How Inner West’s alternative style was embraced by cool girls everywhere


You know the girl we’re talking about.

Whether she lives in Sydney’s Inner West or Melbourne’s Northside, she’s more than likely wearing a pair of trainers that were actually designed as specialist running shoes, a vintage Nike ACG skirt from 2005, and a baby cropped graphic t-shirt with a Y2K slogan.

She was once the poster child of alternative style, however, thanks to today’s vicious cycle of microtrends and the influence of pseudo-celebrities, she’s everywhere.

For years, the ultra-niche and often at times questionable style of Australia’s inner-city suburbs like Newtown and Brunswick has been seen by some as garish, sinister and (according to a crude classification) hipster.

However, thanks to the pioneer of the ‘dress for yourself’ movement, Bella Hadid, and the rise of archival fashion resale platforms like Depop, tropes of an alternative style have become gentrified, have been popping up at major retailers and have become synonymous with It – feminine aesthetics – and honestly, we love to see it.

Sure, we hear you say “what’s the culture of an independent downtown anyway?” It’s more than tote bags from your local grocer, your pet store, your shared houses, and the fact that the majority of your friends own a DJ deck.

This aesthetic is rooted in the support of emerging and underground labels, the cognitive choice to avoid buying into micro-trends, and the use of fashion as a means of self-expression.

However, when the mainstream begins to compete with that of this small community, and in turn forgoes these values ​​in favor of buying carbon copy pieces at fast fashion outlets, the style can lose its meaning. of uniqueness.

In Australia alone, brands like Ramp Tramp Tramp Stamp, Alix Higgins and Maroske Peech are some of the most original and resourceful emerging brands, although now that the celebrity style set has recorded their designs, you can be sure you’ll be spotting unauthorized duplicates in no time.

That’s not to say that only those who live in the Midwest should keep these designs, but it does raise the question of whether this gentrification helps or hinders this community of creatives.

From the A-list fashion crowd alone, Dua Lipa and Bella Hadid’s unique and eclectic style is no longer unique to them, it has become the model for those trying to emulate their je ne sais quoi.

The same goes for the alternative downtown style. Now that this aesthetic has become mainstream, will the look lose its appeal or cement itself as a prototype for Gen-Z dressers everywhere.

However, if it means shining a light on the new avant-garde of design and giving a platform to these emerging designers, we will be happy to see a new wave of fashion fanatics, Don Susa Musa and Charlotte Simone.

In the meantime, you can find us as one of many enjoying an Inner West haunt, vintage Balenciaga motorbike in hand browsing Depop for our next purchase.


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