A STATE OF UNCERTAINTY

2016 has been a tough year. From the refugee crisis, to brexit, to Trump. We are living in confusion and a state of uncertainty. Living in the present is an uncomfortable thought. Nostalgic of the past and hopeful for the future we are finding ourselves conflicted, reflected in the way we think and hence the way we dress. The desire to be relaxed conflicts with our need to stand up, rebel, and to be unique.  A clash in styles,eras, patterns and textures reflect the state of unease we are in. Whilst we say we, “just chucked this outfit on” and “threw anything together” the subconscious mind controls our every action and is prompted by the motions of our society.

DISCOMFORT IN THE PRESENT…

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FIG 2: (Tomoski, M, 2016)

Many young people seem to feel that at present they are living in a confusing and uncertain time. Two of the world’s largest countries have experienced major political upheavals in the past few months. No one ever expected that the United States Presidential election would result in Donald Trump becoming President and that the people of the U.K. would vote for the United Kingdom to withdraw from the European Union. Consequently, the impact of these two major events have created a state of uneasiness around the world.16402007_1286844604726959_1530615449_n

FIG 3: “London: This woman held a sign mocking Trump’s past ‘joke’ that his fame allowed him to grab women by the p***y” (Moore, C, Curran, M, 2017)

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FIG 4: CLASHING TEXTURES AND ERAS OF STYLES FOR  “EFFORT-LESS” GLAM IN SHOREDITCH, (LONDON)

16467297_1286939484717471_152135628_n-2FIG 5:”LOS ANGELES: ONE ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVIST WORE LEOPARD PRINT TROUSERS HELD A SIGN WITH PICTURES OF ‘TRUMPS SON’ (Moore, C, Curran, M, 2017)

The current affairs have had an impact on what people are wearing today. Through observations it has been noticed that mixing and matching various textures, colours and shapes in an outfit or essentially creating a collage of clothing has become increasingly popular.This is Similar to the psychedelic movement during the 1960’s which incorporated collage, bold colours, motifs and symbols.

A current example of this trend is exemplified in figure 6, the woman is wearing fur, plaid and metallic down material. This style looks random and reflects the state of confusion that people are experiencing.

The late 60s was an era of rebellion against the conservative culture that existed at that time – people wanted to stray away from the traditional style. To express their rebellion, they wore boldly coloured garments, grew their hair long and protested for peace and freedom. Similarly, during the recent 2017 women’s march in Washington, the day after President Trump’s inauguration, protesters were seen following this rebellious trend of the 60s, and wore outfits with contrasting textures and patterns such as what is seen in FIG 5.

Clashing unusual textures, patterns and colours in clothing can create a bold statement . The style could subconsciously be a rebellion and protest against current affairs. The contrasting style may be worn by young people ensuring that they are noticed. The eye-catching look is a protest within itself and a statement for young people who are worried about this chaotic time.

From this confused mix and match trend, a new professional and ‘put together’ style may later emerge as young people step up and take on their own leadership positions to help change the present time, and create a sense of comfort and stability in the society that we live in.

“NOSTALGIA CAN BE A TRICKY AFFAIR” (LEONE, 2016)

However, In the state of unease we are in, the sentimental act of living in the past may make the present seem easier to live in. The way we are thinking and creating is becoming a retrospect of the past. Independence, imagination and joy are strongly desired. A range of styles from the past, reflecting these ideals have returned. The classic has been influenced by postmodernist styles and the hip-hop era of the 1980’s. Plaid and tweed,hoop earrings, baggy pants and bomber jackets are key to achieving this look. Childish and trickster style garments with bold prints and logos further suggest the nostalgic element of our outfit choices.

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FIG 6: THE HOOP EARRINGS AND PUFFA JACKET TREND IN SHOREDITCH

In contrast to the origin of plaid and tweed;

“HIP HOP WAS BORN AND IS SO DEEPLY ROOTED IN URBAN, WORKING-CLASS CULTURE.” (CURTIS HUGHES,2017)

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FIG 7: STREET ART IN SHOREDITCH 

The urban hip-hop influence is being intertwined with the class and tradition of plaid and tweed for a nostalgic clash, bringing back the sense that;  

“Anything goes.”

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FIG 8:  SHOREDITCH 

M140, an Italian designer “wants to reinterpret tradition and our roots” by reimagining the classic plaid jacket and pants through superimposing graphic checks… hinting the 70’s and…

“REVISITING THE OLD-SCHOOL MALE CLOSET “(CANZIANA, 2016)

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Classic styles are re-emerged with an urban spin. These garments are hung on futuristic hangers for a clearer juxtaposition between the old and the new. 

FIG 9: M140  AT PREMIUM BERLIN

 

FIG 10,11,12,13: BALENCIAGA A/1W 16- CLASSIC PLAID STYLES ARE PAIRED WITH BRIGHT AND CONTRASTING FUTURISTIC ELEMENTS (Source by: WGSN, Photographs by unknown)

A lookbook in the 2016 winter issue of i-D magazine; 

“Tomorrow is calling, are you brave enough to answer” 

Revisits the old through a fusion of traditional clothing and futuristic accessories . Bold colours and eclectic prints paired with with futuristic and wild makeup-looks influenced by the 80’s and 90’s transform the traditional. A nostalgic yet futuristic  take on fashion. (Mckimm, 2016)

here

FIG 14,15,16: (Jackson,2016)

Childish and trickster style clothing takes this sense of nostalgia into rather playful and almost humorous designs. Logos,  funky applique, embroidery and wild patterns almost make fun of contemporary, modernist styles. In contrast to other style  responses to world issues, These styles takes childlike influences of the fun and imaginative into play.

