A question I often ask myself- how can fashion obsessed, cash strapped teens afford to dress in their distinct style, without having to spend every last dime to be noticed?
Here are some answers: for starters, consider creativity, vision, resourcefulness and patience.
I’m thinking of myself growing up in the 80s, when I dressed in the usual black rebellious uniform, all the while plotting obsessively over the next day’s outfit. My taste then was expensive beyond my means, so I shopped at consignment and vintage shops, worked my ass off for a measly wage and spent every last penny on music, clothing and concerts. Appearance was everything to me as it is now.
Now that I’m older, I have enough income to afford designer clothing, which I pepper with vintage finds.
Though I wear far less black than I had, it remains a part of my wardrobe and psyche since it takes me back to my most rebellious period. And I find myself revisiting this period time and time again. Last week was one of them.
The late 70s post-punk band, The Cure, is one of the bands I listened to in my youth. They have an individualistic, unwavering, British style and happened to make a pit stop in NYC on a world-wide tour circuit, Saturday, June 18th.
I won’t go into detail about the band’s contribution to the post punk, goth-rock genre music scene. Just know that it still has a place in my heart and continues to resonate with edgy rebellious teens who don’t want to be associated with the nondescript, homogenously-hoodie-styled masses.
FROM POOL-SIDE TO CURE-SIDE: MEET NORMCORE’S AFICIONADOS
Lead man, Robert Smith, was notorious for his all-clad black wardrobe, red smeared lipstick, black spikey hair, gothic-horror pale skin and black eye makeup. Back in the 80s if you dressed like that or listened to their music, you were deemed a druggie or friend of Satan. Today, most teens are not admonished, but championed for their contribution to the ‘diversity platform’ through their personal style and shared on social media.
When the concert was first announced, my friends and I immediately purchased concert tickets, booked a room at the Ace Hotel in NYC, and planned on a shopping excursion at Dover Street Market – my favorite fashion emporium.
After dinner, drinks and hours spent shopping, I was zonked. Comfort trumped my initial ensemble du nuit choice – a black and grey plaid asymmetric sheared hemline dress. Plus, I had a feeling that the majority of show attendees would be dressed in jeans, shorts, sneakers–‘Normcore’s’ finest and dullest.
Robert Smith and his band delivered the songs we wanted to hear. I was shocked how good his voice still sounds. He still wears makeup into his 50s, still dresses in all black, but has packed on a few pounds and looks bloated. I wondered whether he gave strict instructions to the Madison Square Garden’s tech crew not to zoom onto his face during the performance. There weren’t any close ups of him or the band on any of the oversized jumbotrons.
They sang 31 songs. Here is their setlist.
Thirty years of playing great music and still the obeisance of die-hard, fashion-obsessed fans remains.
I am proud to be a member of that coterie with one important exception. Now I can combine high end fashion with vintage store finds into my wardrobe. Hallelujah!