Subcultures, although entering and influencing popular culture on many levels (art, fashion, music, film, etc.) still have their unique history and identity. As a definition, the term subculture means a group of individuals that differentiates themselves from the culture in which they live by the way they dress, the music they listen to, their social and political views, etc. in other words, they are different than the majority. Subcultures are ever changing and inter changing as we speak, but we want to share with you the 10 most famous subcultures that have passed the test of time:
Is mainly a subculture that brings the attitude, fashion and music of the 1940’s and the 1950’s. Influenced by the rock’n’roll era of Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis and the bad boys of Hollywood like James Dean, Bettie Page, B-movies and pulp novels, the rockabilly fashion is characterized by vintage style, pin-up, red lipstick, duck tail hairstyles, denim jeans, polka dots, animal print, leather jackets, etc. Related styles are punkobilly, gothabilly, psychobilly.
The skinhead subculture emerged from the working class youth in London in the 60’s. Named after (you guessed it) their shaved head, initially they were influenced by the rude boys and the British mods and later by the punk and hardcore subcultures. Skinhead fashion includes high working boots, bleached jeans, pants with rolled up cuffs (to show the boots), leather jackets, shirts, suspenders.
The appearance of hip hop music saw many young people’s jeans get baggier and baggier, and bling increased so much it’s a wonder there aren’t more neck problems. The Gangsta look is still going strong, and icons such as 50 Cent and Jay-Z carrying on the walk-with-a-limp, show-off-boxers, plaster-on-the-face look like it’ll never go out of fashion.
4. Lolita Fashion
Lolita style is one of the most popular street fashions in Japan in the 80’s that has become popular in the Western world over the years. Influenced by the Victorian and the Rococo era clothing, this one is an extravagant, elaborate style with many layers of clothing, meant to give an innocent, timeless look for the ones who adapt it. Lolita Fashion, or the porcelain doll look, has many sub-styles like sweet Lolita, gothic Lolita or classic Lolita.
Steampunk fashion was influenced by the industrialized Western civilization during the 19th century. It appeared as a sub-genre of sci-fi literature that features steam-powered machineries. Taking its most stylistic inspirations from the Victorian era, steampunk fashion must haves are: gowns, corsets, long coats, petticoats, vests, bustles, coats, top hats, military garments, “period” accessories like parasols, goggles, ray guns, mechanical gadgets, gas masks, etc.
Goth fashion appeared in the 1970’s and has its roots in the punk rock movement. Also known as the “black style”, Goth is marked by dark colors, mostly black, pale complexion and usually black lipstick. The origins of Goth comes from the gothic literature of the Victorian age, German Expressionism, black and white silent films, first horror movies and glam rock. Influential people for the Goth movement are: Siouxsie Sioux, David Bowie, Klaus Nomi, Robert Smith (of The Cure), etc.
Made popular by the band Nirvana in the 90’s, the grunge fashion first appeared in the Seattle area and was characterized by an intentional “I don’t care how I look” style of clothing. It is the opposite of Glam style, defined by a messy, dirty looking punk and working-class combination of clothes. Many items are bought from thrift stores or second hand ones. Oversized flannels, worn out, ripped jeans and boots or sneakers are the common Grunge items. It’s about feeling comfortable and not being a fashion victim.
One of the most famous fashion subcultures is, without any doubt, punk. Emerged in the 1970’s, punk rock music was a reaction to the sentimentalist music of that time, wanting a stripped down raw rock’n’roll. A symbol of individualism and rebellion, punk was also against political idealism, consumerism and wanted to reach an anarchic kind of system. Punk fashion was made popular by the eccentric Vivienne Westwood, who is also nicknamed the Godmother of Punk. Some of the emblematic punk items are: the Mohawk, pins, leather, colorful hair, combat boots, DIY clothes, badges, tattoos,
Although nowadays it comes with some negative connotation, Emo (short for emotional) style was completely different when it first appeared in the mid 80’s in Washington, DC. Emo music was a more melodic style of hardcore punk. Today, Emo fashion is recognizable by its use of skinny jeans, colorful t-shirts, hoodies, band t-shirts and intricate hairstyles.
Hipster has become a synonym for “cool”, although some might say Hipster with a somewhat pejorative meaning. It’s usually associated with indie and alternative music styles and is famous for taking its influences form a lot of styles fashion trends. A hipster wardrobe must absolutely contain: vintage clothes, combined with thrift store ones, eyeglasses, sun glasses, skinny jeans, cardigans, sweaters, oxford shoes, Converse sneakers hats, scarves, etc.