Music and Fashion
Subculture is a word which implies liberty of creativeness, liberty of appearance, ease and liberty of a selected model for getting pleasure. In addition, to resolve the contradictions of forefathers and parents culture, where forefathers and parents culture fails to provide a workable ideology for the next generation it usually takes the form of rituals, fashion and music. However, there is an important connection between fashion and subculture, and it is clothes that the young generations wear in the street, the new ideas of the rock bands, the glittering clothes in the clubs have influenced a lot fashion design industry.
According to Brian “The transformation rave culture from underground, and frequently illegal, dance parties organized by electronic music lovers to highly publicized popular concerts sponsored by local radio stations and major music labels was predictable, if not wholly inevitable. After all, part of capitalism’s appeal lies in its ideological flexibility–its capacity to embrace transgressive subculture, repackage it, and sell it as the latest stylistic innovation.
Though predictable, rave culture’s evolution was and continues to be anything but simple and straightforward. It entails a set of complex negotiations surrounding the meanings of artist, authorship, and authenticity. It reflects deeply fought rhetorical/ideological battles around communalism and commercialism, performance and product, and sharing and spectacle”. (Brian, pg, 249+)
Mainly, Raves attract people who belong to the middle-class and are in their mid-teens to late-twenties. Normally, the average age of people at most of the rave events is 18 to 25 years. More interestingly, the average age of the Ravers increased due to its popularity among all age group people.
Rave scene has its own culture instead of just a party term. Vivacious group of like-minded young individuals gather in one platform and dance in order to join rave communities. The rave tradition has become popular among New York youth.In this regard, one community has developed a Ravers website and named it (www.Raveclick.com). The primary motive behind the creation of this website was to urge youth to adopt rave culture. With the advent of this website, music and fashion in New York have gone out of their track. For example, the outfits and style of music were completely changed. Rockers have begun to perform electronic hip-hop music which amused ravers in dance parties.
In rave parties, teenagers dance to electronic music from dusk to dawn. Old scholars treat the rave as a hypertext of delight and disappearance. In the period of 1989 to 1992, rave culture began to flourish into a global phenomenon on grassroots basis. In 1980 Rave people were first traveled to attend the rave parties, usually at that time the parties were arranged in home basis. However, by the mid of 1990 major companies were started to sponsor rave parties on commercial basis.
In subculture trends, fashion dressing of teenagers are very interesting and unluckily very little studied. In this regard, if we look imaginative and psychological nature of fashion dressing we will find it very interesting, For instance, style of haircuts, clothes and accessories, and make up etc.
According to Nayak, “the excessive style of Charver spilled over from fabrics to music. Many Charver Kids favored Rave and Jungle music, sounds that were historically tied to the mutating patterns of cultural syncretism formed in British inner cities. Interestingly, some of the young people who had spoke disparagingly about Charver style in one context were willing to admit that they were ‘a bit Charver’ in their tastes towards music and certain elements of fashion. Thus, James admitted liking ‘Rave, Coliseum kinda thing’ and was willing to take on a Charver identity at certain moments”. (Nayak, pg, 16)
More interestingly, among the rave community, characteristics of life such as gender, age, sexual orientation, race, dress and many other things do not matter. Ravers are the people who come out at night, for fun. Nonetheless with regard of subculture context, every one in the rave community wants himself or herself to mark some distinct point in his or her individual personal characteristics by doing something different from others. With respect of this, before joining the rave party, raver eyes aglow with anticipation, body curious for foreign rhythms, glittering shoes encompass feet hungry for dancing these are some fantasies which always are the primary context of a Raver.
Youth culture denotes to a homogenous belief of teenagers as doing similar things and being dealt in a similar fashion and plays down aspects of distinctions. Generally, this idea was popular with United States sociologists in the period of 50s and 60s mainly those of the social functionalism persuasion. For instance, in 1964 Talcott debated that although youth culture, disconcerting for young generation, but in reality it performed certain useful functions for society. It was a security valve, a way of letting off steam for young generation caught up in the period of doubt and indistinct social roles.
In this regard, we have been noticed so many times that in some communities families tend to have closer interaction with teenagers and they seem so intent on being different to their forefathers and parents. On the other hand, in some communities young age children may intentionally choose a specific subculture group in order to reinforce their independence and even opposition to their family culture. It has been observed that, children who belong to upper class communities have more disposable income resources to spend in entertainment, sport and some other related activities. Consequently, while they indulge themselves in these activities they face a diverse society and adopt certain things from other which is sometimes considered a primary root of subculture society.
According to Wilson “The rave issue is contextualized through a thorough examination of the history of rave scenes. Not surprisingly, Wilson discovers that rave culture has its roots in disco, pre-disco, warehouse parties and gay clubs in New York City, Chicago, Detroit and Britain. More interestingly, however, is Wilson’s scrupulous documentation of previous scholarship of the heyday of rave. He reveals that while some scholars were claiming the libidinal space of the rave dance floor as an anti-patriarchal realm of resistance, others were decrying its elitism and upper-middle class tendency toward exclusion and clique formation. So the question becomes, does rave culture alter and question reality, or does it confirm it.” (Wilson, pg, 224)
The most controversial issue of rave subculture is excessive use of drugs and from the very outset of the rave parties it has been closely associated with it. Ravers in dance parties usually take dugs as to get more amusement. More interestingly, in some communities beside alcohol drinks drugs are the primary motive of joy and happiness in rave parties.
Often Ravers have embraced deviation and exoticism with respect of people, music, and everything. In addition, different cultures have established because of rave offers a lack of hierarchy and the pure sense of progression that are significant for the social and emotional development of a particular group.
As discussed above, drugs and violence have been known as an element of the rave subculture but it is very difficult to judge the degree of their impact on young generation. However, curious youth have already embraced and hence encouraged many of the aesthetic hallmarks of rave culture.
“According to Huq Rave could be seen as the last subculture, signifying either most recent or even as those pronouncing the end of youth culture contend, and the final one. In many ways it is cause and effect of youth culture coming of age. For the dance music generation computer technology, foreign travel and drugs have largely been normalized as they have grown up with all three”. (Huq, 2006, pg, 108)
Ravers say that Rave culture express respect, peace and love, nevertheless, some people who do not wish to join this upstream subculture, can mark numerous negative stereotypes of raves. In this context, one must recognize the diversities and differences as well as similarities between the today’s and past generation youth. However, in order to find out the concept of subculture is valid or not this area needs more study. In this regard, one can say that awkward fashion and dance in mainstream youth which bring them together in one platform may be a good idea to share their own life beliefs culture, social customs and so forth.
On the other hand, as we have discussed earlier that in ravers gathering Ravers frequently take drugs to boost their stamina and to mark some distinct cultural values among others a clash of individualism may occur in respond to other behavior and personal nature. In the end, one can say that not every thing in today’s upstream youth is bad and the birth of subculture fashion and music presenting a modern image of the world.
Brian L. Ott, Mixed Messages, Resistance and Reappropriation in Rave Culture, Western Journal of Communication. Volume: 67. Issue: 3. Publication Year: 2003. Page Number: 249+.
Huq Rupa, Pop Arts / Pop Culture, (2006),
Nayak Anoop, Race, Place and Globalization, Youth Cultures in a Changing World. New York. Publication, Year: 2003 page nuber (16)
Wilson Brian, Fight, Flight Or Chill: Subcultures, Youth, And Rave In The Twenty-first Century, McGill-Queen’s University Press 0-7735-3061-4, Paper 224 pp. (n.d.)