Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Philadelphia Street Style: Kas and Tyler, 3rd Street — Kickin' it Old School Skate Punk in Society Hill

The other night, I finally got around to reading Ted Polhemus and Lynn Procter's 1978 anthropological text on clothing and adornment Fashion and Anti-Fashion (sorry, Ted. I meant to read it sooner). It's a great primer in the anthropology of fashion for those of you who are interested. Plus, it's short and full of pictures, so it will hold the attention span of the most ADHD among you. In any case, Polhemus and Procter argue that fashion is a system of continual stylistic change. A celebration of fluidity, instability, and perpetual motion, it is the exclusive domain of the upwardly mobile. The rich don't need to prove anything. The poor are in no position to do so. Fashion is for those who are between categories. 

Anti-fashion, on the other hand, is a commitment to sartorial stability. It is a way of dressing that signifies allegiance to a group, the maintenance of tradition, or commitment to bringing about some utopian social order. It is the domain of priests and nuns, kings and queens, and, of course, punks, mods, metalheads, and hippies. 

It should come as no surprise, then, that the punk rock stylings of Kas Krack and Tyler Shitfuck, featured above, are nearly identical to the ones going on in the '70s and '80s. Punk is anti-fashion. It resists the churning grind forward of advanced industrial capitalism. Sure, there are subtle variations: Kas' brightly-colored Reeboks, Tyler's socks pulled knee high. But this is the same punk rock I fell in love with at 13, snotty, in-your-face, and unapologetic.

My favorite moment in this photo shoot, though, was when the two of them let go, however briefly, of their defensive poses. Middle fingers dropped, snarls faded, and something altogether different showed through. I hope you can see that moment in these shots too.  

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