What is rebellion?

This is a question I’ve been seeking the answer to as part of my latest university project. We’ve been split into groups of 8 and allocated a trend story to research. And as you’ve probably guessed, our trend is rebellion.

When you say the word ‘rebel’, what do you initially think of? Tattooed bikers? Leather jackets? Skull and cross bones? Well in my opinion, all of these things have become very mainstream and normal. Back in the 60s/70s slashed jeans and tops would have perhaps been considered rebellious but these days it’shard to find a pair of jeans that don’t have ripped knees. So instead of thinking black leather, I’ve tried to think about non conformity as a form of rebellion. In an age where anything goes when it comes to fashion, it is quite hard to pinpoint what rebellion is.

We have been tasked with creating 3 moodboards titled history, people and retail in response to our trend and it was only when I started looking at 1980s romanticism that I started to gain a new perspective on the trend and what it means to be a rebel. In 1980s London, there was a new and exclusive world emerging. One of underground clubs such as The Blitz and electronic pop music. The crowds who frequented these parties were an eclectic bunch of expressive teens and young people who were looking for an escape from the depressing political environment of the 80s. These new romantics brought colour, glitter, clashing fabrics and extravagant hair styles to the dreary, grey political background of the time.

I couldn’t exactly research into the history of rebellion in fashion without looking to the original rebel; Vivienne Westwood. Over the years (particularly as she was starting out as a designer) she re-branded herself over and over again in order to always stay anti-mainstream. She’s changed her style aesthetic  from drainpipe trousers and creepers to biker inspired leathers to bondage straps and fetishism. But no matter how many times she has re-branded herself, her focus and principals have always been the same; self expression and attacking the establishment.

Taking inspiration from my research; I set out with my group to try and find people of Nottingham that are doing rebellion their own way and to also find stores/clothing that reflect this trend in 2017. And we came across some great finds….

Vivienne Westwood- true to her signature style, we found some pieces that go against your everyday ‘norm’.

We loved the interiors of Urban Outfitters; the unfinished almost rundown look of the changing rooms rebels against the shiny and polished changing rooms that you’ll find everywhere else on the high street.


Our lovely modern day rebels that we found around Nottingham.

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