Ireland has seen a dark and vibrant past of Skinheads, Hippies, Mods, Punks, Goths, Teddy Boys, Rockers, New Romantics, Skaters and Ravers. Each nugget of style has been reflective of a movement or feeling, whether it the Punks’ anarchic rejection of the establishment or the New Romantics’ flamboyant response to a new wave of music that grew from the neon lights of club life. Each decade has brought gangs of largely hidden cultures of youth identity and teen rebellion where, in a sense, the members adhere to their own dress code.
Ireland has had a history of not only being oppressed by external forces, but of being emotionally suppressed as a nation. Its past is held down by restraints on expression of sexuality, gender and essentially the self.
The 21st century, however, has brought about a new era of acceptance, culturally and politically.
Ireland is finally letting out a sigh of relief from its norm of self-suppression and what has followed has been an outpour of colour, bare skin and individuality. This growth of acceptance has escalated even more so following the success of the Marriage Equality Referendum whereby the younger generations have found themselves more comfortable with their own identity and how they translate this through their own personal style. The new wave of fashion born from this is a mixed and matched resurgence of recycled past subcultural trends. Rather than latching onto a particular look, there has been a newfound fluidity amongst this modern subcultural style, allowing individuals to hop from one decade to the next. Perhaps this fluidity has generated from our generations ever-evolving understanding of gender, sexuality and identity.
Life and fashion are irrevocably intertwined, and with Ireland’s progression as a nation, the style of its youth is influenced by a new age of acceptance.