“a minority youth culture whose distinctiveness depended largely on the social class and ethnic background of its members; often characterized by its adoption of a particular music genre”

Youth subcultural groups are segregated by different beliefs, race, ethical background and class. It’s also a combination of “encoding and decoding” of social groups. Each group have their own adaption to music, style and language.Youth subcultures are man-made societies, which all follow different ethic behaviours and style. That may being either a particular signature hairstyle that group may have a particular styled or tailored uniform for their individual group. The main subcultures which still trend on were Flappers, young girls wearing red lipstick dressing older for their age, Mods who like scooters and parker jackets, Teddy boys would dress up as wealthy men in well-tailored suits and Rockers who were into rock “n” roll music, motorbikes and Goth fashion.


Youth subcultures were created in order for youths to make their own society and identity as individuals. Subcultures were not passed onto the generation, either someone had joined youth subcultural groups to rebel against their society or have conformed into that individual group by peer pressure or mass media.

“Youth is a further extension of the same process of institutional separation or differentiation”


Famous fashion designer Dries Van Noten has created line of amazing outfits this fall which were all inspired by subcultures such as rave,punk, skate and techno, collaborating them all together producing trending lines.


Famous singer Katy Perry has been seen interpreting subcultures into her fashion style. She has been seen changing from flapper inspired outfits into Goth inspired after a few days. Katy Perry is known for her obsession for retro fashion, experimenting different styles from the past history, contemporising them so the trend into today’s generation.




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Comparative Youth Culture: The Sociology of Youth Cultures and Youth Subcultures in America, Britain and Canada by Mike Brake

Gender, the Body and Dress

You are what you wear….Really??

Why should people have to dress as their gender??? If a girl decides to wear joggers for a day, would she be considered as a homosexual?? Ok If a guy you know suddenly comes out wearing a dress you would find that weird, but then again who are we to judge by appearance.

“persistent feelings of identification with the opposite gender and discomfort with one’s own assigned sex”

If this had happened in the early centuries Gender Identity would have cause havoc then. If an individual had suffered from gender identity disorder (GID), before the 20th century this would have been considered as a mental illness and a taboo. Yet in today’s generation, even with the help of latest technology and scientific research, no-one has been able to find the actual cause of GID. Some individuals may show signs of GID by cross dressing, feel disgusted by their features or may want to live as the opposite sex.

“Some may cross-dress, and some may actually seek sex-change surgery. Others are born with ambiguous genitalia, which can raise identity issues.”

999Boy Girl signpost

Over the years society has begun to accept how people portray their identity through fashion. In the early 20th century there was a lot of difference within the construction of men and women’s clothes. Women would have long dresses fitted at the waist with corsets underneath to showing a women has curves, whereas men would have suits with broad shoulders and long straight trousers which would replicate a strong and powerful postures, differentiating both genders.


Famous designer Rei Kawabuko is known for her amazing collaborations in masculine and feminine silhouettes for both menswear and womanswear. What I like about her work is that in today’s generation she is trying to change send a message to the public through her clothes. Her previous Womenswear Fall/Winter 2013 was a collection of blown up and masculine suits which completely went against the typical and ethical way women should dress.


Wearing short dresses doesn’t necessarily point you out as women.

“For something to be beautiful it doesn’t have to be pretty.” – Rei Kawakubo

I believe that everyone should have their own choice in what they can where. What we wear is not a costume which puts us into graded groups, as an individual we can all wear what we want to create our own identity, not what other people want to see on us.



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Think Sustainable and Help the Environment

Sustainability will always be a major factor in the fashion industry. Sustaining items doesn’t just mean to reuse a dress or recreate it into a skirt, sustainability means to save and help humans, nature and the environment, making sure that we continue to have the resources and materials which currently still support us, but sooner or later will come to an end . Would you call it being selfish or just being lazy?

