Cyberpunk, Beyond A Fashion Style. – Cape Clique
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Cyberpunk, Beyond A Fashion Style.

As a fashion style, cyberpunk played a long round on the runway and inspired designers like Alexander McQueen, Rick Owens, Christopher Kane, Versace, Alexander Wang, and more. While we dress like visitors from the future, how much do we know about the history of cyberpunk fashion? Without further ado, let’s get right into it!

Alexander McQueen runway. (1999)


Although the term “cyberpunk” usually depicts a picture of the world driven by high-tech, the prototype of it was formed at an age with no internet at all. Cyberpunk began as a literary movement in the post-war world. With the convenience and efficiency brought by using electronic appliances, fiction writers started to imagine how the future dominated by artificial intelligence would be. Earlier works like Demolished Man (1953), The Stars My Destination (1956) by Alfred Bester, and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968) by Phillip K. Dick all laid a foundation for the conception of cyberpunk. By 1980, the term “cyberpunk” was brought to the audience when Bruce Bethke coined this word in his sci-fi story of the same name. Four years later, William Gibson published his first novel Neuromancer, which left a long-lasting impact on many cyberpunk-inspired movies, including The Matrix (1999).

Neuromance. (1988)

If we break down the term “cyberpunk”, it’s not hard to find that the basic concept of cyberpunk is already embedded in the word. First of all, “cyber” refers to technologies that change the way we live magnificently, such as information technology, biotechnology, and nanotechnology. High-tech becomes an inevitable part of cyberpunk aesthetics. The combination of the human body and machines has been considered to enhance human intellect and physical functions.

“Punk” is a synonym for subversion. “To be punk” means to doubt the authority and break the convention, it implied the attitude of cyberpunk is bound to be rebellious and restless. One of the cyberpunk philosophies, “High tech, low life” explains the importance of punk to this genre. Because technology failed to facilitate equality and led to social strife between classes, dystopian became a consciousness among lower classes. Their hope to destroy the existence and rebuild the ideal world is exactly matched with what punks thoughts in the 70s and 80s. Therefore, the ethos of punk became the key element of cyberpunk and made cyberpunk distinguished from other sci-fi genres.

Cyberpunk 2077. (2020)

However, the cyberpunk style we see today could not just pop up from papers. Based on cyberpunk-related literature, philosophical concepts of cyberpunk started to merge into aesthetic support through visual works. One of the famous ones is Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982), the scenes it created like neon lights, raining night, and PVC textile influenced almost all following cyberpunk movies visually. Incredible animations like Akira (1988) and Ghost in the Shell (1995) also visually enriched and impressed cyberpunk content creators for several decades.


Left: AKIRA (1988); Right: Ghost in The Shell (1995)


The new collection of Cape Clique Bionic Warrior, based on the context of future cyberspace, has adopted classic cyberpunk elements like electronic parts, software glitches, thermal imaging, and reflective textiles. Come on and dress your warrior kits up, CC girls always back you up!

Bibliography
Gligorovska, K. (2017) Cyberpunk: A Passé Concept That Awakes the Future of Fashion.

Bailey, J. (2019) Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about cyberpunk design.

XEONIQ. (2021) THE CYBERPUNK FASHION AESTHETIC.

Zoller, L. (2021) The evolution of Cyberpunk fashion.

 

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