If fashion had a map, then sub-cultures would be the different states and countries. And just like how there are still tons of countries that we have yet to explore, there are loads of fashion sub-cultures that we have yet to see beyond our own Instagram feeds. Want to grow and evolve your style? Then take a look at a couple of sub-cultures that have piqued our interest.
1. Genderless Kei
Move over Harajuku, genderless kei is here to steal your spotlight. While the rest of world is getting hot and bothered over male chokers, Japan is pushing boundaries or should we say erasing them. Kei is the Japanese world for style so Genderless Kei is just a combination of the masculine and the feminine. This style is popular amongst many Japanese youths and more so for males than females, and come in all sorts of variety. Some wear makeup and bright prints while others just opt for a flashy hair colour and a cute style. The unique thing about this sub-culture is that it is truly genderless. In Japan, dressing androgynous is seen as a style choice separate from your sexuality and most genderless kei guys are also straight. Maybe we should all take a lesson from Japan and continue to push boundaries like never before.
Is this the future of fashion? The style of cyberpunk is derived from the sub-genre of science fiction also called cyber punk. Unlike other futuristic styles that feature asymmetric cuts and clean/simple silhouettes, cyberpunk combines the future with the grimy. Described as “high tech low life”, cyberpunk is kind of futuristic atheleisure. It’s all about looking sleek and cool with a lot dark monochromatic colours in fabrics like leather, latex and mesh. See also, Rick Owen’s army of health goths.
While cyberpunk mixed grime with the future, steampunk combines the future with the past. Its influence comes from the regality of the Victorian era and the cool and futuristic looks of science-fiction. Steampunk clothing consists of bustiers, bodices’ and jackets and most of these clothes are handmade from thrifted items. However the two most iconic items from steampunk are the brass googles and the corset. Steampunk is slowly but surely making its way to the mainstream with designers such as John Galliano and Jean Paul Gaultier taking inspiration from it.
Cybergoth is what happens when you mix both gothic fashion and rave style. Most cybergoth outfits take the loud bright neon colours of rave and put them together with a black gothic outfit. Outfits tend to be made out of reflective materials and PVC accomplice with huge platform boots. But the standout of cybergoth comes from the hair and accessories. Cybergoths incorporate everyday items such as tubes and belts and add them into neon synthetics and even use items like goggles and face masks as accessories. While cybergoth might take inspiration from both steampunk and cyberpunk, they are nothing alike.
Text: Nicholas Chan