Style Tribes: The Fashion of Subcultures

Thursday 8 June | 6–8pm



Discover 100 years of street style and subcultures, from early 20th century New York to 21st century Japan. At this talk to coincide with The World of Anna Sui exhibition, fashion writer Caroline Young explores the fashion, ideology and influence of youth movements.

Highlighting flappers, swing kids, mods, rockers, surfers, hippies, punks, disco, hip hop, Harajuku and hipsters, she tells the stories behind the styles and what sets each of them apart. The advent of industrialisation, globalisation and 20th century modernism led to an explosion of youth subcultures. From flappers and teddy boys to punk and grunge, Young describes how subcultures inspire and influence one another as well as their impact on high fashion: hippies were a continuation of the beat movement, combined with a surfer lifestyle influence, while Jamaica’s rudeboys and London mods inspired the original skinheads. There’s also a running theme of ‘the hipster’ – a word that emerged from Harlem in the 1920s from ‘hip’ or ‘hep’ , meaning non-conformist and one step ahead. This concept has played a part in understanding subcultures including zoot suiters, the jazz loving hipsters of the 1940s, beatniks, the hippie and now the contemporary hipsters with their beards and skinny jeans.

The event starts at 6pm with a glass of wine in the Museum foyer and opportunity to view the current exhibition. The talk follows at 6.15pm for 6.20pm in the Fashion Studio and lasts for approximately one hour including an opportunity to ask questions. It is followed by a book signing.

Caroline Young is an Edinburgh-based journalist, fashion writer and blogger, and is the author of Classic Hollywood Style, Style Tribes and Tartan + Tweed. ‘Style Tribes: The Fashion of Subcultures’ is available for purchase from the Fashion and Textile Museum exhibition shop.

Price £15 / £12 students includes a complimentary drink and exhibition entry.
Guests are welcome to view The World of Anna Sui before or after the talk.

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Numbers are limited for this event, please book early to avoid disappointment. If you have any questions about this event please complete our enquiry form.

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