Chante Nakapaahu

THE MODERN HIPPIE

Posted: 09.16.2012

Her messy hair.... Her oversized clothes.... No she isn't homeless, she's just a modern hippie "chillaxin". By a quick glance you might mistake her for being a panhandler, but take a second look and you will see her shoes and they are a dead giveaway that she is anything but broke. In fact, a homeless person could probably eat for a month just from the cost of her shoes alone.

Recently, many young women have been flocking to retail and e-commerce stores purchasing garments and accessories that will help them achieve the modern hippie look. Because of this cult like following small online boutiques like NastyGal.com; that started out as an e-bay store that exclusively sold hand-picked vintage items, is now an international e-commerce store that sells clothes all over the world.

The greatest question theses eager young women are plagued with is, “What is the process to get this look?!”

It is highly debatable about what the foundational pieces of the look contains. Some argue, “It’s all about the cut offs and platforms!” Others will say, “It’s all about the hair and an abundance of accessories.”

As the day ends and the evening begins the modern hippie gets ready to strut her stuff. Arranging the perfect ensemble becomes an important goal. There are many factors that come into play—who will she see? What is the weather going to be like? Leather or Lace? There is one thing that is necessary—looking effortless.

After considering all the factors of motivation, she stands at her closet while listening to the sounds of an underground indie band. As she bops around in front of her closet, she realizes that she is undecided about her ensemble. So, she turns to her nearest Nylon magazine for inspiration.

Nylon lays out a vivid style story using eclectic patterns of neon Ikat skirts and black barely-there chiffon blouses and sky-high platforms. As she flips to the next page, the size 2 model fashions electric blue lips with a sky high ponytail and a highlighter pink skin-tight mini dress. With these fun edgy ideas swirling around in her head like a dizzy Ferris wheel, she heads back to the drawing board—her closet.

While the inspirational ideas are still in her mind, she carefully makes her decision based on the considered factors—it’s ladies night, the weather is mild and she just wants to have fun. Fun is the echo of the evening. She pulls out black and maroon floor length chiffon kimono jacket, leather shorts, oversized white tank and her Jeffrey Campbell “Foxy” Platforms. She adorns her neck and wrists with eclectic pieces of jewelry, by mixing textures, colours and metals. She is ready to strut her stuff with the girls, effortlessly.

Modern Hippie Junkies can be spotted at anywhere. There is a heavy concentration of modern hippies that shop on Newbury Street in Boston at designated locations, such as: LF boutique, Thom Brown Shoes, UrbanOutfitters and various vintage clothing stores. Modern hippies are not indigenous to Newbury Street, and can also be spotted hanging in Brighton and Allston around Commonwealth Ave. Spotting the participants of this trend is a breeze. The modern hippies are not doubt, women or men who cross dress because they are infatuated this trend.

There are many reasons why this trend works. The modern hippie trend is so hot, because it gives women freedom. They are not confined to wearing a certain colour scheme or pattern, but the trend is much more than a trend- it’s a movement. Professor Lloyd Sheldon Johnson, Psychologist and Psychology professor at Bunker Hill Community College explains, “Young women in their early 20’s want to experiment. They want to push boundaries socially. The modern hippie trend is more about rebelling against conservatism and not so much about ‘the look’.”

Not only are young women just rebelling, they are also experiencing major comfort. A few years ago, the trend was tight, tight, tight clothes. The modern hippie’s wardrobe consists mostly of garments that are comfy. The “no pain, no gain” motto is dead. On top of comfy clothes, those sky-high Jeffrey Campbell shoes are equally comfortable. The stiletto heel is dead. The young woman fashioning herself in this trend, doesn’t care about the stiletto, she cares about the wedge and the platform. It’s like trading in your gas guzzling Hummer, that hurts every time you drive it, to a nice fuel efficient Honda that is a pleasure to drive, because your destinations are endless.

The downers about this trend are that the modern hippie look is not professional, if you plan on working in a professional field, this look is far to “free” to be in an office. Another downer is that you might spend a small fortune or need to take out a loan to be able to afford shopping at boutiques like LF; which garments range from $78 and upwards of $800.

Ultimately, the trend is about being young, having fun and taking risks, hence the modern hippie (minus the heavy use of acid). This trend is not only in Boston, but can be spotted in any city or any town across the world. All it takes is for one young woman wanting to break free of traditional garments and traditional thinking. The modern hippie wants to stand out from the crowd. And if it takes being a rebel, a rebel she will be. Free.

The featured modern hippie is Carmena Victoria. She studied Fashion Merchandising at California State Northridge. And you can check her out on her blogs : Saditeish.tumblr.com and Theehippiefiles.wordpress.com

 

The Freak xoxo

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