Previously, we've talked about Lolita and Larme-kei fashion styles. I really wanted to write a bit about a new style called Party-kei. It isn't a strict, established style like Lolita or Larme, but it is the brain-child of fashionable friend of mind.
Jillian, aka PixieLocks, has a seemingly effortless ability to turn tacky into stylish, kitsch into cute. She is the definition of a "What Women Over 18 Should Never Wear" rebel.
While Jillian has her own blog posts about this style, which you can read here and here, I wanted to ask her some questions about her thought process and inspiration.
1. How would you describe Party-kei?
Party-kei is like a glittery 90’s birthday party mashed together with modern-day “pop” Harajuku fashion influences. I wanted to combine the patterns and textures of the 90’s (denims, furs, a very Clueless/Mean Girlsy vibe) with the aesthetic of birthday parties like when I was little. I’d always been really nostalgic towards those sorts of themes- anything birthday cake flavoured, glittery party favour jewelry, streamers, confetti- birthdays were this weird and special thing that I clung to. I was feeling really lost in the fashion world and found myself jumping around from style to style never really stuck on any single one- so I sort of gave up and just wore what my gut told me to. I didn’t really say much about it in my blogs or anything for months and months but was constantly asked what fashion it was- so I slapped some confetti on a blog post and called it Party-kei!
2. How did you come up with the name?
I honestly can’t really remember how I initially chose it! Party-kei was something I just kept in my own noggin for so long that I didn’t really second guess it when I made the first post talking about it. I had a number of people concerned about it being confused with Cult Party-kei, and so I did a lil poll looking around for other names to avoid confusion. That just caused a whole bunch more headache, so I decided to leave it as Party-kei as I think it fits it pretty well.
3. What are your style inspirations?
Honestly, I love love love Aomojikei! Party-kei could easily also just be considered a kind of Aomojikei. I also take a great deal of inspiration from Kumamiki, a Harajuku fashion designer (and Youtuber! Her videos aren’t subtitled usually but she’s a cutie pie). Her use of super kitschy and straight up weird accessories (she had this ring that was a pig figurine. I wanted it so bad) has always inspired me. Also, the brand Irregular Choice has some super weird and creative shoes that have been a huge source of inspiration for me in my fashion design dreams!
Party-kei has also been compared to a style called Peco-kei, which is really cool! I didn’t know this style existed as it’s not very popular in the west, but we’re definitely jamming on the same wave-lenth. However, Peco-kei uses much darker colours than I tend to lean towards and also lots of logos from 80s-90s toys, movies, and brands. It’s definitely worth looking into if you like pop styles!
4. Where are your favorite places to get clothing pieces and accessories?
Oh man. Oh jeez. I’m just gonna go rapid fire; American Apparel (wonderfully weird designs), Spinns (nice and affordable place to get the latest Harajuku trends), WEGO (basically Spinns), Irregular Choice (kitschy as heck shoes), UNIF (some more weird american fashions, delightfully unique) and a lot of accessories can be thrifted or bought from straight up party supply stores.
5. What do you love the most about Party-kei?
I love that I don’t feel (that) pressured to “pick” a style and stick with it. Princess Peachie actually just uploaded a really good video on this called Balancing Your Identity In Alternative Fashion and it was eerily relatable. As a blogger I’m a huge perfectionist (even though it might not seem like it RIP) and I get really really discouraged when I feel my “brand” or “image” isn’t polished- which is dumb. And even though Party-kei is just my lil brain child that will probably never be anything more than that- it’s helped my peace of mind as a fashion blogger, and that makes me really happy. I’ve also gotten some really nice feedback from people around the world who’ve tried the style, and there’s actually been a Party-kei tumblr made as well as a facebook group! It’s a really wonderful thing to be able to connect with other people over a fun style like this.