Subculture Fashion

By: Marissa

I find that DIY fashion and subcultures in fashion being brought to the mainstream is significant in the view of how popular culture is in the present. The assimilation and acceptance of subculture’s fashions into the mainstream and popular culture is, what I believe to be, a reflection of how popular culture is becoming more accepting of differences. By bringing these fashions to areas in society that are more focused on the consumer culture, such as malls, it allows for at least a semblance of the surface representation of these sub cultures ideas to be seen as accessible by more than just those who participate in the subcultures.

Furthermore the internet has allowed for those who participate in these cultures to find other people with similar ideas. This allows for easier participation within in these fashions. Readily available tutorials and images help those who are trying to create these fashions by doing it themselves more ideas on how others have done it. An example of this is steampunk (http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1595812/steampunk-subculture-looks-poised-move-above-ground.jhtml).
Steampunk has gone from being relatively unknown to being reflected in movies and literature (ex: The Golden Compass) shows how the internet is pervasive in bringing sub cultures to the mainstreams awareness. This in turn lets it become a part of popular culture if enough people enjoy the idea or the image. Based off the idea in an earlier Storey reading where the people influence the content of what is created to be consumed.

Also these subcultures have been pulled into what could be seen as high culture. Fashion designers such as Vivienne Westwood (British fashion designer) have used subculture fashion ideas, such as those represented in punk, in their own work. Allowing the subculture to enter high culture and then be reconstructed and recreated for popular culture. By becoming clothing and accessories that are easily accessible by the consumer market, like fashions in strip malls.

In conclusion these subcultures becoming available in the mainstream shows how popular culture has the potential to take the ideas in both subcultures and what is viewed as high culture and blur them into something that more people can participate in. Also this shows the potential for acceptance of diverse ideas because it allows for the basic visual representation of these ideas to be something that is seen in places associated with popular culture.

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