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.

Introducing… New Lace Series, from kay me

Here at kay me HQ, we’re always looking for ways to add a little extra feminine elegance to our styles, and our new lace series certainly hits the mark.
With subtle textured details and large panels of beautiful lace, our new collection combines kay me’s easy-care fabrics and practicality with sumptuous chic that’s sure to take you from the office to evening dinners with ease, comfort and style.

Lace Peplum Dresses

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Available in pure white and a pastel pink, our lace peplum dresses are the last word in graceful style. With a strong peplum detail that flatters your natural figure, the V-shape is also echoed at the neckline with a second layer of lace. A favourite of kay me’s Junko Kemi, you can often spot Junko making her way to and from meetings in Ginza in this very dress.

Lace Skirts

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A hit for the summer, kay me’s lace skirts feature beautifully made top-quality lace in black and warm pastel pink – and yes, they’re stretchy! As always with ease in mind, like all our products these new lace skirts are designed by women and for women. Pair with a suit jacket and knitwear for work, or one of our stylish bikers for the weekend.

Lace Tops

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Create a matching or contrasting style with our new pretty lace tops – pair black with black and beige with beige, or bordeaux with pink – the possibilities allow for creativity and a versatile wardrobe that will never leave you searching for something to wear on Monday morning.

Discover kay me’s new lace collection today, and fall in love with the instant elegance of a touch of lace.

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See all new arrivals from kay me on our redesigned homepage.

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

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!

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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.