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October 24, 2012 12:36 PM   Subscribe

What sub-culture is depicted in the Sonos speaker commercial with the nicely dressed women and men dancing in their living room?

Are there people in Atlanta that get together and dress likes this or is it just Janelle Monae's (the soundtrack and star) style?

What I'm talking about, although I've only seen the one with "Deep Cotton"
posted by thylacine to Society & Culture (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know if there's an official name, or even a true "subculture" as opposed to just a particular aesthetic, but I've seen a lot of guys around Brooklyn dressing just like the guys in the commercial (and Janelle Monae herself, though I see fewer women doing that intense of a menswear look).

If I had to give it a name, I'd call it "Black Ivy", mainly because it involves a lot of tweed* and uber-prep sort of bespoke styling. And because my neighborhood tailor, who clearly caters to this particular subculture, has a fashion spread from some hiphop magazine tacked up to his wall which I believe has that title.

I believe these photos are from the spread at my neighborhood tailor shop.

I've seen white guys going for a similar tweedy retro prep aesthetic, but it's especially common among hip young black guys in my neighborhood (Clinton Hill and Prospect Heights, Brooklyn).

I'm not sure if people down south are doing this look much (yet).

*Though I notice that the cast of the commercial is dressed purely in black and white and a more tuxedo/formalwear type of look.
posted by Sara C. at 12:49 PM on October 24, 2012

People dancing at a house party is a subculture? East coast dancers, west coast dancers, salsa, and especially tango dancers do this often. If you're referring to the clothing, it is most likely a specific style for the video, not really representing a sub-culture.
posted by JJ86 at 12:59 PM on October 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Lots of young black men in New Orleans are dressing like this (though not necessarily all in black and white like the commercial) and I've heard Black Ivy as well. I had sort of assumed it was a trickle down from the André 3000/Fonzworth Bentley aesthetic, but that is probably gross oversimplification.
posted by CheeseLouise at 1:20 PM on October 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

There is no subculture depicted as far as I can tell. They're all wearing slim-cut dark grey or black three piece suits (or parts of them) and white shirts. That's all it is, as far as I can tell. Purely an aesthetic choice. To the extent it might intend to portray a subculture, it's a made up one (just like all those "house parties" depicted in beer commercials, etc.).
posted by slkinsey at 1:22 PM on October 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Uniformity of dress aesthetics are a signal for subculture, though. Ask Ikea.

Is there a Dandy Hipster or Dapper Hipster subculture? Because that's what I'd call this. I'm not sure it's restricted to black people just because that is who is depicted here but since I see about three black people a week these days, I probably have no idea what I'm talking about.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:27 PM on October 24, 2012

Is there a Dandy Hipster or Dapper Hipster subculture?

Very VERY much so. In fact, I'd go further and suggest that there are multiple sub-subcultures within "Hip Dandy".

You've got this, which definitely is a Thing among young middle class African-Americans.

You've got the fancy bicycle Tweed Ride enthusiasts.

You've got the Downton Abbey fangirls and nerd homemakers (Three Wolf Moon needlepoints and the like).

You've got the whole Put This On/Art Of Manliness gang.

Tangential to this group is Steampunk and Who fandom ("Bow ties are cool"), as well as Midcentury Modern and the whole Mad Men scene.

Retro hip dandyism is the new trucker hat and can of PBR.
posted by Sara C. at 2:36 PM on October 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

This aesthetic speaks strongly to the Chap.
posted by Jilder at 12:30 AM on October 25, 2012

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