Posts tagged as 'Subculture'
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Monday, 11th Mar 2013
Born and raised in Dublin, Garry O'Neill has always had an interest in his home city's local youth culture. Having collected Dublin street style photographs and memorabilia for several years, and noticing that there was little out there to document it; Garry set out to create a subcultural history of Dublin from the 1950s to the turn of the millennium. Teaming up with graphic designer and illustrator Niall McCormack, the pair spent over eighteen months collating hundreds of images to create Where Were You? Dublin Youth Culture & Street Style 1950 - 2000.
"The early seventies bootboy photos were probably the hardest to track down" remembers O'Neill. "I advertised around the city with posters and flyers for a couple of years. Most people were only too willing to help out as it was something that was going to, in some way, document their scene. It was difficult at first to track down good quality older material, like the fifties and sixties stuff, but it eventually turned up due to the length of time I spent looking for it."
Belvedere Boys Club - Mid 60s - photo contributed by Martin Coffey
Speaking of his own experiences with various street styles and groups, O'Neill says: "I liked and had lots of different clothes that are associated with one scene or another, but I’ve never wore them in any uniformed way. I loved punk, but I never felt like dressing up as a green hedgehog to convey that. You can be as anti-mainstream/establishment in a suit as you can in Doc Martens and studded leather jacket. Personally I liked the original suedehead scene from the early seventies, it was neat and stylish." The author's broad-minded approach is reflected in the book's content, which features images of groups ranging from mods, skins and teds to goths, new romantics, hippies and ravers.
Bray - Mid 60s - photo contributed by Brona Long
As O'Neill acknowledges in Where Were You? music and street tribes are indelibly linked. "Music was a huge influence, if you were into a certain kind of music; chances are you’d dress in a similar way to the groups or singers. The majority of the youth culture groups that we know, started on the back of some kind of music movement."
O'Connell Street - Mid 80s - photo contributed by Dublin Opinion.
Noting the significance of the Fred Perry Shirt, O'Neill says: "it appears in the book in various photos - what started life as a sport shirt, has become a readily identifiable item of youth culture clothing around the globe, from the original mods and skinheads of the sixties to the football casuals of the 80s, the Britpop kids of the 90s and everything in-between. It’s an iconic piece of clothing in the same way as the steel-toe boot or the parka jacket."
Of the hundreds of personal images captured in the book, is there one that stands out for O'Neill?
"If I had to pick one, it would probably be the photo of the two lads on page 114. It’s from 1974 and they’re wearing crombie coats, pinstriped parallel trousers, polished George Webb type shoes, bowler hats and umbrellas; they almost look like two city gents. The look is certainly influenced by the Clockwork Orange film, more than any music movement."
Images used with kind permission of Garry O'Neill. Published by HiTone Books, November 2011. Foreward by Steve Averill.
Friday, 8th Mar 2013
Subverting a classic, the made in England tennis bomber is recontextualised this season, with a printed British DPM camouflage pattern and a Stewart tartan lining. Our sporting heritage combines with strong subcultural references, resulting in a unique interpretation of the iconic silhouette and an unexpected pairing of two decidedly British patterns.
Whilst tartans were historically worn to serve as a symbol of distinction, allowing the wearer to be recognised, British DPM (Disruptive Pattern Material) was designed to disguise, ensuring the wearer blended into the surroundings. Officially used by British forces as well as many other armies worldwide, particularly in former British colonies; the pattern made the ironic transition from military uniform to subculture uniform in a matter of decades.
Camouflage rose to prominence during the 1960s as part of the counterculture appropriation of military surplus clothing. In stark contrast to its intended purpose, anti-war protestors took to adding peace signs and symbolic writings to their jackets. The rebellious links to the pattern continued to flourish during the late 1970s and 80s, particularly within anti-establishment punk and skinhead movements.
Although commonly associated with the 80s uniform of bleached jeans, braces and button up shirts, British DPM has continued to play a part in music-driven subcultures right up until today; be it the 90s Junglist kids, techno heads or 60s revivalists. A truly cultural phenomenon, in a reverse of its intended purpose, camouflage print has been used by generations not only to establish uniformity amongst each other, but to communicate individual ideas, values and beliefs.
Crafted in waxed British Millerain quality cloth, the camouflage bomber jacket has been produced in highly limited quantities and is available exclusively online and in Laurel Wreath Collection shops.
Friday, 1st Mar 2013
Washington D.C.’s Corcoran Gallery of Art has recently opened a new exhibition, looking at the visual culture created by local subcultural groups during the 1980s. Aside from its obvious significance as America’s capital city, D.C. has a vibrant musical history, acting as the birthplace for the ‘Go-Go’ funk movement pioneered by the likes of Chuck Brown, as well as a world-renowned punk and hardcore scene.
Various Hardcore 7" records, 1980s. Photo by Aaron Farley. Collection of Roger Gastman.
Pump Me Up features photos, flyers, posters, records, stage clothes, instruments and video footage all made between 1980 and 1992, effectively bringing the era back to life within the gallery space. Alongside D.C's emerging music scenes came the birth of a stripped-down street art movement. The exhibition features sections devoted to some of the area’s most iconic graffiti art, as well as concert posters made by the Baltimore-based Globe printing press.
Go-go graffiti by GO-GO SHORTY, c. 1985. Photo by EON.
In addition to the exhibition comes the release of a 320-page book of the same name, complete with foreword by Sarah Newman, curator of contemporary art at the Corcoran. A special 90 minute documentary will also be released, looking at the life of local graffiti legend Cool ‘Disco’ Dan. Narrated by former Black Flag frontman Henry Rollins, the film includes interviews with Chuck brown, civil rights advocate Walter Fauntroy and several prolific graffiti artists.
Pump Me Up: D.C. Subculture of the 1980s will be held at the Corcoran Gallery of Art from February 23rd – April 7th, 2013.