Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Rebellious Clothing

Have you ever worn an article of clothing in defiance? Chosen to rebel and expressed it in your outfit? Most likely you were a teenager, and to the chagrin of your parents decided to revolt against that early curfew or their dislike of your choice in boyfriend/girlfriend.

Ah, we have all been there and depending on our current age, you may have rebelled in the 50s as a rock 'n roll greaser, the 60s with anti-war themed clothing, the 70s with punk, the 80s with funk and rap and the 90s with grunge. I find the 21st century bereft of rebellious clothing and leaning more towards fashion collectivism rather than individual expression. That could be do to lack of imagination or a been-there-seen-it-done-that attitude. When was the last time someone's pink hair dye job made you look twice? Not likely, but in the 70s and 80s this was considered quite shocking.

Is it possible to define your own fashion style these days? Is following the trends telling us we have no imagination - leaving the choices up to a select few in the industry, the rest of us following like sheep?

Rebellious clothing seems not to exist as much today, and it's a personal opinion whether this is beneficial or not. What exactly makes one unique and stand out in a crowd? Here are some past examples.

1950s rock 'n roll greasers were anti big business. Leather jackets, motorcycles and a general malaise for their future dominated the attitude of teenagers.

1960s rebellious clothing was anti-establishment and anti-war. Rebeling against corporate suits and the war in Vietnam, military clothing was often worn to emphasize the the enormous resentment to the war.

With the debut of the Ramones, the punk rock/hardcore scene was established. A do-it-yourself ethic and anti-authoritarian ideologies dominated its theme.

Gangsta rap and hip hop was a reflection of inner city violent life. A life to which many of us were not aware of fully. Bringing realistic ghetto life to the masses, it remains a controversial music and lifestyle choice.

Dubbed anti-fashion, grunge was a minimalist style featuring extremely casual clothing. The loose fitting flannel shirt seemed to be the uniform of the day.

There are many other styles of rebellious clothing as well, as subtle as Dior's 1947 New Look. This style featuring full skirts used excessive amounts of fabric that were previously unattainable during the war years. It was a welcome change for most, but was shrouded in conservative controversy.

What was your rebellious moment?


Shrinky Inky said...

bald, tattooed and punk rock from 1979 to 1985 ;) Now long flaming red hair and sporting a 40's look. My mother says I was rebellious from the moment I was conceived and will probably die being rebellious in some form or another (I personally hope to be the craziest old broad in the nursing home!!)

Here I am in 1984: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3100/2807091226_64805b706e.jpg

Camelia Crinoline said...

Strangely I feel like my rebellious clothing moment was (and is) wearing vintage. The place where I go to university is really conservative and everyone dresses the same.I often get strange looks from people because I only wear vintage or second hand clothing.

rothco said...

Thank you very much for the whole information. I agree with all the points mentioned here and noticed all your important points. I think it will help many people. I also love the vintage cloth.