks, the speaker and audience are closer, creating a more connected atmosphere.

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Hiroko gave us great insight into working as a founder and manager in Ethiopia and shared a lot of advice.

We received a lot of questions, and time flew by!

As part of the audience, I felt so lucky to hear this talk session between two designs and founders.

I think many people are now considering entrepreneurship!

After the event, Hiroko and Junko both exchanged business cards and networked with the audience, and as a stylist I loved pairing kay me items with andu amet accessories.

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Our next session with a new guest speaker will be at the end of March, and I can’t wait!

Until next time… Yoko.

Scarf styling, from kay me

To celebrate the launch of our beautiful new stole collection from kay me Select, we’ve put together our three favourite ways to style a scarf, from simple to slightly complex.

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In the name of making the most of your scarves, knowing a few quick ways to tie a scarf can give your outfit a totally different look…

Style one: simple loop

A great style that works with all kay me scarves, fold your scarf in half, wrap around the neck and tuck the ends through the loop.

Style two: ribbon loop

kay me stylists love this easy stole trick! Similar to the simple loop, fold the scarf in half and wrap around the neck. This time, instead of tucking of the ends all the way through, pull through halfway and arrange the second loop to create a pretty bow-like effect.

Style three: rolled loop

Add an upgrade to any outfit with this elegant style. Start with a shorter length of scarf on one side and wrap the longer length around the neck to create a loose loop. Ensure the ends of the scarf fall evenly, and tuck through the loop at the front. Pull the ends a little for a tighter look or leave loose.

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Handwoven in India by expert artisans working in a top atelier, kay me Select stoles have been specially chosen in person by founder Junko Kemi.

Junko can be spotted wearing a kay me Select on most days, and uses them not only to keep warm in air-conditioned offices and spaces, but also to protect from UVA rays in cars and taxis, and also to add lovely splash of colour whatever the weather.

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Made from 100% pure cashmere and silk blends with delicate lace, beading and foil print details, discover kay me Select scarves available now.