Everyone knows what goes on in Harajuku, right? It’s known for being filled with pop culture. Fashion, boutiques, hair salons, cafes, you name it.
Just like many other subcultures in Japan, Harajuku continues to develop new fashion trends. Do you know what’s the latest trend?
Firstly, there are many types of style when it comes to fashion. Most of them go by a certain theme of representation. Yet, out of all these styles, one of them represent something peculiar and uncommon that they might not even be socially accepted; depression and mental illness. One of it is called Yami Kawaii, 病み可愛い or “Sick Cute”.
This particular style uses medical instruments, bondage gear and all things grotesque. As long as it shows that the person wearing it is vulnerable, emotionally and mentally wounded. This theme is not to be confused with guro kawaii which specifically focuses on grotesque. Some may see yami kawaii as a way to express themselves and don’t pay much mind to it. However, given Japan’s suicide rates, it does seem to be something quite alarming for others.
This style has an unusual duality. It combines both the cuteness of pastel frails and twin tails with dark leather, gory effects and said accessories. It is said to be more of an empowering style rather than frightening. But what is the meaning behind this particular style? Is it some sort of movement?
It has actually been a coping mechanism for many suicidal teens in Japan, which makes one wonder if this style will break Japan’s silence on suicide. The topic of mental illness and depression is still taboo in Japan, but will this new style change that?
Yami Kawaii has been growing and has been an inspiration to many influencers and artists in Japan. It has been gaining many support and is currently the hot topic. Would you ever wear this style too?
To find out more about this style and its origin, do check out this video below: