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20-07-2005
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Speaking of trends....
This article was published in the LA Times today. Thought it was really interesting. What do you think?

STYLE & CULTURE
If it's hip and trendy, they're not interested
In an age saturated with microtrends, some people are turning their backs on cool.

By Christian M. Chensvold, Special to The Times

For Melinda Wilferd, nightlife in Los Angeles was a lot like high school. The 35-year-old ran with a crowd that often went to parties in downtown lofts, "where all the faces turn around and look at you, assessing whether or not you're going to fit in the hipster club." Where if you enjoy watching TV, you're held beneath contempt. And where "they talk about music like it's some revelation."

The pretension and callowness finally got to her, and one night "I told my friends I can't do this anymore." She began exploring wine bars and jazz clubs in search of more fulfilling nightlife — and to get away from hipsters. "Now I'm more interested in what pleases me," says the employee of a major cable network. "I just want my little place in this mad, mad world." The hypnosis of hipsterism is entrenched among many of L.A.'s urban sophisticates, especially those who work in the trend-driven industries of media, music and fashion. But for many twenty-, thirty- and fortysomethings, the appeal of being cool and edgy is rapidly deteriorating. "The last identity you would want to claim now is a hipster," says John Leland, author of "Hip: The History." "It's the worst of insults."

Just what is hip has become nebulous in a digital age of microtrends, when a cultural blip goes from underground to overexposed in one season. Likewise, the original concept of hip as something outside the purview of the mainstream has been replaced by the hipstream: mainstream cool packaged by corporate marketing departments.

The inevitable backlash — not against the bohemian veritas but the sycophantic consumer of cool — is well underway.

"The whole point of being hip in the pure sense of the word is to essentially be oblivious to it," says Robert Thompson, director of the Center for the Study of Popular Television at Syracuse University. "Now the only thing you can describe a hipster as being is a 'hipster' in quotation marks. Almost by definition a hipster is a wannabe."

If hipness is losing its appeal, it may have to do with how difficult it is to stay ahead of the curve.

In a recent issue of his JC Report, a global fashion and lifestyle trend report, Jason Campbell prophesized "the downfall of the hipster." Staying cool, says the fashion trend forecaster, "has become a bit of a joke at this point. It's a rat race that's really difficult to keep up with, and a lot of people are bowing out."

A fashion-designer friend of Campbell's recently confessed that he was so overwhelmed by the endless barrage of new designer denim brands that he vowed to wear only classic Levi's 501s as a form of protest. "People aren't feeling they need to run out and pick up the latest thing that whatever celebrity of the moment has," Campbell says. "They're returning to things that resonate with them and are part of their personal style."

"I think people are exhausted by trends that have the half-life of a millisecond," Leland says. "You live in a state of perpetual whiplash, in which the minute you're up on one trend it's gone and you should be on to another."

Unlike the beatnik '50s, when discovering some gem of cultural arcana involved real detective work, today getting hip to the latest blog or indie rock band is as easy as logging on to the Internet. "We're in a post-hip era, which means everybody's hip," says Leland. "I can't tell you how many churches I've been in where the pastor has a goatee, tattoos and earrings."

So if everybody's hip, then let's be unhip, and indeed, what a very hip idea. Some people are just fed up with the whole enterprise.

Jane Fontana writes "hard, electronic music" for the entertainment industry and spent 10 years living in Hollywood before turning her back on hipster-infested urban life. Last year she bought a cabin in the Angeles National Forest near Tujunga. Though it's only 35 miles from Hollywood, in an industry where people judge your prestige by your area code, she might as well have moved to Idaho.

"If you connect in the hipster scene, you'll make it in [show] business," she says, "because all the people on the business side never think they're cool enough. The hipster scene avoids the search for oneself in a big way. It's not about finding your voice; it's all about conformity."

Fontana, 42, says that leaving L.A. has brought her peace of mind, boosted her creativity and helped her live more authentically. She recently threw a party at her cabin, where the appeal of getting back to nature — and away from Hollywood — was not lost on the hipster guests. The writers, artists and filmmakers in attendance checked their networking compulsion at the door and engaged in genuine conversation, Fontana says. "They felt like they'd gotten away from what they have to be and could be what they are."

Erica Timmerman realized she didn't care about trying to be hip anymore when, at age 30, her doctor told her she had thyroid cancer. The diagnosis annihilated her ambitions to be a walking pop culture encyclopedia or to cultivate a pose of ironic detachment. Cancer, after all, doesn't respond to wisecracks.

"When you think you might die, you look at your life and realize what's important to you," says Timmerman.

The now 40-year-old Silver Lake resident has felt pressure since adolescence to be considered cool. That pressure, along with her cancer, is now in remission. "And I'm not going to let anyone dictate how I'm supposed to look or act, and stop trying to be something I'm not," says Timmerman.