“You have to question design integrity when it moves so fast that the clothing becomes throwaway.” – Suzanne Lee

Recently many companies have been putting forward campaigns and projects to do with sustainability. Last year H&M came forward with a campaign in which the stated they were going to release a collection in April 2014 which will all be made by recycled materials, “organic cotton” and “recycled fibres” to main sustainability. They have collaborated with fashion consultants “Elizabeth von Guttmann and Alexia Niedzielski of Ever Manifesto” creating a collection called “Conscious and Conscious Exclusive”, Amber Valletta will also take part in the campaign by becoming the face of H&M’s new sustainable line by replacing Vanessa Paradis, the American model herself is a “veteran of sustainable” herself and has also worked together with designer Yoox Oxygen in his new eco-friendly collection call “Master and Muse”.


The famous Denim brand Lee has also contributed towards sustainability by conducting a project in which old and non-wearable jeans are recycled into new items in the E-Create range section in Lee. The E-Create range tries to use as much lesser water and organic cotton whilst creating this line. In this project customers who would hand in any old jeans would be given a little “curio” in return which was also recycled. These were provided by a “non-profit organization” “A Hundred Hands” which help the under privileged and the environment by recycled craft.

“With such initiatives, Lee hopes to introduce eco-friendly alternatives in every facet of our lives, including fashion. Recycle your old denim today to give someone a warm house.”


Sometimes I feel that companies are using eco-friendly campaigns are hiding behind the word “Eco-friendly” in order to gain publicity and attract more customers for their status. If customers do want to take part in these campaigns how can customers are given guarantee that what they are contributing towards is an honest and sincere cause.

Designer brands and companies should try other ways in helping the environment, by using the same schemes no one will consider recycling in a strong manor. Vegan designer Joshua Katcher created a collection using organic. He created a collection of menswear hats and suits. His line Brave Gentlemen will be launched in next month’s Fashion Week. What really surprised me were the materials which he created himself keeping in mind “sustainable” and “vegan. The designer created something he called “the future suede” created by organic bamboo which he used for his suits and a recycled resource created by recycling cotton and recycled poly blend which he calls the “future wool”.


“I am not a classic “eco warrior” and should confess that I’m even a little tired of words such as “eco,” “green” and “ethical.” It’s more that I dream of a world where everything is ecological, green and ethical so that actually we don’t have to define them anymore.” – Livia Firth


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Designer Fashion and High Street

One branded dress equals to zero balance

Recently retailers have been through a lot off difficulties due to lower profits throughout the Christmas month. Retailers were already aware of the upcoming losses. No one was willing to pay large amount for a product which was affordable first. People are still recovering from the economic fall we suffered from the previous years. People are learning from their mistakes, not spending as much as they used to on branded items which could easily bought for merely have the price elsewhere

How do think this affected the fashion retailers through Christmas?

Last Christmas high street fashion sales fell “unexpectedly” in the first week of December. Surveys had shown a fall of 5.9% in fashion buying.

“Non-food sales in stores dropped 4.1% in the week ending 8 December, led by a 5.9% fall in fashion buying, figures from the accountant BDO showed.”

This showed how high street fashion was struggling from the customers who were put off Christmas shopping. In order to increase the profits, high street fashion H&M decided to cut down theirs prices on items up to “60%”, competing with other fashion companies. They knew well that customers are stopping themselves from buying expensive objects. Due to this H&M was catching their customers by holding sales because they knew customers would definitely be attracted in today’s economy. Customers would think their getting a bargain and end up still paying a large amount on clothes.


This scheme which H&M had come up with was costing fashion brand retailers a lot of money. And so the “world’s second largest retailers House of Fraser and French Connection” also clichéd the idea of deductions and putting items on sale to stand back up again in that time of the year when they should really be loaded.
Others stores such as Marks and Spencer and John Lewis also used the same strategy of sales in which they both offered 20% discounts.

