- Words Liam Cattermole
Take a dive into the style tribes forecasted for a big 2023, from Vinted Vigilantes to New Sporty Romantics.
Joining a style tribe has historically been a way to identify with particular subcultural groups, from punks to hippies and emos to casuals. They’re a visual representation of youth movements and their ideologies, a fashion armoury that offers people self-expression.
And yet, commentators over the past few years have wanted you to believe that subculture is dead. ‘Punk doesn’t exist anymore, or it isn’t being made from a place of authenticity’, they say. ‘How can kids pair their military parkas with air max 95s? That’s complete mod rock blasphemy’, bemoan others. A tired narrative that downplays modern youth culture, it’s if to say stalking TikTok algorithms and obsessively buying clothes on Depop isn’t a whole subculture in and of itself. Maybe they’re right, but this age of mass consumerism is breeding a whole new era of style tribes, who look to a variety of youth movements to create their own.
In the digital age, fashion subcultures have become more fragmented. Nowadays, there’s a micro-core for every internet aesthetic chronically online teens wish to conceive. From cottagecore to clowncore and gorpcore to goblincore – style tribes have multiplied exponentially at the turn of this decade. It used to be simple: you could tell the punks from the ravers, or the mods from the rockers, without reaching for your fashion lensed microscope. Traditionalists might kiss their teeth and hark back to the good ol’ days, but this won’t stop young millennials experimenting with clothes. As a result, 2023 will see certain style tribes sew themselves further into the fabric of this decade’s prominent youth movements.
We’ve pinpointed five tribes currently breaking through the noise set to have a big 12 months.
One of fashion’s major forecasts for 2022 was the return of indie sleaze. Tapping the late 2000s thirst for grubby guitar bands, the style involves dusty tees and drainpipe jeans or rugged skirts and ripped tights. Said to be in its blossoming stages, designers like Hedi Slimane and Alessandro Michele brought the look to the runway last year.
Instagram’s 2023 trend report predicts that Gen-Z will have a growing interest in garment upcycling. This aesthetic isn’t new, of course, but platforms like Vinted and Finds are aiding intrigue into personal customisation. The online second-hand fashion sphere is booming, and style tribes are taking full advantage, versed in using what already exists to make something entirely new.
Exercising everyone’s post-lockdown right to be outdoors, the ‘Happy Campers’ style tribe look to aesthetics you may be more familiar seeing on your Dad. Similar to the rise of gorpcore (Google it), brands like Montbell, Folk and Gramicci who promote an al-fresco approach to life are becoming increasingly popular. Palace and CP Company’s recent collaboration reinterpreted Diemme Roccia Basso hiking shoes – an undisputed, standout silhouette from 2022.
Gorpcore Guys And Girlies
As previously mentioned, but worth their own spot on the list, another aesthetic referencing the wilderness is gorpcore. An inescapable trend that has taken streetwear by storm the past few years, Arc’teryx and Berghaus are examples of those leading the way. Thanks to Bella Hadid and Shoreditch’s 194 local boutique, ACG maxi skirts have epitomised many of its best looks. Choosing functionality over impracticality, the style goes against many of fashion’s traditions to resonate with people who usually find the world daunting.
New Sporty Romantics
In 2019, Ancuta Sarca broke the internet with her elegant Nike heel hybrids. Repurposing running shoes for the runway, the designer started a whole era of romantic sporting attire, influencing brands such as COMME des GARÇONS to follow suit. Flamboyant, avant-garde sportswear has featured on the catwalk ever since, offering a soft touch to the style’s laddish past. With the likes of Rei Kawakubo at fashion’s helm, it won’t be long before we see high heel boots hitting the back of everyone’s nets.
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