Style Tribes: The Fashion of Subcultures explores the style, fashions and ideology of youth movements of the last 100 years, including flappers, swing kids, mods, rockers, surfers, hippies, punks, disco, hip hop, Harajuku and hipsters. Fully illustrated, it delves into the stories behind the styles, what sets each of them apart, and looks at the influence and legacy of each of these tribes.
The advent of industrialisation, globalisation and modernism in the twentieth century brought with it an explosion of subcultures, most of which are defined by their youthfulness. As subcultures gain media attention they are absorbed into the mainstream, and the style is often picked up by the fashion industry. The book will look at how these subcultures have been translated into fashion, from flappers and teddy boys to punk and grunge.
Subcultures inspire, influence and blend into one another: hippies were a continuation of the beat movement, combined with a surfer lifestyle influence, while Jamaica’s rudeboys and London mods inspired the original skinheads. There’s also a running theme of ‘the hipster’ – a word that emerged from Harlem in the 1920s from ‘hip’ or ‘hep’, meaning non-conformist and one step ahead. This concept has played a part in understanding subcultures including zoot suiters, the jazz loving hipsters of the 1940s, beatniks, the hippie and now the contemporary hipsters with their beards and skinny jeans.
Illustrated with historic and contemporary images, it colourfully details each group to give a comprehensive overview of each subculture.
Caroline Young is an Edinburgh-based journalist, fashion writer and blogger, and is the author of Classic Hollywood Style, Style Tribes and Tartan + Tweed.