Fashion at Steve Aoki: black lights required

When the Westcott Theater holds an electro house show, expect a sea of neon and plenty of sunglasses at night.

Who cares if it's cold? For many of the female concert-goers at Steve Aoki on April 22, exposed midriffs and booty shorts won out, weather be damned. For the guys, mostly white tanks and sunglasses prevailed. For both sexes, neon was essential.

Homages to youth also peppered the night's fashion. A guy scuttled around in a plush Yoshi backpack. Several young women wore pacifiers or sucked on Ring Pops. One young woman wore quintessential Lolita thigh highs and another wore a tutu from her childhood ballet lessons (below).

Kiara Tang, 26

Tang, a go-go dancer for Elite Divas, turned heads with a shock of blue and violet tubes in her hair.

Heather Sylvia, 18

Sylvia, a biology/pre-med freshman at Syracuse University, was one of several young women at the show with a neon wrap hairband and mardi gras beads.

Mary Martimucci, 18

Martimucci, a communications design freshman at SU, matched a neon rainbow hat to her tutu. "She looks like Ke$ha," remarked an audience member as Martimucci walked by with a full face of silver paint and glitter.

Kiara Tang's furry boots

Another member of Tang's go-go dance troop, Elite Divas, makes these furry boots herself for all the dancers to wear.

Emma Reid and Kate Kaminsky, both 18

Reid, an SU communications design freshman, opted for the "destroyed" look with holes and rips in her shirt and leggings. Kaminsky, a communications rhetoric freshman, braved the chilly night in a midriff-baring, sequined bandeau.

Allison Gold, 18

Gold, an SU communications rhetoric freshman, donned an especially fluffy tutu over sparkling tights. "I was a ballerina once upon a time," she said. "For 16 years."

Bailey Thompson, 18

Thompson, a musical theatre freshman, eventually wants to perform on Broadway. She attended this show specifically to see Steve Aoki. She dressed up her sporty-casual outfit with multicolored, beaded bracelets and a pacifier necklace.

Neon. Spandex. Tutus. And it's not even Halloween. It's just another night at the Westcott Theater and Steve Aoki is packing the house.

Music fans will come to blows over the difference between electronic styles of music, constantly arguing over the difference between electronica, house music, dupstep, and all the other sub-genres. Each genre comes with its respective fashion trends. From the neon mesh dreads and goggles of cyberpunk to the black polka dots and victory rolls of rockabilly, music and fashion go hand in hand.

Steve Aoki's concert showed that even dreary Syracuse is home to some outrageous, bright fashions. Concert goers unabashedly threw on their raddest, sparkliest ensembles for the night.

With electronic style music, the sounds of the music are more important than the lyrics. It's not necessarily made to sing along to, it's made to dance to. House music is composed with drum machines and synthesized basslines, giving it an electronic and unnatural sound. It isn't surprising that the clothes worn at these concerts are also made of synthetic and wholly unnatural materials. Aoki fans, in their own unique ways, try to translate his music through their appearances.

Club clothes are made to reflect the movement of the body and not restrict it. That's why you see a lot of spandex on the dance floor (easier to move in than jeans) or ruffly tutus (made to move and float with your body, just like a ballerina would wear. A non-traditional neon ballerina, of course.) Cyberpunk dread fall extensions are made to swing around the head while you dance and their furry leg warmers draw attention to their feet.

Neon is a huge color trend in the fashions of electronica fans. When you think of electronics, you think of machines. When you think of machines you think of chrome, metallics, and the color of electricity. Picture the “on” button of your computer. It lights up in bright blue, green, or orange. Neon the element (Ne) has a reddish-orange glow that is used to light up signs in the dark. What better way to stand out in a dark concert venue than by wearing neon booty shorts and whirling glow sticks?

It seems a little odd to be wearing colorful tutus and rainbow bracelets like the ones you made at summer camp back in elementary school to a raging concert. Girls even wore glitter face paint! It's almost like regressing back to childhood, but with speakers blaring synthesizer noises instead of cheesy boy bands.

Another reason why people dress up the way they do for a concert? Simply because they can. Neon headbands, arms full of rainbow beaded bracelets, and glittery bandeau tops aren't exactly the norm around SU's campus. Concerts like Aoki's give people excuses to dress however they want and not be stared at by others clomping around in their Hunter boots toting Longchamp bags.

Photos by Elizabeth Reyes. Katrina Tulloch contributed reporting.

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