Sunday, 5 December 2010


Rockabilly is one of the earliest styles of rock and roll music, and emerged in the early 50’s.
The term ‘rockabilly’ is a portmanteau of rock (from rock&roll) and hillbilly, later a reference to the country music. Other important influences on rockabilly include western swing, boogie woogie and rhythm and blues.
The influence and popularity of the style waned in the 60’s but during the late 70’s and early 80’s, rockabilly enjoyed a major revival of popularity that has endured to the present, often within a rockabilly subculture.


Indie is a modern day alternative sub culture defined by its association with music, fashion, behaviour and beliefs. It is a culture that emerged in the 80’s as a by word for attitude and anti- commercialism with a territory of its own type of music and film. It prided itself in protest against the mainstream.
Indie music rose to new heights with bands such as Sonic Youth, The Smiths and The Pixies, who were successful due to their new indie fan following. They weren’t technically signed to major record labels, instead opting for an independent music label.
The original Indie Kids bought clothes from second hand shops, wore cardigans, scarves, waistcoats, jeans, aviator glasses and devoted themselves to independent music labels.


The Club Kids were a group of young New York club personalities mostly led my Michael Alig and James St.James in the late 80’s, early 90’s. This group was notable for their outrageous costumes and extensive drug use- in particular ecstasy, ketamine, cocaine and heroin.
Michael Alig’s notability and influence quickly grew. At one point he was on the payroll of several clubs owner by Peter Gatien for just showing up with his entourage of Club Kids in order to draw more customers to the clubs. When they wanted to add variety to their nightlife, Michael and the Club Kids began holding illegal parties in public places including a donut shop, the old line tracks and the NY subway.
At the height of the Club Kids notability they toured the United States appearing on several shows such as Geraldo, The Joan Rivers Show and Phil Donahue.
After the Club Kids rise and fall, many moved on to other creative opportunities. Some are still active in the New York nightlife scene. In 1998 a documentary film called ‘Party Monster’ and in 2003 the film ‘Party Monster’ were based upon the Club Kid James St.James, an autobiographical account of his life, focused on Michael Alig and “Freeze” Riggs murder of Angel Melendez.


Soulboys, sometimes spelled soul boys, were a working class English youth subculture in the late 70’s, early 80’s and fans of American soul and funk music. The Soulboys emerged in North-West England as northern soul event attendees began to take more interest in the modern funk and jazz funk sounds of artists such as Lonnie Liston Smith and Roy Ayers, instead of the normal 60’s soul records that characterized the northern soul scene.
There was coincidental development of the subculture at nightclubs in South East England, such as The Goldmine in Canvey Island and The Royalty in Southgate. DJ’s involved soulboy scenes included Chris Hill, Robbie Vincent and Greg Edwards. Caister soul weekenders became one of the main features of the scene and still exists today. The casual subculture that emerged in the 80s was heavily influenced by the soulboys, including the sideways fringed wedge hairstyle. Although the soulboy scene was huge by the early 80’s it was centered around American Funk acts and was largely working class, therefore it received less media coverage than other subcultures at that time, for examples the New Romantics.


Metalhead or Headbanger is a term used to refer to the Heavy Metal subculture, committed fans of Heavy Metal.
Heavy Metal fashion, like most fashion among other subcultures is used to identify one’s self as a member of that subculture. The Metalhead typically has long hair or a shaved head. Clothing normally includes band t shirts and jeans or army trousers. You could also see a Metalhead in leather jackets, spiked gloves or wristbands or denim jackets.
Metalheads typically listen to metal, Death Metal, Black Metal, Dooms Metal, Thrash Metal, Grindcore etc.
Unlike many other subcultures, Metal has little belief as far as worldviews, politics and society goes. The Metalhead subculture is based on music rather than beliefs, but some ideas that are central to Metal ideology are anti- commercialism and anti-conformity against ones real interests.

Saturday, 4 December 2010


Mod is a shortened version of the word modernist, a subculture that sprouted in London in the 50’s, having its peak in the 60’s. The movement was characterised by jazz, soul music, Jamaican ska, British beat, coffee shops and Italian scooters.
The Mod’s eventually gave way to numerous subsequent movements and subcultures. In time they came to stand for anything that was modern. The Mod’s were obsessed with stylish clothing. They found their inspiration in the Beatniks and the Teddy Bears, who revived the dandy of the Edwardian period (1901-1910)
Tailored suits with thin lapels and narrow ties were the look. V- Necks, button-down shirts and leather shoes were the common mod look. Some men highlighted the mod image with mascara and lipstick. Even today some aspects of the Mod movement can be seen, for example the Royal Air Force Roundel was a symbol of the Mod male and can be seen on various clothing, associated with the make ‘Lambretta’.

The Goth subculture is a contemporary subculture found in many countries however it began in England during the 80’s, an offshoot of the Post-Punk genre. Goths have survived much longer than others of the same era and have continued to expand. Its imagery indicates influences from the 19th century Gothic literature along with horror films.
The Goth subculture has associated tastes in music, aesthetics, and fashion. Gothic rock, Darkwave, Ethereal, neo- medieval and Neoclassical. Styles of dress with the subculture range from deathrock, punk, androgynous, Victorian, some Renaissance and Medieval style attire, or combinations of all these, most often with dark makeup and hair.
Examples of bands associated with the Goth subculture include The Damned, Specimen, 45 Grave and UK Decay. .


