What is Alternative Fashion | A NU Perspective Blog – Neon Underground Apparel
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What is Alternative Fashion, Really?

At Neon Underground, we believe that style is more than just looks- rather it is a way to express yourself, feelings, and opinions. And what style speaks louder than alternative fashion? From punk to grunge, nu-wave to goth, emo, Lolita, hipster, and so on- these subcultures have long been making a statement by rebelling against the mainstream and outwardly embracing themselves and their beliefs. While subculture fashion has become more popular, at its core the message is still the same: it will not conform to mass produced styles, systems, or ideals. We encourage you to do the same, to embrace and show your true self to the world, to stand up for yourself and what you believe, and to be one stylish hell-raising babe as you march in the revolution against the mainstream.

Dark Goth Alternative

If you find most of your wardrobe is black, you have an inexplicable love for misunderstood “creepy” creatures, a fascination with the occult, and can draw a killer winged eyeliner- chances are you may be a little bit goth. Not to worry- you are in great hands!
This subculture movement originated in the UK in the mid-70s to 80s with the introduction of a darker, more romantic version of the then popular post-punk genre. Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Cure, and Sisters of Mercy were among the early pioneers in the gothic music movement, allowing this new sound and style to expand and evolve throughout the 80s and 90s.
While what may be called goth today is very different from the traditional teased hair, dark eye make-up, and Victorian Romantic style black clothing, traces of these early influences can be seen throughout. From your witchy nu-goth, cutesy pastel goth, emo kids and e-girls, to the EDM cybergoth and the sporty street health goth- we’re all just trying to embrace the beauty in the darkness.

Check out these dark goth inspired looks we love!

90's Grunge Nostalgia

Calling all 90’s kids (and those of you who feel like you were born in the wrong era)- this one’s for you! If you wear old band tees unironically, then you probably know of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden. This is where our story begins, in mid-80’s to 90’s Seattle, Washington. The grunge rock movement sparked a fire in a generation trying to have its voice heard and go against the grain. This dirty, grimy, almost lazy style of post-punk and metal heavily influenced the fashion of Gen-X at the time, an expression of their frustrations with the unnecessary lavishness of the 80’s economic upswing and lack of equality within different societies.
Messy, unkempt hair and make-up paired with often oversized flannel or plaid shirts, graphic tees, and of course combat boots were staples in any grunge closet. Kurt Cobain, Drew Barrymore, and Liv Tyler all embodied this look, and grunge fashion overall hasn’t changed much today. Plaid and checker patterns can be found throughout, along with old band and graphic tees, and the classic combat boot.
What we might find paired with these now retro grunge standards is inspiration from 90’s pop culture and childhood nostalgia- bold neon and rainbow colors or even cute pastels, leopard and other animal prints, oversized streetstyle tees, sweet schoolgirl style cardigans, and crop tops everywhere to name a few.

Peek these feeds for your dose of grunge inspo!

Soft Kawaii Aesthetic

Let me guess- you like anime, video games, stuffed animals, all things soft and cute, and pink and purple are among your favorite colors. Perfect! This kawaii style of fashion has spread far and evolved heavily since reaching out from its origins in Japan. Believe it or not, kawaii culture started with young Japanese girls in classrooms after the invention of mechanical pencils, which allowed them to adopt cutesy handwriting and pictures of hearts, cute animals and so on. From here, perhaps the most famous kawaii icon to this day came to be- Hello Kitty.
These kawaii influences led to fashion movements such as Harajuku and Lolita, characterized by Victorian style ruffled dresses, knee socks, sweet pastel or bright colors, and cute accessories. These very frilly feminine aspects can often be seen combined with punk rock influences like combat boots, fishnets, or chains and chokers. Today, kawaii style has become more accessible with influences from K-Pop, J-Pop, anime, and Tumblr to name a few. You may see pastel toned skirts, soft textures and fabrics, babydoll dresses, anime print tops, and even innocently styled and colored lingerie on your favorite kawaii style icon.
While the kawaii community may look young and innocent, they still have an important message. They aim to outshine and overpower cruelty and negativity, be inclusive to all fans, and even blur the boundaries between what is cute and creepy with kami kawaii style. They use the traditional feminine style to uplift and empower women to stand up for themselves and what is right. Just goes to show, no matter how cute you look you can still be HARDCORE!

Get ready for cute fashion overload!

Alternative fashion embraces so many different subcultures, across continents and generations. Music and pop culture have and continue to play an integral roll in the development of these styles and beliefs. The explosion of these cultures recently can likely be linked to social media, which has created a platform for expression amongst a group of people that may otherwise have not been heard. While each community may differ vastly from the others, there is a commonality of going against the grain, giving "normal" society a big f*** you, and standing up for what you love and believe in. So, just where on the alternative spectrum do you fall?

Written by: Hannah Ostoja

Post Date: 2/27/20

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