An interesting new subculture that’s been percolating since the rebound in Europe of Wrangler, Lee, and before that, Levi Strauss, is the European version of “Americana” style. While it’s not uncommon to see fashion players in Japan copping American traits, i.e., denim jeans, cut-off jean skirts, Redwing boots, Carhartt, plaid shirts, and cowboy-indie mash-ups, it’s quite interesting to see young people across Europe cop the look -and we must admit, doing it much better than most Americans.
Wild west motifs in upper urbanwear in Europe, and designer-ready-to-wear in America continue to mark out a new path that’s both retro in a western-sense, and extremely new when tailored, say, like the recent collection from designers Elmer Ave., or borderline bespoke like Skin Graft Designs out of Los Angeles. Runway shows from both brands illustrate this upper-Americana look quite distinctly.
When it comes to Europeans copping the western-American style, they do it with a twist of their own, including accessories that provide a nu rave aspect such as colorful Alice bands, old school Raybans, vintage finds such as Duran Duran band merch from the ’80’s, or a twist on the ole’ red, white, and blue. This was clearly scene during Bread & Butter Barcelona in July at the Wrangler booth, not to mention the cover of BB Bulletin with a couple donning the USA flag in a European cityscape backdrop.
Some account for the trend based on the formation of the EU and a new generation growing up in a much-criticized euphemism “The United States of Europe.” Others take the crossover as another step of culture clashes from the easy transmission of music, style blogs, and social networks that have provided far greater ability to see what’s on the other side of the pond, and vice versa.
Either way, the Euro Americana look is an exciting fashion subculture as different pieces of quintessential national traits come together to create a style that’s altogether new (albeit with hints of d?j? vu).
This story is taken from Label Networks’ presentation at MAGIC Fashion Trade Show, “Global Youth Street Culture Fashion Trends -Directions and New Subcultures from Music, Sports, Technology, and Cultural Hotspots.” For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org. Key aspects of the presentation are free to Premium subscribers.