Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Where did the hipster scene come from?
Before hipsters were the nineties grunge wears and before them were beatniks---yeah I had no idea what that was either. Here is a bit of history...

The hipster fashion and attitude springs from the grunge scene, which dates back to the beatnik generation. This whole cycle began in the 60s with beatniks. This group of individuals held the most realist attitudes and beliefs of the three groups discussed here. Clinton Starr defines the beatnik culture in the “I want to Be with my Own Kind”: Individual Resistance and Collective Action in the Beat Counterculture chapter of the book Reconstructing the Beats as “a ‘counterculture’…a rebellion against pervasive norms and practices that is expressed through individual resistance and collective action” (42). He proceeds to say that a beatnik was a person who “was attracted to bohemian enclaves as sites in which widespread attitudes and habits, such as Cold War politics, racial segregation, heterosexuality, and the valorization of commodity consumption could be transgressed” (42). Beatniks were the polar opposite of mainstream culture and not considered trendy. Their fashion, and attitudes slowly evolved as the 70s came in, and soon enough beatniks were gone and hippies were blossoming (Kerouac). The beatnik dress reflected their attitudes and beliefs; nothing about it was conforming. A few years after, hippies became an endangered species, and the 80s started forming different trends. From the mid 80s to 90s the grunge style started appearing. Like beatniks it was a combination of thrift store outfits and attitudes. The grunge style began as an underground music genre in Seattle, which inspired a new way of dress. With the drop of the Nirvana album, Nevermind and Peal Jam’s Ten in the same month, the grunge style instantly became famous. Ironically enough these bands that had patronizing rock stars suddenly became the new gods of the rock world. This parallels what happened with the fashion at that time. The grunge fashion scene was picked up quickly by designers. Flannel, the popular dress of grunge, because of its inexpensive and durability, was now seen on every store manikin (Freind). Two important things happened through these time periods. First, a reversal of dress and music occurred. The rebellious, antisocial dress of beatniks lead to a separate music genre, whereas grunge was a fashion inspired my music. Secondly, with the grunge generation the first corporization occurred. Ironically, the realism of both these groups originally rooted into anti-corporation values.

Beatniks of the 50's

1 comment:

  1. COOL PLAID, COOL PLAID!!!!!!!!!!!
    I LOVE THE PICTURE. I love KITTIES! I love the 69 eyes! (look them up) I LOVE YOU! YEAH!!!!!!!!