UCLA recently held a sociological discussion on the hipster. The 1-hour Q&A panel of hipster experts (including Tao Lin, Gavin McInnes, Mark Hunter and Alexi Wasser) came to very few agreements. Collectively, they did raise questions worth considering. When outsider style becomes mainstream fashion, when does it stop being style and become costume? Is hipster derogatory? Do all youth culture groups boil down to clothing and music? What is the contemporary hipsters idealism?
Some on the panel mentioned hipsters being electronic-dependant, unprejudiced, liberal, informed, mirror-glancing, art obsessed, peace seeking, covert fashion-addicts. But when most people want to be casually, yet noticeably, different, very few are.
There are two camps. Youre a hipster, or youre not. If youve ever called anyone a hipster, youre a hipster. Non-hipsters dont have a clear concept of what in the hell a hipster is exactly, much less care to have an opinion on them.
Ill be riding my green bicycle, wearing a skirt, lipstick, my messenger bag and headphones. My sketchbook, vegan food, yoga mat, farmers-market flowers, and iPhone will all be in my basket. Im a hipster. Whatever.
There are, however, different sects of hipsters. Scroll through the slide show for the complete breakdown.
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This lovely movement is especially prominent in Northern California and Portland. Create! Anything and everything, make it yourself! If you want to play the banjo or learn to tap dance, you probably fit here too. I dont know exactly why, you just do. Icon: Miranda July <3 <3
Like things that are so bad its good? Nostalgic graphic t-shirts! Get a kick out of bizarre past-trends? Do you have an impressive artillery of pop-culture wit? Like things that are just loud, ugly and memorable? Think Mark Hunter of The Cobrasnake.
I admit, seeing a boy in a cotton V-neck, pants rolled displaying defined ankles, a pair of old loafers, headphones, scruffy facial hair, a book tucked under one arm and a cup of coffee in the other
For a moment, I want to take him home, and make him read poems/stories out-loud to me in bed. He just looks so comfortable! See Thru Short Sleeve V-Neck, $26, American Apparel
Guitar anthems, geometric patterns, Polaroids, hitch-hiking, lake-swimming, vegetable loving, psychedelic-experimenting free-spirits. Think Devendra Banhart.
Do you have an obsession with a specific art form? Curious, yet passive, consider yourself un-hip? Think of the library or museum as an ideal place to meet babes? (Nerd-sters I <3 you)
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(The biggest haters of the term hipster.) Youre not a f*cking hipster, youre an artist. You dont keep up with the trends, if something great comes out, youll hear about it from your friends. Think Vincent Gallo.
Do you own a Prius that still has an Obama sticker on the back? Do you want to make as much money as possible while appearing to not put much effort into anything? Yup-ster! Keychain, $3.95, Zazzle
Past-grasping Grunge, glam, '50s slick, early '70s folk fashion, mod, punk etc. Clothing with idealism.
F*ck-you, shock-value aesthetic. Mustache. Excessive tattoos. Likes to yell, drink and go shirtless. Still, somehow, totally hip. Icon: Gavin McInnes (Founder of Vice magazine) Apparently this dude has a lot of kids. Scary.
Bicycle riding, whole foods shopping, art-gallery going, Toms Shoes wearing, urban-gardening, yoga practicing, meditation-retreat attending, hipsters.
Vintage mash up! Ironic, pop, or just loud and memorable. Probably owns some oversized reading glasses (most likely without prescription,) frequents Urban Outfitters, fame-conscious, has bought at least one flannel shirt, fedora, and pair of cut-off shorts. Icon: The darling Alexi Wasser.
Dont think you can escape hipsterdom that easily. The (intentionally or unintentionally) un-cool can still be hip. Trademark attributes usually gravitate toward specific, un-cool styles. Its un-coolness has history, and if explored enough, usually becomes cool from its obvious un-coolness. Think author, Tao Lin.