Before the 80s we could still talk about subcultures and street trends as separate from the "official" catwalk world. Nowadays, images and information travels fast thanks to the internet and digital photography. Fashion seen on catwalks now takes less than a month to be found in shops.
There are two ways in which a trend can be born: one is bubble up and the other is trickle down. Bubble up is when designers get inspired by street style or by alternative fashion, and one example can surely be Vivienne Westwood with her punk inspired style. Trickle down is when the idea, the trend, the new attitude comes from high spheres of fashion, and then spreads among everyone's look.
One example can be minimalist shapes: minimalism is now wide spread, especially in the grown-up goth world, but many of the new styles originated with Japanese designers (Rei Kawakubo, Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto).
I would like to focus on the bubble up process. The fashion world always plundered subcultures with no hesitation, and sometimes the results were amazing. From there, it all becomes an inspiration game. We can get inspired by designers who were inspired by our subcultures in the first place. Alternative fashion gets in a process of perpetual renewal, which I find mind blowing.
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She was the punk rock fashion pioneer in 1970's London, and the first designer to bring punk to the haute couture table and create a punk fashion. She's continued doing so ever since, and it's up to you deciding if she ruined the very idea of punk or helped legitimizing it!
If there's a style in alternative fashion, Gaultier has already been inspired by it! Black biker jackets and goth corsets with a modern edge - He's got that special gift that only Yves Saint Laurent or Mugler had.
He was THE alternative guy in haute couture. You could totally see his love for alternative culture in all of his collection. He is the reason skull imagery is now so widely accepted. Whenever you wear a skull scarf to work and don't get funny looks, when you can find awesome high heel shoes with skull details, when you grab your purse with skull accents; all of that is because of McQueen.
Since he's death, Sarah Burton is continuing his legacy.
Goth girls of the world, unite! Gareth Pugh is your guy when it comes to dark inspired wonders! Actually, I should say calling all cyber goths, since he's often inspired by futuristic visions of the dark world. I love him!
Sons and daughters of the moon have only one place to look to when in need of nocturnal inspiration. She was one of the Antwerp Six, which shocked the fashion world with their avant-garde, alternative fashion statement back in mid 80s.
Do you think I'm leaving someone out? We'd love to hear your opinions about alternative fashion in the shimmering catwalk world!