Fashion individualism within clubbing culture

Dejan Agatonovic

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


If any space where people congregate to chat, drink, dance, socialise and listen to the music could be defined as a ?club? it would be very difficult to find the roots of clubbing culture. However, Smith argues that the modern clubbing dates from 1920s with the appearance of cocaine, which was inexpensive, and accessible everywhere. The world of shared hedonism, overjoyed flesh and alternative communication created a playground in the middle of darkness. The nightclub was born. This paper will examine how fashion engages with clubbing from the early stage of nightclubs, at the beginning of the twentieth century, to the contemporary club culture. It will focus on questioning individualism and self-expression through the style that characterises the London clubbing scene and contradicts globalisation within the modern fashion industry. During the late 1980s, ?The Ball? in New York City was the club where alternative dance style ?Voguing? was created, strongly influenced by fashion photographic editorials. This was a place where people, regardless of sexuality or age, could reach their dreams through the course of one night by becoming a style icon. Although wiped out by the AIDS epidemic in the late 1980s, ?Voguing? was brought back to this side of the Atlantic recently. In the past few years London was overtaken by a ?Voguing? revival especially at Boombox, the club based in the new fashion hot-spot Hoxton Square, in the East End. In the 1970s the most important considerations for subcultural clothing were practicality and ease of movement due to the ?hard core? nature of the dancing. Thirty or so years later, however, Boombox was a sub-cultural explosion fused with ready to wear, haute couture and alternative self ?expression with no trace of practicality. It was all about the individuality in style, which this paper will deconstruct and further analyse in its mutual interaction with high fashion.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational conference Fashion Tales 2015, Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Italy.
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


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