Loathe: ASOS’s Psychobilly Trend

psychobilly, ASOS, trends, fashion

Left: Real psychobillys – The Meteors. Right: ASOS’ pathetic hipster version of a psychobilly.

I’ve always loathed it when mainstream fashion brands (both high street and luxury – ahem Saint Laurent!) market their product as being part of a subculture, primarily because they tend to get it so, SO wrong. Like ASOS’ psychobilly trend.

Let’s have a look at what they’ve got to say about psychobilly.

What: Psychobilly is a genre of music inspired by the seemy underbelly of American pop/trash culture, fusing the dirty rebel rhythms of 50s rockabilly with a brash, over-the-top punk aesthetic.

Well, they got this part right. Well done on knowing how to use Wikipedia.

psychobilly, ASOS, trends, fashion

Left: Psychobilly band Tiger Army. Right: A hipster desperately trying and failing to be psychobilly.

Why: Rockabilly-influenced style is, if you’ll forgive the term, so hot right now.

“So hot right now”? Really? I’ve been in London and Paris in the past few months and I haven’t seen anyone dressed like the psychobilly above.

Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner is the poster boy for the look, while the catwalks of mega-brands like Marc Jacobs, Saint Laurent and Balmain continue to influence a new generation of bequiffed men in leather jackets and checked shirts.

ARCTIC MONKEYS???? Alex Turner is to psychobilly as Hedi Slimane is to rock’n’roll.

ASOS, hipster fashion, trends, psychobilly

Left: Psychobilly band Demented Are Go. Right: ASOS showing us how to “smash the rocker aesthetic.”

Wear: A cool, monochromatic colour palette is the bedrock of the Psychobilly trend, expressed in everything from skinny black jeans to checked shirts in dark grey. Add in traditional outerwear elements like long black overcoats for a smarter, winter-ready, take on the style, and opt for Western-style embellishments like collar tips and embroidered roses to smash the rocker aesthetic.

Let’s get something straight here: you can’t become a psychobilly – or “smash the rocker aesthetic” – simply by wearing the clothes. Just like you can’t become a punk by wearing safety pins. It is a lifestyle, and when ASOS begins to sell it as a fashion trend, then it has hit rock bottom.

Image sources: ASOS, and these three pages.

  • Erle Marie Sørheim

    Can you please write about the Chanel/Victoria’s Secret-stupidity going down right now? I need a critical view on it, everyone else seems to be paid by the companies themselves…

  • jaspy

    that’s an awfully handsome looking outfit though, the top right with the grey coat 😛