REFORMING OR CONFORMING: A GENERATION’S BATTLE By Camille Internoscia New trend alert – distressed to impress. Buying new clothes is an all-time favorite sport, hobby, activity, topic and time consumer. But how can we describe an item as new when it’s already damaged. Has the whole anti-fashion trend got to you yet? Have you already started poking holes in your t-shirts or do you buy them already ripped? Rebelling over the fashion industry, politics, music or public figures has brought us closer to self-expression. Is it normal though to spend actual money over a brand new piece of fabric that was intentionally brought to threads to recreate a lifestyle we don’t know about? The 90’s trends are all over the fashion world since the beginning of the year. Distressed fashion is a grunge reference that we’re more and more exploring and adopting. Here is the breakdown of the trend and its hidden defects. History in the making – The first ripped jean. Historically, people would wear distressed denim as a symbol that they are refusing to participate in capitalism. They would wear them until they’d fall out, so the number of jeans purchased would go down. So basically now, buying anything already damaged is the opposite of that movement. Does that mean we’re not edgy at all? You can also link this trend with the punk and gunge subculture. Grunge is an alternative to the rock look that started in the mid 80’s. The biggest characteristic about grunge fashion is the DIY aspect. Driven by music and politics, this sub culture spoke to youth. They wanted to make a strong statement and change the world. It gave a voice to a young generation for lost, sad, frustrated and disconnected kids. Being grunge is not an anti-fashion but more of a non-fashion statement where you are thoughtless, uncoordinated and careless about your clothes. But when we willingly buying ripped clothes, we are conscious about our actions and going for that look. Isn’t this anti edgy? Let’s not forget the low budget grungies who wouldn’t spend money for trends. They would go thrift shopping and give a second life to clothes. The real rip-off – the fascination behind consuming You got to remember something about ripped jeans or anything ripped. The more they’re damaged, the more they got worked on. Meaning the more they will cost you. What the grunge kids used to do is go thrift shopping. There, you will find second hand denim and you can customize it at a small price. Start with the knees and work your way up. You can even play with the pockets and use the lining to take the look to another level. What’s really in right now is fraying hems. The strategic cut outs are the new way to customize your clothes. The DIY (do it yourself) will also let yourself face the fear of screwing up but will eventually make you accept the mistakes and maybe even appreciate them. The best results sometimes come from missteps. Less is more – Be a limited edition Cutting your shirts can be addictive. You have to know when to put a stop to this anarchy. Because too many holes or ripped areas won’t look as good as you think. Plus, all of your cuts have to be placed strategically because it can flirt with nudity when we see more skin than material. We brought distressed fashion to get away from the clean and normal cuts. But when is that wanting something new and exciting going to go too far? We can argue about the reforming or conforming question, but the real idea behind every trend is honoring its source. Part of the grunge mentality is allowing everyone to live their life as they want to. We can use our imagination and creativity freely, and fashion should not be up for debate. So if you want to buy or create your grunge uniform, it is really only up to you.