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21-07-2005
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"I think people are exhausted by trends that have the half-life of a millisecond," Leland says. "You live in a state of perpetual whiplash, in which the minute you're up on one trend it's gone and you should be on to another."

I feel a little like this sometimes. It can be quite irritating, boho is the only trend in the past few years where I feel kinda bored of it instead of "Whatever happened to that trend? It just came and went like that."

"If you connect in the hipster scene, you'll make it in [show] business," she says, "because all the people on the business side never think they're cool enough. The hipster scene avoids the search for oneself in a big way. It's not about finding your voice; it's all about conformity."

Very True.

Thank-you DiseñaCreada for the article it was infact interesting.




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21-07-2005
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I have always used hipster as a derogatory term...it's for the people who are too caught up in the pretension of being on the edge that they don't actually care about what they are involved in. Only the pretension. Regardless, even the way this article is written, it's like, you're not hip, if you are a hipster, your only hip if you do it this way...if that makes sense. I guess I'm trying to say I think this article buys into what it's putting down...I think.

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21-07-2005
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good article...
i think it's right on target and is a completely authentic perspective on the 'hipster'
scene and the pressure to fit in and conform...
i see more and more that people are really sick of it...
thankfully...

thanks for posting this disenacreada...
welcome aboard...

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21-07-2005
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i also think its silly that urbanites feel as if their world is becoming unhinged by 'hipsters.' i'm sure there are worse people who could inflitrate your surroundings!
hipster hate is quite trendy.

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Last edited by travolta; 21-07-2005 at 10:13 AM.
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21-07-2005
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hipster has a certain pretense to it, and generally a certain exclusiveness... i've always felt that was better to act the same with everyone regardless of how they look. even though I love fashion, for me that is a personal, not a social (read cliquish), preoccupation. if this article implies that hipsterism is out, I'd be happy because as MEG said, i've used it as a fairly derogatory term.

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21-07-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg
it's like, you're not hip, if you are a hipster, your only hip if you do it this way...if that makes sense. I guess I'm trying to say I think this article buys into what it's putting down...I think.
Exactly what I thought when I read it.

I do think you should beyour own person and do things you like--not what others think yuo SHOULD like. But then again, is it now "hip" to be "not hip". Then the cycle starts all over.

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Last edited by DreamsAreMade; 21-07-2005 at 10:45 AM.
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21-07-2005
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Interesting article DiseñaCreada. Thanks and welcome

Quote:
"Now I'm more interested in what pleases me," says the employee
This person is a wizard Don't mean to be a snot, but seriously, this is a mantra to live by and isn't rocket science. Common sense tells me you'll NEVER be happy if your not pursuing your own interests. Seems like kind of an obvious "revelation" for anyone past grade school...
Quote:
So if everybody's hip, then let's be unhip, and indeed, what a very hip idea.
Hilarious! Intuitive comment, Meg. That's how I feel, too, based on this quote.

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21-07-2005
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^I very much agree with your comment Curious

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21-07-2005
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Very thought provoking article DisenaCreada - thank you.
Meg - I agree with what you said about the article "buying into" what it seemingly stands against.

What frustrates me is that - you can naturally feel how the author is frustrated also - it's like, there's no where to go but down...so...while claiming to NOT be a 'pretentious' hipster, you become a pretentious non-hipster... does that make sense?!

In the fashion world, can you really win anyway? At least in this day and age? So many choices, so many point-of-view. It's maddening really....

So I will continue to live, eat, dance, dress, in essence, for myself...otherwise I may go crazy, if I haven't already...

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21-07-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fezbatik
In the fashion world, can you really win anyway? :
No, basically it's a lose lose situation.
And it's probably one of those issues that will always leave a similar feeling to that of comtemplating the universe... "am I being trendy by being un-trendy? ... but doesn't being un-trendy make me a trend setter?"

Quite confusing
and quite complicated
Ah, I believe the perfect word would be paradox, a fashion paradox.

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21-07-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamsAreMade
Exactly what I thought when I read it.

I do think you should beyour own person and do things you like--not what others think yuo SHOULD like. But then again, is it now "hip" to be "not hip". Then the cycle starts all over.

You took the words right out of my mouth.

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22-07-2005
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It seems this article is saying something along the lines of Hipster = Poseur.
I have been wondering about that. I seriously appreciate the sentiment about being what I call a "generic non-conformist". You really can spot them because they tend to all dress the same - and ironically The Look can be over in 5 minutes and they respawn in 6. I am glad to see I am not the only one who feels that way.

So the question becomes how to fit in and stand out all at once. Bottomline, be your own genuine self.

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Last edited by polyphony; 22-07-2005 at 02:45 PM.
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