I’ve been really thinking about our motivations behind wearing certain styles recently. I know tribal has become a huge trend in the past few years, but for the life of me I don’t know why it became so hugely popular. The trend seems to be a watered down regurgitation of the social and artistic movements of the 80’s and 90’s. These movements inspired fashion trends at the time, but those trends seemingly came from a much more meaningful place than the tribal thing going on now.
We already discussed Paul Simon’s Graceland this week which was not only his opus, but a political statement on the apartheid happening with South Africa at the time. Then you had the popularization of hip hop with Afrika Bambaataa and groups like A Tribe Called Quest. The graffiti movement a la Basquiat and Keith Haring (both heavily influenced by African culture, tribal colors and patterns). There were shows like “A Different World” and artists like Queen Latifah. All of these artists popularized the tribal/african style and trends in the 80’s and 90’s.
Although the trend now seems to be tribal ANYTHING whether it be Native American or African, I don’t see the motivation behind it. No social or artistic movement, and I can’t help but wonder why? After examining it for a bit I’ve realized it’s actually sadly ironic. Patterns mimicking art created by tribes of people historically oppressed by white Europeans now being reinterpreted by Ralph Lauren and worn by white people everywhere! Vogue Netherlands recently featured white models painted in black face sporting trends influenced by African culture.
This isn’t so much me hating on the newer tribal trend as it is me trying to re-examine our motivations in trends in which we choose to partake. Do we wear things intentionally or are the pieces we wear strictly aesthetic and meaningful in no other way?
What do you think is the motivation of the new tribal trend? Is there one?
Are there any socio-political fashion trends you’ve noticed happening recently?
Do you find the models in Black face offensive, or do you think it’s drawing attention to the very thing I mentioned in the previous paragraph?
So many questions! Too heavy for a Wednesday?