Yume Kawaii (shortened to Yumekawa) is a pastel subculture-turn-trend that started in Harajuku in 2015. It is a soft, dreamlike aesthetic found in fashion, artwork, music, and even food. Typical Yume Kawaii motifs include sailor collars, magical girls, animals, unicorns, clouds, and wings. The look originally combined these cute motifs with a touch of yami (“darkness,” “poison”) to incorporate the nightmare side of dreams. In terms of fashion, Yume Kawaii coordinates are often built up using layers of sheer fabrics, with common items including oversized t-shirts, floaty dresses, platform shoes or sneakers, loose socks, topped off by bun-covers, and ribbons for accessories. Vintage clothing is especially popular, with wearers often incorporating vintage nightwear into their outfits. Yumekawa originally included cute-yet-edgy touches to add a touch of darkness, although this was later developed into a new, separate style called Yami Kawaii. Check out our Encyclopedia article about Yami Kawaii here. Creative mediums would use hazy filters and graphics to reflect the dreamlike feeling of Yume Kawaii. Both illustrations and music videos would feature washed out or vivid pastel colors combined with typical Yumekawa motifs to create the dreamlike world. Yunomi and Snails House – musicians described by fans as having a Yume Kawaii sound – were later credited as pioneers of the new Kawaii Future Bass genre, which has exploded worldwide. BPM15Q – The idol group formed by Ichigo Rinahamu, the creator of the Yume Kawaii style. Yunomi produced their music.
EtymologyYume Kawaii (ゆめかわいい) combines the phrases “Yume” and “Kawaii.” Yume (ゆめ) refers to “dream” while Kawaii (かわいい) means cute. Popular model AMO first coined the word in 2013, but it was never picked up until 2015, when the phrase was used by independent idol Ichigo Rinahamu.
A Yume Kawaii themed event held by fashion brand WEGO in 2015.
WEGO原宿竹下通り店で《ゆめかわいい展》はじまりました☆8/16日まで開催中！ECONECOグッズも並んでます〜！ pic.twitter.com/mOr3392oZK— Econeco// (@ECONECOxxx) August 1, 2015