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Yami Kawaii: Japan's Dark Fashion Subculture

Monday, July 30, 2018

In 2006 Gwen Stefani released "The Sweet Escape" album and people were noticing 4 Harajuku girls she dubbed L.A.M.B (Love. Angel. Music. Baby).

Gwen Stefani and Love, Angel, Music, Baby


WARNING: This article might contain triggers for some individuals

We were all suddenly fascinated by Harajuku culture and every Fashion decision had to be super Kwaii (super cute). This Harajuku trend deemed as cute, sweet and demure in Japan, somehow spun into something dark known as Yami Kwaii or Sick Cute.

Source | Massive Action Media
Instead of the purely pink frills, pastel colors and "Hello Kitty" this trend is accessorized by bondage gear, medical instruments like syringes, masks, pills and fake blood or anything that would suggest the wearer is fragile, emotionally wounded or sick. It is a way to somehow represent the tension between the inner and outer selves by way of Fashion .. a very dark fashion.

Katy Perry in Yami Kwaii
Japan is said to have the highest rate of suicide in the world with their popular "suicide forest" where people literally go to die -- remember that Logan Paul Youtube video showing the forest? It is actually not surprising that such a trend would emerge out of Japan. Yami Kwaii draws attention to Japan's biggest taboos --self-harm, mental health problems, and depression which are not topics people will readily and openly discuss in that culture.

While Yami Kwaii might be just another Fashion Trend to some individuals, in parts of Japan it has become a new Subculture with deep roots in mental conditions, self-harm, and depression --wear with caution.

We here at The Haute Lifestyle understand that this might be a sensitive topic, so we advise you to read with an open and understanding mind. One of our goals is to spread awareness of underserved issues.



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