The 90’s saw the height of the rave scene but it was never about the fashion or what looks good. It’s always been about the messy music and ecstasy. It was a lifestyle where people collaborated together to heighten their experience of life. Generations have taken this way of life to an extreme and ravers have become creative and diverse. Sportswear and simple T's have turned into fluffy boot and neon outfits and have become an outrageous subculture of crasher kids on acid. Fashion today has taken a little ecstasy pill itself and is now influenced by this era throughout fashion design. Once up on a time 90's fashion was all about the starter reverse-able bandanna style peck caps and over sized bomber jacket. Adidas and Puma was a real hit for the youngest as they thrived off the adrenaline of being free. Now Fashion concious teens want to be apart of this free spirit but this generation is all about the style.
Contagious Clubwear/American Apparel
For the devoted ravers that want the ultimate neon look without the outrageous price http://www.contagiousclubwear.com is the website to visit. With outfits that consist of neon sets and fluffy boots this bottom market website is where everyone can create the ultimate ‘neon rave’ look for a night of stomping and pills. Claire Frances is the director at Contagious Clubwear.com, who was frustrated at the lack of original, sexual and cutting edge fashion available for clubbers. For less outrageous ‘clubber’ there’s the exploding brand American Apparel turning sportswear into alternative fashion. Turning the simple T into an outrageous styles and colours and leggings that are ‘less then simple’ These ‘bottom market’ clients are hardcore ravers that live for these messy nights and want the lifestyle to. Extravagant outfits are out of the question, it’s these brands that offer them the security price range of £60.
For the more devoted fashion conscious raver, the fairly new and exciting Cassette Playa offer new ways to dress for a dirty night of DJ's and drugs. Her street style influences combine, rave culture and Japanese Anime making for an exciting mix of colour, print and arcade character classics such as Sonic. Her style staples include baggy t shirts paired with skinny leggings, hoodies and tracksuit trousers- all featuring bold, bright and clashing patterns. She describes the Cassette Playa universe as "techno, primal, positive, and tribal”. She is known a pioneer of the new rave genre in fashion although has distanced herself from the term, saying it is "Vacant in retro. It’s just a marketing machine.... I guess it was a fun time but I’m more excited about what happens now. The next level - the next generation”. While using the past as inspiration she looks to the future- what a techno savvy, social media obsessed, intelligent and exciting generation wants. She describes some of her designs as "quite cartoon" but that she has "no intention of making people look funny". She feels her clothes are designed for a certain person- strong and confident “only a hard girl/guy can pull off my clothing”. Her sought after t shirts start at around £100, and whole outfits can cost in the region of £500. This price bracket sorts the more serious fashion follower from the crowd- her customers know more about rave that just glow in the dark bras and fluffy boots. These customers live within art, music, design and fashion. As serious about the clothes they wear, as the music they listen to and the places they are seen. They pay more, because they know more, and this is reflected in a higher price point and a higher quality of clothing and consumer.
Competition in the race for the best tribal street wear brand is Jeremy Scott. Best known for dressing the likes of Rhianna and Kayne West, his Adidas collaboration bought winged high tops and leopard print sportswear to the masses. As well as citing nu rave, and street culture among his top inspirations he is heavily influenced by Studio 54 and pop artists such as Andy Warhol. Working closely with the foundation for the late artist Keith Haring, Scott created a shoe and track suit bearing Haring's graphic art—a special project known as AdiColor, another collaborative venture with Adidas. His clothing celebrates street wear and oozes cool, expressing the wearer’s life and stories through Scott’s effortlessly cool and colourful clothing. For his latest AW 12/13 collection he bought back the best of the 90’s for everyone who grew up in them. A touch of nostalgia in the form of Bart and Lisa printed jumpers and trousers and winky, smiley and happy faces - wearable for only the most outrageous and confident well off customer. Scott’s clothing isn’t cheap- marketing at about £500 + for a whole tracksuit, but well worth the investment if you’re looking to show you’re status in the streets of New York.
The 1980s saw the birth of the house music movement and the smiley logo was once again used to represent this new musically ground-breaking time, allowing people a means of escape. Acid house and rave fans used the yellow smiley face symbol as an emblem of the lifestyle behind the music. Smiley could be seen on promotional party flyers, posters, bootlegs and party-goers t-shirts. Heavily linked with the famous Hacienda nightclub in Manchester (home to the acid house movement, DJs and musical artists during this period), some to this day still consider Smiley a sacred symbol of this liberating time. Louis Gray lent her creative and quirky talents over to collaborate with The Smiley Company to create a limited edition five piece collection for spring/summer 2010.The collection embraces the Smiley Collective’s underpinning principle of unity and happiness. Featuring the signature smiley face, the capsule collection invokes the spirit of yellow with joyful, playful abandon. The collection consists of; t-shirt, skirt, bustier, jacket and dress in a mix of silk, Swarovski crystals and denim, each piece includes the original Smiley logo into its design
Agi & Sam
Agape Mdumulla and Sam Cotton, the new upcoming menswear designer’s fall/winter collection stood out to us the most out of all their collections. It reminded us of the old school ravers outfits. They drew their influences from the likes of Jean Michel Basquiat and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. They’ve used lots of colour and crazy prints. Some of the pieces are to be seen with 3D glasses, while others like the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air graphic t-shirt simply just jumps at you. They believe that you shouldn’t take fashion too seriously and in a world that seems a little stuck in heritage and basic goods; Agi & Sam certainly make a difference.
Rag & Bone
Marcus Wainwright and Denville nailed the emerging trend for 90’s sportswear in their latest collections, which ticked all the seasons’ trend boxes, from their easy layering to the pallet of festive brights; the looks is labelled as sportswear goes to rave.
Jylle Navarro is in a league of her own as she throttles through the fashion industry undiscovered. Her collection here displays Mosters vs dark rave and explores texture of knitwear and extravagant colour. Jylle describes the designs as always very creative and bold and if put into its own sub culture they would be a mixture between rave and cyber.