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Catwalk club scene: What club fashion means

The 80's completely changed the meaning of club fashion.

Whilst sweat and a packed smoking area are enough to tempt the average student into the belly of their local club scene, sometimes it's the clubbers more than the club who do the tempting.

Depending on where you are, or what club nights you attend, club fashion can mean different things to different people. For some, it's about fitting in, their clothes create a story and build a new character each night.

Club fashion origins; clubbing as a career

When it comes to club fashion, there are many different origins, the late 80's saw the birth of the "cult of crazy fashion and petulance" known as the Club Kids.

Micheal Musto, described them as "terminally superficial, have dubious aesthetic values, and are master manipulators, exploiters, and, thank God, partiers." These "partiers" made their money drawing people into their "outlaw parties" and charging them for entry.

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These Club Kids "manipulated" their punters into the club by creating art upon their bodies.

Sewing and glueing one-off pieces to attract clubbers into their world. Part of the club experience became out doing the person next to you with a bigger and better costume.

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Michael Alig and James St James #theclubkids #subculture

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Make-up played an important role, it was a means of completing your persona and creating an illusion of self. Today—as it always has in pop-culture—makeup allows the wearer to look more like the typical beauty. On the other end of the spectrum, Club Kids used it to create caricatures of their surroundings and make a statement,

Their outfits were their income. The more extravagant the outfit, the more likely people were to come into clubs like The Limelight, which filled up thanks to; Leigh Bowery, James St. James etc.

Club Kid fashion revolutionised gender.

The outfits created allowed people to explore their gender and everything else for that matter. "The nightclub was like a laboratory, a place where you were encouraged and rewarded for experimentation." It was the importance of individuality and the lack of gender conformity that inspired some of the most iconic looks from the era.

The Club scene has evolved but it still maintains some of the same principles.

With high fashion becoming more accessible, and streetwear's popularity on the rise, the need to create garments for the average rave has decreased, but drag has become more popular than ever.

People are still using the club scene to express themselves and enhance their experience by using the dark lit room of a club to be who they truly want to be.

The coloured glasses and chef trousers of a raver never go a miss, that ideology carries a similar function to the Club Kids. I asked a few students what their club attire meant to them, here's what they said:

"I can look as trashed as I want whereas I can't if I'm doing my shopping at 10 am in Asda."

choose your fighter

A post shared by (@_aloeking) on

"In a club, you can look however you want which is a banging opportunity for expression."

? @infraredgoth

A post shared by (@_aloeking) on

"I can blend in or stand out, it's just an act. Everything is drag, your suit or your club wear, so just be who you want."

mac + ?

A post shared by zig (@z.ig) on

The club is a stage and all the clubbers are its actors. I hope it never loses its sense of individuality. It gives people a chance to forget the social barriers of the real world. People start to blend every aspect of human existence, to create art that brings people together in a melting pot of different backgrounds.