After several months, we are back to our section about Japanese street style. This time, we deal with Cult Party Kei, a style that can be easily confused with Dolly fashion or Mori for the many similarities that characterize them, from the use of vintage inspired clothes to layering and the choice of accessories, showy and antique-style. Even the reference shop for those who love to dress Cult Party, The Virgin Mary, has clothing and accessories suitable for both. What changes is the aesthetics at the base of the style.
Cult Party (left) vs Dolly (right). Images from Fruits.
Cult Party Kei, born around 2010, differs from Dolly fashion essentially for the choice of fabrics, that are lighter and less tied to the ethnic atmosphere of Eastern Europe. The favourite colors, in fact, are pastel shades and, above all, white and cream, sometimes with red or dark accents. Fabrics with “country” prints are also very popular, especially in ginghan or flower patterns. As with Dolly and Mori, dresses are arranged in layers, with extensive use of transparent fabrics in tulle or chiffon and long nightgowns or peignoir, often to cover short skirts. About the shoes, you have a lot of choices: someone wears the evergreen Rockin’ Horse, others tennis shoes and or flats and ballet shoes.
Some examples of Cult Party outfits: pictures on the right and left from Kera, picture in the middle from Tokyo Fashion.
The accessories range from classic vintage (close to Dolly style) to kawaii, with teddy bears, ribbons and pompoms. Greek crosses are also very popular, especially in red on white (yes, red cross style :D). Make up is very similar to Dolly, with very fair skin and extensive use of blush, more and more often applied under the eyes rather than in the classic way. The hairstyles are not very elaborate: from the classic bob to long haircuts strictly with bangs, braids, buns.
1. Small cross necklace from The Virgin Mary – 2. Keeper of time brooch from The Virgin Mary – 3. Cat bag by ahcahcum muchacha – 4. Belly Button platform shoes by Tokyo Bopper – 5. Mermaid peignoir from Meno – 6. Vintage headdress from Meno – 7. Cherub Tights from Syndrome – 8. Ginghan skirt from Manapyon blog – 9. Ponpon details, image from tumblr.
The main store for those who dress Cult Party is, needles to say, The Virgin Mary, which launched this style. Obviously, we must list also Grimoire (place of birth of Dolly Kei, but with many suitable clothes and accessories), other vintage shops like Rosy Baroque, Meno and flea markets.
Sources and insights
- For those confused by Mori, Dolly and Cult Party, a nice photo post of Oh Yeah Cult Party! with a comparison between the styles.
- The Cult Party Kei handbook, a comprehensive guide in pdf to know everything about this style.
- Guide to Cult Party Kei from POPkakumei.