The VICE Fashion Trend Report 2012 - Fashion Kids
The Global Trend Report is our annual round-up of what people are wearing in every country on Earth. Well, not every country, but the ones we have offices in, anyway. This one of three posts is devoted to the fashion brigade, and this whole thing ties in with our 2012 Fashion Issue.
Here's what the young gays and girls are wearing on planet fashion this year. If you wanna ogle the music kids or the ones we've diplomatically branded "real people," scroll down to the bottom.
Fashion boys in Berlin right now are like camp silk-laden time travellers who went back to 80s London and figured it was about time to revive the New Romantic look, only this time around they thought they'd make it way more gay. That translates to intentionally clashing coloured leather, high heels customized with metal studs, and angular, shaved hair dyed weird. All that accompanied with bleached eyebrows, if you really want to fuck with people. The girls are slightly more tame than the gays and are still rocking that severe ice queen look that German girls do so well, which means fur, matching red nails, and lips and dresses from pivotal mid-90s collections by brands like YSL and Gucci.
Everyone who's into fashion wears vintage clothes, duh, but South Africa's fashion kids are wearing them way better. Much like South African band kids, it's all 90s-inspired, Afro-centric patterned button-up shirts, jackets, and shorts. But they're also mixing that look with clothes from young local designers like Samantha Constable and Suzaan Heyns, to make their outfits a bit more fashionable. Black guys are all getting hi-top fades and girls are going nuts for way-out, elaborate weaves, while white guys are rocking rockabilly-inspired quiffs and white girls are sporting undercuts and shaved heads. Vintage sneakers are popular but very expensive, so you'll see most kids wearing brogues or deck shoes instead.
Disappointingly, fashion school kids in the UK look pretty much exactly the same as they did last year, which basically means the gay equivalent of Morticia Addams covered in flowing, layered black material and upside-down crosses. And here we are thinking that fashion is all about new ideas. The one thing that has changed is the introduction of sportswear and some choice historic British brands, with students typically teaming a black fabric top by someone like Rick Owens or Damir Doma, with black Nike basketball shorts or sweatpants, and scuffed Dr. Martens Oxfords.
Swedish fashion kids are all about plowing money back into their economy. It might not be a conscious thing, but homegrown brands like Acne, Cheap Monday and The Local Firm are cleaning up over here. Fashion students make a lot of their own clothes, too. For example, this guy's top and bag are from his collection, Disobey, which was apparently inspired by gabber culture, the roughness of urban environments and the aesthetics of the suicide bomber – a standard set of influences if ever we've seen them. Lots of kids also wear Acne leather pouches round their necks and small beanies worn impossibly high up on their heads.
Taco joints and Mexican restaurants have been popping up everywhere in Melbourne, which has evidently had some sort of influence on fashion kids, because they're all starting to wear Central and South-American-inspired stuff covered in pom-poms and Peruvian patterns. There are the people here with money who go for big international brands, but it's way cooler to either make your own clothes or buy second-hand stuff and customise it, so we're seeing a load of ripped up trousers on boys and intentionally frayed dresses on girls, which is totally fine by us, because it makes the girls look all blasé and amazing, and keeps the boys on the sexy side of trashy.
Girls who dig fashion are all about the new wave, future pixie-goth vibe at the moment. Eyeliner savagely smeared all over your eyes like some sort of paralytic Robert Smith is now totally normal, as long as you're wearing velvet leggings, a maxi-skirt, a lace top, plenty of elaborate jewelry, creepers, and have faded pastel-colored hair. If not, then you're just someone who's terrible at putting on make-up. Until recently, if you wanted to look babin', skirts had a mandatory "no lower than the knee" rule, but longer is now sexier. Aynouk, our fashion girl, is a perfect example of that rule set in motion. She's one-upped most other girls, though, and taken it to the "nearly difficult to walk" level of sexiness.
Italian fashion school kids were clearly bummed out at being lumped into the fashion student stereotype of a vacuous, clothes-obsessed snob, so they've remedied that by buying a whole new politically-inspired wardrobe: a look that's pretty much exactly what our parents wore during the "Years of Lead." Gone are the skinny jeans and baggy cardigans of last year and in is a mix of expensive heritage brand coats, like Barbour and Montgomery—which might be missing the revolutionary proletariat mark a little bit—modest hairstyles, and a palette that doesn't stray too far from dull, earthy colors, except for a little curveball every now and then in the form of an African print-inspired T-shirt or a brightly colored button-down.
New York fashion kids are all over the place when it comes to clothes. Both boys and girls are big into thrifting, but the parts of their outfit that aren't vintage better be from the biggest mish-mash of sources they can find. That means a simple, graphic T-shirt from a sportswear brand, a muted sweater from a streetwear brand, a cheap-looking but mega-expensive coat from a high fashion brand and a belt from somewhere cheap like Kmart or Sears. Girls aren't letting dip-dye die and have moved on from civilized blonde tips to grungier, dirty colors that remind us of Milla Jovovich in The Fifth Element if she was having dope-addled sex with Alabama Whitman from True Romance.
It's often hard to spot fashion kids in Romania because they know how to rein the whole "fashion look" in enough to not be clearly singled out. Boys wear their favorite sneakers until the soles fall off, neutral-coloured pants and jackets with the sleeves rolled up, wispy hair and lots of black scarves. The only thing that might give them away are the clashing, patterned shirts or graphic bow-ties some wear. Girls are a little more out-there, rocking geometric, patterned leggings, handmade birdcage necklaces, their grandma's bag, and jackets with Mondrian-style prints all over them. Unfortunately, bow-ties are big with fashion girls here too, which is never a great look.
High-waisted shorts and sleeveless tops are super-popular with fashion girls here, as are big, statement fetish-y boots and 60s-inspired stripy clothing, with ladies looking like they're some sort of S&M-loving, Mexican version of Françoise Hardy. Global brands are big in Mexico City's fashion circles, but kids make sure to mix them with clothes by their friends, pieces from homegrown designers like María Vogel, or spike-covered and studded originals from vintage stores like Goodbye Folk.
Fashion girls in China pretty much do what they like. The vintage clothing culture only really kicked off here a few years ago, so people are still learning that motorcycle boots, knee high polka-dot socks, tweed shorts and bright red 80s power jackets don't necessarily all look good together just because they're vintage. You see a lot of clown shoes and gas masks in nightclubs. There are plenty of people getting it right, but they're usually the ones buying vintage Japanese stuff, like little dresses, and cashmere pea coats from the 50s, because that's the only vintage stuff that will actually fit us properly.
Denmark has its obligatory quota of bohemian high fashion kids, but they're just doing that played-out glitzy grunge thing that hordes of kids in every other major city are doing. The ones keeping fashion exciting are the gadedrenge – "streetboys." Boys mix button-down shirts and jackets from sensible heritage brands like Henri Lloyd and Pendleton with the cheapest-looking tracksuit bottoms and sneakers that they can find from sportswear brands like ellesse and Fila. Girls who hang out with these boys are dressing like they play guitar in The Slits but would rather be smoking weed with Jane Birkin, so that's biker jackets, Dr. Martens and leopard-print covered everything, juxtaposed with fur coats, denim shorts and wedges.