BOOK REVIEW: Style Tribes: The Fashion Of Subcultures by Caroline Young*

by - October 12, 2016

* Product was provided for PR purposes.

I don't review a lot of books here on the blog, but I recently got the opportunity to check out the book Style Tribes: The Fashion Of Subcultures* and I was instantly in. I've always been fascinated with subculture for how it inevitably eventually influences popular culture and the way that people express their feeling of belonging to that subculture through their fashion choices. Admittedly, I've gone through a lot of different fashion stages in my life - with the one I'm currently in being lazy and comfortable - and many of them were influenced by how I saw myself fitting in the world and how I defined myself through my community, or tribe, if you will.

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This book explores different subcultures starting around the industrial revolution. It goes through various different subcultures, what informed and inspired them, and how they ultimately influenced culture overall. I think the amount of information not only about the fashion aspect of each subculture, but about what they were born from, what influenced them, and how they actually came to be is just phenomenal. At least for those of us fascinated with those kinds of things.

I found that this book contained a lot of really good research about the people and places that influenced the formation and fashion of subcultures with a really comprehensive look throughout the last hundred years. It also contains great archival photos that really capture the spirit of the time and the people who counted themselves as a part of those tribes. Starting with Flappers and ending with Hipsters, this book seems to cover them all.

One section that I was particularly interested in was the Riot Grrrl section. While I was a little too young at the time the Riot Grrrl movement happened to actually be a part of it, I know that those women helped to shape me when I was younger and trying to figure out my own feminism. Women like Kathleen Hanna are inspirational to me personally and I was super excited to read more about the rise of the Riot Grrl movement and the way that fashion helped to express that social and political ideology. (I'm geeking out... I know...)

Clockwise from top left: Harajuku Style, Hippie, Rude Boy, Punk

As you can see, this book really gets down to the nitty gritty and explores a lot of different cultures that I think a lot of us are more peripherally aware of than actually clued in on the history of. Because this book is so well researched and comprehensive, I think this is a must have for anyone interested in the history of both fashion and of subculture. I also think this makes a great coffee table book, the type that visitors will love to pick up and page through.

Style Tribes: The Fashion Of Subcultures is available for purchase on Amazon & Indigo in Canada, as well as Amazon in the US and the UK and other book sellers. It really does get two very enthusiastic thumbs up from me!

Thanks for reading!

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