February 16, 2017
By Candace Longfellow
FASHION EMANCIPATION: WHAT WE WORE TO REBEL
Rebellion is in the air. From weekly protests to consumer boycotts, a new resistance is starting to take shape and the fashion community is getting involved with politically charged runway collections and symbols of solidarity.
It’s a reminder of the way that fashion has been used to voice dissent in movements big and small, even in our personal lives. From the slinky, corset-free frocks beloved by Jazz-era flappers to the bell bottoms and psychedelic printed tees favored by counterculture hippies, clothing has always been used to signify rebellion, emphasize otherness and provoke reaction. In the spirit of revolution, we asked our editors to take us back to their teen years and tell us about their first attempts to fight the power through their personal style. Read on for their stories.
Jody Hume, Senior Content Editor
“What didn’t I wear to rebel? I never really let my parents dress me, much to my mom’s chagrin, but when I turned 12 or 13 I went full-on punk rock. Ripped band tees, Doc Martens, studded everything, pink hair, purple hair, green hair — our bathroom was a riot of Punky Colors. My parents objected to all of it, but eventually got used to it. I tried on so many rebellious looks that now my natural hair and minimal uniform feel like the most subversive statements I can make. But I’m noticing that with ‘90s nostalgia refusing to wane, all my 13 year old punk rock staples are coming back into style, from creepers (see Stella McCartney and Saint Laurent) to the fishnets all the Insta girls are wearing under their jeans to wallet chains (though I suspect any Vetements version will prove pricier than the ones we used to sell at the local punk store where I worked in high school — it was called Re:Style which still sometimes trips me up when I’m talking about this blog!).”
Ekin Kalayci, Visual Designer
“I went to a French school where dress codes were more important than your classes — so stupid. Every day we had to pass by the evil eyes of the principal at the door, and if you got caught with the wrong shoes, wrong sweater, wrong skirt length, you would get in trouble. To rebel, a lot of us would bring Converse sneakers in our backpacks and change into them in the classroom and try to hide from teachers all day. But it was worth it. It was very cool to wear sneakers under your school uniform.”