Print Story – Finding the Right Fabric

Hello everyone, it’s Yuko from the kay me atelier team again…

Today I’d like to talk about something a little different – combining the print with the textile.

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Even though it’s tough to balance different fabrics and knits, prints are a way to really express yourself freely!

It’s important to distinguish between different methods – we change the printing method depending on the compatibility between the design and materials.

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We always want to highlight the beauty and delicacy of our weaving and knitting, so one version will use overlapping screen-printing, such as for our stretchy tweed on textured fabric (above).

For long-lasting colours with natural tones like our watercolour-inspired Bella print (left), we use inkjet printing.

 

The finish also depends on which fabric is being printed on. The textile is pure white before printing, but the differences in knitting methods can be seen when the print is applied. Although it’s a subtle difference, the colours look slightly different. We have to choose the best match between fabric and print style.

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(Coming soon!)

Even though I imagine what the finished print will look like, it often looks different! I have to make many adjustments and create prototypes for every new print design.

All this hard work means that we can share our prints with the world with confidence!

Looking forward to next time… Yuko.

Find all kay me’s unique prints patterns on our Print Gallery page.

Autumn Festivals in Japan

There’s nothing better than marking the changing seasons with a good festival.

Whether you’re a resident or just visiting, Japanese festivals offer a unique chance to experience the sights and sounds (and often tastes) of traditional Japanese culture in a modern setting. With friends old and new, family or attending by oneself, at kay me we’ve rounded up a few of our autumn favourites from around Japan.

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(Japonsim print dresses)

Nihonmatsu Lantern Festival

October 4th – 6th, Nihonmatsu, Fukushima

Enjoy the spectacle of beautiful paper lanterns being paraded through the streets of Nihonmtasu in Fukushim,a northern Japan. Explore this 300-year-old tradition at one of Japan’s greatest lantern festivals.

Ginza Matsuri

October 10th – 17th, Ginza, Tokyo

Home of our flagship and HQ, Ginza is Tokyo’s historic shopping district with high-end designers and department stores as well as fantastic cafes and restaurants. Since 1968, in mid-October the Ginza area plays host to parades, live bands and special events. Pop in to kay me while you’re here!

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(Solid colour dresses)

Health and Sports Day

October 9th (second Monday of October)

It’s time to get stretching for Japan’s annual sports and health day – let this be your motivation to try something new this year. Whether you’re climbing a mountain or starting a new yoga class, there’s an activity for everyone.

Jidai Matsuri

October 22nd, Heian Jingu Shrine, Kyoto

Over 1700 participants representing figures from Japanese history take part in this five-hour parade through Kyoto, all impeccably dressed in period costume. Take in the best of Kyoto culture and cuisine while you’re here, with many local temples and shrines also getting into the spirit of the season.

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(Floral print dresses)

Made in Japan by our team of skilled artisans, kay me dresses are the perfect partner for special occasions. Choose from our Contemporary Kimono line featuring authentic prints from Junko Kemi’s grandmother’s kimono boutique, floral and nature-inspired patterns, and rich colours that capture the beauty of Japan.

Print Story – Butterfly

Hello, it’s Yuko from the kay me atelier team! Today I’d like to tell you about our popular butterfly print.

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I think many people like butterflies, and I certainly do! I wanted to make this print with the feeling of little fluttering wings. Butterflies are full of dynamism and are free and so happy. I hope our customers can express these feelings too.

This month we launched our new ivory butterfly print dress – it’s already selling fast! I redesigned this with a slight colour change of the butterflies for autumn. Although it’s just a small change, it gives a different impression and I really like this ivory colour.

By making small changes in our daily lives, we can become a different version of ourselves – just like a butterfly. Wearing this pretty butterfly print, which new self will emerge?

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Looking forward to next time… Yuko.

Junko Kemi Visits India

kay me founder Junko Kemi recently visited India to source firsthand new items for our exclusive kay me Select line, bringing together the finest quality with the best handmade craftsmanship from around the world.

