Tuesday, April 17, 2012

SPOTLIGHT ON INDIE FASHION: THE TRENDSETTERS


No one can deny the huge impact of indie fashion especially in this 21st Century. This kind of evident influence began to surface in the early seventies and eighties, when music bands tried to differentiate themselves from others, through a stylish and trendy image. Today Indie fashion is about having the freedom to express, to be comfortable in your own style and to have an individual touch. A lot of styles and other fashion trends have gone into making Indie fashion what it is today. This article intends to give you an insight into Indie culture particularly more on the fashion paradigm. Let us have a closer look at what Indies culture is all about and what its influences entail.

What does it take for one to be considered an Indie? What are the important ingredients that set a person apart from the mainstream crowd? What are the personality traits of those who succumb to this popular subculture?

Non-mainstream mentality: Indie souls love uniqueness and do not conform to the beliefs of the mass majority. They value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, and intelligence. Often well-educated, their intellectual minds and non-judgmental attitude mean their viewpoints are habitually multidimensional, preferring to skim around the subject rather than standing their grounds with eyes closed.

Occupations: Indie people tend to be well educated and often have liberal arts degrees, or degrees in maths and sciences, which also require certain creative analytical thinking abilities. Consequently, many indie people tend to have jobs in the music, art, and fashion industries. In some rare cases, indie people are also capable of assuming careers in traditionally bureaucratic organizations or even government agencies while living a double life of an indie.

The Look: Known for their rejection of the culturally-ignorant attitudes of mainstream consumers, indie people have, some might say, an unhealthy appetite for differentiation. Their appearance is profoundly influenced by art, music, fashion and film, an infusion of which gives rise to an eclectic mix of highly styled individuals. This breed of fashion pioneers is often seen wearing vintage and thrift store inspired fashions, tight-fitting jeans, old-school sneakers, and sometimes thick-rimmed glasses.

Gender-neutral look is also popular among the indie crowd. Both indie men and women sport similar androgynous hairstyles that include combinations of messy shag cuts and asymmetric side-swept bangs. Such styles are often associated with the work of creative stylists at urban salons, and are usually too "edgy" for the culturally-sheltered mainstream consumers.

Yet, quite arguably, indie style rests in the very epicenter of fashion trend whether is it made known to the wearers or not. Trickle down effect? Styles made popular by a subculture are not unheard of and indie clothing is no exception.


Aesthetics: Regular, if not obsessive, intake of art and music is a major part of an indie lifestyle. Anything underground, alternative and non-mainstream, but NEVER billboard climbers or Top of the Pop chart-toppers. Indie people are the leaders of the latest cultural trends and ideals. This applies to music as well, as many bands have become successful and known to mainstream audiences only because indie people first found and listened to them as early-adopters of new culture. Once certain concepts of fashion and music have reached mainstream audiences, indie people move on to something new and improved.

Unquestionably, it is the very essence of indie culture that continues to inspire the world and most of the fashion trends in today's market. Gradually and calculatedly, indie people become the key actor in foreseeing changes in fashion and trends--ultimately making them the true fashion influencers.

© 2012 by Ralph Kelvin
Photo credit:  Michèle K. www.theurbanapparel.com



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