Sunday, 6 April 2014

Encyclopaedia of Alternative Fashion † Dolly kei

The full Encyclopaedia of Alternative Fashion can be found here.


Interior of THE shop for dolly kei - Grimoire. Source.

Country of origin
Japan

Gender balance
Mostly female.


But here's a boy :) Source.

Defining colours

  • Jewel tones
  • Dark browns and black
Source.


What
Dolly kei is a dark style inspired by antique looks. Colours are dark and moody, and accessories feature fake flowers, lace, ribbons and bits of dolls. There are similarities to be drawn with styles such as Victorian Goth, Steampunk and mori girl, and even 'gypsy' or Romany attire. 

Source.

Inspirations can range from medieval to Edwardian times. Heavy brocades and overuse of patterns are hallmarks of the style. Some dolly kei girls drape themselves in layers and layers of fabric and even wear giant tassels as jewellery. Velvet, satin, fur, anything heavy and decadent is fair game. The aim is to look magical and mysterious in a sumptuous, regal way.

Source.

Style icons
The biggest dolly kei icon is Heri, a shop girl from Grimoire, the most famous dedicated dolly kei brand/store. 

Source.
Also important are Naoaki Tobe and Hitomi Nomura, the founders of Grimoire. 

Source.
Essentially the pioneers of dolly kei, they created the fashion at a time when people could tell this was something different to mori kei, but hey weren't sure what...


Fashion inspiration in popular culture
Anyone in a medieval period drama is excellent inspiration for dolly kei. Check out Queen Elizabeth I (whilst still Princess Elizabeth), for example:

Source.
Valentina, played by model Lily Cole in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, also assumes dolly kei style clothing for most of the movie.

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Also, Howl's room in the anime Howl's Moving Castle is definitely dolly kei. If the characters' clothes were a bit more elaborate, I would also say they would be great inspirations as well.

Source.

Further reading and resources

4 comments:

  1. I love Dolly Kei, although I have trouble pulling off all the layers and putting patterns together without them clashing! Also some of the pieces they have are really amazingly lovely and antique looking! If only I could find pieces like that! I think I am more comfortable with Black Forest Mori and Gothic Lolita, but there are definitely pieces there that I really want, especially the bag and waistcoat in the fifth last picture!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does take a certain amount of skill to not look like a walking heap of fabric :P I'm in love with that waistcoat too.

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  2. I love Dolly Kei, but I absolutely don't have the figure to pull off all he layers and shapeless gowns; I tried, but it was terribly unflattering...:/

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    Replies
    1. Ah, but you'll notice that there are some examples here where they wear broad belts or cinchers. Maybe you could give that a go?

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