Wednesday, August 8, 2012

New generations like fusion fashion

By S. Derrickson Moore
LAS CRUCES — While pondering back-to-school styles, I had some experts in residence this summer: visiting grandson Alexander the Great and his teen cousins, Lexi and Darian Galbreath, who are dividing their summer between Las Cruces and the Pacific Northwest.
When it comes to fashion trends, that corner of the world, I am given to understand, is still cool, or cool again. Or maybe hot. I’ve been through so many fashion cycles in my life that I have a hard time keeping track of whether the ultimate current accolade is heating up or cooling down. And could it be linked to the weather? Is it cool to be cool where the weather is, too? Or could matching opposites (cool is hot in Las Cruces, and hot is cooler in Seattle) be trendier?
Or on-trend, as cooler/hotter fashionistas are saying these days.
I suspect that when you find yourself referring to “these days” a lot, it could be the first clue that you are hopelessly clueless.
But I try to hang in there and do what good reporters have always done: go directly to the source.
I asked Alex how he would characterize his own style, which emphasized a summer time mix of knee-length solid color shorts with side stripes and shirts (sleeveless and Ts) which reminded me of sports jerseys, but often featured band logos and enigmatic slogans and phrases. He arrived and departed wearing skinny jeans and horizontally striped shirts, mostly in grays and black and muted colors.
“Preppy punk,” he decided, best characterizes his current style, “maybe with a few things some people would call hipster.”
Alex and his primos tried to clue me in on assorted other teen fashion archetypes, from punk and neo-grunge (still kind of a mystery to me) to “hipster,” a term which has endured from the 1930s and ‘40s, if I can trust my parents’ references, though manifestations have changed a lot over the decades.
Today’s hipsters, according to urban are, “a subculture of men and women typically in their 20s and 30s that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter. Hipsters reject the culturally-ignorant attitudes of mainstream consumers, and are often seen wearing vintage and thrift store inspired fashions.”
Sounds like fun to me.
Alex arrived with a retro hairstyle, which reminded me of something between the original Beatles’ moptops and Kurt Cobain’s shaggy mane. While he was in Las Cruces, he got a cut that has a number of names at ontrend websites, at least one of which I can’t use in a family newspaper. It can be waxed and coaxed with products with equally strange names into a kind of tousled or elevated pompadour, and reminds me of Robert Pattinson’s look in the “Twilight” movies with a little early Elvis thrown in.
His cousins had very stylish unisex hair, combed forward and kind of feathered on the ends, that brought to mind late ‘60s Vidal Sassoon geometrics with modern fringes.
Alex’s footwear of choice is a version of the loafers he rejected summarily in his wild preschool youth, when his Gram felt they were a fine alternative to dangling shoe laces.
But that was then and those were leather penny loafers. This is now and we’re talking eco-conscious black canvas loafers by a manufacturer who pledges to donate a pair of shoes to the needy for each pair purchased.
A fine and logical choice for the Millennium kids, also known as “Generation Give,” for their earth-friendly, generous natures.
Walk on, new generations. If the clothes do indeed make the man (or woman) and reflect true substance, you guys are off to a creative start.

S. Derrickson Moore can be reached at; (575) 541-5450. To share comments, go to and click on Blogzone and Las Cruces Style. Follow her on Twitter @DerricksonMoore.

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