Aesthetics Wiki

Anti-Fashion is an umbrella term for various styles of dress which are explicitly contrary to the fashion of the day. Anti-fashion styles may represent an attitude of indifference or may arise from political or practical goals which make fashion a secondary priority.


Anti-Fashion dates back to the 19th century, but these "anti-fashion" outfits were worn for functional reasons like riding a bicycle or swimming. More and more anti-fashion trends arose in the 20th century, accompanying the birth of new forms of music, media, and dance from America - this was exemplified in the Beatnik, Pachuco, and Greaser subcultures of the 1940s and 1950s. Hippie fashion marked a significant turning point in popular culture, as people started to dress more exotically, informally, and individualistically. Trends of the late 20th century saw the advent of various anti-fashion subcultures like Punk and Grunge, as well as the advent of the Hip-Hop, Skater and Raver looks accompanying new genres of dance music - all played into ideas of anti-fashion going into the 21st century. Popular designers in the Anti-Fashion world include Betsey Johnson {assisted various hippy styles into the mainstream), Vivienne Westwood (the mother of Punk fashion herself), Issey Miyaki, Rei Kawakubo, and Yohji Yamamoto (helped inspire the explosion of Japanese street style), Christian Francis Roth, Anna Sui, and Marc Jacobs (the commercializers of Grunge and 'Kinderwhore'), Ann Demeulemeester, Maison Martin Margiela and Raf Simons.


Anti-Fashion visuals often carry an air of rebellion and a rejection of the status quo of the particular time period it comes from. Even in the era of "fast fashion" that we currently live in, there are people rejecting the current fashion norms by going in opposite directions (be it through thrifting, buying through independent clothing brands online, or some mixture of the two).


Anti-Fashion applies to many trends, but anything in the trend made avant-garde or misused can work. The feel of the trend without the effort usually involves some element of drugs or carelessness. Anti-Fashion is, more of then than not, done to completely go against established fashion trends until the fashion world, eventually, co-opts the fashions of the Anti-Fashion world and attempt to make it trendy and cool, which inevitably forces the Anti-Fashion world to evolve and change.