This is a ring I bought from Sportsgirl in early October for $4. That's about what it's worth, frankly. My apologies that the photo is a touch blurry - I took it with my left hand.
I bought this ring because while I was in Newcastle for This Is Not Art, I saw a panellist wearing a similar ring and I thought it looked cool. It's this confluence of observation, evaluation and desire that I want to unravel here, because it seems like one of the key processes by which 'street' trends spread. I'm emphasising the 'street' for several reasons:
- Because cultural studies has traditionally represented 'the street' as a physical site for the display of subcultural political authenticity; an authenticity that is inevitably diluted by ideological incorporation of these subcultures by mainstream media
- Because the 'bubble-up' fashion system refers to 'the street' as a stylistic site of unorthodox ideas or acts of bricolage to be resold to mainstream markets (with so-called 'cool hunters' and 'street teams' as the frontline troops)
- Because an entire market of 'streetwear' (documented by an entire accompanying media genre) follows traditional product design, distribution and marketing methods, yet trades on a generalised (ie, not invoking specific subcultural motifs, or encompassing a diversity of motifs) idea of 'streetness'