Yes, dolly-kei fans, the time has finally come for Tokyo Telephone to fully explore the wonderful world of Grimoire and Grimoire Almadel! This weekend we’re bringing you a double feature on Grimoire Almadel – we took so many beautiful photos inside that it seemed more than a little unfair to limit ourselves to just one post on this fabulous vintage boutique.

But hey, what’s so special about dolly-kei anyway? I think what I find quite amazing about this fashion that it’s only been a distinct style for a couple of years now. I remember seeing the first shots of Grimoire and Cult Party and The Virgin Mary (to name just a few) and seeing the new looks coming out of these vintage shops was, and still is, really exciting. I think it summed up the mood at the time: people were looking for something new, feminine in most cases, but not wholly out of their comfort-zone. Helped by the vast rise in new vintage shops across Tokyo, dolly-kei (as we’re featuring Grimoire Almadel it would be a little churlish of me to refer to it as Cult Party-kei, the other name for this style) has developed it’s own look and now enjoys popularity both in Japan and abroad too.

I’ve written about this kind of fashion a few times previously and I don’t want to repeat myself too much again! Nonetheless, I think it’s really interesting that dolly-kei is developing it’s own distinct aesthetic as we speak. Although not as strict on silhouette as lolita fashion (gotta have that bell-shaped skirt, right?), dolly-kei shares a lot of similar influences: the opulence of days gone by, an emphasis on the feminine rather than masculine, a similarly rich colour-scheme to classic lolita, and even a fondness for both lace and flowers and the darker side of life such as fur stoles, religious iconography and even taxidermy.

Without a doubt Grimoire has been hugely influential not only in terms of developing doll-kei style, but also vintage boutiques in Japan. You only have to be in there for the breifest amount of time to get caught up in this wonderful world full of strange delights and charming clothing. It’s easy to see why vintage shops now compete to be the most comprehensive when it comes to their own aesthetic, and fashion fans across Tokyo flock to Grimoire and Grimoire Almadel in droves to add to their vintage wardrobes.

Without further chatter from yours truly, let’s delve into Grimoire Almadel, one of Tokyo’s premiere vintage boutiques:

(Most of these Verum tights sold out while we were taking photos…)

The stunning Rathiel du Dolly display:

Samuel chatting to Grimore’s head honcho about English food.

I hope this has whetted your appetite for more dolly-kei delights – stay on the line for more from Grimoire Almadel tomorrow…

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2 Responses to Tokyo Vintage: Introducing Grimoire Almadel, Shibuya

  1. brad-t says:

    What fascinates me the most about dolly-kei (and I refuse to call it cult party-kei — to name an entire style after a single store is absurd) is that unlike a lot of other styles, dolly-kei items cannot really be distinctly identified as dolly-kei because they were designed before dolly-kei even existed (and likely, for markets that still don’t know it exists). It’s the only instance I can think of where a trend has been applied retroactively on old clothes.

  2. Rebecca says:

    @ Brad – Exactly, I think that’s what makes vintage in Japan so exciting for us.

    I think dolly-kei is probably the most famous example, but I’d say that the vast majority of shops do re-appropriate the clothing in some way, although much less defined than dolly-kei. There’s only a handful that I can think of that go for accuracy, and they’re usually menswear-based – there’s a definite divide between male and female vintage fashion trends right now.

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