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Related: aesthetics - appearance - beauty - character - clothing - culture - content - design - expression - fashion - form - format - genre - identity - International Style - lifestyle - performance - personality - presentation - representation - show - subculture - taste - visual

Texts: Dick Hebdige (The Meaning of Style) - (On Style (1965) - Susan Sontag -

It would be hard to find any reputable literary critic today who would care to be caught defending as an idea the old antithesis of style versus content. On this issue a pious consensus prevails. Everyone is quick to avow that style and content are indissoluble, that the strongly individual style of each important writer is an organic aspect of his work and never something merely "decorative." --Susan Sontag via On Style (1965)


  1. The way in which something is said, done, expressed, or performed: a style of speech and writing.
  2. The combination of distinctive features of literary or artistic expression, execution, or performance characterizing a particular person, group, school, or era.
  3. Sort; type: a style of furniture.
  4. A quality of imagination and individuality expressed in one's actions and tastes: does things with style.
    1. A comfortable and elegant mode of existence: living in style.
    2. A mode of living: the style of the very rich.
    1. The fashion of the moment, especially of dress; vogue.
    2. A particular fashion: the style of the 1920s. See Synonyms at fashion.
  5. A customary manner of presenting printed material, including usage, punctuation, spelling, typography, and arrangement.
  6. A form of address; a title.
  • To give style to: style hair.
  • --American Heritage Dictionary


    [Middle English, from Old French, from Latin stylus, stilus, spike, pointed instrument used for writing, style. See stylus.] --American Heritage Dictionary

    Subculture: The Meaning of Style (1979) - Dick Hebdige

  • Subculture: The Meaning of Style (1979) - Dick Hebdige [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    NO CULTURAL STUDIES BOOK has been more widely read than Dick Hebdige's 1979 Subculture: The Meaning of Style, from which this essay is taken. It brought a unique and supple blend of Althusser, Gramsci and semiotics (as propounded by Barthes and the "Prague School") to bear on the world of, or at any rate near to, the young British academics and students who first became immersed in cultural studies. That was the world of "subcultures" more visible in Britain than anywhere else: teds, skinheads, punks, Bowie-ites, hippies, dreads . . .

    "Complex and remarkably lucid, it's the first book dealing with punk to offer intellectual content. Hebdige is concerned with the UK's postwar, music-centred, white working-class subcultures, from teddy boys to mods and rockers to skinheads and punks.' --Rolling Stone Magazine

    Streetstyle: From Sidewalk to Catwalk (1994) - Ted Polhemus

    Streetstyle: From Sidewalk to Catwalk (1994) - Ted Polhemus [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Polhemus provides an informative, concise, lively rundown of all its major substyles, from those of zooties and hip cats to those of New Age travelers and acid jazz fans. They're all here, fully illustrated and, best of all, fun. So set aside personal prejudices, pretend you're from another planet, and marvel at the human ability to express individuality. --via Amazon.com

    This is an up-beat look at street fashion from 1940 to today, celebrating some 40 different styletribes, which will accompany a major exhibition on Streetstyle at the Victoria and Albert Museum in November 1994. We see how the styletribes interweave and evolve - the American Modernists of the early 1950s living on in the English Mods of the early 1960s, who became the Hard Mods, then the Skinheads, then the Ois!; while the 1950s Folkies became first the 1970s Hippies and then the New Age Travellers of the 1980s and 1990s. But for today's fashion-conscious young people, this is not all ancient history: Streetstyle offers the 1990s fashion world a supermarket of styles from which to pick and mix. Anyone is free to be part Beatnik, part Raver, or part Punk, part Grunge; Goths one day and Indie Kids the next. More than 200 illustrations, including 100 in colour, document the styles and their wearers - on the street, but also on the high-fashion catwalk, to which streetstyle has made an enormous, if perhaps unwilling, contribution. Ted Polhemus's many books include "Fashion and Anti Fashion", "Popstyles", "Social Aspects of the Human Body", "Bodystyles" and "Rituals of Love". He is the external curator of the Streetstyle exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum. --via Amazon.de

    see also: style - clothing - fashion

    Style Wars (1980) - Peter York

    Style Wars (1980) - Peter York [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    More than that, Style Wars and its essays prefaced what the British press would soon dub "the style decade of the Eighties". Punk's binbags finally got binned, and in a few years street couture reached the catwalk and people began to consider that the way their homes looked was a "statement" about their lives made to the wider world. In new monthly glossies like The Face, i-D and Blitz, this fresh scene was written about and photographed, reported and celebrated with vigour and with the very style that its journalists and graphic designers were so enthusiastically recording. --Simon Warner via http://www.popmatters.com/columns/warner/011120.shtml [Jun 2005]

    see also: style - war

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