“Marks & Spencer is offering a 20% discount in-store on non-food items for holders of online vouchers this weekend for the second time in a month, and John Lewis is offering 20% off many items to match competitors’ discounts”

“this new competition has forced brand names, that we know to never have sales, to start competing with these discount stores with some discounted prices of their own”


This concession has had a big impact on how people dress. How?

Well take it this way, people who used to shop in Topshop and Selfridges prefer discounted shops such as H&M and mostly Primark. Yup, for luxury fashion brands this is such a downhill. But for Primark they surely will become international before we know it. I believe that peoples fashion sense has changed a lot too, they look more at quantity rather than quality, they’ve understood that items such as a simple t-shirt could cost them over £30 in brands stores where as they can buy the same type of t-shirt less than £10 in discounted stores. Even though they know the quality of the product will not last as long as the branded items, but that still makes a different to how much is left in their wallet after a shopping spree.

“It’s time to slow down and consider the true cost of choosing quantity over quality.” – Kate Fletcher


So many celebrities have also suffered financial issue due to their bad habits of going over board for fashion. The first name would obviously be Lady Gaga, we all know her fashion sense only makes sense to her, but even millionaires like her can go bankrupt because of their obsession with clothes. In 2011 Lady Gaga’s Monster Ball Tour left her bankrupt.

“This is ridiculous, I have five No. 1 singles” — and they said, “Well, you’re $3m in debt.” ‘– Lady Gaga


“it is comforting to know that our country’s fashion can continue to grow as fast as the economy changes.”

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The crown of identity or prone to incivility


Does a turban symbolise terrorism? Recently Gap had released their holiday campaign “Make Love” in which famous Sikh Jewellery/fashion designer and actor Waris Ahluwalia was featured with filmmaker and model Quentin Jones. In the US this campaign had various responses, but the negative response did cause quite a commotion due to the thinking of some individual.

Most people had posted positive comments on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook on how proud and civilized they had felt after viewing this campaign.

“Wow Sikhs are now in international models” and “I simply love the first photo. I love how his culture is being embraced (from head adornment to full beard). Well done, GAP!”

But there was some who had took their views to the next level. It was found that in New York City’s subway system, graffiti had appeared scribbled on one of its advertisements. The title which had said “Make Love” some idiotic person decided to cross out the word “Love” and graffiti bombs.


In the Sikh society, a turban is an element which signifies honour, self-respect, courage, spirituality, and devoutness.

“The turban is our Guru’s gift to us. It is how we crown ourselves as the Singhs and Kaurs who sit on the throne of commitment to our own higher consciousness. For men and women alike, this projective identity conveys royalty, grace, and uniqueness. It is a signal to others that we live in the image of Infinity and are dedicated to serving all. The turban doesn’t represent anything except complete commitment. When you choose to stand out by tying your turban, you stand fearlessly as one single person standing out from six billion people. It is a most outstanding act”.


The turban has been admired in different ways, famous couture fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier recently this year released his SS2013 menswear collection which was inspired by the North India sikh “Jatts”, by taking their masculine attire into creating stylish outfits with combinations of printed dropped crotch pants and finely fitted monochrome strips suits.


Also recently many celebrities have been spotted complementing turbans in their own ways, striking into a new trend in the Industry. Miley Cyrus, Perrie Edwards and Rita Ora were all seen in the same turbans at different supporting events, accessorizing their outfits to stand out and start a new trend.


I believe that wearing a turban in today’s generation needs a lot of guts. Only some are strong enough to step outside and stick to their beliefs. But then again, why should someone hold back their principles? Would you alter or abandon your beliefs due to that short percentage of people who still have hatred and discrimination stuck in their minds?

The next time you see a Sikh, greet him or her and know that the turban you see is the same turban and stood up against oppression against those identified as lower castes in India, tyranny in WWI, the Nazi empire in WWII.The turban is deeply intertwined with the Sikh identity and is a manifestation of the mission given to all Sikhs – to act as a divine prince or princess by standing firm against tyranny and protecting the downtrodden.”

You should never judge a book by its cover.

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