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FIG 17: PREMIUM BERLIN  

THIS LADY IN FIG 17  MADE THIS  COAT AT 15.PAIRED WITH FUNKY SOCKS AND  WORN SHOES PROVES A NOSTALGIC OUTFIT CHOICE.

A trickster is defined as one who “disobeys normal rules and conventional behaviour”, often a “survival instinct” to get by with the challenges in life, with the intent for a “positive outcome”.(unknown cited by Crystalinks, n.d) In this present state of crisis, some prefer to have and make fun of this sense of discomfort in this manner.

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FIG18: NEON SIGN IN BARBOUR AND PARLOUR, SHOREDITCH.

In some respects, these rebellious style choices draw links towards post modernism; “an era of freedom” which “challenges the boundaries of taste” (Kirby,2016).“In a divided world, fashion will be re-energised with a sense of purpose and self expression.” (Palmer, Boddy, Tebutt, Ketteinss, 2016). The  Postmodern movement “champion demographics which were under-represented” or “disempowered during the modern and pre-modern eras.” (Kirby, 2016) The playful and wild is valued over functionality and simplicity.

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FIG 19,20,23,24 : BRIGHT AND SEEK  TRADE SHOWS. FIG 25 TAKEN AT Y-CONCEPT STORE, SOHO, LONDON

In a future-context, the trickster trends may re-emerge as a style which embraces discomfort with a refined sense of ease. As art and innovation becomes increasingly more valued, we may replace these outdated, rather childlike and kitsch style trends with a less forward and more contemporary aesthetic. Such styles may explore the ‘humorous’ and ‘rebellious’ in a different manner. A focus on experimenting with obscure and mysterious contemporary forms and textures may become more desirable. Perhaps function will start to follow form. Could we see a new post-modern?

THE SUBCONCIOUS MIND

We are living in a time where uncertainty rules us all.

The political world shapes the nation, therefore it shapes us, even though we do not see it. The subconscious state is a complex part of our mind, the power it has is often underestimated. We often feel as if we did not consider aspects of our decisions, although this does not necessary mean we have not subconsciously considered all aspects without even realising. Brain Tracy international, explains the subconscious mind as the part of the brain that “makes everything you say and do fit a pattern, consistent with your self-concept”. So for example, when someone says “I just threw this on”, they may not have consciously considered the outfit, but everything in their subconscious would have contributed to the selection. This can be effected by all elements surrounding one’s life, the weather, a current political event such as the ones previously mentioned, the emotional position of one’s life, every element contributes to what we wear, what we say, what we feel, and who we are. Whether we realise it or not.

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FIG 26-29: SHOREDITCH

The mind curates every aspect of our lives. From our wardrobe to the food we cook to the music we listen to, everything is curated in our subconscious, based on our conscious thoughts, emotions and experiences. Figures 20-23  are examples of young women we met on the street. These women were quite adamant that no planning went into their outfits, and that they had just “chucked it on”. However, based on our theory of the subconscious mind we believe these women’s outfits reflect their current state of mind. A state of uncertainty. Living in a world that some believe is crumbling, and the only way to strive is to rebel against the exterior factors happening around us. These mix and match, clashing outfits are a way of rebelling, even if we do not know it. The subconscious mind drives out our innermost emotions, in ways we do not even realise.

THE COMBINATION OF THE RESTLESS, UNRULY SUBCONSCIOUS MIND AND GREAT TURMOIL TOWARDS THE CURRENT POLITICAL STATE HAS RESULTED IN A PRESENT TIME THAT APPEARS TO BE UNCOMFORTABLE AND CONFUSING. PEOPLE FEEL POWERLESS AND ARE STRIVING FOR A VOICE. THIS IS EXPRESSED THROUGH THE MIX AND MATCH STYLE TREND THAT HAS DEVELOPED, RELYING ON THE COMFORT OF ONES CHILDHOOD, WITH A NOSTALGIC PRESENCE AND A CLASH BETWEEN TEXTURES, PRINTS AND COLOURS.

REFERENCES: 

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FIGURE LISTING 

FIG 1: Man Repeller, 2017 Womens March- We prefer to call it Supporting, not Protesting,  n.d. Photograph, viewed 23 January 2017 <http://manrepeller.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/16124039_399721947033627_8168490122921115648_n.jpg&gt;

FIG  2: Tomoski, M 2016, Trolling Trump: The Art and Satire of the 2016 Campaign Vol 2, artwork, viewed January 2017 <http://www.theplaidzebra.com/trolling-trump-art-satire-2016-campaign-vol-2/&gt;

FIG 10-13: Balenciaga Autumn Winter 2016, n.d. photograph, viewed 29 January 2017, <https://www.wgsn.com/search/search.php#%7B%22start%22%3A%200%2C%20%22limit%22%3A%2050%2C%20%22f_limit%22%3A%205%2C%20%22q%22%3A%20%22balenciaga%202016%22%2C%20%22facets%5B%5D%22%3A%20%5B%22season%7C640021%22%5D%7D&gt;

FIG 14-16: Tommorow is calling; are you brave enough to answer?, 22 December 2016, <https://i-d.vice.com/en_us/article/tomorrow-is-calling-are-you-brave-enough-to-answer&gt;

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