Saturday, October 29, 2011

What is Rockabilly style?

I get asked this often. "So what is this that you are doing?", "Why skulls?", "What's with the tattoos?" here goes..these are purely my a nutshell :)

Rockabilly has it true roots in the rock n’ roll culture of the 50’s, but today girls and guys around the world have taken it to a new level. The look is edgy with strong tattoo influences and is very visible within the alternative community. Many a Rockabilly guy and girl is tattooed which only highlights their need to be an individual - it's a way to stand out from the crowd and is very reminiscent of the rebellious attitudes of icons from the era such as James Dean, Elvis Prestly and the notorious Bettie Page amoung others..

In South Africa we are seeing the subculture slowly gaining popularity and awareness amongst the younger 20 – 30 something’s, and for many it’s a natural progression from other small, niche subcultures such as Goth or punk.

For the modern rockabilly guys and gals, it’s about the whole culture, from the music and clothing, to their retro hair-do’s in bright colours and the cars the drive - or aspire to drive in my case!

Overseas Bands like The Cramps, and local bands such as Them Tornados and Martin Rocka And The Sick Shop are some of the modern ambassadors of 50s style. Models such as Sabina Kelly, Dayna Delux and Bernie Dexter really keep rockabilly clothing looking fresh yet retro, together with clothing (and accessory) labels such as Lucky 13, Sour Puss, Hell Bunny, Stop Staring! and Iron Fist (to name but a few), and locally, Miss Happ.

Popular graphics and prints for clothing tend to include skulls, cherries, roses, classic americana images, tattoo prints, gingham checks, leopard print and 50’s stylized graphics such as cats and poodles.

It’s clear to see that many are influenced by music, but with rockabilly clothing everyone takes it’s influences and makes it their own. Whether it’s by wearing a stripy tee, bandana in your hair and a pair of creepers, or by wearing a cherry print corset and high waist skirt with tattoo print wedges, there’s always some way to keep rockabilly clothing individual, and ultimately, yours.

Stay tune for my next blog.....What is pinup?

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