Streetwear since the late 1990’s has taken a popular surge in fashion culture, you can see demand prevailing from brands like Supreme, Kith, Bape, Stussy, Guess, to the full tracksuit/jumpsuit Adidas Original look. From the underground to the recognised high fashion houses and artist’s endorsements.
High fashion houses like Chanel partnered with their newest ambassador Willow Smith, 8 days ago in Paris, to combine their aesthetic with her own – futuristic streetwear is the artistic direction at the current of established houses to acknowledge the reality of streetwear’s popularity in fashion. Maison Margiela for example have yielded to the trend with the release of their Future Sneakers. While the established fashion houses have slowly succumbed to the streetwear market, (as pictured) such products have not reached the desired level of demand as expected by the houses’ designers.
Artist’s style and endorsement of a brand can affect their sales and achieve a greater outreach for brands such and rivals, such as Adidas or Nike, greatly influencing the move from the decadence of the fashion’s industry conservative design (As mentioned in previous articles.) Even Zara last week launched a gender fluid collection. Of course, luxury brands like Chanel, being commercial powerhouses, have the funds to be dynamic enough to defy the category within the antiquity of which other couture houses may lie in.
Now, A$AP Rocky is an artist – further a cultural icon at that, wielding the mass media through his modish medium then penetrating fashion at his will, the style eternal of Lord Pretty Flacko (after Yasiin Bey) gave a great celebrity endorsement to the new Guess Originals collection. The limited collection of the rapper’s collaboration and designs brought attention to the ‘Basement’ crowd (facebook community), further the ephemeral skateboard fit.
I know this article is already polemical enough, I am also hypocritical in following the conventional hype and while I may seem like a jilted John, despising the “cool and trendy”, this piece is meant to outline the difference between the conventional and previously established styles.
As all the young dudes were penned in queueing at Peter Street on Soho for the S/S16 Supreme drop (featured), the same was for the likes of the Guess x A$AP drop online, usual Hypebeast/Basement keyboard warriors that debate whether Ian Connor got it right this season for Yeezy “Yesterday’s Tomorrow”, or how the Adidas NMD’s are fucking ill (even with the addition of 4 new colour ways as of 3 days ago). Whether glazed eyed over your laptop right now, the perseverance of some people is admirable just in order to cop a pair of black Yeezy 750’s, H&M x Balmain, or even any limited stock trainers.
Despite the convictions of the teens joining the streetwear trend, many seize membership of the Basement to resell designer purchases. Some because they know of nothing other than the road life. Resellers have grasped and taken full advantage of the crowds demand for trends in contemporary fashion, the retail price to resell difference is a large margin.
The Basement is the streetwear digital home, to sell purchases, meet ups, shoots, or sharing ‘what did you wear today’ (WDYWT) or ‘rate my fit’ posts. This facebook community is what perpetuates their determination to sit in the cold overnight waiting for the next drop. Some of my close friends use the facebook group, for inspiration, to gain exposure, or to rip into people wearing a ‘shit fit’. I personally like the basement for insight into the art direction of people my age in London and some members shared invaluable links at five in the morning to the Connor McGregor fight too.
For instance some of this crowd dress exactly as Tyler, the Creator dictated, which was addressed in his recent freestyle 4 cover – the same goes for Yeezy fans. Some people just needed an icon while growing up or a father figure. Being a Yeezy fan hurts, I understand that, his Twitter tirades, £53 million debt… I won’t join the oversaturated commentary. He is a virtuoso and the music to fashion creative crossovers are occurring because of his instigation, Rihanna branched with her collaboration Puma with with their recent collection.
Of course Kanye West was not the first musician, people like Pharrell with Nigo and Bape have been in the contemporary fashion industry for decades. This generation’s ability to penetrate an understanding of higher fashion is the result of a complex interplay of factors; improvements in telecommunication and social media have created a new platform for creative outreach. For example there now Instagram models for hire – Penguin books do not have have anything on this, Orwell and Huxley missed this shit.
Now like any other 1990’s Scottish kid going through peer pressure on the playground – I enjoyed Beyblades (chanting “let it rip”), begging my mother to buy me football trading cards – nothing out of the particular. However, the information age has a new collection of consumables for kids on the playground by consuming iPod’s and wearing a certain brand to be accepted in a group (
fuck load of ket). The connotation of buying something for acceptance or to be cool and held in regard among peers is quite shallow, but it is not unusual. The same continues today, if you can afford it: iPads or R8’s – Veblen goods, they are not worth their production cost but they are still cool under the eyes of socialites. The desire’s driving the petty affections in which to identify with different social groups continues, but Beyblades battles were cooler than iPad’s or any supercar.
Just as the kids on the playground trade sweets, drugs, trading cards, we just gain new desires and vices, the kids desperately craving the Guess Drop, are trying to fit in, nothing more. We all give into ourselves in some way.
Every morning you may sit on the tube and try not to stare into someones eyes for too long, so you look down at the shoes of the commuters opposite and maybe a few weeks ago your hangover was amplified by the amount of loud outfits getting off at Tottenham Court Road Station. Whether they fabrics were grand or matched with tops full of red feathers, stud lined jackets and well anything ostentatious enough to grab a photographers eye -myself included.
For four weeks every year London Fashion Week is the industry’s largest parade in the UK, on Brewer street in Soho and some parts at Somerset House off of Aldwych, it was a great place to link with photographers, writers and musicians. Even gaining a follow by one photographer’s dog called Otis on Instagram now – loved seeing that notification on my feed.
Hipsters, posers, outside of the show space, just as the sheep wait penned outside for the Supreme or Guess drop – count me in equally in hypocrisy either as an exhibitor guest or to capture the streetwear combinations – its great to see people come from all over to show off their individual style in London.
The return of Alexander Mcqueen label to London for the first time in 14 years. Sarah Burton’s designs took to the cat walk on the Sunday night at Lawrence Hall in Westminster, the flowing romantic display was safely marked the highlight of the week.