"This thoughtful, troubling film from Don Letts shows how a joyful movement became hijacked by thugs and bigots. To the point where even the title of this programme will be off-putting to some. But the precursor to all the hooliganism was a teen obsession with Jamaican ska. Kevin Rowland recalls, 'We saw the Pioneers, we saw Desmond Dekker and we loved them. It was completely multiracial.' And Letts is at pains to celebrate both the fashion before the fascism – reflected in increasingly ugly 70s archive – and the style revival."
"The hipster is, concurrently, developing into a form of youth subculture, though at present in a limited sense. Many of the tropes and defining characteristics of teenage tribalism are being draped in hipster attire, but with little of the angst-ridden and socio-economic preliminaries at the base of earlier subcultural trends and movements, such as skinheads, goths and punks (or some recipe based thereon). Without a solid, or at least only slightly shifting, base in materiality and social context, the attire of this set of genuinely disenfranchised youth is sign only; the woolly hat and the running shoe are talismans devoid of any intended meaning; the world seems flooded with signs without symbolism, with younger converts to the hipster 'style' aping their ape forebears. The sign has, in this context, lost its original referent and become 'hyperreal' (Baudrillard, 1994, p.1). The 'real' origin of the sign's meaning has been lost, or buried under meaningless affectation; the borrowing and commodification of a modern exoticism; that of various minority or 'retro' alternative fashions and attitudes. In reference to subcultural groups, Hebdige notes that 'humble' objects can be magically appropriated; 'stolen' by subordinate groups and made to carry 'secret' meanings' (1979, cited in Haralambos and Holborn, 2004, p.808). This explains the way punks could style safety pins into a new context, and teddy boys could subvert the traditional connotations of Edwardian formality – the coded meanings that charge such appropriated style-objects amounted to a kind of resistance to the ruling order, be that signified by the state or in the 'square' world of the mainstream. Each subculture is in some way 'spectacular', in that it creates a spectacle and intends to be noticed. The hipster is daily losing this status, as s/he becomes overloaded with signifiers (aesthetic surface) and has become divorced from the collective; there is no need for internal reinforcement against a subordinating external force when one has such a slippery class composition. The hipster is not oppressed, and purports to signify the pinnacle of individual choice and cultural savoir faire (though this position is problematized by the amoebic development of a youth subculture with roots in working class communities). The hipster's resistance is not to social subordination but to modernity itself, to a meaning-deficit brought on by a loosely defined, insecure mainstream culture that is less and less able to provide collective ontological sustenance. Perhaps the youth-hipster is an attempt to introduce a degree of collectivity in order to partially overcome alienation and inwardness, though this does not excuse the continued loss of substance and meaning in style and aesthetic value."
(Michael Reeve, 2013, Academia.edu)
"An extension of the UK skinhead movement, the roots of sharp lie in the influx of European immigrants in Australia in the early 1960s. By the late 1960s the Sharpie subculture had evolved and existed in the mainly working class and migrant inner city suburbs such as Richmond, Fitzroy, Collingwood and Brunswick where Greeks, Italians, Yogoslavs and English immigrants all lived side by side. But as street corners gradually changed to shopping centres, by the early 1970s, the Sharpie movement started to spread to the outer suburbs of Melbourne where a 'rough as guts' working class ethos existed.
The name 'Sharpie' originated from the fashion. It was all about the clothes and looking sharp, and flash. The first wave of Sharpies from 1966 – 1969 were strongly influenced by UK Mod fashions, the 1964 Rockers and the style of certain Italian migrants. Demeanor was tough, hair was short back and sides and clothing was custom made by European tailors, thus allowing for a blend of neo–thirties suave combined with a contemporary larrikin attitude. Dances were also a big part of the Sharpies social fabric, with bands such as Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs, Wild Cherries, Ray Brown & the Whispers, and Max Merritt & the Meteors being popular choices.
From 1970–1980, the second wave of Sharpies were following hard, tough rock'n'roll bands like Lobby Loyde and the Coloured Balls, Buster Brown, Rose Tattoo, The Angels and ACDC. Sharpies were now often congregating in large numbers, regularly attending live band concerts at town hall and high school dances as well as early discos. But due to their sheer numbers, Sharpies were often perceived as being untouchable by the police and were often associated with excessive violence, regularly taking part in fights."
(Melynda von Wayward)
"In this edition from Birmingham, the Coventry band the Specials had just finished playing and George is sitting beside Martin Degville, just in front of Jane Kahn, partner in the seminal outrage shop Kahn & Bell."
(David Johnson, 28 June 2010)
"I started The Sartorialist simply to share photos of people that I saw on the streets of New York that I thought looked great. When I worked in the fashion industry (15 years), I always felt that there was a disconnect between what I was selling in the showroom and what I was seeing real people (really cool people) wearing in real life."