Music is fashion, Fashion is music.
Dance music has changed the way we live, socialise, and dress.
Fashion and music have long been considered art and a form of personal expression. Because of this, fashion plays a larger role in the dance scene. After all, Techno brought the trainer into every club, pub and bar. With a large population of dance goers (especially the house and gay dance scene) being young successful professionals, there is an increasing pressure to look the part. This means the newest Helmet Lang jeans and the hippest Louis Vuitton bag. Or in the techno scene the brightest pants and the cutest Elmo back pack. Is this a bad thing? Does it segregate us from the mainstream? Well I for one sure hope so! This has become a way for us to connect with the music and feel part of a community. I can walk into a club or party and get a vibe of the evening just by looking at the fashion. Is this superficial? Am I not looking deep enough? Maybe so, but at least I can begin to know what to expect. Once I’m in, maybe the music will change my mind, but not very often. It’s here though that Carl Cox would disagree with me, he says, “I’ve always gone to a club to hear good music and dance around people who are into hearing great records and being inspired by that music. But, if you want to look good then great, but dance! Don’t look good and stand there and feel that you’re creating a part of the club culture, because you’re not.” (The Age 19.01.01)
Maybe he has a point. Has the ‘fashion’ begun to outweigh the feeling and substance of the music? Maybe the pressure has grown too much, but I think it great to see the way different punters dress to impress, hopefully showing their personal style in the process.
A friend recently told me all the places I went to were full of rich, pretentious clubbers and that it was no longer about the music. I protest to this statement (but then I would wouldn’t I, after all he was insulting me!) The Melbourne house scene maybe full of people who are a little frivolous with their money, but they’re young and having fun. As for ‘not about the music anymore’, well I don’t think he’s seen a Saturday night at the Prince, or the excitement of an international DJ playing at Freakazoid. Still there is that pondering question. Has the commercial aspect taken control allowing the masses to rejoice in thinking they’re hip and ‘fashionable’? I think things a little scary when I see ‘club clothes’ that resemble something I’ve worn (even if it is 6 months old) appearing in Sportsgirl.
Thankfully there are still many people upholding the style that I associate with dance. Jeremy Healy is DJ to elite fashion icons such as Galliano. Sven Vath has his own brand of acupuncture shoes and funky sunglasses on his cocoon web site. Nearly every fashion show has at least one dance track playing as the models sashay down the runway. Mixing music and fashion is an exciting convergence for young designers and music makers. Dance music allows the designers to break boundaries, generating innovation and create cultures.
In Melbourne the house scene plays a huge part in fashion with many young designers frequenting the coolest bars and clubs, seeing their creations displayed on the patrons. From stimulating young designers, Lindon and Lisse, Kitten and Tsubi we can see a great move back to the hey days of 70’s and 80’s club fashion but with a chemical twist. Yet their wonderful innovation allows them to be individuals. No longer do these young designers feel the need to copy overseas fashion icons. They are creating their own rules.
Music will continue to enhance fashion and vice versa. I know that I love both music and fashion; they let me escape and create the world I live in. I hope this is the same for you. Most importantly dress to express your personality and always remember to ‘dance like no one’s watching’!