Cyberpunk Fashion Guide Pt. 1: Pattern Recognition
"If they think you’re crude, go technical. If they think you’re technical, go crude"
Since Cyberpunk made the jump from subgenre to subculture some time around the end of the Cold War, people have been suggesting, arguing, and misinterpreting just what the accompanying fashion consists of.
Let’s be clear here- this is just another one of those, based on what I’ve seen. There are no defined “rules” (aside from these), and by no means should everyone follow this guide to the letter. That said, there’s a lot from both primary sources (print and digital works) and the online communities to go by. Let’s take a look at some of the styles you’ll run into.
Gen 1 draws heavily from classic cyberpunk print media, as well as punk and rivethead fashions. It has a rougher, more hard-edged look than other styles, often with a hint of 1980’s retro. Expect lots of leather (including gothninja brands at the high end), most if not all black. Might incorporate military influence (including more Militech-style items). Notable accessories include the omni-present mirrorshades, as well as cowboy boots (exotic leathers preferred) and leather or canvas jika-tabi.
Gen 2 isn’t seen often nowadays- it got it’s big break in The Matrix, and is still the image of cyberpunk fashion in many people’s minds. Trench coats, latex, and fetishwear abound. An interesting and even more rarely-seen variant is Cyberdelic, which centers around the interaction between computers and altered states. Tea-shades and fractals are the way to go if you’re aiming for this.
Gen 3 is heavily influenced by Techwear (and Techninja style in particular). It has a more urban, sleek look. Functionality is a major factor- technical fabrics, transformability, and modularity are all sought after. Fits are usually looser, hoods are near-requisite, and patterning is usually futuristic. Color is often more prevalent, as is metallics. Militech is a variant that focuses on tactical and mil-spec clothing.
In part 2, I’ll show you what brands, designers, and items to look for, and where to find them. Part 3 will focus on accessories, body mods, EDC, hair, and makeup.
Part 2 - We can get you anything you need
Part 3 - Augmenting the Loadout
Part 4 - Links