In recent times it is true that the letter I has been prefixed to words with the purpose of conjuring images of modernity.
Whilst we have the mighty fruit of Apple inc. to thank for a flurry of companies attaching it to their wares: from the online media platforms of Aunty Beeb, to cut-price goods in pound stores across the land (you’re fooling no-one,) it has become the poster boy for eclecticism.
In days gone by the music one listened to usually influenced the way one dressed and in turn spoke volumes about their socio-politcal views.
The advent of the mini jukebox(pod) means that as well as the latest sounds of today’s hit parade the treasured collections of our parents and grandparents sit alongside and it’s surprising how easily they can co-exist.
Decade upon decade youth fashion has been driven by its accompanying soundtrack, providing uniforms of allegiance which have helped to shape dress codes, the high street and how we fondly recollect our formative years.
In the 1940s with forced austerity due to rationing a scarcity of materials there was a smart sensible aesthetic, with emphasis placed on on personal grooming.
This meant a slick of hair pomade for the chaps as favoured by crooner Bing Crosby and rollers for the ladies for hairstyles popularised by the Andrews Sisters.
The 1960s were split into 2 tribes, each with differing sensibilities. In one one corner you had the mods decked out in their clean cut suits and draped over a vespa, with their love of soul, ska and rhythm and blues.
On the other the rockers decked out in leather jackets and biker boots and soundtracked by rock and roll.
In the 1980s punk fashion came to the fore bringing with it an anarchist sensibility and a style of dress designed to be overtly antagonistic.
Artists such as the Sex Pistols & Sioxsie and the Banshees supported an attitude that was deliberately meant to shock and outrage.
By the time the 1990s rolled around things had decidedly kicked down a few gears as things became altogether more chilled. The sounds of grunge, britpop and ambient dance music were filled with baggy silhouettes, acid colours and clothing emblazoned with that perpetually grinning face.
Today this menagerie of tribes and styles still exists but the dividing lines have become somewhat blurred.
We now have access to years worth of music and the ideologies and fashions they supported, swiping through them at the touch of a screen.
Lads and lasses are now mixing fashions from eras gone by in just the same way the choose what sounds go into their ears. The slick tailoring of ‘Ol Blue Eyes now sits alongside Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Princes dayglow cartoon street swagger and the latest Japanese Harajuku imports.
Totems previously an emblem of the anarchist can now be hanging from a neck chain in Primark.
Truists may see this as the watering down of counter culture with the ability to bunnyhop through styles symbolising all that is wrong with a throwaway society.
Others, well it’s just a bit of dressing up isn’t it? And why not.