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How Very ‘Anti-Establishment’ Of You.

March 2, 2011

I think you’d have to be under a rock to not have noticed the big chunky punk semblance returning to the fashion scene. It comes at an interesting time where many people are attempting to move further away from society’s conforming pressures. Musicians successfully releasing records without being signed to a label, artists showcasing their work beyond the curative eye of a gallery and so and so forth.

Many from our generation are feeling a little beyond disheartened with what our so-called “future” has to offer. How many of you are aware that we are referred to as a “Boomerang Generation” meaning that we leave home, study and get pissed, look for a job, fail at finding a job and then boomerang right back in to our parent’s homes.

They say the “world is your oyster” and yet there are those wondering if they will even be able to pay next month’s Oyster Card fares (for non-London readers – this is a London travel card for tubes and buses).

But its not all bad. According to history, this kind of shitty-economical time should push us in to a period of great creativity or even better, rebellion. The only problem is, how can we be exciting, creative and rebellious when stuck behind a screen. What is this generation’s culture other than the internet? Does the internet even count as a culture?

I’m by no means a boundary-pushing individual but I recently read a Fabien Baron interview in Industrie’s second issue and it sparked a fire inside me. Here is one particular quote that really got me going:

“Today photographers don’t live the pictures they take.  Helmut Newton lived his pictures: he had that very lifestyle, he was living in his own decadent luxurious ways in either Monaco, Los Angeles or Paris.  You have to believe in what you do and you have to live it for it to become something true.  The problem with all these kids trying to do photography is they’re trying too much to emulate existing photographers and aren’t making any personal or intellectual investment.  So their images don’t cut it; you just don’t believe them.  It’s just a style, an aesthetic surface with no soul and no real reason to exist.  Basically I don’t think there’s anything going on at the moment because there is a lack of a real, deep personal soul searching with the newer generation.”

How does this quote make you feel? It makes me feel mad but I guess that’s because I’m scared its true. I’m a stylist who sometimes doesn’t believe in her own vision. I occasionally think I’m a fraud. What experiences have I had that is going to allow me to create a piece of work in which I am truly proud of. The kind of proud where I can’t quite believe its mine.

It gets worse…

“There are very few people who bring a point of view to what they post on the internet, which is more about scavenging for information or commenting on something.  That’s great, but where’s the talent?  Where’s the creativity?  Where’s the point of view?  Where’s the longevity?  What are you saying?  You’re just passing the buck along and it’s just not enough.”

I’m now wincing as I type each word. Its painful but is it true? Perhaps we are in a cultural limbo that will be deemed one of the most interesting periods in history but because the pace is so fast, we are clouded and unable to see it. On the other hand, perhaps the internet is ruining us more than we realize.

Rebellion and creativity will only mean something if you do something wild to make it mean something. It goes beyond dying the tips of your hair green, wearing combat boots and safety pins or taking MDMA.

A fashion trend isn’t enough to propel this generation in to a state of conscious thinking. I’m not quite sure where I need to start in regards to discovering my inner-rebel but I sure as hell know that it will need to go further than simply wearing trainers during Paris Fashion Week…

Until I’ve figured it out, here are some images that have been recently inspiring me:

woman_bath_bootsLee Miller – in Hitler’s bathtub after he fled Germany when the Nazi’s were defeated

balenciaga_nicolas_ghesquiere_ss11this is a genius fashion shot – it captures the mood and beyond. I think its from Dazed…


alex_chatelain_1971shot by Alex Chatelain in 1971

cass_bird_2007shot by Cass Bird

punk layers&swathes via the Eco Warrior issue of iD

ebru-yildizshot by Ebru Yildiz


wendy_1980taken in 1980

balenciaga_nicolas_ghesquiere_ss11Balenciaga SS11

the_face_80's_blitz_kidsBlitz Kids featured in The Face

couldn’t do this thread without Siouxsie Sioux

dean_rogersshot by Dean Rogers

Freja-Vogue-Paris-October-1Freja for Vogue Paris. I think shot by David Sims…?

hugh_lippe_2007shot by Hugh Lippe

joey_ramoneJoey Ramone

Maryna Linchuk for Numero

drew_carolan_interview_magazine_1987Drew Carolan for Interview Magazine 1987

emma_summerton_edward_enninfulshot by Emma Summerton for iD

xmal_deutschlandXmal Deutschland


alasdair_mclellan_vogue_russiashot by Alasdair McLellan for Vogue Russia

jaques_olivar_2009shot by Jaques Olivar

images via Jannike Viveka, Mafia-Hunt, Layers&Swathes scans, TFS and Fashion Gone Rogue

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. Lauren permalink
    March 2, 2011 5:54 pm

    Great post!

