Dolly Kei style printed tights by Celeste Stein

This post I will focus solely on tights in floral, paisley, cherub and other dolly kei type designs. (See also my post on Dolly Kei ebay finds)

Here are some of those quintessential looks as worn by Heri (Grimoire):

 

and some less obvious choices; the last one I took at the Virgin Mary store (she’s wearing Vivienne Westwood thigh highs)

   

I discovered a US company that has an amazing variety of designs, and in a great range of specifications as well. If you can’t find something you want here, there’s no hope for you. Many of them I find will work well into a dolly kei wardrobe, depending on how you co-ordinate, of course.

Celeste Stein

To start, you can choose to have your fave design printed on tights, leggings, thigh highs, trouser socks, or even scarves or car mats! Even just within one category, such as tights, you can choose from sheer tight, lycra tight, nylon tight, lurex tight, fishnet tight, or solid nylon/spandex tight. Phew!

But where they really come into their own is the huuuuuuuuuge range of designs offered. You can choose from categories, such as floral, paisleys, angels, or by colour…or just go exploring. While many of the ones I’ve chosen are quite “busy”, remember in sheerer stockings and fishnets, the impact will be reduced for a more subtle effect.

Angel/Cherub Designs

                   Angel Tapestry                            Natural Angel                           First Kiss                  Heaven

     

Renaissance or medieval themes:

                           Spring                                   the Creation of Adam                    Mideval (sic)

   

Tapestry designs

   

Insects

                  white butterflies                                yellow bugs                                 pink sandy

   

Florals

                      Blue Bonnet                                     Granny Wall                              Sonjia

   

These are lace florals in colours Bashe, Yellow & Lilac (there are other colours too)

   

Lace & Rose design in tan, pink & white (more colours available)

   

Lace design tights in rouge, red and midnight tones

   

One of my favourite designs is the Stained Glass Lace series, which is like battenburg lace

   

Floral medallions in blue, pink and white

   

Paisleys

Rose Paisleys in cream, peach and blue

   

There are also more traditional paisleys and psychedelic ones.

And finally, some miscellaneous ones I liked:

       

There are also animal print designs, orientals, modern abstract, pin-up/Vintage looks, spots, stripes, psychedelic designs….you’re just gonna have to have a peek yourself. Oh, and check out her couture designs too.

Do you like any of the above? Do you know of any good sources for floral, lace and dolly kei patterned tights?

The Virgin Mary store in Harajuku – Cult Party Kei

Thursday a month ago was a verrry busy day! Valerie from Tokyo Fashion & Art Factory and I met up to wander Shibuya and Harajuku, visit a few Dolly Kei stores, and later visit Kikirara Shoten and interview her.

First stop of the day was Tarock, which I mentioned in an earlier post, as they were one of the retailers involved in Merry Go Land. 

But what I was most excited to visit was The Virgin Mary, which is the new store that supercedes the infamous Cult Party from Koenji.

Indeed, Ari and Kyana and other Virgin Mary staff like to refer to the style as “Cult Party Kei” and not “Dolly Kei”. They are friends with the Grimoire staff so there’s no enmity; they just prefer their own term for their style.  At the front of the store is a mannequin showing some of that Cult Party Kei style, and as you round the corner to the doorway, you see the unmistakeable Virgin Mary crucifix. (Click on any of the images to see them larger and in more detail).

Above the counter is a shelf that also champions the motifs and mascots of the genre: unicorns and merry-go-round horses, victorian dollies and sweet kitties, and the ever-present crucifix.

Like Grimoire, Cabaret and other stores, the Virgin Mary is stuffed with artefacts from yesteryear; bunnies and dollheads chief amongst them.

There are also other toys and teddy bears thrown into the mix, with old prams, antique chairs and ubiquitous tassels.

Overall the store has a lighter, brighter feel than the others, with floors and shelves painted a milky white for a shabby chic finish.

But it’s the clothing you want to know about, right? There are lots of romantic floral prints, and more fun whimsical prints too such as spots and cherries and even gingham. Tutus and ballgowns hang beside cotton day dresses.

In amongst them are sublime velvet and lace creations, and I picked up a beautiful old blood-red (almost black) velvet stole or cape embellished with black venise lace and bugle beads. It works beautifully with my gothic outfits, and would also do so with aristocratic type dolly kei outfits.

Pleased with my purchase, I posed with Kyana, with all the delicate finery around us.

I really recommend this place for dolly kei or Cult Party kei vintage clothing, or just to drop in at marvel at the decor!

We rounded off the afternoon with a visit to Grimoire (see my earlier Grimoire blog post here). The girls Hitomi and Heri looked immaculate, and were sporting floral headbands. I purchased a floral brooch a few days later from their stand at Merry Go Land, so now I have my own headband! I bought a skirt that day from Grimoire – black with orange & red paisley designs with sequins – you’ll just have to wait to see it.

It was then time to bid farewell to Grimoire, and catch the train to Kikirara Shoten’s atelier for the interview – which was a saga in itself! More on that to come.