Rave, rave dance or rave party is a term first used on April 4th 1970 to describe a rave dance and later in 1980 for Acid House parties with fast paced electronic music and light shows. At these parties people dance to fast beat dance music played by DJ’s and occasionally live performers. The genres of electronic dance music played include house, trance, techno, dubstep and jungle, with the accompaniment of laser light shows, projected images and artificial fog.
The late 50’s in London saw the term ‘Raves’ used to describe the ‘wild bohemian parties’ of Soho. In 1958 Buddy Holly recorded the hit ‘Rave On’, citing the madness and frenzy of a feeling and the desire for it to never end.  The word rave was then later used in the mod youth culture of the early 60’s as the way to describe any wild party in general.
Clothing brands who sell rave style clothes include UFO, Ghast, beWild, Kikwear and Illig. Often people make their out trousers out of bright or child like materials. These trousers are often extremely baggy and seem to be referred to ‘phat-pants’. People often are seen wearing face masks, pacifiers, glowing jewellery and glow sticks. Also lots of t shirts with cartoon characters on and usually are seen with many bracelets made out of colourful plastic beads that are called ‘kandi’.

Friday, 3 December 2010


Rockers, leather boys or ton- up boys are a biker subculture that originated in the UK during the 50’s. It was mainly centred around British cafe racer motorcycles and rock and roll music.
British mods and skinheads commonly called rockers greasers or grease as an insult. Since then, the terms greaser and rocker have become fairly interchangeable in the UK but are used differently in North America.
Rocker- style youths existed in the 50’s and were also known as ton-up boys as this was English slang for people who drove at over 100mph.the rockers or ton- up boys took what was essentially a sport and turned it into a lifestyle, dropping out of mainstream society.
Rockers wrapped themselves up in rock and roll music and fashion, and began to be known as much for their devotion to the music as they were for their motorcycles. Many favoured the 50’s and early 60’s rock and roll by artists such as Eddie Cochran, Chuck Berry and Elvis Presley. Music referred to at the time as ‘screw and smash’ music.


Chav is a word used to describe certain young people in the UK. Also known as a charver in Yorkshire and North East England. The name chav is given to describe aggressive teenagers, usually from white working class backgrounds who repeatedly engage in anti social behaviours such as street drinking, drugs and rowdiness.
Chav’s are often related to a certain dress as well. For example clothes which are classed as ‘chavvy’ would be things like fake Burberry, hoodies, trainers, tracksuits, polo shirts and caps. Also the use of lots of tacky, gold jewellery like sovereigns, medallions and knuckle dusters are also all associated with this sub- culture.
Music in the chav sub culture include Welsh rap group Goldie Lookin Chain, rapper Lady Sovereign and former boy band Blazin Squad. 


“Hippy is an establishment label for a profound, invisible, underground, evolutionary process. For every visible hippy, barefoot, beflowered, beaded, there are a thousand invisible members of the turned-on underground. Persons whose lives are tuned in to their inner vision, who are dropping out of the TV comedy of American Life.” 
Timothy Leary (The Politics of Ecstasy) 1967
The Hippy subculture as a youth movement that began in the US during the early 60’s and spread throughout the world. It can be traced back to classic culture and European social movements in the early 20th century. From 1967 the fundamental ethos- including harmony with nature, communal living, artistic experimentation particularly music, and the widespread use of recreational drugs- speak around the world.
The hippy fashion was embraced by the youth and even seniors across the world. The focus was on the vibrancy of the apparel and accessories. People in general sported clothing they felt expressed themselves. It was an age of casual attire, an age when people felt drug addictions was good to experiment with. The hippies, as they were commonly referred to by the ‘prim and proper’ and socially answerable citizens, designed a whole new lifestyle of their own.
Today, small groups of aging hippies continue to maintain the lifestyle, while in the internet age a fledging band of neo- hippies have emerged in online web communities.


“Punk has its earliest roots in the United States, in New York city. It was there in the very late 1960’s and early 1970’s that bands such as the Ramones, Television, Patti Smith, and Blondie emerged on the New York punk scene. It is important to keep in mind that it was a scene and not the movement that occurred in Great Britain in the latter parts of the 1970’s” (Cahill 1998: 1).
As the Punk movement began to take shape and grow the media could no longer ignore it. The press started to cover shows that bands such as the Sex Pistols performed on. With this new media coverage the music and movement became increasily more popular.
In 1977 the Sex Pistols broke up and this saw the dying of mainstream punk. However it didn’t totally die out. In 1978 a band called Crass led the second wave of Punk.
Although it has been stated that ‘true Punk’ is not a look or a fad, however the look of punk is important because it is a visible expression to onlookers. The dress which is properly most associated with Punk is Jeans, Dc Martins, red laces, studded jackets, army pants, safety pins etc.
 “Punk has let me down as a subculture. Yep, it has done a poor job of resolving any conflicts I have about many things – the reasons why I adhered to punk for so long in the first place – political and personal freedom; freedom for all, and peace for all”- Andrew Lance.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Browns & Browns Focus
23-27 South Molton Street

13 Dover Street
020 7629 9374

Dover Street Market
17-18 Dover Street
020 7518 0680

Urban Outfitters
36-38 Kensington High Street
W8 4PF
020 7761 1001

60-64 Ledbury Road
W11 2AJ
020 7221 0255

Oxfam Boutique
245 Westbourne Grove
W11 2SE
020 7229 5000

Absolute Vintage
15 Hanbury Street
E1 6QR
020 7247 3883

400 Oxford Street
0800 123400

36-38 Great Castle Street
Oxford Circus
020 7927 0214