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This year, the world is witnessing fashion trends unlike any we've seen before. We're seeing a rise in internet subcultures and aesthetics, as well as the revival of historical patterns like corsets on one hand, and on the other creation of clothing as a means of defying the fast-fashion model.
The movement is difficult to put into words. Anti-fashion is everything that fashion is not. It is a movement that opposes the status quo. There were two approaches to anti-fashion in the later decades of the twentieth century. Designer Rei Kawakubo, whose runways included dark hues, shapeless dresses, and deconstructed things. Vivienne Westwood, on the other hand, showcased punk, chains, leather pants, and revolt.
Anti-fashion is a voice of protest towards decolonizing, that could take the form of different skirt lengths or the number of clothes worn. Such rebels were also present in the 1970s. There were numerous reasons for British society to protest: they did not want war, they were against the gender roles prevalent at the time, and they rejected the glitter of the 1960s in favour of something more functional.
Vivienne Westwood was actually one of many who used her garments to show her defiance. The Sex Pistols, the band that was the main instigator of the punk movement in Britain at the time, made her leather clothes very fashionable. The artists, clad in Westwood's designs, were also ready to rebel, and styles like a combination of jeans and T-shirts with leather jackets were popular in the mid-1970s.
A picture of Vivienne below aptly shows her style-inspiration.
Anti-fashion frequently becomes fashionable, in an irony that only the fashion business could comprehend. Trends are started by mavericks and rebels, who are subsequently picked up by both big-name companies and high-street labels, making them more appealing to and popular with the people.
Many high-fashion collections have been inspired by Gothic fashion, punk, hip-hop, and grunge bands, and even bikers. Further back in history, the so-called "rational dress" of the Victorian era fought against the confining clothing of the time in order to give women more freedom of movement and independence. Similarly, flappers, Teddy boys, mods, and rockers could all be identified by their dress.
Clothing are utilised to express these groups' ideals, politics, and worldviews. These movements, which rise on the margins of society, challenge social standards, and anti-fashion is frequently used as a forerunner to the next major fashion trend.
This year, the world is witnessing fashion trends unlike any we've seen before. We're seeing a rise in internet subcultures and aesthetics, as well as the revival of historical patterns like corsets and crochet, as well as the creation of clothing as a means of defying the fast-fashion model. All of these are considered out of style and anti-fashion.
In 2017, Rihanna’s Comme des Garçons' Outfit at the Met Gala was lauded for being anti-fashion and risque.
Consider the 1970s fashion trends of corsets, visible seam tops, and big boots. These are three examples of antifashion-influenced trends that have gone viral on TikTok and Instagram. Is it really so different from Vivienne Westwood's grandeur to wear corsets as a t-shirt? Are there any similarities between apparent costures and Comme des Garçons' untidy fashion?
Cottagecore and Dark Academia are popular styles and aesthetics because they resonate with people. These styles are far from popular, but they result in a diverse fashion landscape that no longer feels strange to the general public. People can more easily choose a style that they like thanks to aesthetic sub cultures. And hence, these styles are coming up in the 2020s.
Knitting or embroidering clothes is also part of the anti-fashion agenda, which opposes the industry paradigm while fostering the bringing back of handmade or hand-stitched clothes as a means of revolution against mass production and fast-fashion.
The blurring of the lines between masculine and feminine clothing is another example of anti-fashion.
David Bowie, for example, wore outlandish outfits and mixed and matched seemingly unrelated items (particularly during his concerts). High-heeled boots were worn by Bowie and millions of other guys. Women, on the other hand, frequently choose to wear trousers and suits. Annie Hall and Diane Keaton, frequently "toyed gender boundaries." They wore baggy outfits and trousers as another kind of defiance against gender stereotypes.
Dianne Keatone pictured below:
One of the important marks of the 1970s was the strong feminist movement. Females pushed for full equality as well as the abolition of numerous gender stereotypes and customs. Another approach to express feminism was to wear trousers and adopt a traditional male appearance.
People in the United Kingdom attempted to accept that there should be no gender distinction, and particular clothing helped them attain this goal. Barbara Hulanicki made a significant contribution to the popularity of power suits, which empowered women. The designer experimented with different materials and prints, but the concept remained the same: women can perform the same roles in society as men, whether in business or politics.
Pictured below are designs of Barbara Hulanicki.
Anti-fashion is also linked to a new emphasis on comfort over elegance. Diane von Furstenberg played a pivotal role in this movement. For women who had to reconcile work and family life, the designer produced her classic jersey wrap dress. And now, it’s a staple for Sunday brunches.
This new outfit could be considered as representative of a societal trend. Because of the large number of divorces in the 1970s, many women were forced to start providing for their children. It could be because of their additional obligations, they didn't have much time to be trendy and glamorous.
As a result, the designer created a garment that allowed working women to appear stylish at work, at home, in the park with their children, and at parties. These dresses were not only comfortable, but they also fit most ladies, regardless of their shape. It was feasible to appear good without adhering to the prevailing beauty standards at the time.
The popularity of anti-fashion defied many age-old stereotypes and somewhere allowed people — especially women to dress however they want. Today, many trends that we love are inspired by anti-fashion movements and hopefully, more such trends will possibly take birth in the future.
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