“Art produces ugly things which frequently become more beautiful with time. Fashion, on the other hand, produces beautiful things which always become ugly with time.”

Jean Cocteau

“As a fashion designer, I was always aware that I was not an artist, because I was creating something that was made to be sold, marketed, used, and ultimately discarded.”

Tom Ford

Fashion. What you wear is how you express your style and attitude. There’s fashion for the masses – commercialized and homogenous – and then there’s your style. It’s different because you are, unique, right?

Probably not. Although the multicultural world of the clave system creates greater variation in styles of dress than a Twentieth Century street would see, they all seem to be variations on some basic themes, often because those clave styles are artificially created and hyped by marketers looking for a niche to command. For a start, the 1980s and 1990s are back. Punk, industrial, rave and goth styles along with the sleek and tight look of 90s business wear, all suitably updated for the middle of a new millennium, are the underlying framework upon which many of the fashion houses of 2050 have based their clothing and accessories. Even the retro-dress of the various nostalgia claves take style motifs from the massive exposure these core styles get in the media. Thus we see the same general styles time and again on the streets of 2050s cities across the globe.

Young blood corporate wear

YoungBlood” is a style acceptable for the up-and-coming corporate executive, the Elite and wannabe Elite. It’s smart and well tailored while still containing motifs in common with street clothes, mixing punk with Armani. It says “I’m hard enough to get the job done and look goood doing it”.

Industrial manifesto

Manifesto” is a no-messing style industrial popular with Edgerunners, the ambitious among young “drones” and those who live by the grey market. It’s a little more “street” than sleek, offering baggy pants and long jackets to conceal contraband or weaponry, or short tight skirts and high boots to distract the mark while the scam goes down. Everything about this style says “I mean business and will f&%k you up if you get in my way”.

Suicide goth

Suicide Goth” is for mixing business with pleasure. This style favors skin-tight synthetics with a leather look, revealing cuts and heavy helpings of streetsmart punkish and goth motifs. It comes in bright colors as well as plain black and is often highlighted by day-go strips, hair colors and extensions and other cybergoth motifs.

Final fantasy fashion

By contrast, “Final Fantasy” is all about the party. Worn mainly by middle class conformists, it’s one of the most commercial and one of the most often seen styles. Based on anime fashions, it does baggy pants and shirt or tight, short dresses and skirts in primary colors accesorized with crome motifs and leather belts. Suitable for clubbing, semi-formal parties and just hanging at the corporate mall.

Mallscene fashion

Mallscene” is probably the most popular style for kids with middle-income parents. Subdued colors and tight fits in jumpsuits, bodysuits and dresses are accented by light panels or even printed screens showing video images. Fabrics are modern synthetics and will include flexible circuitry offering extras – printed watches, cellphones, imbedded computers and the like – freeing the hands and removing much of the need for a wallet or purse. That means the mall pickpockets can’t steal your stuff!

Trooper fashion

Trooper” style takes its name and motifs from certain pre-millennium science fiction movies. Military cuts in rich fabrics, but in unrelieved white or black and with accentuated feature such as shoulder pads, high collars and buttons and often worn with start makeup. A signature style for certain members of the Elite and especially the upper echelons of Armatech’s management, it’s often used in cheap media productions to indicate the “rich bad guy” or “rich ice bitch” character.

Streetgurl fashion

The “StreetMosh” style aims to replicate the eclectic collection of clothing the trendy but poor seem to amass so easily. If you don’t have the fashion sense to throw together a bunch of disparate antique clothes and achieve that overall “streetsmart” look that makes all those elements become one sharp style then fashion designers will do it for you and sell you pre-matched outfits. The best are actual antiques in lace, wool and other natural and often handmade fabrics, with handmade accessories. The cheapest use modern synthetics to copy the antiques.

Underworld fashion

Leather and more leather, all black and with hi-tech synthetic armor layers sandwiched in – that’s the basis of the “Underworld” style, one favored by badasses and wannabe-badasses everywhere. Long duster coats or armored biker jackets, tight-fitting pants or bodysuits, big beetle-crusher boots, armored t-shirts and form-fitting sweaters, and of course the obligatory dark shades. Usual accents include big handguns and cyberwear. A favorite with edgerunners, private security contractors and those working on the wrong side of the law.

Oldskool corp fashion

Retro styles are very popular among certain claves, especially faux-Victorian “steampunk” and 1920s “Deiselpunk” styles, but the only retro style that has really broken out of it’s clave into general use is “OldSkool” corporate wear. An opulent choice using all-natural and expensive fabrics, espeacially natural silk, it cries back to the luxurious styles of Edwardian England and features cravats or ties for men and richly-colored tight dresses with ruffles for women, all set off with tasteful but expensive jewellery accents like tie-pins, rings and chokers. It’s worn by older executives and shouts “power and money” whenever seen.


Edgerunners Langy Langy