I’m so excited to review the Book of Flowers JSK from Kaneko. It finally arrived after more than 5 weeks of mail limbo!
Kaneko is a Russian independent EGL brand owned and operated by a husband and wife team. Their garments include natural fibers, including wool, cotton, and linen. Kaneko’s solid pieces and prints lean heavily into classic lolita, though their “perriot” blouses featured colors that would be appropriate for all substyles.
I’ve been eyeing Kaneko’s designs for some time. Their Mathilda dresses were gorgeous, but just not practical for even the coldest days of Los Angeles’ winter. The dress that finally made me cave was their “Book of Flowers” print series, featuring both jumper skirts and one pieces printed on linen.
Ordering and Shipping
I preordered the black colorway in size 2 on February 6, 2021. The listing noted that this was a pre-order and the expected turn around time was 3 months. Ordering was a little unusual. Kaneko’s website had a “checkout” that did not require you to input any payment information. I received a confirmation email, then a Paypal payment request. On May 28, 2021, I received an email confirming that my dress had shipped. On July 27, 2021, my package arrived to my home in Los Angeles, California.
Book of Flowers
The “Book of Flowers” JSK is made of natural fibers. The fashion fabric is a cotton linen blend and the lining fabric is a light cotton. The beige trim also appears to be cotton. This dress is fabulous in the heat and feels much nicer than a polyester piece with the same construction.
This JSK has adjustable button straps with 6 button holes. I love this feature because it means that I can have the dress hit my natural waist. This is not only more comfortable, but it looks so much nicer! There is also full back shirring. With a 96 cm bust, the size 2 still has plenty of room to stretch and doesn’t squish my bust.
The print is the stuff of classic lolita dreams: antique flower illustrations in a repeating pattern. The linen/cotton fabric and trim make this dress well suited to country lolita or cottage core inspired looks.
Kaneko included a two way bow with my purchase with a pin back and alligator clip. The bow is huge. I definitely think it qualifies as “head eating.” The bow is a nice bonus, but the edges of the trim are not finished. On my bow, the lace is already starting to unravel and I’ll probably serge or zig zag stitch it to preserve it.
A word of caution
As is expected on cotton fabric, the black colorway looks somewhat faded. This was clear from the stock photos, so I wasn’t surprised when I received it. However, I was dismayed to find the the slubs of the fabric were easy to catch on basically anything and left small, bright white spots where the dye was no longer present. This happened the first time I wore it for ice cream with friends. Currently these spots are about the size of pencil lead, but there are at least 5 spots that I found. While I understand the limitations of the small batch printing, the black colorway makes these spots on the fabric very obvious. If I’d know that this was a possibility, I would have reconsidered my purchase or gotten the other colorway.
Overall, I like Kaneko dress I received. The two way bow is a great bonus which could have easily been sold separately. However, I wish the trim was finished and not left raw. The art of the print is incredible and the trim is perfect. The adjustable buttons and shirring mean that the dress will fit a variety of body shapes. I’m disappointed that the print already seems to be coming off the fabric. This dress will work so well with my wardrobe. Plus, since it’s approximately 1 million degrees in Los Angeles, I’m going to be living in the breathable natural fibers.
You can follow Kaneko’s new releases on their Instagram (they also have a Russian language Instagram) and see what they have available on their website. If you’re curious about their design process and business, BAK BAK has an interview with the owners on their YouTube channel.
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