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Week 1 - Observing the clothes worn by a group in my town

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  • read_good
    I live in a Ville in the South East of the US. Many different people come here from cowboys to mountain dwelling hippy folk. This is a tourist and college town
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 9, 2009
      I live in a Ville in the South East of the US. Many different people come here from cowboys to mountain dwelling hippy folk. This is a tourist and college town so we see all kinds of fashions.
      Apart from everyone else, the group that stands out the most to me attire themselves in wears that are supposed to distinguish them as the anti-fashionables. They are labeled as "the anarchists". They roam around town in packs wearing black leather boots, swathed in black-ish rags and pulling along puppies tied up with climbing rope. The members appear to have subscribed to a very specific uniform. It looks like early New England punk (dominating presence of black clothing, political patches, studs and garments held together with pins and deliberately visible stitching) mixed with the filth factor of what one may think of when imagining a metropolitan homeless person (I mean no offense by this!). This is probably because of the notion of only washing when one must. There are also elements of what I call "vagabond chic" that goes with those who travel; an army knapsack, canteens attached to the hip with a carabineer, possibly a slice of rolled up foam for sleeping. Of course this is a huge generalization of this group as a whole but I feel like there are specific details of dress that those in this town use to distinguish themselves and to proclaim their chosen social position.
      I think the look is also about a level of androgyny. But I see girls still playing up attributes of their femininity ( I think it must be natural instinct?), like exposing a flirtatious shoulder through a slashed t-shirt or some wild flowers behind the ear and I've even seen a few girls with very short ( and very provocative!) utility mini-skirts over pants. I have observed that both males and females mostly done casual attire.
      Physical adornment appears to be the preferred method of individualization ( I mean, in what grouping isn't it?) and it works. Through little details I can see how members of the scene feel even more different and they can also express their deeper personal tastes to the outside communities. I notice a lot of unusual and distinctive piercing on the face and body, also a lot of "ear plugs", scarification and tattooing. I have seen hair dyed into bright and unusual colors as well as styles that are against the norm like 1 dreadlock sticking out from the top of a guys head or a shaved head with just the bangs left and then dyed lime green! But I have also seen a more mature women with long hair down to their butts, with no tattoos or piercing, but wearing all black.
      Although the clothes represent the social position of this community outwardly, I have yet to get the impression that what they wear represents a status with-in their group. Wearing the accepted fashion in whatever state it may be (ripped, grungy...)proclaims ones participation in the movement as a whole. I find it very interesting because I imagine that anyone with this look could go anywhere in the world and immediately connect with a community just through costume ID.
    • eleanordew
      This sounds like an interesting group. Do you have any idea what their unifying ethos is?
      Message 2 of 4 , Jun 10, 2009
        This sounds like an interesting group. Do you have any idea what their unifying ethos is?

        --- In CostumeHistoryClass@yahoogroups.com, "read_good" <moraeaflower@...> wrote:
        >
        > I live in a Ville in the South East of the US. Many different people come here from cowboys to mountain dwelling hippy folk. This is a tourist and college town so we see all kinds of fashions.
        > Apart from everyone else, the group that stands out the most to me attire themselves in wears that are supposed to distinguish them as the anti-fashionables. They are labeled as "the anarchists". <<
      • M M
        From what I have gathered it s about being a freak , dressing in opposition to what the norm is. Very anti-mall anarchy driven 2009/6/10 eleanordew
        Message 3 of 4 , Jun 10, 2009
          From what I have gathered it's about being a "freak", dressing in opposition
          to what the norm is. Very anti-mall anarchy driven

          2009/6/10 eleanordew <jlc5f@...>

          >
          >
          > This sounds like an interesting group. Do you have any idea what their
          > unifying ethos is?
          >
          >
          > --- In CostumeHistoryClass@yahoogroups.com<CostumeHistoryClass%40yahoogroups.com>,
          > "read_good" <moraeaflower@...> wrote:
          > >
          > > I live in a Ville in the South East of the US. Many different people come
          > here from cowboys to mountain dwelling hippy folk. This is a tourist and
          > college town so we see all kinds of fashions.
          > > Apart from everyone else, the group that stands out the most to me attire
          > themselves in wears that are supposed to distinguish them as the
          > anti-fashionables. They are labeled as "the anarchists". <<
          >
          >
          >


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • nanavin79
          I actually got to know a few people out of this kind of group - if they have the same motivations that is. The uniform sounds the same and it is funny how
          Message 4 of 4 , Sep 15, 2009
            I actually got to know a few people out of this kind of group - if they have the same motivations that is. The 'uniform' sounds the same and it is funny how open-mindedness can break down walls, the shared drink might have had a bit of impact too. From how I understood it, it was all about provoking the middle class, waking them up and making them see that we are too focused on material matters.






            --- In CostumeHistoryClass@yahoogroups.com, "read_good" <moraeaflower@...> wrote:
            >
            > I live in a Ville in the South East of the US. Many different people come here from cowboys to mountain dwelling hippy folk. This is a tourist and college town so we see all kinds of fashions.
            > Apart from everyone else, the group that stands out the most to me attire themselves in wears that are supposed to distinguish them as the anti-fashionables. They are labeled as "the anarchists". They roam around town in packs wearing black leather boots, swathed in black-ish rags and pulling along puppies tied up with climbing rope. The members appear to have subscribed to a very specific uniform. It looks like early New England punk (dominating presence of black clothing, political patches, studs and garments held together with pins and deliberately visible stitching) mixed with the filth factor of what one may think of when imagining a metropolitan homeless person (I mean no offense by this!). This is probably because of the notion of only washing when one must. There are also elements of what I call "vagabond chic" that goes with those who travel; an army knapsack, canteens attached to the hip with a carabineer, possibly a slice of rolled up foam for sleeping. Of course this is a huge generalization of this group as a whole but I feel like there are specific details of dress that those in this town use to distinguish themselves and to proclaim their chosen social position.
            > I think the look is also about a level of androgyny. But I see girls still playing up attributes of their femininity ( I think it must be natural instinct?), like exposing a flirtatious shoulder through a slashed t-shirt or some wild flowers behind the ear and I've even seen a few girls with very short ( and very provocative!) utility mini-skirts over pants. I have observed that both males and females mostly done casual attire.
            > Physical adornment appears to be the preferred method of individualization ( I mean, in what grouping isn't it?) and it works. Through little details I can see how members of the scene feel even more different and they can also express their deeper personal tastes to the outside communities. I notice a lot of unusual and distinctive piercing on the face and body, also a lot of "ear plugs", scarification and tattooing. I have seen hair dyed into bright and unusual colors as well as styles that are against the norm like 1 dreadlock sticking out from the top of a guys head or a shaved head with just the bangs left and then dyed lime green! But I have also seen a more mature women with long hair down to their butts, with no tattoos or piercing, but wearing all black.
            > Although the clothes represent the social position of this community outwardly, I have yet to get the impression that what they wear represents a status with-in their group. Wearing the accepted fashion in whatever state it may be (ripped, grungy...)proclaims ones participation in the movement as a whole. I find it very interesting because I imagine that anyone with this look could go anywhere in the world and immediately connect with a community just through costume ID.
            >
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