This is such a gorgeously hipster video, I can’t even believe it. I’m in hypsterics. But let’s take a closer look at what makes this video so distinctly hipster. Observe the bright neon colors under a faded vintage filter. Look at all the retro overtones, including oversized glasses, high-waisted bottoms, a 50’s era automobile, and a polaroid camera.
Hipsters love 20th century media technology. Records, polaroids, VCRs, tapes, film, typewriters, box TV sets, early telephones, anything oversized and inconvenient that will remind them of a time before they were even born. I suppose a hipster’s memory can date back to when they were single-celled organisms, because they seem to feel nostalgia for things not even their parents were alive to remember.
Why do we hipsters do this? Why do the styles of the last three generations have such a powerful appeal to the current hipster era? There could be many reasons. For example, this type of clothing and accessories can easily and cheaply be found at thrift stores. But I think this 1900’s aesthetic goes deeper than a frugal fashion statement. Sam Stilson has observed this tendency in the youth of the 21st century and provided some interesting insight about it in his article.
Sam, describing the style as “ironically safe”, says, “Another major drawing point to recycling old styles is that if you can’t actually pull off the look, you can always rest safely behind an ‘ironically cool’ stance. The passage of time allows everything to be looked at objectively, including fashion. Therefore, if you know you look stupid in a derby hat, but wear it anyway, through irony or perhaps reverse psychology, some people will think you’re cool. Or so we’re led to believe. It’s all pretty ridiculous, but that’s what it has come to in some pockets of modern society. So bringing back ridiculous clothing and grooming styles (think anything from the 80s) is relatively safe if you’re doing it with a subtle wink in your eye and hanging around like-minded, ironically cool people [–also known as hipsters].”
Sam has nailed it. This is the main reason we have embraced this style, and unsurprisingly, it revolves around irony. However, I’ve observed an even deeper, subconcious reason that also shows us an even more powerful, underlying irony that I will explore in my next blog.
Alt-J is probably the perfect hipster band. If you asked any given hipster who Alt-J was, they probably wouldn’t know. They’re pretty underground, y’know. Their music can be described as indie/alternative/art rock. WHOA, did you hear that? I think someone is screaming hipster.
Here’s a picture of the band members:
HOLY MOTHER OF PBR, that’s a whole lotta hipster jammed into one photo. Seriously. Guy on the far left. That’s some sexy thrift store sweater goin’ on there. And would you look at the vintage-ness of those glasses on the third guy. I might just implode.
But it gets better. Let’s take a look at the namesake of the band. The name “Alt-J” was chosen because when you type Alt-J on a Mac*, a small triangle appears like this: ∆
Could you possibly get any more hipster? Probably not. Alt-J is playing in Oakland next month (a common place of congregation for hipsters), so go get some tickets, if only to meet fellow hipsters. I have nothing more to say.
*Macs are the ultimate wonder tools of greatness used by hipsters, especially in conjunction with local coffee shops.