From Health Goth to Normcore: 5 Underground Style Movements To Pay Attention To

Live them, love them...or mock them. Happy Fashion Week! 

By Eric Shorey

Fashion magazines and mainstream style blogs are always a few years behind the underground, but street styles have been flourishing on the internet for a while now, even though many of them started off as inside jokes. We're rounding up our favorite subterranean steez's so you can be ahead of the curve when Fashion Week rolls around to New York next week.

1.     Health Goth

As with so many style movements, Health Goth started as a half-joke by internet users intent on re-vamping (pun intended) their classical all-black attires. Turning from a small prank into a full-fledged lifestyle movement, Health Goth has been a term retro-actively applied to most of designer Rick Owens' clothes. With mono-chromatic geometric patterns and all-black sports wear, the Health Goth style has become a mainstay in New York's underground queer party scenes as well.

2.   Seapunk

A derivative of the much more serious Steampunk style, Seapunk was pioneered by enthusiastic Tumblr users a few years ago. Although slightly out-of-fashion now, Seapunk aesthetics pop up in plenty of videos and fashion shows from time to time (see: gay rapper Big Dipper's recent video for “Vibin.")  Neon hyper-colors and ocean-inspired prints aplenty, Seapunk often sparks debates about originality and authenticity.

3.  Normcore

Normcore is a sort of anti-fashion movement focused on fitting in rather than standing out. Intentionally ugly and uninteresting outfits are key here. Although one could read the movement as decidedly anti-capitalist, normcore has become (perhaps accidentally) ultra-trendy in various art-scenes, where creatives compete for the least eye-catching outfits to show off how faux-poor they are. Inspirations include: Jerry Seinfeld and Doug Funny.

4.  Memecore

Memecore was featured in a particularly nastily-worded takedown by Gawker writer Sam Bidle. Large scale prints worn ironically with emojis and/or cats and/or snack foods are memecore's modus operandi. The high-fashion version would be something like Moschino's Spongebob and McDonald's inspired collections.

5. Vaporwave

Alternatively known as “tumblrwave” or “post-internet”, Vaporwave is the artier cousin of memecore. Glitchy and cynically nostalgic, Vaporwave is inspired by 80's and 90's early net culture and graphics. While vintage pieces are important, maximalist and overwhelming interpretations of those styles are more dominant here. Vaporwave started as a music/art movement and has only recently become wearable.


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