10/11/15

Right so from the list in my last blog about this assignment i decided on my subculture being Zoot Suiters. The reason being was that I liked the way they looked, dressed and acted with a rather classy style- yet almost mafia, with a slight rough edge(not as rough as the media used to make out they were). I believe that the culture is slightly going out of trend hence why i want to do it to kick start the culture back into the world.

What are Zoot Suiters?

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The Zoot suit appears to have developed around 1935 in nightclubs in the black area of Harlem in New York, at Sammy’s Follies and the Savoy Ballroom. Zoot suits exaggerated the smart 1930s look, and were worn by young blacks as an expression of personality in a world where social recognition, and a limited one at that, could only be gained through being a musician, boxer, and in a few instances, as a writer.

Ref: https://libcom.org/history/zoot-suit-rebellion

The look

The zoot suit took notion with jackets with huge shoulders and trousers pegged down to the ankles. Despite poverty, members of the culture were determined to have a smart appearance as a sign of pride and self-respect as a long tradition in the working class. I think personally they look like a hipster Mexican mafia group with their long gold clip on chains hanging down their trousers, pimp styled hat with the feather to match, huge black blazers with the tails going so low half way down their legs making them look like the owners of the streets. So the clothes consisted of, Ironed Shirt with large hard collars, Big-almost trench coat blazers with a handkerchief in the pocket, Big trousers blown up almost at the top then strapped at the ankles, and smart black and white kind of tap dancing shoes almost.

What did they do? 

So the Zoot suit was more than an exaggerated gentility, more than a fashion statement. The youths were not simply grotesque dandies parading the city’s secret underworld, they were “the stewards of something uncomfortable” in which was a huge reminder that the social order had failed to contain their energy and difference. The Zoot suit was a refusal, a subcultural gesture that refused to concede to the manners of subservience. It was a symbol of pride of ethnicity.

How did they evolve?

Long story short really the zoot suit fashion began spreading from the black urban areas to the Mexican-American youths –the pachucos of Los Angeles and other towns on the West Coast, who further popularised the look. Then further escalating to people who were starting to get frightened by the new subculture it spread more towards the Filipino-American youth in the 1940s, in which they were banned from white dance halls in California and began to frequent dance halls with a black and Hispanic clientele, some of them picking up the zoot suit style, as did some Japanese-American youths.

I may do some further research in to their history the more i get into this brief but i do believe i have enough information to get started on with how to represent them.

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