Heavy metal Medeival Dresses fashion is the style of Medeval Dresses dress, body modification, make-up, hairstyle, and so on, taken on by some fans of heavy metal, or, as they are often called, metalheads. To those with Mediveal Dresses a trained Medieal Dresses eye, normally others within the metal subculture, relatively subtle differences in clothing can speak volumes about a person's tastes and, more critically, show whether Meideval Dresses or not they are a poseur, a judgement that is almost universally dreaded by the metalheads who chose to dress this way.
- 1 Origins
- 2 Other influences
- 3 Band display
- 3.1 Band shirts
- 3.2 Patches
- 3.3 Other
- 4 Jackets
- 5 Legwear
- 6 Hairstyles
- 7 Accessories and jewelry
- 8 Body modification
- 9 Female metal fashion
- 10 Imitators
- 11 Links
The clothing associated with heavy metal has its roots the Biker, S&M and rocker subcultures. Heavy metal fashion includes elements such as leather jackets; hi-top basketball shoes (more common with old school thrash metallers); motorcycle boots, work boots or combat boots; blue or black jeans, and denim jackets or kutte vests, often adorned with badges, pins and patches. As with the bikers, there is a peculiar fascination with Germanic imagery, such as the Iron Cross.
Certain aspects of the image can be credited to any one band, but the band that has received the most credit for revolutionizing the look was Judas Priest, primarily with its singer, Rob Halford. Due to his sexual preference, he incorporated a biker/S&M look to his stage persona as early as 1978, to coincide with the promotion for the Hell Bent for Leather album, released in that same year. Soon, the rest of the band followed with that look. It was not much longer when other bands began donning the look; Iron Maiden's original singer Paul Di'anno began wearing leather jackets and studded bracelets, Motorhead frequently wore bullet belts, and Saxon wore spandex. The original hippie look with satin shirts and bellbottom pants was out; some believed Halford's contribution was the true manifestation of the music, and became tradition to metalheads around the world. This look was popular primarily with followers of the NWOBHM movement in the early 80's, and sparked a revival for metal in this era. In recent years, this look became common with concert goers, whether it be someone with combat boots, stud belts and bracelets, bullet belts, spiked gauntlets, etc.
The style and clothing of metal has absorbed elements from influences as diverse as the musical influences from which the genre has borrowed: modern metal fashion is a hodge-podge of punk, goth (particularly for female metalheads), military fashion and even various historical fashions. It is from this linking of different sub-styles of clothing and music influences that one can sometimes determine a person's specific taste in music simply from overall appearance. However, such signs are not, in the majority of cases (we will discuss the peculiar and extreme fashions associated with black metal below) hard and fast rulings. This uncertainty is what makes the first key aspect of the metalheads' identity below so important.
The influence of modern military fashion on heavy metal fashion is significant with metalheads been known to wear modern military clothing like field jackets and articles of camouflage and olive drab green uniforms like shirts and/or trousers to wear alongside their black T-shirts and black combat boots. This influence could be due to the impact of the Vietnam War on popular culture in the United States during the 1970's and the 80's, with images of American Vietnam veterans wearing their old combat uniforms in civilian life, as well as the fresh memories of the conflict in many Americans' minds. Some of the influences of modern military fashion and the Vietnam War can be seen by the fans and bands of thrash metal, with the members of thrash metal bands of the 1980s like Metallica and Megadeth wearing bullet belts around their waists on stage (It is likely that the thrash metal bands got the idea of wearing bullet belts from NWOBHM bands such as Motörhead, who have incorporated the bullet belt as part of their aesthetic since their inception, since the majority of thrash metal bands in the 1980s were influenced by Motörhead and the like).
A key and basic element of metal fashion is the outward display of one's musical taste. This can be accomplished in several ways.
The band shirt is widely regarded as something akin to the 'minimum uniform' for a metalhead. T-shirts for metal bands are almost universally black, with only those bands popular enough to have fans beyond the metal community normally bothering to print T-shirts in other colours, though some print white shirts, normally as a statement against conformity. They come in two varieties: the normal T-shirt, and the longsleeve T-shirt, which will often feature designs down the arms as well as on the back and front. These shirts display on their front the name of a band, often accompanied by the band's logo or an album cover, and the back some tour list, lyrics, slogan, or another image.
It is less common, but not at all unknown, for metalheads to wear T-shirts other than band shirts. Brands of alcohol (particularly Jack Daniel's whisky), makes of Motorcycles, and humorous or obscene epithets are the most common. Again, black is the normal colour.
It must of course also be noted that not all metalheads wear T-shirts: some may wear sleeveless shirts, wifebeaters, longsleeve shirts, work shirts, collared shirts or even no shirt, depending on taste and geographical location.
Also black T-shirts from various horror movies (usually old, cult or gore horror films) are acceptable. Examples are shirts from The Evil Dead and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Patches are small shaped pieces of fabric that carry a design: normally, at least in terms of metal fashion, a band logo or album cover. They are normally displayed on kutten. The traditional "patch jacket" is a black jacket, usually long sleeves, though denim jackets (More common in the UK) are also used, they are rated more on the punk style. Backpacks, shoulder-bags, messenger bags etc. are another popular place on which to display them. A more unusual location is on another article of clothing, particularly jeans.
