Grimoire – Vintage, Fairytale, Dolly Kei

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of teaming up with a fellow blogger for a day tour of Shibuya’s clothing stores. But not just any stores – oh no. We ventured into those with a fairyland /vintage feel, discovering more about an emerging japanese fashion trend.

Grimoire  is at the forefront of this antique, vintage, Dolly-kei phenomenon, and when you go there, you can see why.

It’s like a Victorian museum come to life, with Rococo Elements, Alice in Wonderland and other fairytales thrown together with some Gypsy spells and a sprinkling of fairy dust, before being breathed into life as a curio shoppe set in the heart of a forest.


See what I mean?

Everywhere there are pretty and unusual “things” crammed into nooks and crannies: little bird skulls, crosses, old dolls, tiny flowers, rocking horses, jewellery boxes, clocks, cherubs, puppets, moneyboxes, vines, leaves, bronze ornate picture frames, and hats, hats, everywhere vintage hats.

As for the clothes and accessories themselves, they are sourced from the US and eastern Europe. There are lots of floral dresses, a definite boho feel, vintage furs, delicate hair ornaments, blush and dusty pink colours accented by darker rusts and reds, with pops of ivy green and a smidgen of black.

Photo: Will Robb

The girls were lovely and said they liked my blue hair very much, emboldening us to ask if we could take a few pictures. You can see the controlled chaos behind us.

We rifled among the racks, and while there were items I would not wear, there were certainly some exquisite pieces in silk or wool with intricate embroidery and embellishments that I coveted. For those who cannot get to Japan to see it for themselves, the Grimoire blog posts outfits and influences daily, as well as photos of new stock. It serves as a creative storyboard for Hitomi, the blogger.

A discernible style is emerging, which has been noticed by many.

Tokyo New Tribe featured the Antique Doll style in January, noting that unlike Lolita style, the Dolly fashion fan dresses as one who was in Europe in the Middle Ages (or as the japanese imagine this to be).
There is a real mix of texture and pattern, with gypsy and other ethnic folklore influences, and a “maximalism” or “more-is-more”, layered approach to dressing. We see fur (often with the fox’s little face and tail in situ, or even racoon hats), tapestry bags, paisley and floral print, insects on jewellery, religious icons such as crosses and images of Mary, textured ornate tights, lace, animal skin and embossed leather (sorry vegans), pompoms, fringing, braid and curtain tassels.

There is even a community on Live Journal, called Grimoire-Japan, dedicated to the fashion style of the store. It was started by a previous Lolita-follower in January, and in it girls share places to buy similar things, and show off their outfits, as well as those of their Japanese heroines.

There is likewise a Live Journal community for Dolly Kei style, referencing the same websites and looks, but adding the store “Cult Party” to the mix.
So there is a groundswell of enthusiasm for this emerging Japanese street style, and it is certainly one to keep an eye on.
Other places for information and photos on Grimoire (and Dolly style):
Style Arena  in their Shop Style section.

La Carmina

Grimoire: 7th floor, Jinnan 1-10-7  Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Tel: 03 3780 6203
Open: 1pm – 8pm, or 12 – 8 on weekends/holidays

Next up in our Shibuya mission: visits to Cabaret, Rosy Baroque, Nude trump and other vintage and secondhand stores – but that is food for another post.


  1. I'm glad you liked it! It was certainly a lovely day 🙂

  2. I just discovered your blog through IFB. Great post, and fantastic photos! I'm also insanely jealous of your travels.

  3. Thanks Marissa! Sometimes I have to pinch myself that I get to have these great adventures and discover cool things. Mind you, there are plenty of other people who make me jealous of THEIR adventures!

  4. I'm so happy you visited this store, I had seen images of this place before and Im in love with your pics 😀 It looks absolutely magical!

    Much love,
    Glendy <3

  5. God I love that store. It's like the ultimate pirate treasure chest, except is soft and fluffy and it smells like grannies <3

  6. I loooove the over-indulgence of this look!! So interesting, your eyes barely know where to focus.

    Just discovered the blog, love it.

  7. Glendy – it really WAS magical 🙂 Thanks 🙂
    Imogen – smells like grannies – ROFL. Isn't that a song?…
    Dress Me Dearly – thank you so much for reading and dropping a line. It's true; your eyes don't know where to focus. We spent AAAGES in there 🙂

  8. OMG, this post is insanely amazing! Love it. 🙂


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