The Age featured a subcultural fashion article today, written as part of their series on Alternative fashion and subcultures, Melbourne Tribes by The Age Fashion editor Janice Breen Burns. Breen-Burns does a pretty good job of delving into subcultures, getting at what makes them work, while still treating them with respect..... not something that every journalist writing on subcultures has been known to do! In this the second series on Melbourne's fashion trubes, she looks at Deathrock, Mods and Reggae. Breen-Burns also does a great job of helping out the people she is interviewing by listing their clubs, bands and includes their URLs in the article, and links on the website version of the article, something that is very important to small scale subcultural events.
Some great pics of the Deathrock crew, and the text about them was well written, didn't notice any major errors. The Deathrock pics were probably the most artistic (though I may be biased!), and the fashion is probably the most sophisticated and visual out of the three subcultures. Deathrock fashion is more DIY than a lot of Subculture fashion, parralleling the original punk scene DIY fash in the late 1970's....you made your own fashion because there was nothing to buy. In the interview, Lyle Blakemore makes a point about Deathrock being more about dressing up and having fun...which interestingly contrasts with a lot of the seriousness of traditional goth, and other subcultures. Some well deserved focus on the Blakemore's being the driving forces behind Deathrock in Melbourne, with their club 1334.
The mod stuff is very visual, and brings with it the tradition of pop art, 60's photography style, and fashions experimentation with new colours and materials. The article discusses the 60's scene in Melbourne, which seems relatively lively with at least 5 club nights and a radio show, and a number of live bands. However, to an extent, the article doesn't differentiate between 60's, 70's and true British mid 1960's Mod fashion. A fair bit of the article discusses Tim Stoekle's experience with Dandyism, which I find interesting in that it actually transcends the mod era, dandyism being a broader concept that can be a part of many different era's of fashion.
The reggae girls are probably more into their music than their fashion, so the article delves into their music and subculture which interestingly discusses the influence of rasta philosophy on their group. While they are not necessarily rastas, as a subculture (?) the reggae girls are influenced by religion, which is very rare. While there are a few influences from Reggae branding (eg the Ethiopian flag, and its colours) the fashion they wear is pretty much mainstream streetwear, with camo colouring, with the Ethiopian colours tossed in....and one of the girls looked suspiciously goth (once again highlighting the borrowing nature of subcultural fashion). The interviewees are all girls, which was interesting in that it gave a gender based perspective on subcultures and subcultural fashion, which isn't too often addressed in discussion about subcultures.
Edward - Pic by Simon Schulter from the Age website
Rachael - Pic by Simon Schulter from the Age website
Clint - Pic by Simon Schulter from the Age website
Article printed in The Age, A2, Saturday April 12, 2008.