Constellation: ReflectionPosted: May 2, 2014
After having finished writing my dissertation it is safe to say that upon reflection that I have definitely enjoyed the Smells Like Teen Spirit module. I have always been fascinated with clothing and style, especially style that relies heavily on a musical genre, and the ways in which music and style can inform one another. It was also interesting to learn how the idea of a subculture has become fairly lost on this generation.
For me personally, the most interesting week during this module was the week in which we learned about the style within the teddy boy culture. I am fairly anamoured with 50s fashion and style so it was very interesting to learn more about the reasons why men that dressed in the teddy boy style would do so e.g. age, background, politics (see blog post https://broganknight.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/constellation-zuit-suits-b-boys-teds/).
One of the things that caught my attention the most during the module was how heavily masculinity and male style culture was essentially ‘the norm’. A lot of the subcultures such as teddy boys, b-boys, metal culture ect. were mostly masculine cultures. Whereas most people would consider style and fashion to be feminine topics, it was enlightening to realise just how much influence males had on the aesthetics of each subculture. It was due to this that I decided to look at metal subcultures. As I grew up listening to metal music due to my brothers, I never truly realised how much the patriarchy had influenced it. It was definitely an eye-opener considering I enjoy glam metal music, yet consider myself a feminist. Due to the poppy sound and the bright clothes I had never before skimmed the surface in terms of any deeper meaning within the look, the attitude or the musical content. It was not until my research for the dissertation that I began to realise how glaringly obvious the mysogonistic understones where.
Since completing the module, it is safe to say that what I have learned has directly informed the way in which I chose my clothes and piece together outfits. My favourite decade within fashion and style is the 60’s, specifically 1967, and after having done the module I am finding myself asking if an item of clothing or an outfit looks strictly ‘mod’ or if I have instead used Polhemus’ idea of the ‘supermarket of style’ in regards to the different items I piece together.
I definitely believe that I will be using what I have learnt within my future art projects. Subcultures and style seem to go far beyond just fashion and can be explored further in a multitude of ways. As my work tends to be heavily influenced by video art and photography, style is something which often can go hand in hand. I have for a very long time wanted to produce something Jean-Luc Goddard inspired, and now I am able to pin-point why I would like to, and put it down to my love of the 60’s mod fashion, and fashion icons, within his films. Hopefully I shall be able to look further into this concept in my future work, but for now I will just have to show my love for the culture by wearing the clothes myself.