The term Cult Party kei comes from the name of a resale boutique in Harajuku originally called Cult Party, that then had it's name changed for the now famous Virgin Mary. It's not rare to see a style gradually building itself from the concept of a store and expending to become an independent style, as it is the case for Spank!, for example.
Cult Party kei is in some points similar to Mori and Dolly kei, and they might be somewhat difficult to differentiate when you don't know enough on those styles.
Like Mori and Dolly kei, Cult Party is essentially based on layering of fabrics and accessories to achieve an overloaded silouhette. However, it has a more pop and cute feeling than the two others who lean more on the antique look.
(from left to right: Dolly Kei, Mori and Cult Party.)
Cult Party kei mixes vintage elements with cute pop-culture elements like kids' shows merch and accessories from lolita or fairy kei brands. The style uses a lot of light materials as well as wool and other more solid fabrics. White and pastel colors are preferred, but it is not rare to incorporate stronger colors, especially red and darker pinks.
FASHION POINTS (you can click on any picture to enlarge it!)
An item that is used and overused in Cult Party is the nightgown.They add a dreamy touch to an outfit and with a little luck, they're relatively easy to find in thrift stores. See-through nightgowns are more popular, but cotton ones with pretty patterns or embroideries are nice too.
In addition to nightgowns, you can find all kinds of sleepwear, be it pajama pieces or lingerie, in Cult Party outfits. My friends and I once joked about this and basically called it "pajama-kei"! Don't leave anything out: babydolls, bloomers, lacy lingerie and garters, but also cute pajama pants and large pajama t-shirts.
Cult Party girls often incorporate religious elements to their outfits, crosses in particular. They often craft accessories and customize crosses with natural materials like seashells and dried (or fake) flowers, or add doll parts and paint. Red crosses are also very popular, to the extent where some outfits become entirely nurse inspired.
The more Pop-ish touch to the style is often achieved with subtle fairy kei-ish elements like Magical Girl shows' merch (such as precure or sailormoon), Sanrio and San-X merch, plushies and girly accessories. Depending on the outfit, Cult Party also uses pastel colors way more often than Dolly or Mori.
An important point in Cult Party is the crafty handmade look. Don't be afraid to sew clothes and make accessories yourself, and don't worry if the result is not perfect. To a certain extant, a slightly "off" look fits well with the style.
Other items that can add to the crafty look: mocomoco, thick wool, knits, pompoms and quilts.
Since short skirts and bloomers are popular, tights are also important to add details to an outfit. Classic tattoo tights, pretty printed tights like grimoire's, or just fun ones from American Apparel or L'avant-garde are a safe choice~
For shoes, platforms are the best. You can't go wrong with Tokyo Bopper, converse or rocking horses for sure! Retro uwabaki (slippers worn indoors in japanese schools), vintage running shoes and even lolita shoes can be worn with Cult Party!
Another popular item is the customized tote bag. Just take a blank one and add lace, yarn, small plushies, paint, etc.~
Finally, it is not true that boy can't dress in Cult Party kei...
... as much as it is not true that you can't have dark Cult Party coordinates.
Once you've got the hang of the style, you can wear it anyway you want. Also, don't worry too much about labels, we use them for their practicality, but people in Harajuku could often care less about them, and it's not rare to match and mix two or more styles together. After all, the goal is to differentiate yourself and create your own style!
Cult Party girls have their own makeup style, mixing dolly (circle lenses, big eyes effect) with vintage (bright red lipstick, cat-eye eyelashes) look. Another particularity is that they always look a little sick, sad, or ''faded''. They wear lots of blush, usually high on the cheeks, sometimes touching the eyelids and blending with eyeshadows, which gives this tired/unhealthy stare.
Straight eyebrows give the cute/sad look~
For a ''faded" makeup, use brown mascara and eyeliner~
Also, Amo's cat eyes! ♥ To get the look, only put false eyelashes on the outer corner of your eye.
- T i p- : cut regular eyelashes in two, like this:
The popular hairstyles are mostly braids, double bun, double ponytails, bob cut and long curled hair. Cult party dolls are big fans of the ''hime cut'' with curled bangs. Color is also important. Grey, faded pastels, ash brown, ash blonde, black and sometimes bright cherry red. For the accessories, chouchous, pompoms, lace, flowers, vintage hats are the best !
http://the-virgin-mary.com/the virgin mary
http://ameblo.jp/cathysouth/ cathy south
http://haightandashbury.com/haight & ashbury
Some Cult Party kei icons :
Shoujo S- http://ameblo.jp/gdgd-shoujo-s/
Shoujo S- http://ameblo.jp/gdgd-shoujo-s/
* by Jiji and Mochi *