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Hello, it’s Junko Kemi here…

Last month I visited Delhi in India for the first time. This time was purely for work, so I was only able to stay for one night. I was sad that I couldn’t see more, but my first impression was of all the people!

There was a long line at immigration control, and I read that India has a population of 1.3 billion compared with Japan’s 100 million, and is predicted to exceed 1.5 billion by 2100. When I visited Manila last year for an ASEAN meeting, I saw on the streets that the average age was 23 years old, while in Japan it’s 46!

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I also thought about many things while on this trip, including consumption tax (a big issue in Japan), recruitment, how to become a valuable human being, how to train people in organisations, and how we can change the structure of the labour market. These issues came to the top of my mind once again.

On this trip I brought with me some of my favourite kay me items, including our chiffon Monet print dress, new navy stripe dress and two kay me Select scarves – these are essential for surviving strong air conditioning!

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I had a wonderful time in India even though it was a short trip, and I’m looking forward to sharing more of my adventures again.

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You can find kay me Select items online here, with more coming soon…

Introducing… New Tweed Jackets and Dresses, from kay me

Chic, elegant and timeless – our new tweed jackets and blousing dresses are a great choice for layering in autumn weather and beyond.

Our new jackets are made with a beautiful texture and mix of colours in both white and navy. The navy fabric has added depth with a silver thread, and our stunning white has a subtle gold thread running through.

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Feature buttons create a visual highlight, with the round shape echoed in the collarless design and double pockets with rounded edges. Naturally, here at kay me we love practicality in our designs, and the four pockets of our jackets are the perfect size for small essentials such as keys and cosmetics, and business and metro cards.

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Our signature blousing dresses are back with light chiffon tops that flow softly over the waistband of the tight-fitting tweed skirts.

Available in navy and white, pair with the matching jacket or make a statement by wearing with contrasting colours: our dresses look great with their opposite partner jackets, as well as with kay me suit jackets, and tweed jackets worn with plain and patterned kay me dresses are a wonderful way to round out your wardrobe for the coming season.

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Discover kay me tweed jackets in white and navy, and chiffon blousing tweed dresses also in white and navy.

See all kay me new arrivals here.

It’s a Wrap with Super Stripes

Have you seen our new striped dresses yet? With two wrap dresses and an elegant sleeveless dress, these versatile styles are sure to become firm favourites. Already a hit in Tokyo, catch them while you can!

Navy Stripe Piping Dress

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A slim-fitting dress, the strong vertical lines of the navy stripes elongate the body. The cross-over bust features delicate piping in navy, with a horizontally striped fixed waistband to highlight your natural figure.

Great for transitional seasons, wear on its own in summer, and layer with kay me knitwear in cooler months.

Navy Stripe and Bordeaux Stripe Wrap Dresses

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In warm bordeaux and rich navy, our wrap dresses are perfect for busy women everywhere. The sharp collar of the plain black top creates a smart look, with contrasting stripes to highlight the A-line design.

Don’t forget, there’s a secret tab and button to keep your skirt secure in breezy weather!

Soft and stretchy, all three dresses are made from kay me’s premium jersey, specially selected to provide maximum comfort and fuss-free washing at home. Pair with a tailored jacket for work in the office, or add a faux-leather jacket for the weekend and style on the go.

See more kay me new arrivals here.

Inspired by Japan

As readers of our blog and followers of the kay me story will already be well aware, brand founder Junko Kemi started in 2011 with her search to find beautifully-made work-appropriate clothing that suited her busy lifestyle.

Having been unable to find any clothing that met her needs as a professional working woman, Junko was inspired to start her own new story, and kay me was created. With a background in consulting, and time spent as a child in her grandmother’s kimono shop, Junko was well-placed to kick start kay me and bring instant elegance to women worldwide.

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Needless to say, the whole kay me atelier team is highly influenced by our home here in Japan, from print design featuring authentic traditional kimono motifs to the artisans using specialist techniques to bring kay me patterns to life in 3D.

