Latinamerica is now set as a rising economy by trend forecasters and economy experts, it´s been said that LATAM and Mexico itself got the potential to have their own big Fashion moment, achieving almost every element to make it. Mexican youngsters are mixing an ongoing nightlife – an incubator of cultural trends- and the proactive entrepreneurship creating an economic uprising in the middle-age population. But, there are several aspects that keep this creative movement still waiting to happen in Mexico.
As we know, the Swinging Sixties flourished as a post-war halcyon period that reached the perfect mood of consciousness among the young bright things1 of that era, attaining one of the greatest countercultural movements in art, music, fashion, and society in Great Britain, accomplishing the perfect impact in further creative and artistic trends around the world. It was then when music festivals bloomed for the first time as a massive way to spread fashion trends, new experimental drugs, music, art or ideologies. All this revolution was only possible by the merge of teenage Rock and Roll idols and the rise of the new flamboyant British designers, most of whom became the greatest influencers of those days.
This new concept of selling was the brainchild of young designers of that time, boutiques like Michael Fish´s Mr. Fish, Granny Takes a Trip, Hung On You, John Stephen or Blades used to sell clothes that were imported or made of expensive fabrics with high prices for elite customers like socialités or Pop Stars, in the other hand existed the fast fashion with boutiques like Biba, with affordable and trendy outfits. All these boutiques had strong statements besides and beyond the clothes they were selling, creating a new experience of shopping, mixing it with graphic art and music.
The musicians in those days were very important to finally start a change in the lifestyle for the younger generation in London. They settled which drugs they had to consume, how they had to party and the way they needed to look. This is the reason why Biba, the top fast fashion store in Swinging London was a success with young consumers, who desired to emulate this kind of lifestyle, but in an affordable way.
The Swinging Sixties are well known as an era when most of the things we know nowadays were coined, before this period the music, sexuality or clothes were all made in the same way with a grey allure to encourage high moral standards, creating a bunch of mini mature adults. In the early years of the decade, young people became an economically active generation with petty morals, eager to consume products and to change their lifestyle, then emerged a gang of new creative minds that came up with renewed ideas in different subjects, like Diana Vreeland as Fashion Editor for Harper´s Bazaar bringing up for the first time the Pop Stars faces to the magazine or David Bailey as a revolutionary fashion photographer popularized the new It Boys and It Girls of the 60s. These remarkable characters were the first consumers and promoters of those risked new products and trends, this was marked as the time when the synergy between rockstars and designers was coined.
Swinging Sixties was a conspicuous consumption1 era when young Britains finally achieved the economic power to make their own choices, the barriers between the aristocracy and common people were blurred, so we could say that emerged a Popcoracy comprised of new fashion designers, Rock and Roll stars, models, photographers, art dealers and movie stars.
During the Swinging 60s the concept, environment and interior design of the stores were an important way to spread the new zeitgeist and lifestyle of the moment, boutiques like Granny Takes a Trip 3became one of the most exciting places to be in London, a place full of fashionable clothes with a dark interior and a strong scent of incense, at the time it was all about the music they played in there and the stores were like creative spaces to hang out and listen to music.
If we make a comparison among the clues of success of the Swinging London designers with Mexican designers today, we could find a similar social environment like in post-war Britain with middle-class consumers and an uprising economy among the younger population. One of the reasons of what this movement has not exploded yet properly in our country, is one of the worst economic inflations in the history of Mexico, the high rise of fuel, food and energy prices, plus the fact that millennial workers salaries are lower than their parents or grandparents at the same age and for this they are not allowed to have a big family, buy a house or in some instances not even afford a car, this is why Mexican millennials have moved their interests to buy experiences like parties, travel or luxury goods that allows them to belong to the new cool gangs of perpetual teenagers.
If we look to the Mexican fashion industry we could find many elements playing against this movement to happen, like the non-existent critical and creative press, the fashion magazines and newspapers that are just copying ideas and borrowing outfits from international designers instead of start looking among the young Mexican talents, the ignorant fashion editors taking advantage of students and young designers and the almost impossible misión of finding a quality tailor in Mexico. Even with this unpromising situation, we could find many promising brands like Pay´s or Blacornio that have attained a proper place in the national press with their good quality products. For many years Mexican art and design were copying from international artists and designers or misunderstanding our own culture and traditions with an over-exploitation of the Oaxaca embroidery and the Frida Kahlo´s look. Mexico is one of the richest cultures with an exceptional background of prehispanic art, traditions, architecture and an outstanding art movement with Siqueiros, Rivera and Orozco. Through the XIX century and the early years of the XX century, an art identity was constructed in Mexico, now Mexican fashion designers have to find their own uniqueness to create a design with soul, roots and flavor.
There are many underground musical and fashion movements happening in Mexican territory nowadays, this is the result of the interest of younger generations in what was happening in the past, in the music, statements, fashion, and art. Young Mexican are more involved in political and economic issues today, that has made a boom of entrepreneurs, bit by bit the youngest generation are achieving a movement that it can´t be defined properly yet. If we look to the past to another countercultural movement created by young artists, students, entrepreneurs and photographers, we can find many similarities among what happened with the Blitz Kids and the New Romantics, the Punks in the late 70s at CBGB´s and Max´s Kansas City or la Movida Madrileña, all these countercultural movements were constructed after a long period of political discontent. In the late 80s, Mexico City saw the beginning of a countercultural movement after several political issues and financial crisis, a time when international massive rock n roll gigs were unthinkable in mexican territory, new emerging bands started to do their own music, is this period of time when the Rock en tu Idioma movement was initiated with bands like Maldita Vecindad that portraits the life and sound of the poorest neighborhoods in Mexico City, Fobia and Caifanes. Today, our country is far different than those days with social media and the music festivals happening everywhere as the perfect places for the diffusion of new trends and tastes
There is a huge chance to create a proper fashion movement in Mexico today, even with trends moving faster than ever, and that now we have fads and no longer fashion. Because of the lack of good fashion press and criticism, fine tailors, real fashion buyers, and the problems to find the path of Mexican fashion design through the years, this movement is happening too slow, but the fact that some shocking political environment, quality designers and the creative environment happening once again in arts, fashion and music with young Mexican people more and more involved in it bring some hope to construct a well innovative Mexican design.