In my observations I saw that each person or passerby had his or her own unique way of style and fashion. Although no one person had the same looks or clothes, there seemed to be some overall style that many shared. Union Square seemed to have more of a modern sense unlike the people in Williamsburg who seemed to have followed the stereotypic characteristics of a hipster: wide-framed glasses, skinny jeans, beards, tattoos, and iPhones. In Union Square, there were many significant pieces of clothing or objects that people seemed to have in common: black skinny jeans, wide-framed glasses, Converse sneakers, and beards. In Williamsburg, the significant pieces that a majority of the people wore or had were skateboards, tattoos (usually along the forearm or neck), wide-framed glasses, and skinny jeans. Some examples of people I saw that I thought as hipsters:
Man with light beard eating Dunkin Doughnuts, wearing black scarf, black fabric biker jacket, black skinny jeans, two ear piercings, hair combed to the side, and teal blue Converse, and carrying iPhone with large white headphones on.
Woman pushing a stroller with young child, black skinny jeans, black leather jacket, nose piercings and small flower tattoo travelling along neck and bright aquamarine pixie cut
The only real issue with doing this style of observation is the false assumptions that is made when observing. But through this observations, I was actually able to see some characteristics that many shared and gave me a closer insight of some trends that hipsters have been wearing. Also through this observation, I saw the psychoanalyst view of repression in that many people followed into some of the stereotypic fashion and styles of “authentic” hipsters (those who had tattoos, beards or wide-framed glasses, and those who wore skinny black jeans or Converse) in a desire to return to authenticity.
My interviews also gave me an insight of other’s perception of hipsters. The results were very interesting. I had asked seven specific questions. I interviewed a total of 5 people. With my first question, “Do you follow up with the current trends? Within fashion, music, etc.?” three people stated that they “try to stay on top of things” when it came to fashions and styles. Second question, “Tumblr’s top leading trend in 2013 was #hipster do you agree or disagree with this statement?” No one agreed to this question with each stating a different reason: One interviewee disagreed to the question, “I don’t really think it’s good to put people in boxes like ‘Oh! You’re a hipster!’ because the clothes can change everyday regardless. Jeans, T-shirt, and shoes can make up a totally different person. Many people would be offended if I called them a hipster. It’s become almost a negative word, due to its overuse”. Third question, “What do you define as a hipster?’ Another said, “Someone who wants to be cooler than they seem to be. Doesn’t follow the trends yet…follow the trends. They are contradictions.” One more interviewee claimed that the word hipster to be “a useless word for those who believe themselves superior”. Interestingly, one person who I tried to interview in a café in Williamsburg, the moment I mentioned the word hipster, she literally finished her last piece of her Panini, shook her head, got up, and proceeded out the door without another word. In this prime example of aggression in a psychoanalytical view, I saw this lady’s form of aggression of walking out on me without saying another word as a reaction towards those who are “fake” (i.e. me). Fourth question, a more personal question, “Describe your style”, many people found this question challenging on reflecting what exactly their style is. Fifth question “What stores fit your style?” The main choice of a store that the three girls I interviewed was H&M which is no surprise in that H&M is one of the major clothing stores that mass produces the hipster subculture. Six question, ‘Do you associate with social media’s perception of hipster?” One interviewee replied, “I correlate with my style and a little bit of the music. But I think they [hipsters] try too hard once something becomes mainstream. Then they move on towards a different thing. I listened to Artic Monkeys and bands such like that in which they started out hipster but is now become more mainstream due to the popularity that the hipsters have brought upon it”. In this answer one can see both cultural analyses of psychoanalysis and Birmingham scholars’ countercultural hegemony. Psychoanalysts would describe this person’s aggression towards hipsters in her remark that “[hipsters] try too hard once something becomes mainstream. Then they move on towards a different thing”. Birmingham scholars would agree with her statement in that she sees the hipster’s fight against falling for mainstream media. Last interview question” Do you perceive yourself as a hipster?” I had various answers to this final question. On person answered “The way I answer that question can go both ways…The hipster answer would be no, and by saying that you are. And by saying that you are [a hipster], you assume that you are [a hipster] or just pretending to be one”. Another said, “I consider myself a hipster in that I feel intellectually ahead of them through books and thoughts”. An additional quote was “NO! But some days I understand if people see me as a hipster but I don’t really define myself as a hipster. I totally understand if people perceive me as a hipster because of my style”.