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(All photos: Lorenzo Barassi)

You can see more from kay me’s journey from Japan to the world on our Instagram, and read more from Junko Kemi on her blog (Japanese).

 

Introducing… New Riders Jackets, from kay me

We’re getting in the mood for autumn at kay me HQ in Tokyo! One of our favourite ways to mark the changing of the seasons is to celebrate with lovely new outerwear – just like our new riders jackets…

kay me’s biker style jackets are already very popular here in Tokyo, and this year we’re excited to introduce our new collarless riders jackets. Made from the same soft, stretchy and washable faux-leather (it’s vegan-friendly too!) as our other jackets, this new iteration is a feminine take on a moto style, with sleek lines and a striking zip closure.

Our new riders jackets are available in three colours:

Navy

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A perfect match with our Bella print in mint blue, add an extra edge to your weekend or date outfits with our navy jacket. A rich blue that looks great with kay me’s floral dresses.

Grey

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A soft pastel, this grey jacket is a wonderful match with plain dresses and monochrome geometrics such as our striped dresses (coming soon!). Wear with our new stretch lace skirts, or even as a substitute for a suit jacket.

Caramel

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A good choice for autumn and winter, our riders jacket in caramel brings warmth to any outfit. Pair with a plain black kay me dress for easy elegance on the go in any situation.

See all new arrivals here, and don’t forget to keep in touch with kay me via our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter!

Introducing… Beautiful Bella, from kay me

We’re no strangers to the beauty of a floral print here at kay me, (you can see all our floral dresses here!), and this season we’re very excited to show off one of our newest print, Bella.

Available in three colours, pink, mint blue and greige (grey-beige), and two of our most popular styles, venus drape and cache-coeur, Bella makes a great addition to any wardrobe.

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According to Yuko from our atelier team in Ginza, the name Bella was chosen for this print from the Italian word meaning beautiful, and our dresses are not just visually beautiful, they’re also constructed with an eye to detail and craftsmanship that is signature to our made in Tokyo studio.

Working with brand founder and lead designer Junko Kemi, Yuko changed the shades and tones of our Bella print until she was satisfied with the final three colours, each tailored to match the different styles and suitable for a variety of occasions.

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Pink: With a mix of bordeaux and pastel shades, these beautiful gradated flowers are a grown-up way to take on cute pink florals.

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Mint blue: We also love a cool and sweet flower print, perfect for enjoying the transition from summer to autumn, with gradients starting from deep navy blue.

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Greige: The tones for this print colour were kept almost to the original, but with an emphasis on the monotone flowers keeping it fresh for the new autumn season.

Pair these charming floral dresses with matching kay me suit jackets in white, beige, navy or grey for the office, with our made in Japan knitwear for chilly days and even our biker jackets (new colours and moto styles coming soon!) for fuss-free weekends on the go.

Print Story – Monet

Hello, it’s Yuko from the kay me atelier team again! Today I’d like to tell you the story behind our Monet print.

This print brings to mind many things, for example wedding scenes on Italian cobblestones, a space that’s bright, gorgeous and happy, just like an impressionist painting.

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Monet was created by our partner print design office in London, an award winning company that we’re so excited to work with. Generally we modify prints just a little to make them perfect for kay me. We imagine the finished dress, the size and the balance of colours. Sometimes I change the combination a little, and Junko verifies the final design from various angles.

For Monet, we used two kinds of fabrics: first, stretch chiffon. I imagined a spectacular party or a resort scene with light materials and depth in tone. The light fluttering sleeves feel great against your skin.

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We used our favourite top-quality rayon, a blend which takes advantage of the beautiful soft gloss of the fabric for our waist-gathered dress. You might notice that the hue of the print changes with the different materials, it’s such a pleasure for us to see. We also added a mermaid-style flare skirt at the planning stages – it’s my favourite part! (That’s the advantage of being part of the atelier team!)

Monet uses a lot of luxurious bight colours, so I really enjoy coordinating it with a huge variety of other tones to really bring out the print and highlight different shades. Which colour will you choose?

Looking forward to next time… Yuko.