GU'I’he List 6— l‘) April 19‘)”




Avril Mair gets the low-down on club fashion. What's happenin‘ and why?


Casua clubbing

Since Acid. Adidas has replaced Armani in the clubs and sportswear has conquered the catwalks. So is fashion dead‘.’ Avril Mair sweats it out.

Fashion is one of the most accurate barometers of

social trends. echoing as it does the concerns of an era. The Slls was the decade of power and money; the cult of the designer-label peaked. with coy eted names like (‘omme des (iarcons providing conspicuous displays of wealth. But

y alties. as we move into the Oils. are changing. The designer decade is m er and past materialism has been replaced by the spiritual attitudes of the ‘new age‘ - vital today is the inner self as opposed to outer appearance. Of course. such a philosophy exerts its influence over what we wear. and the prevailing statement at the

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Her: Satin bomber jacket £49.99. Bra top £43.99. Baseball cap £16.99. Medallion £5.99. Hot pants and trainers models own.


Him: Hooded top £35.99. Matching trousers

moment is understatement. fired with the freedom ofsportswear. the aesthetic of leisure is now ultimately desirable.

Sportswear as fashion statement first emerged in the clubs of New York with the rise of black youth culture and hip hop music. The uniform of the B-boys. tracksuit and trainers. soon moved across the Atlantic with the new dance sounds. The revolutionary music. to which disaffected clubbers actually danced. demanded a new dress code. By the time Acid House hit Britain it had become hip to be casual.

A year on from the Second Summer of love. and clubland’s house boom has finally filtered its way through to the nuiinstream. with the catwalks displaying reinterpretations of gear worn at raves -— witness the rhinestone Reeboks produced by Rifat ()zbeck. and the ultimate homage to street fashion front that bastion of classicism. Chanel: a Hill) quilted leather bum bag.

Despite mutterings ofdiscontent from the dynastic trade press. fashion as a notion is obviously not yet dead. Although the past few seasons simplistic trends could be construed as a rejection ofstyle consciousness. label-mania never really disappeared: it has merely shifted its focus a fraction. The clubbers who were wearing Armani in 1988 are now to be seen in Adidas.

Her: Silky parka £130. Leggings £34.99. Matching body £44.99. Troop trainers

This move is not towards a kind ofanti-fashion but rather reverse chic; clothes worn to identify and typify the wearer. to define their place amongst their peers. ('lubbers no longer desire to stand out in the crowd; they want to be a part of that throng. sweating it out on the dancefloor. Rather than extremes ofindividualism. everybody wants to look like they belong to the movement. From groups like the Happy Mondays to groupics too young to remember flares the first time round. everybody wants to be in on the scene.

And it's easy. Almost anything goes so long as it is sports-based and worn with an air of abandon. Sweatshirt tops. trackpants. trainers. baseball caps. . . designer tyranny has disappeared in favour of accessible. affordable clothing.

Even (iaultier and Ilamnett have abandoned their visionary brand ofstyle to tap into the casual craze. From American ghettos to the glitz and glamour ofthe Parisian catwalks. pop protagonists like Run DMC have finally succeeded in dragging clubw'ear into the fashion arena of the new decade.

:11! (lollies/rum I [at Pol/()1. .S'tlamt’s ( ‘t’ntre. lit/inbargli. and branches.

I ’lmlograp/zs lain Mat'dmzald and Alan l’owdrill. .lIm/t’ls Larissa and Paul.

x-tra wide jeans £34.99. Hooded top £32.99.

£79.99. Medallions and cap as belore. Him: