Smells like Teen Spirit

22nd November – week 7 Postmodernism : Bricolage – Harajuku Street style

In the lecture we went over Bricolage, Harajuku style and how they did a ‘mash-up’ of many number of different styles across the century. Then we continued to figure out what we are doing for the learning journal (which I am still apprehensive about).

At first I was unsure on what Bricolage was but the tutor explained that it is the concept of adding deliberate combinations together for the style. This is a post modernism approach as it is reworking old ascetics to create a reconfiguration of ideas. Much like a retro style bricolage is relying on the viewers knowledge of the past and prior function to understand their new outcomes.

Linking this to the classic harajuku style they use a random mass-produced items such as the stereotypical bright pink Hello Kitty toys and accessories that they attach to themselves. The harajuku girls could be seen as the ultimate ‘mash-up’ because of the amount of styles they use, some of which are the traditional Japanese dress, the avant-garde culture, Tudor and Elizabethan feminine attire, goth, steam punk and hyper western modern style. All of this is created to look exaggerated and it seems to cover their identity instead of showcasing who they are. This is a different concept to all the others we have looked at, as those are showing off where the fit into society and what group/ gang they belong/ adhere to.

Another aspect we looked into was the key aspects we need to write for our learning journal. The tutor gave us questions for our minds to think over, as well as overall guide lines. She wants us to relate what we have learnt back to our own individual practise such as how I have learnt how to look as a large block of text and know who to paraphrase which will help me when I research into a brief and need to create a presentation of my findings.


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.

Smells Like Teen Spirit

Constellation – Thursday 4th October – week 1

I had been told about this by many of the tutors and third years that this is a good way to get out of your comfort zone and develop my writing and thinking skills. A few days prior I selected the groups in which I would want to join. A nights wait I fond out I was in the class called “Smells Like Teen Spirit” for the first term.

We dived right in at 9 AM sharp. I was in awe of the class and by the end of the day I had written a shocking 6 pages with out realising.

To start with I learnt that everyone gives off an atmosphere, which can come from their clothes and/ or attitudes. The tutor used memorable symbolism about how we would not scream at everyone in a football match that we support a certain team and not another, we would simply wear the colour of that corresponding team, thus showing who we support.

This lead onto thinking about all the social rules that we as society put up to protect ourselves and stay within the normal. Continuing that thought on what if someone were to break out of those social constructs; would they be bullied or shamed? Would people follow their new trends? I discovered that it was these type of people that break the rules are the trend setters of their culture.

As a class we then, tried to describe and then analyse an image to do with the 1960’s hippies. Though analysing many photo on one subculture I have learnt that subcultures can be influenced by many different cultures – such as the hippies were influenced by some aspects of the Indian culture. also subcultures can impact the larger cultures like the 21st century as we believe in being eco-friendly and free flowing hair.

Overall, I have discovered that finding the rules of a style is key to breaking them to creating your own masterpieces. Not conforming to one style is a key to the evolution of a civilisation.