Anti-fashion is a term and boy, they still do well. You’ve seen the burgers, fries and low culture food in high-end retail advertisement. You’ve seen the statement pieces that would’ve been considered garbage five years ago. I cannot tell you a specific date, but I can tell you about a big influencer: Vetements, spring/summer 2016, DHL-shirts.
It gave the post-Soviet trend (as weared out college sweaters and items looking slightly trashed) legs to walk on again. It didn’t stop in 2016, the spring 2018 will include not surprisingly DHL. It’s necessary to say that low culture in high culture doesn’t play with the digits low culture usually holds in price tags. The ’16-shirt, which also looked almost identical to the original DHL company shirt, costed approximately $245 even though it wasn’t made out of gold fibres. Some argue that it’s a comment on global capitalism. Vetements is to be considered influencers in the trash meets fashion wave, but it didn’t come from nowhere. An early bird earlier than the collaboration between DHL and Vetements was Moschino, among others. It’s not quantum physics to see which brand the red and yellow aesthetics came from, as well as knowing that it wasn’t usually associated with a catwalk.
Regarding fashion design it’s up for discussion whether Alexander McQueen was a
subliminal reference to low culture or not. What’s a fact is that his darkest collections and scenography had its foundation in his own experiences to abuses, as well as him witnessing his sister being a victim of violence -which is to be considered low culture (even though it takes place behind the facades in high culture as well). He didn’t make reference to a fast food brand (or fast delivery brand for that matter), but several of his works reflected how he wanted to empower women so they didn’t become victims in violence but were rather feared. Alexander McQueen’s a more deeper and psychological reflection of low culture.
The Comme des Garcons Guerilla store (LA) used shopping trolleys as a part of the retail design. An anti-design and low culture object becoming design through an installation in-store. The shopping trolley can be interpreted as a direct reference to commerce, capitalism and consumerism. However, the store underwent a renaming and it’s uncertain if the renamed store still exists.
Even the caravan has in several cases been embraced by high culture, in this case with a luxurious twist. The “Malibu Airstream Dream” has turned into a location for photoshoots, among one with SoMe celebrities Jay Alvarrez and Alexis Ren (before the ugly break-up, obviously). You can rent the caravan for a high culture price at Airbnb (direct link to renting: https://www.airbnb.no/rooms/3406062).
It’s quite difficult to find a non-provocative picture when it comes to Toiletpaper Magazine, and that might be the point exactly. It’s socially critical to our society and always one of the leading controversial and surrealistic magazines. Keep in mind that the audience is, generally speaking, informal and relaxed (and not Queen Elizabeth II). Low culture elements are regularly used, as well as objects no one else’s using except burial firms: a gravestone. It holds a certain (pardon) freak show playfulness throughout. Toiletpaper did several collaborations with Kenzo, which is a cult brand from Paris. The typical low culture wasn’t represented in the shoots, but it still had an abnormal and outstanding touch.
This article cannot not include the collaboration between Louis Vuitton and Supreme fall/winter ’17. January this year it was the biggest fuss in fashion media due to Louis Vuitton x Supreme. It was also quite ironic considering LV once sued Supreme, but that’s history and water under the bridge. Supreme had more of a subculture over its brand rather than low culture.
Frankly they played their “too cool for school and especially the principal”-cards too strong to be considered low culture. Still not a dropout, because then it would’ve walked straight into low culture. Intentionally or not, this more of a subculture and coolness has spread to the point where it’s moving from being a subculture to just culture. Spread to the point where people ordered DHL-shirts from DHL and not Vetements, as they costed near to nothing at DHL. It’s been a radical change in target groups, of course related to SoMe, bloggers and street style. It’s no longer only the super wealthy who owns a Gucci-bag. They might come from the Western world and by that they’re automatically privileged in comparison to developing countries, but the bag could be savings from two-three wages. The luxury brands do no longer solely depend on the customers to come from families where there’s artsy tea parties every weekend. The big sharks of brands know that streetwear and low culture’s hyped, and they certainly will not stand on the outside looking in where all the cool kids are.