Fairy kei is a kawaii and pastel based style, heavily inspired by 80s pop fashion. The style is closely related to the popular brand SPANK!.
Fairy kei loosely translates to “fairy-style." It is assumed the name refers to the fairy-like aesthetic of the pastel color scheme and cutesy motifs. However, the origin of the name is unknown.
Fairy kei has a long history before its official creation. As early as the 1990s, designers like Sebastian Masuda and Sayuri Tabuchi were curating second-hand and designer stores catering to similar styles to fairy kei. These trends toward the aesthetic grew greatly at the opening of SPANK! in 2004, and jumpstarted the creation of fairy kei fashion.
Although fairy kei is closely tied to SPANK! fashion, the creator of SPANK! sees the two as separate, and considers Pop Kei to be a better reflection of the store's actual style.
Fairy kei is focused on creating a cute and vintage look. Specifics for that look are very broad, with no particular silhouette or strict rules. However, there are a few things that remain constant throughout all aspects of the style.
There are no dark colors in fairy kei, nor is there a dark version of the style. Color schemes are always light, and pastels are always included. Whites may be used as well to offset the amount of color used, but entirely pastel coordinates are acceptable as well. Popular colors are mint, seafoam green, pastel pink, purple, blue, and orange.
Fairy kei, being inspired by 80s pop fashion, features prominently different characters from pop culture. T-shirts, bags, and accessories featuring characters like Care Bears, My Little Pony, Sailor Moon, Barbie, Rainbow Brite, Strawberry Shortcake, and Popples are often used.
There are no requirements on what type of clothing to wear for fairy kei. However, clothing is usually loose and cute. Traditionally sexy clothing, or form-fitting clothing, is generally discouraged. Popular items are tulle skirts and petticoats, pastel tights (such as you would see in sweet lolita), oversized sweaters and t-shirts, or a-line dresses, and puffy bloomer shorts. Popular motifs of moons on clothing include stars, polka dots, sweets, teddy bears, unicorns, and hearts. Lots of different patterns, details, and colors are also often combined for a more interesting look.
Any pastel shoe can work for fairy kei, but popular choices are pastel sneakers and boots, such as Doc Martins, rocking horse shoes, high heels occasionally, and mary janes or tea party shoes.
Accessories are cute and plentiful in fairy kei. However, they are not as abundant as in Decora. Bows and cute clips are popular. Bunched socks, leg warmers, painted cute nails, cute bracelets, rings, and necklaces, vintage lunchboxes, cute backpacks, and plush purses are also popular.
Pastel-colored hair or natural hair colors are both used in fairy kei. Bangs, ponytails, buns, and twin buns are popular hairstyles. Wigs are popular instead of dying your hair, as well as extensions.
Minimal makeup is used in fairy kei. The large eye look with light makeup is most popular, with small amounts of blush or lipgloss.
Brands & ShopsEdit
- Ninja Cosmico - 16 Fashion tips on how to dress as Fairy Kei
- The Guardian - From Kawaii to Fairy Kei: Fashion Goes Beyond the Kimono and Hyper Japan
- Tokyo Fashion - Fairy Kei Japanese Street Fashion
- Little Miss Wonderland - What is Fairy Kei?
- Lolita Fashion Wiki - Fairy Kei
- Mookychick - Fairy Kei Japanese Fashion Style Guide
- Rebel Circus - A Japanese Fashion You Didn't Know
- Kawaii-B - Kawaii-B All About: Fairy Kei
- FYEAH Fairy Kei Tumblr