Alternative Clothing Fashion is an umbrella term encompassing a plethora of styles that have one major thing in common - they, at least at one time, stood apart from mainstream commercial fashion. The term has long been associated with the fashions of specific subcultures (e.g.: emo, scene, Goth subculture, Hip hop, industrial, Cyberpunk, etc.),however it is not limited to this application. In general alternative, or 'alt,' fashion does not conform to style trends of the times that have widespread popularity. It may exhibit itself as a fringe style - extremely attention grabbing and more artistic than practical - but it can also develop from anti-fashion sentiments that focus on simplistic utilitarian drives (e.g.: grunge fashion, which was largely based around comfort and availability).
Alternative fashion is often considered a modern concept but it, and the concept of subculture it is often related to, have existed for centuries. As covered in Ken Gelder's exploration of the history of alternative culture patterns in Western society, "Subcultures: Cultural Histories and Social Practice," alternative fashions have often been used to identify, and even stereotype, members of groups with value systems that diverged from common culture. Gelder states that alternative fashions have traditionally been related to subcultures that have been identified by mass society as:
- disinterested in common moral order: idle, parasitical, hedonistic, criminal
- disinterested in or against adhering to structure of social class
- identification with an area (street, 'hood, club) rather than self-owned property.
- preferring to develop "family" and community outside of traditional paradigms
- attitudes against or wary of Mass production, homogeneity, socially imposed behavior constrictions
Those who utilize alternative fashion may very greatly in beliefs and not identify with any of these concepts. Often it is the mass social perceptions of the meaning of certain fashions and their relation to a particular niche group that is important in understanding the interaction of alternative fashion with mass culture - a fashion is often more remembered for what it is related to in the popular consciousness than what its wearer's intended it to stand for. Particularly in a sociopolitical sense alternative fashion has often been intentionally adopted by an individual or group to display a break from the beliefs or mores of popular culture and as a form of self-expression that challenged the boundaries of what was considered appropriate, fashionable or practical.The meaning behind a certain style, or said style even having a meaning, is up for debate between individual wearers and those outside the style.
The use of subculture terminology in the 21st century to categorize or interpret dress style is often inaccurate, or at the least does not provide a complete picture of the indivudal being assessed by their 'look,' due to the constant evolution in the meaning, relevance and cohesion of certain subcultures and even the term 'subculture' itself. Alternative fashion is often looked at through the lense of social politics - it is considered a visual expression of opposition to societal norms, thus heavily associated with the idealism, energy and rebellion of youth culture. However, sociological studies into exploring alternative fashion have found individuals who retained statistically uncommon modes of dress on a permanent post-adolescent basis. Alternative fashion generally lays down a challenge to accepted norms, though the reactions received by wearers of alternative fashion from those who adhere to more conventional stylings can be as diverse as the wearers themselves. It can be a visual language that people employ to communicate with each other indicating common interests or involvement with similar activities, a challenge to modern conceptions of aesthetic beauty and/or a basic form of self-expression, like painting or writing. It may be none of these things - the wearer may have no conscious intent in the choosing of their style and may find themselves outside the mainstream purely by accident.
For those looking for vintage inspiration comes another shot from London’s Alternative Fashion Week. Undoubtedly a moment that wasn’t meant to be captured, the Dorothy in Oz elements are undeniable: a blue polka dot dress and ruby red shoes.
Alternative Fashion Week kicked off in London this week, and although both the name and some of the images suggest that this is a collection of fashion from alternative cultures, it’s actually just an opportunity for new designers to showcase their talents. Up to 12 designers exhibit in each show, and the images you’ll find in our gallery are a selection from day one. Are these the fashion stars of the future? We’ll leave that one up to you to decide…
Spitalfields is a big market based on the East side of town. Like Portobello, it has a mixture of vintage and new bits, but it's much bigger, busier and better in the sense that there are loads garages (transformed into markets on the weekend) where stalls are put up or sometimes you get the odd car, the with it's boot open, full of treasures.
The option for vintage clothes and accessories is much bigger around there, since East London is also home for 2 great vintage shops, Absolute Vintage and Beyond Retro.
The Alternative Fashion Week is happening up to the 23rd of April, showcasing new talents on it's daily fashion shows and also holding a fashion market with clothes, accessories and textiles. Worth the visit, I had a great day out!
I got there a bit late, not knowing that the fashion show starts at 1:15PM but luckily for me I didn't miss too much and managed to take some great snaps.
Here we go:
Adorable designs by Chantal Gibbs-Jones, perfect if you are cupcake babe!
Cool knitwear by Anna Wilkinson.
Fluid, shiny and futuristic designs by Olga Shishkina.
This amazing show was all created by 2nd year students from the Kensington and Chelsea College. (Where I have also graduated from.)
Just loved the textures created. The collection was all black but the attention to detail was beautiful and very creative.
And here just the big finale with all the models from all the shows, good for me to catch up on what I had missed...
Boys, boys, boys... in kilts for Richards Evans-Lacey.
Wish I had seen this whole show properly ;(
Loved those prints, especially on the leggings.
Shame I am not able to check out the other days... Go, if you can!
- 01/02/2012 14:27 - Anne Cole women's Clothing Collection 2012
- 01/02/2012 01:40 - Annalee+Hope Clothing Collection TV Guide 2012
- 30/01/2012 14:44 - Amoureuse Clothing 2012 Collection
- 30/01/2012 10:00 - AMERICAN APPAREL CLOTHING SHOW 2012
- 30/01/2012 09:23 - Amanda Uprichard Women's Clothing New
- 26/01/2012 15:03 - ALO Women's Clothing 2012
- 18/01/2012 04:58 - Almost Famous Clothing Brand 2012
- 18/01/2012 04:43 - Alice + Olivia CLOTHING 2012
- 18/01/2012 04:30 - ALI RO CLOTHING IS LOOKING FOR FASHION DESIGN INTERNS 2012
- 17/01/2012 02:22 - Ali & Kris Clothing high grade 2012