** Controversial Opinion Alert **
I am a proud thriftarian,rummagerian,bargain binista. I love to forage for things, mix and match clothing, jewellery, and shoes and layer all of it onto my non-dainty self. I find it very relaxing, therapeutic, creative and fun to put outfits together – especially things which might not have been intended to be put together in the first place.
This was what I loved and admired about Punks in the 70’s, Goths and Metalheads in the 80’s : they would take those safety pins, rip those jeans, stick on those studs, and produce badass, individual, personal statements.
Style icons were born out of sheer imagination, desire to shine and little consideration to money, status or brand representation. Who gave a fuck in 1976 about hashtagging every single brand known to man and beyond?
Which brings me to my main point.
Today’s “style icons” are merely branded cattle.
If you can wear and hashtag branded items from your ear canal to your left toenail, via your posterior– then you are IN. And if you can get your nipple out and hashtag it too : you are a queeeeeeen hunnnnniiiii! Tits for clicks, tats for likes, it has all become a monetary and egotistical show off. Brand whoreism is real.
Bitter? Harsh? Nah, it is just that I value effort and abilities in putting an outfit together – and if it is on a shoestring- even more admirable and impressive!
It is my opinion that sadly, retail and social media have subverted what was alternative fashion’s uniqueness, creativity and individuality into a tribe of uninspired monolithic zombies.
Gone are the days where actual individual style was recognised and praised, today all that is celebrated is the ability to shop an entire look from UltimateGoth.com, GotherThanYou.com or GothicBootyDaily.com for the more risque stuff [Shall I trademark this?].
How is this “style”?
If your entire outfit is a £150 shopping cart, then all you have proven is your ability to stick 3 items in a basket and successfully complete the checkout process. Especially if those 3 items ALL come the same mainstream alternative brand.
Style should be an expression of the self, not a physical representation of GothToGetThis.com‘s latest stock delivered for SS18.
As you may have gathered, I am tired and bored of seeing the same old corpse bride lookin’, non carb eatin’, SPF200 happiness blockin’, looks promoted all over social media etc.
How are you gonna call yourself alternative when you are just carbon copies of each other, wearing one brand head to toe?!!
The terminology itself is very telling, we don’t have style iconsanymore, we have influencers … Ie people who influence other people’s behaviour TO PURCHASE. GTFOH!
I look up to Rob Halford, Siouxsie Sioux, Steven Tyler, Marilyn Manson, and the like because they had / have their unique style and look – not because they shop at Claire’s Accessories and plug a buy one get one free BFF necklace! [I wanna be Steve and Rob’s BFF though]
Don’t get me wrong, I do buy things that have just been released – but I tend to pair things with thrifted / repurposed clothing / things from charity shops/ even supermarket stuff. It is more personal to me.
In essence, for me, style is more than what you buy, it is what you wear and how you wear it.
What is style to you?