Trashionista talk – Alternative Looks in Mainstream Fashion

I actually wrote this post over 2 years ago, on 31/10/07, in my live journal blog. It was rather tongue-in-cheek, but the funny thing is, these trends are still with us today, and so I thought I’d repost.

I was looking at UK Harper’s Bazaar recently and drooling over the looks/trends for Autumn and Winter – for once, I can’t wait to wear these looks! Unfortunately, it’ll be next year before they get here, as Australia’s summer doesn’t end til March.

Anyway, it amused me that a number of the trends mentioned in the mag and other fashion websites, have already been around for a fair while in the alternative scene. Read on and you’ll see what I mean….

‘Nuff said.

The mag gives examples of Lanvin, and various clothes and accessories that have big studs all over them. Also tartan, rips, zips, safety pins, buckles, skulls etc. Well, punk never really went out in the alternative fashion scene, did it?

This trend refers to the resurgence of leather in jackets, skirts, gloves well as studded items and multi buckles (see above) Admittedly, we’re more into PVC in the goth/alt scene, but again, it’s all there in the punk and rocker looks. The Steampunk look has also brought leather to the fore, in natural colours and weathered vintage looks.

This look features lots of black, black and white, ruffly collars, jabots and cuffs, tailored jackets, rich fabrics, top hats, spats etc.. Elegant Goth Aristocrat, anyone? This has been worn for a few years now in Japan, and elsewhere as EGL has swept the world. And Neo-Victorian is a true goth staple. Steampunk also utilises these looks. Sheesh, Mainstream, you’re SOOO behind the times!

Obviously refers to silver, gold and pewter as preferred colours/finishes for the new season. Cybergoths have been doing the silver thing for aeons (I have no less than 4 silver skirts, as well as a metal bodice, silver on several corsets, countless tops, 2 pairs of boots, 2 bags, cuffs in PVC and metal…) We’re not so big on gold admittedly…except for the military/uniform look. Which leads us to…

In this trend, it’s the exquisite detailing on jackets, pants and boots, with multi brass buttons a la the Napoleonic era – or the Pirate look, if you will. (Gaultier is the undisputed king of this opulent look, in my book). Possibly the pirate trend crossed over from the recent movies..and again, alternative types have been digging the pirate look for a few years. And fetish types have been into uniforms for as long as people have been finding them sexy.

This mostly refers to skyscraper shoes and boots. I’m delighted that instead of being wafer-thin stilettos, heels are huge chunky platforms – hurrah! Of course, gothy types have always worn big chunky platforms (well, after the 80’s anyway, when the pointy toed witchy look went out of vogue).

In this section are the wide corset-like belts, as seen at Burberry Prorsum, McQueen, and everywhere. Gothic again.

Lustrous silks, velvets, patent leather and pvc…need I say more? Also involves oversized crystals and fake gems on clothing, and sequins – see Metallics

One look that doesn’t come from the goth/alt culture, but from Vintage, is the

Mostly this trend is good, and Vintage and Burlesquey gals will just cream themselves. Drapey dresses from the Hollywood glam era – great; celebration of curves – check; T-bar shoes – cool; shoulder pads – SHUDDER. I’ll never be able to wear shoulder pads again after the 80’s and the horror that was Lynda Evans in Dynasty.

And as for the trend that is “Chunky Knitwear” – you will NEVER see me in an oversized cardi that’s masquerading as a dress.

Thoughts anyone?

(Of course, 2 years later and I’m LOVING the strong Balmain shoulders – OK not the same as Dynasty shoulders, but I love the upwardly angled pagoda shoulders, and I never thought I would).


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