Band names are also sometimes displayed in the form of badges, which are displayed in much the same way as patches, although obviously the range of locations in which they can be placed is greater.
The most commonly worn types of jackets that metalheads wear are black leather jackets, blue denim jackets, trenchcoats and army combat jackets like field jackets (e.g. the M-1965 field jacket used by the US Armed Forces), smocks, and parkas (usually in olive drab, black, or in camouflage patterns). In warmer weather, metalheads have been known to wear button-up flannelette shirts and button-up army shirts (usually in olive drab, black, or in camouflage patterns) unbuttoned so it acts a de-facto jacket when the weather is not too hot or not too cold. When the weather gets cooler, they would button up their flannelette shirts and army shirts.
When seen at concerts, metalheads are typically seen showing off their patch jackets and leather vests. It has become a tradition for some to do so at every concert, especially for those who follow in the older styles of metal, with groups like Judas Priest, Motörhead and Iron Maiden, who have encouraged this look.
The most common form of leg-wear is tight or semi-loose fitting (not baggy) black or blue denim jeans (sometimes ripped), although leather trousers are also popular, as are camouflage-patterned combat trousers and kilts. Metalheads have also been known to wear cargo trousers and cargo shorts in warmer weather when jeans and leather pants are considered too hot and uncomfortable to wear.
Fabio Lione, singer of the band Rhapsody of Fire
The most popular hairstyle associated with metal is long, natural hair, (although sometimes dyed black, especially amongst black metal fans). The long and messy hairstyle adds to the experience of headbanging. Other hairstyles sported by metalheads include dreadlocks (possibly inspired by Rob Zombie, Max Cavalera, and Anders Fridén) and military-style haircuts. Power metal fans and bands have adopted a variation on the long-haired style that involves hair even longer than the metal norm, often curled.
A completely shaven head is also a popular among some fans and musicians, such as David Draiman of Disturbed, singer Daniel Heiman (former) singer of the Power metal band Lost Horizon (band), singer Rob Halford of Judas Priest, and guitarists Scott Ian and Kerry King of thrash metal bands Anthrax and Slayer. Phil Anselmo (Pantera, Down and Superjoint Ritual) had a shaved head (with tattoos on both sides) during Pantera's period of mainstream popularity in the early 1990s.
Accessories and jewelry
Jewelry is popular for both genders. Almost always silver, popular items include rings (often adorned with metal imagery such as skulls, flames, spikes, iron crosses etc.) Also Egyptian Jewelry such as the Ankh, Birds and the Scarab. Silver neck-chains (thin when compared, for example to bling Jewelry) or pendants, often of a religious or anti-religious nature: crucifixes (inspired by Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne), Satanic pentagrams and Thor's Hammers are popular. This taste in pendants offers a marked difference between the metal and goth subcultures: goths will often wear crosses even if they are not religious, and will wear the benign, un-inverted Wiccan pentagram.
Metal Chains are also common, normally two are worn, one longer than the other. This has recently been popularized by frontmen such as Alexi Laiho, Matt Heafy and Matt Tuck.
Spike bands, studded bracelets, gauntlets or armbands, wrist-bands and sweatbands are also very popular.
Metalheads often engage in some form of body modification, the most popular being tattoos, which will often employ the imagery of metal, metal lyrics or even band logos or mascots. Piercings are also not uncommon, although facial piercings, especially amongst male metalheads, are not particularly common, especially when compared to other subcultures such as emo.
Female metal fashion
Clothing for the female metalhead shares much in common with elements of goth and punk fashion, combined with what is simply a feminised version of male metalhead fashion. The heavy monochrome makeup of goth is relatively popular among female metalheads, far more so than it is amongst the male metal fan, and jewelry and accessories can be similar as well, although female metalheads tend to borrow from the classic goth look, rather than Cybergoth, Victorian, Goth etc. One exception to this is female black metal fans, who sometimes dress in the somewhat elaborate Victorian or medieval dresses normally associated with some elements of the goth subculture. In recognition of the increasing number of female fans which metal increasingly attracts, many bands, especially larger ones, have started doing babydoll versions of their shirts, or even new designs specifically for the female market. Skirts are normally black of some sort (sometimes leather), or punk-style kilts.
It is also more common for female metal fans to sport facial piercings and more elaborate ear work such as scaffolding.
Heavy metal fashion has seen a recent resurgence in the UK (and to some extent in the US). Mainstream pop fashion retailers have picked up what is accurately labelled as a cross between heavy metal fashion and skater fashion and are successfully marketing it under the labels 'goth' or 'rock' fashion. This typically consists of t-shirts and hooded sweatshirts with heavy metal, nu metal, or punk logos, paired with baggy 'skater' jeans, chains, and dark colours. This is largely the result of the increasing popularity of nu-metal and skateboarding in the UK and the USA. Styles utilizing these products are pejoratively known as "mall-goth", reflecting the mainstream consumer outlets through which these articles of clothing are made available.
The style of dress that is a cross between heavy metal attire and skate or punk attire is associated with the genre of music known as Hardcore and is popular in East Coast US cities such as New York City, Boston and Philadelphia.
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