Tastemakers and Earthshakers Exhibition, at the Vincent Price Art Gallery in East LA, is a showcase of the alternative style history of Los Angeles; which includes the Zoot suits of the 1940s, and a look at the fashions associated with the bikers, chola, hip hop and punk subcultures. The exhibition includes sculpture, painting, photography and vintage clothing and is on until February 2017.
The rise of the Zoot Suit coincided with the availability of the layaway system of payment, which meant working class men were able to purchase sharp tailoring. The exhibition touches on the Zoot Suit riots of the early 40s between American Mexicans and European American who were stationed in LA at the time. The baggy style of the Zoot Suit came under fire as being unpatriotic at a time of fabric rationing. The Zoot Suit features a long line jacket, paired with baggy trousers and often topped off with a pork pie hat. The look has a UK counterpart in the Edwardian style suiting worn by Teddy Boys in the early 1950s.
Tastemakers and Earthshakers offers an alternate view of the fashions of Los Angeles, one that is miles from the affluent mainstream Hollywood style that is often presented to the rest of the world. It reflects the ethnic melting pot that is the real Los Angeles, one that mixes Hispanic, African American, Japanese, Korean style and culture. Artist Juan Capistran says “Speaking from the perspective of being an immigrant, I gravitated to subcultures as a way of forging a new identity."
Vincent Price Art Museum,
East Los Angeles College, 1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez, Monterey Park, CA 91754