From Myspace knee-highs to bedazzled booties: The best in alternative style this month

We take it back to the Myspace era this month with the hottest trends and coolest collabs in all of alt. fashion – from retro Converse to cutie patooties!

From Myspace knee-highs to bedazzled booties: The best in alternative style this month
Kitty Cowell

Hello there K! readers, I’m back again with another absolutely stacked style column. Summer is in full swing, so it’s time to shade bathe under parasols in factor 50 and play All-American Rejects really loud. Or adorn muddy wellies and head to festivals in the rain. The truth is we don’t actually mind, though, do we? Moshing in the mud is part and parcel of our culture. But let me at least try and help you do it in style…

If you're new to this column, I'm a nu-metal, emo and hardcore kid, and I style music videos and photoshoots for a bunch of your favourite artists – like K! Cover Story stars NOAHFINNCE, Enter Shikari and Scene Queen to name a few.

If you saw Rou from Shikari diving headfirst into the mud at Download, just know I was on the sidelines watching in horror as I emailed brands for fresh pairs of white trainers that he had just turned a new shade of something. Truth be told, I back all acts of madness onstage in the name of punk rock, it’s just my job to keep your favourite bands in fresh outfits. I guess I exist so they can ruin their clothes!

So, whether you want some tips on how to dress this summer, or just where to get the latest collabs before everyone else, this column is just for you.

Let’s get on with what you need to know this month…

Knee-high Converse

For the first time in 18 years (yes, we are that old), the iconic knee-high Converse boots are back. It’s 2006 again, we're logged into Myspace, Underøath’s We’re Only Chasing Safety is playing, and we're all lusting after these Cons like the scene kids we are.

In reality, however, we’ve been through a global pandemic and are longing for simpler times. Thank God Converse heard us. Now we just need Myspace to relaunch – someone please find Tom!

First seen on the feet of internet celebrities and emo bands, the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star XXHi – dubbed the 'knee-high' by fans – quickly became a statement silhouette when it was first introduced. Since then, it's been sought after in vintage shops, eBay and Depop sellers have been wildly overpricing them, and fans have been asking for the classic to be reissued for almost two decades.

Now Converse are reintroducing the Chuck Taylor All Star XXHi with retrofitted nostalgia but modern design elements. Maintaining the original design of the 2006 OG but with the more comfortable Chuck Taylor All Star as its foundation, the design hosts a distinctly elongated, 14-inch canvas upper that aims to hug the calf and fall below the knee. It also comes equipped with an extra-long set of laces and (thankfully) a full-length zipper along the back to help put them on with ease. Thank the lord for zips, right? I don’t have the patience for constant un-lacing...

They are available in Western Europe in classic black and white colourways now, with a global release on June 28, via Converse and select retailers.

Unlucky Jewellery

If you like accessorising your outfits but need a little hint of the ‘edge’, I’ve got a brand for you: Unlucky Jewellery make classy but fun, gender-neutral, grunge jewellery.

A standout piece for me is their Star Crossed Lovers necklace with a heart-shaped pendant made from resin and stainless steel with gorgeous gold accents. It looks like a tattoo that has come to life straight off of Brody Dalle’s arm!

Other notable mentions include their Buffy Hoops, which they describe as, “Spike style hoops... named after his true love.” If you know, you know.

I also love their Hold Me necklace featuring a sun and moon pendant held by a cradle of stars, and their Magic 8-Ball Ring made from stainless steel.

They're a UK-based brand with sustainability at their core. All their packaging is eco-friendly, made from recycled materials or Fairtrade cotton – which we love to see! They also work with the organisation Sprout, meaning a tree is planted for every order made on their site. Unlucky also have a mental health collection called After The Storm, featuring storm clouds and bears, from which a per cent of sales is donated to MIND, who do amazing work in the mental health sector.

Merch by me!

How about a tee with the words, 'I only date people who listen to nu-metal'? Or one with 'Life was better in the Myspace era'? I thought that might pique your interest… Well, I made them!

I’ve been designing tees on and off since the Myspace days and before even going to uni to study fashion design. Back when everyone started clothing brands and wanted to be Drop Dead, I started a collection too. I even managed to have it stocked in a few stores around the UK – and using my coding skills learned from Myspace (obv) I built a website. I fizzled out that brand many years ago to focus on my career as a stylist, but then lockdown hit and I started to dabble again. Fast-forward to this year and I said some silly little phrases on my Instagram stories and loads of people told me to make them into T-shirts. So I have!

They are fully sustainable, made to order, printed using plant-based inks and eco-energy. They are made for the emo kids, nu-metal fans and neurodivergent baddies. There’s something for everyone!

Outbreak 2024

Pioneering UK hardcore festival Outbreak is back this weekend! And while every festival needs merchandise, hardcore kids always take it up a notch…

When you think about it, with bands such as Have Heart and Basement playing this year, the festival have a lot to keep up with when it comes to merch – they're two bands whose merchandise sells out super-quick and will resell for years afterwards.

So, this year Outbreak have gone heavy on their merch releases! First up is a tease – something we won’t get our hands on – a family and friends collab with adidas. This isn’t going to be for sale, but was made just for the festival team and to use in the lookbook for their merch collection. Highlights include standard items such as short-sleeve tees with front and back prints, and long-sleeve T-shirts also including nice details like arm prints and full-colour backprints.

Then things get exciting with a cut and sew, all-over print shoulder bag, and an incredible woven blanket with the festival line up woven in! A pit-friendly gumshield, Paris Hilton approved diamanté encrusted velour tracksuit bottoms and more! My credit card is crying but at least my teeth will stay intact – in style.

Available exclusively at the festival from June 28 – Sunday 30. Any leftovers will go online straight after.

A Good Cult Leader

Tan Clemons is fast becoming the internet’s favourite cutie patootie!

First racking up a strong following on Instagram and TikTok with his positive outfit checks and PMA rooted speeches, Tan is rapidly gaining new followers for his brand A Good Cult Leader.

First making T-shirts with his quotes that were going viral on social media, featuring his best mate Fred the staffy, it's gone from one tee to having a full-on collection and office/store to run the brand from. The designs are rooted in alt. culture, heavy music logo styles and tattoo-esque graphics, with phrases like ‘Cutie Patootie’ written in spiky metal fonts and ‘I kiss my homies’ in bold Y2K style lettering with flames.

He has also launched Cutie Patootie Coffee, roasted locally to him in Seattle. After leaving his job to pursue his dreams of running his own business, Tan is constantly selling out of merch and launching new items. With coffee, tees, hoodies, crops, shorts, joggers and more… what’s next?! I’d like to see him come to the UK for a pop-up with the brand, and maybe some collabs with other people, musicians, bands, etc. Keep your eyes on Tan for sure!

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