Costumes vs. Cultura

It’s kind of hard to not be exposed to so many fashion trends while living in Los Angeles. Ultimately, this is an eclectic city where Angelenos find new and alternative ways to blend cultures with clothing. However, in some particular areas of LA, some recent “trends” have yet to be taken moderately because they interfere with street culture and gang life.

In March, Vogue released an online editorial shoot entitled “Latinas in Los Angeles” for their 125th anniversary in which several instafamous female artists  are dressed in what was originally considered to be chola attire back in the ’90s.

Up until today, dressing in dickies, wearing large hoop earrings, and bold lip liner has been socially acceptable and normal across the ‘gram and other media platforms. About thirty years ago, this wasn’t the case.


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For actual gang members or residents who have and continue to grow up in rough parts of LA, this appropriation of street dress is becoming more of a mockery.

Gang culture is just a real as any other subculture, with the exception that this form of dress will always find it’s way back to perpetuating violence and getting asked if one is actually involved in any crew/gang.

So should be there be limits to trends?

It depends. With this trend, if you don’t know what’s up with gang culture and are willing to risk your life if confronted by an actual gang member, then yes. Don’t dress like one.

Cultures are not a costume. Most are indeed a lifestyle that need to be respected first.

Image courtesy of @nightofthewaxican on Instagram


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