Rave, Identity and Fashion – Fashion Editorial

The ‘‘Rave, Identity and Fashion – Fashion Editorial” is one of our online ISSUE segments, head to PAPARAZZI ISSUE for the complete experience and set of images.

Clubbing is now viewed as a quintessential part of youth culture. There is an undeniable sense of escapism and experimentation that comes with it that young people finding their place in the world are attracted to. Different generations, groups and cities have brought their own spin to it and so much of contemporary culture and fashion can be traced back to the rave scene and its predecessors. 

Rave, Identity and Fashion - Fashion Editorial LOAD MAGAZINE - LYNN LAUNG

The origins

You can’t talk about club culture and the emergence of raves without mentioning the underground Chicago clubs of the late 1970s: the birthplace of house. In fact, many claim that house music was named after the Warehouse nightclub in Chicago’s south side. Drawing influences from disco, electro and funk, Chicago DJs found new ways to mix their sets and keep people moving. Legendary DJs such as Frankie Knuckles (aka the godfather of house), Larry Levan and Ron Hardy can be credited for the evolution of disco into early house and for shaping the modern dance and rave scene. 

Rave, Identity and Fashion - Fashion Editorial LOAD MAGAZINE - SISSY MISFIT

Even though house is now an undeniably popular genre of music, house nights did not start out as club nights attended by mainstream society. Partygoers (and the iconic DJs who helped create house) were predominately queer African Americans and Latinos in search of a place to dance and express themselves freely. House music and the club culture linked to it spread to Detroit, New York and by the time the 90s rolled around, it became a global phenomenon with countless sub-genres and variations. 

Rave, Identity and Fashion - Fashion Editorial LOAD MAGAZINE - WAJ HUSAIN

Raving & subculture  

The word “rave” was originally used in the late 1950s to describe wild beatnik parties at the heart of London’s Soho. It fell out of use during the hippie era of the 1970s but the emergence of acid house brought the term back into fashion. House music and iconic club venues such as the Hacienda in Manchester slowly shaped rave culture into what it is today.

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The queer community has played an instrumental role in creating the atmosphere and vibe that underpins raves to this day. A sense of belonging, hedonism and liberation. The no-judgment zone raves offer was fostered by and has always appealed to those marginalized by mainstream society. It’s a space for dancing, indulging and finding or developing a stronger voice without external criticism. And of course, fashion is the pulse and canvas for it all. 


For this editorial, LOAD attended 2C Perrea’s iconic primera putivuelta event and we take you behind the scene to ask partygoers what their rave persona is and what the scene means to them.

Rave, Identity and Fashion - Fashion Editorial LOAD MAGAZINE
Rave, Identity and Fashion - Fashion Editorial LOAD MAGAZINE

Taylor tells us her personna is pure cunt. Kevin Cordo becomes delirious but in a rational way when she steps into the scene. Ben is a swamp goblin. Izzy’s alter ego ‘muon’ is a particle that is here, there and everywhere and comes from  stardust. Sam becomes a skandi ice cold diva. Lauren is a pixie. 

For Jaylin, the scene means safety and freedom to express her identity. Joan of Arx thinks people shouldn’t be constricting themselves to one location because it can become toxic. To them this is a community, not a scene. Ben also tells LOAD it’s all about community, connection and unity – to them this is not escapism, it’s reality! Nasir says it’s not that serious, it’s about fun and friends. 

Rave, Identity and Fashion - Fashion Editorial LOAD MAGAZINE - IZZY GZOWSKI

A big thanks to 2C Perrea who have created a home for Latinx queer talent giving underground Latin sounds and artists the spotlight they deserve. Independent, authentic and staying true to their roots, their putivueltas are a must. 

Raves & fashion 

There is a long history of the fashion industry drawing inspiration from raves and their subcultural origins and this editorial showcases exactly why that is. Of course, London has and continues to set the scene for this exchange. 

It was London’s very own New Romantics that paved the way for future club kids and their fashion choices. With their heavy face paint, androgynous looks and hairstyle experimentation, the New Romantics combined renaissance chic with the extra-terrestrial. Against the backdrop of David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust era, Blitz in Covent Garden became the epicenter of the movement. This was a turning point as going out started being more about club culture than live music. John Galliano and Princess Julia are two key fashion industry names to come out of this.

Rave, Identity and Fashion - Fashion Editorial LOAD MAGAZINE - JAYLIN YE

Fast forward to today’s fashion universe, British menswear designer of the year, Martin Rose is known for drawing inspiration from the rave scene she frequented as a teen. For her AW14 collection, Martin used rave flyers to embellish hoodies and camouflage jackets challenging the military conformity typically associated with these clothing items. Her SS 2023 show took place in a disused gay sauna in Vauxhall, an ode to her underground, subculture-rooted universe. The collection featured zip-through track tops and branded duffle bags: the uniform of 90s ravers.

Rave, Identity and Fashion - Fashion Editorial LOAD MAGAZINE - KEVIN CORDO

Elsewhere in London, for JORDANLUCA’s FW23 collection, the brand collaborated with Lonsdale drawing inspiration from boxing attire. The partnership was clearly influenced by the unorthodox pairings of different clothing genres featured in queer rave settings. 

Underground movements and scenes will forever inspire the fashion industry and queer raves are the perfect representation of this. Y2k baddie meets Vogue meets archive wardrobe – the girlies are giving variety. Counterculture, music and fashion intersect and London is the perfect backdrop: fashion-forward, uncompromising and defiant. 

Rave, Identity and Fashion - Fashion Editorial LOAD MAGAZINE - SISSY MISFIT


Photography Konstantinos Tsagkaris
Creative Direction Konstantinos Tsagkaris
@konstantinos.tsagkaris, Filippos Vogdanis
Assisting & Aricle Writing Stella Seimeni @stella_seim

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