Spells like teen spirit

Thursday 15th November – constellation – Week 6

In this weeks constellation we talked about the Post Modern Fashion. This is where we come into the 21st century and discuss how the modern tends are influenced by the past subcultures.

Looking at some quotes and styles I discovered that post modern fashion is a mixture of different elements from styles across the centuries. A Book written by Paul Sweetman 2004, claims that there is no distinct definition of a 21st century look. The style is seemed to be just a “mash up” with no clear style choices. “…postmodern fashion no longer refers to anything but itself and this lack of external referentiality means that everything is available…” This can be viewed that the current style does not make a political statement; the clothes are worn just because of a personal taste instead of letting the world know that you believed or were part of something.

In addition Muggleton (2004) perceives the thought of “them and us,” which can mean that the public does not want to be seen as outrageous or be the alternative. Continue reading his work we can assume that he believes that the rules from previous subcultures have been taken and altered to create an ever changing look.

The first person to look into this was Polhemus in the 1990’s. His work included the main concept of a “supermarket of style” (Polhemus, 1995). This is the ideology that each distinct style had one isle with in a shop – so the skin heads had one isle, the punks had one, the goths had another and so on. At that time and the past before the groups only shopped within their isle but with the modern fashion becoming more inclusive the style has adapted so that an average person can take things from multiple styles. As a result we get a classic mash up of styles.

A reason for the sudden change in ideals is the development of technology. With this ease access the public can take ideas from other groups as well as their own to create their own unique style. To add to this idea the concept of “the travellers” and “the tourist” (Sweetman 2004) had been developed. A ‘tourist’ would be seen as the more free flowing where they could one day have one style then change the next, these could also mix up a look and have more than one style within a single outfit. Whereas the ‘traveller’ would stick with one style for a sightly longer period but will still eventually change style.

One example of a post modern fashion we looked at in detail was be the steampunk. An image we looked into shows four men wearing similar clothing in the style of steampunk – all of which wear their own crafted back packs. These are in the style of a messy, non-minimalistic industry. This can imply that the men have hand crafted their costumes. The non-sleek design can mean that they are embracing the cluttered elements of the Victorian era. Another way to view this would be that they are all retaliating against the modern technologies where current style is to make things smaller and more minimalistic. Forlili said that the steam punk style is rebelling away from today’s technology; “The DIY component of steampunk effectively critiques the fundamental opacity of contemporary technology” (Forlini, 2010:81). This can be enhanced by the meaning of using ‘material things’ instead of the generic and more common online virtual things.

Overall today I have developed my skills in paraphrasing of a large quote and I have opened my eyes to the different ideologies of the past in comparison to current times.

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