Electro style and electroclash

Electro style and electroclash

Electro Girl – a guide to electroclash style, makeup and lifestyle

    by Magda Knight

    Electroclash was a fairly undergroundish style of music that came about in the mid 1990s in the never-sleep cities that love themselves the most (you know, Berlin, Detroit, New York… ). The name ‘electroclash’ comes from the early 80s electropop bands who were its main influence. Its lyrics tend to be more about striking a pose and creating a scene than actual content, and the singers tend to lay their lyrics down in a deadpan style that is close to the edge of making fun of itself.

    Eighties electropop bands were all about being artful and knowing and too damn aware to care. Fashion mattered as much as the music. And it’s the same with electroclash today – Pioneering electroclashmeister John Taylor says of the scene:

    “Fashion and music should go hand in hand, when you go to a nightclub and the people look fantastic, it adds a whole different feel. I think electro is about bringing together the music, fashion and like-minded people, specifically people who are willing to experiment. That’s the whole point of electro, it’s about experimenting.”

    There’s no doubt that electroclash has its own style. The electro girl aims to be ironic, cool, kitschy, distant but very exhibitionist and sexual. Unattainable, yet far too easy for her own good. Like the eighties, when power and glamour were eating their own tail, the electro fashion stance has a wink and a nod at people alternativeising wealth, consumption and OTT dreams and desires.

    Electroclash culture – and electro fashion – take pride in loving style more than substance. It’s all fashion, pose, strike an attitude. What more could a shiny, brittle little electro girl’s heart desire? Apart from a pink and green-sprayed pony?

    At least on the surface. But, in the harsh world of electro, the surface is where it’s at. Keep it superficial, baby, and an electro winner you’ll be.

    The electro girl’s guide to electro style:

    Think: jaded rock chick meets disco chick with emo thrown in for good measure. You can also get away with spandex, retro and just plain weird – so long as it’s sexy and shows off your curves. Electro girls don’t wear baggy unless their makeup is REALLY good to compensate.

    A basic tip is: Be extremely narcissistic and sexy. If you can, be extremely gaunt and wasted. If you can’t / choose not to do the heroin chic, be extremely curvalicious and have really good hair (usually dead straight , or feathered in a 70s style) and ridiculously good makeup. Dress to impress at all times. A trip to the supermarket is every reason to wear your electro finery – there is no off-switch, because electro is meant to be a lifestyle, not just a look.

    Electro fashion accessories:

    – Anything rock chick (studded metal belts, hell’s angels t-shirts, tight black trousers, vampy pixie boots, very fitted leather jackets, skulls)

    – Anything drug chick (pale face, really long thin crocheted scarfs with vest and no bra, a couple of syringes hanging out of your arm)

    – Anything lolita-cute (electro is a youth culture. Think cherry motifs, lolipops, edible necklaces. The underage-girl lolita aspect is underplayed in electro compared with some clothing styles, but it’s still there if you look hard enough!)

    – Anything UV or neon (neon face customisation, bright blue nail varnish… if in doubt, carry round a small UV light on a keyring and hold bright colours up to it when you’re shopping to see what the effect will be in a club or a dark bar)

    – Anything eighties (again, pixie boots, or lycra leggings with a long vest and studded belt, or with a really short mini. Tying your hair up foxily with neon lace would win you big style points. But don’t wear Dynasty-style shoulderpads – that’s pushing it)

    – Anything music-related (plectrum earrings)

    – Anything electric blue

    Electro makeup:

    – Keep it very heavy and eighties, especially on the eyes and mouth, but if you’re not confident about accentuating your mouth, it’s the eyes that are most important, anyway.

    – Pale clear face

    – Either strongly-coloured full lips or very pale ones, like Twiggy and other 60s icons

    – Thick eyeliner either rimming the top lids, or all the way round

    – Thick eyeshadow in acid colours. Yellow, green, neon blue, red, pink – it’s all electro, baby.

    Experiment with your face and cover it with little emblems in neon makeup in a modern disco style. Yellow lightening strikes, little neon green hearts… look to David Bowie’s makeup for inspiration then tone it down bigtime so that you don’t actually look like David Bowie.

    Electro girls: