Friday, 26 February 2010

They're Probably Just as Frightened of Us as We Are of Them

I am rather fond of all types of fashion - as an illustrator and character designer, different subcultures make me go wild. The way that different groups of people choose to present themselves to the world absolutely fascinates me and in a way it's inherently tribal. When I was a lass, and a bit of a fashion rebel (the very act of rebelliousness that is wearing a short-sleeved t-shirt over a long-sleeved one was enough to set tongues a-wagging when I was at school) I used the way that I dressed to show that I thought differently from the 'in' crowd in my class, I used clothing and makeup to attract like-minded people. Even if they weren't covered with band logos, "my" crowd's (arguably questionable - super-flared jeans, anyone?) dress sense indicated what music they liked, what movies they were into, and in fact their general attitude towards society.

Similarly, that 'in' crowd had a style that I just didn't understand, and definitely had a lot to say about at the time (short skirts, logo t-shirts and brand name sportswear - what?) but have... kind of come to like in a way. For instance, a few years ago it was quite popular for that lot to wear skinny jeans or leggings with ugg-type (it was pre-ugg really) boots and hugely over-inflated puffa jackets, often with a fur collar. The silhouette was one that was really quite impressive, it was dominant, aggressive and animalistic and they had the attitude to match. Even with the mistake that is orange foundation and peroxide-blonde hair, I found similarities to our British ancestors after reading that the celts would tan their skin and bleach their locks. That whole fashion-culture, although not to my particular taste, has gained my respect in the same sort of bracket as goth, and punk. i.e. "Not my sort of thing, very nice though."

Lately I've noticed quite a lot of snobbery online in vintage circles - a general disdain for 'modern' fashion, or even just normal every-day dress, and at times, a mockery of it. This dislike of jeans, and sportswear as daywear, of miles of flesh on show is understandable, It's just not our cup of tea! But when we get treated differently, or are ridiculed by the 'norms' of society, we are up in arms about it. Should anybody comment negatively on our styles and tastes it stings - this is how we've chosen to present ourselves to the world, and if someone is rude about it then it feels as though your entire personality, your personal likes and dislikes are being rubbished and put down.

So why do we do the very same to them?

Live and let live you lunatics!


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