An indie influence in fashion
Does today’s popular apparel abate the underground spirit of the music that inspired it?
It was just another Monday night at the Silver Lake club Spaceland, and local indie rock band Army Navy was performing onstage. The bassist, Ben Gaffin, played an almost-hypnotizing riff as the band’s catchy music filled the room. After the show, the patio was flooded with people who had anxiously rushed outside for a post-show cigarette. Now that the band and the fans were no longer separated by the stage inside, something became clear: It was almost impossible to tell the band members apart from their fans. Nearly everyone was wearing the same thing. Two years ago, this scene would have been, to the average person, like stepping into a completely different world. These days, however, the dangerously form-fitting jeans, shaggy unkempt hair, blazers and band T-shirts traditionally sported by male indie rockers have finally crossed over into mainstream fashion. “The look is really hip right now,” said Shaun Islam, a fourth-year philosophy student. “It’s chic to be rock ’n’ roll.” Three days after the Army Navy show, Tristan Bunning, guitarist of the band Underage Cuties, was sitting at a Westwood Starbucks discussing his displeasure with indie rock’s influence on mainstream fashion. As he spoke, three teenage boys walked by sporting Bunning’s exact look. Bunning was clearly annoyed.
“The indie rock fashion craze has spawned a whole generation of fake rock ’n’ rollers who lie about playing music,” Bunning said. “I bet those kids have never picked up a guitar in their lives.” Although Bunning’s claim is questionable, one thing is sure: The impact that the indie rock scene has made recently on mainstream music and fashion alike is almost becoming oxymoronic. While genre innovators such as the Pixies were signed to independent record labels, today, bands such as the Decemberists share major labels with Coldplay, and groups such as the Arcade...
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