Kawaii Fashion

Sophie Wade - Design and Colour

Sophie Wade – designandcolour@gmail.com

We love colour here at the Print Affair, and Kawaii fashion really caught our attention. Originating in Japan, this imaginative and eccentric fashion trend has enchanted a generation.


The term ‘Kawaii’ means cute/adorable/loveable. It is an ever evolving style and has many different sub styles such as ‘Lolita’ and ‘Decora’ however the whole style is overtly colourful, cute and over the top.


“Harajuku was the center of all these different kinds of cute. The district was destroyed during the firebombing of Tokyo during World War II. After the war, it was an American housing quarter called Washington Heights. In 1977, the district became a hokoten, pedestrian paradise. The absence of cars made the place a popular hang out for teens to see and be seen. Street fashion quickly developed.  Harajuku became a blend of cosplay, street fashion and gothic fashion. Kawaii laced through all of it” (Manami & Johnson, Kawaii!: Japan’s Culture of Cute, 2013)

Fresh Fruits Magazine, Shoichi Aoki

Harajuku is now, more than ever, the place to get photographed in Japan and people grace the streets in the most elaborate outfits. The collision of colour, print and aesthetics take over the square mile of the city in abundance.


Style by deni

Prints include familiar cartoons such as My Little Pony and Hello Kitty and many outfits are handmade adding to the uniqueness of their style. Rainbows, hearts, stars – cute and colourful motifs cover fabric and accessories.


Kawaii fashion is becoming a global phenomenon and in 2014 it was a term entered into the Collins English Dictionary: “Japanese artistic and cultural style that emphasises the quality of cuteness, using bright colours and characters with a childlike appearance.”



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