    What Fabien Baron said is particularly interesting. I’m hardly educated in regards to the relationship between creativity and photographers and whether or not they ‘live the pictures they take’ or are now hiding behind their screens but I do stand by the fact that I feel the internet is a good thing. Its not ruining our generation and its not destructing our creative capabilities – I believe its actually strengthening it.

    Part of having the internet, laptops and technology actually gives us the advantage to work with new tools and to explore our creativity in NEW ways.

    Being creative is being imaginative. It is being able to think ahead, to think into the future, to brainstorm and even to imagine what may or may not happen down the road. Scientists, mathematicians, engineers and all other professionals need creativity and technology to continue growing, to push the envelope further, to create new things, to be and to remain competitive, to do better than everybody else, to visualize something that does not exist yet, to imagine this new “thing” from conception to construction.

    These are the type of people who will not ‘boomerang’ back to their comfortable family home but will get somewhere, will be assertive and will succeed in what they want to do. Regardless of whether they are doing it holding a mouse and typing away at a keyboard or not…

  2. March 2, 2011 6:59 pm

    I’ve been thinking for a long while that we’re in a sort of Dark Age. Everything’s been done already. We’ve become cynical, jaded, easily bored, a bit entitled and spoiled by instant gratification.

    What kind of life do you think you would need to be living to do authentic work? I would take that thought all too personally. Talent is talent, whether you’re living a certain lifestyle or not.

    • March 3, 2011 11:08 am

      Good point. Some extra food for thought. My brain feels like its going to explode with all this bloody food!! x

  3. March 2, 2011 7:28 pm

    thank you! i am not finished with that post have much more to do. however, i wanted to let you know that you’re blog is my most favorite, all your posts are so inspiring– and your knowledge and research of images, history, people, and of course fashion is something i admire very much.
    i look forward to more and more of your posts! happy fashion week…

    • March 3, 2011 11:05 am

      Please let me know when its done – I would love to look at it again.

      Thanks so much for the blog love and happy fashion week to you too! xx

  4. March 2, 2011 10:14 pm

    Great post, it put into clear words what I have been feeling for so long…but could this be a generation gap??? Our parents felt this way towards us when we were young, and grandparents towards our parents…internet is to our time what TV once was…are we just afraid of what could be? and trapped in our ability to analyse and reason. Should we just have faith in the future?
    But REALLY, I am also one who believes you need to be emotionally connected to what you create, as creation is born from emotion, and flourishes with our instinct to move forward. In a sense, emotion could reach you through your screen, but the problem is the rapid flow of imagery, which does not allow this emotion to come to surface. This constant chase with time makes everything unattainable, and disconnects us from ourselves . I am not sure what the future holds, but I am thinking what we might remember from our times, is probably THE INTERNET REVOLUTION. not sure either we’ll remember the faces behind the screens…. On a positive note, I think the internet has made people reconnect with each other and hopefully we will move on towards greater fraternity.

  5. March 3, 2011 11:24 am

    The first photo is of Lee Miller. She was an American model and Ray Man’s lover in Paris between the two wars. During the second world war Miller became a war correspondent for Vogue.

    In the shot she is actually taking a bath in Hitler’s apartment after Hitler had fled Berlin and the Germans had just been defeated.

    Lee Miller was a great photographer. Check out her the site dedicated to her.

    • March 3, 2011 11:35 am

      Yeah I know this picture quite well – not sure why I didn’t credit it! But thanks again for the heads up ;)

      • March 3, 2011 4:17 pm

        Oh, and she was also a spy for the Allies- that emerged a few years ago(I’m not surprised). Quite the woman, she was.

    • March 3, 2011 8:02 pm

      thanks for the info, I’ll definitely check this out!

  6. BII permalink
    March 8, 2011 7:12 pm

    Everybody is inspired by something or someone that came before them. Helmut Newton became more prolific after his passing. It’s so much easier to be romantic in retrospect and look at the past with skewed vision.

    I’ve seen your work and it IS original and it IS brilliant because your style and vision is both a subconscious and conscious collection of thousands of images + inspiration that you’ve accumulated throughout the years . It’s your way in putting it together so effortlessly and your enthusiasm towards creating beautiful imagery that makes you so talented. One day when you’re at the top you too will be giving condescending opinions about the younger generation and their lack of originality.

    “Basically I don’t think there’s anything going on at the moment because there is a lack of a real, deep personal soul searching with the newer generation” is complete bullshit. We’re the biggest soul searchers of all because we have this easy accessibility to everything that we’ve lost the freedom to be “anti-establishment” . Being original is more of a challenge for us than it ever was for the “older” generation and of our crop there will be shining stars who will create stronger images than any of them senile farts ever did, because free information is oppression and we are oppressed by the stigma of those before us.

  7. March 24, 2014 3:17 pm

    Just wanted to say, maintain the wonderful work,
    like I’ve been following your site for a while now!


  1. Unsettled In The Industrie. « layers&swathes

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