How to Keep Your Vaporwave Aesthetic Authentic

How to Keep Your Vaporwave Aesthetic Authentic

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Staying true to Vaporwave aesthetics means embracing the core principles of the genre that entail meticulously crafting a 1980s and 1990s retro-inspired outfit that critique consumer culture, and cultivating a dreamy, surreal ambiance.

Keeping your Vaporwave aesthetic authentic is not only a creative commitment, but also a way to preserve the integrity and cultural significance of the genre to ensure its relevance in an ever-evolving society.

Here are the different ways you can keep your Vaporwave Aesthetic authentic;  

1. Understand Vaporwave Origins

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Having an understanding of Vaporwave origins enriches one's appreciation of the genre's artistic elements, deepens their appreciation of its cultural and historical context, and helps them to accurately incorporate its aesthetics to their style.

Vaporwave is a subculture that emerged on the internet in the early 2010s. It is characterized by a nostalgic and surreal aesthetic that often draws inspiration from the 1980s and 1990s, consumer culture, retro technology, and a sense of nostalgia.

The aesthetics of Vaporwave embody the genre's distinct artistic and thematic identity. Often stylized as "A E S T H E T I C", it combines nostalgia for the aesthetics of the 1980s and 1990s with a critique of consumer culture, all wrapped in a surreal, dreamy, and often dystopian atmosphere. 

2. Embrace Vaporwave Evolution

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By understanding Vaporwave origins, you can now trace its development and understand how it has evolved and adapted to different artistic movements and influences.

Since its emergence in the early 2010s in the music genre, Vaporwave has evolved to develop its own set of aesthetics, adapted to changing cultural and artistic influences, grown to include other subgenres and offshoots like Future Funk, Mallsoft, and Vaportrap, among others.

Vaporwave’s evolving nature and its ability to push the boundaries of its original concept is the main reason it remains relevant and captivating to fashionistas up to date. Vaporwave enthusiasts embrace its evolving nature by experimenting with new ideas, incorporating different musical styles and visual elements while staying true to its core themes of nostalgia, consumerism, and the ever-shifting landscape of modern life in the digital age. 

3. Explore its subgenres

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Vaporwave's evolving nature has given raise to other subgenres and offshoots like Future Funk, Mallsoft, and Vaportrap, among others. Each of these subgenres has its own unique style and influences that are rooted to Vaporwave core themes.

Future Funk is known for its upbeat, danceable, and nostalgic sound, which draws heavily from samples of vintage funk, disco, and R&B tracks from the 1970s and 1980s.

Mallsoft is characterized by long, ambient soundscapes that mimic the background noise of a shopping mall. It samples from muzak, smooth jazz, and elevator music.

Vaportrap is characterized by its use of hip-hop beats and rap vocals, often with slowed-down and chopped-up samples.  

Understanding this different subgenres allows you to experiment with different authentic aesthetics to customize your style. 

4. Stay true to Vaporwave Aesthetics 

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To keep your Vaporwave aesthetic authentic, you must stay true to the subculture’s sense of nostalgia for the 1980s and 1990s, fascination with obsolete technology, early computer graphics and critiquing commercialism.

Recognize aesthetics such as retro-futuristic imagery, neon colors, glitch art, and a fascination with both the past and the future that convey the overall look and feel of Vaporwave.

After recognizing Vaporwave aesthetics, try balancing between embracing the nostalgia of the past, challenging the excesses of capitalism, and incorporating retro elements to your look. This is because Vaporwave is not only a visual style, but also an artistic movement that provokes thought. 

5. Avoid Clichés

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The only time you risk the possibility of being a cliché with your Vaporwave style is if you do not understand the history and present of Vaporwave and you are not passionate about the subculture.  

Vaporwave is all about creativity by mixing and matching different Vaporwave aesthetics to create innovative and mind-boggling fashion statements. It is common to look for inspiration from Vaporwave cliché looks, but do not copy and paste the entire look. 

To steer clear of clichés, explore Vaporwave's history; you will learn of lesser known aesthetics, its evolution; you will know how to incorporate contemporary aesthetics and its subgenres; it will offer you with variety.

6. Integrate Vaporwave with your personal style

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Vaporwave is all about creativity, self-expression and thought-provoking looks that reflect your personality, attitude and mood. Its evolving nature give room for your own evolving fashion preferences and allows you to experiment with different aesthetic till you find the one that best suits you. 

Always make sure you are feeling comfortable in your outfit, the message the outfit is conveying resonates with you, you are feeling confident and amazing in your outfit and your accessories align with your comfort level.

Vaporwave, just like any other fashion, is a powerful tool of self-express, hence be unapologetically authentic and true to yourself when dressing up. When you feel beautiful, confident and comfortable, that is what you reflect.

7. Music Selection 

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In fashion, the small details can elevate an entire look. Vaporwave traces its origin to the music genre of the same name; your choice of music can complement your outfit by serving as a backdrop and inspiration for your authentic aesthetics. 

Allowing yourself to fully embrace the surreal, nostalgic, and futuristic elements of the Vaporwave culture, by listening to Vaporwave music. The song lyrics, beats and tones combine with your look to create a holistic Vaporwave experience, where every detail, from your attire to the music, contributes to a truly immersive aesthetic journey. 

8. Interact with like-minded people 

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As the old saying goes, two heads are better than one. Be open and willing to discussing different ideas with others who appreciate the aesthetic can help you stay authentic, fresh and original in your designs. 

When you are feeling uninspired or wore out, tap into your Vaporwave community and share ideas that will relight the creativity bulb within you, ignite your confidence that will enable to push Vaporwave boundaries and energize you to create entirely new original outfits.   

In your opinion, which is the most effective way to interact with like-minded Vaporwave enthusiastic online via chat groups or one on one? 


About the Author

Lynn Ayunga