It’s a ‘Rebel Circus’ and we’re glad you came!

When you think of clowns, high fashion isn’t typically what comes to mind. Images of children’s parties, slapstick comedy, or even the haunting figures from movies like Heath Ledger’s Joker and Bill Skarsgård’s Pennywise might pop up instead. Known for their loud, mismatched colours, inexpensive materials, and exaggerated makeup, clowns seem far removed from the world of runway glamour. However, fashion is famous for its transformative touch, turning the most unexpected influences into chic trends. This is precisely the case with clowncore, a style making its way from niche online platforms into street style and mainstream fashion.

Clowncore | Rebel CircusRed Blouse: Sugar + Lips Black Rose Choker Necklace: Melrose and Market Paired with vintage diamond ear cuff
Red Blouse: Sugar + Lips
Black Rose Choker Necklace: Melrose and Market
Paired with vintage diamond ear cuff

Clowncore embraces the extravagant elements of clown attire—like oversized ruffs, bold colour clashes, and voluminous pantaloons—and adapts them into outfits that are both avant-garde and accessible. This trend has caught fire on TikTok, where the #clowncore tag has attracted over 198 million views. While some versions of clowncore are extravagantly theatrical, many influencers are finding ways to integrate this aesthetic into everyday fashion, creating striking and wearable looks.

TikTok has significantly influenced clowncore’s evolution from camp to cool. If you’ve ever found yourself deep in a TikTok scrolling session, you might have stumbled upon the #clowncore tag. This tag has captivated viewers with a mix of over-the-top and intriguing videos. While some content creators go all out, embracing the clowncore aesthetic in ways that might not quite translate to everyday streetwear, quite a few skillfully incorporate elements of clowncore into looks that are unexpectedly stylish and bold. These trendsetters are redefining what it means to be chic, proving that even the most playful trends can be adapted for more conventional fashion moments.

Rebel Circus - Clowncore

These bold, playful videos capture the essence of clowncore and brilliantly adapt it for streetwear, proving that even the most whimsical trends can find a place in the mainstream fashion landscape.

Embracing the Rebel Circus: Clowncore Meets Punk

Photographer Ty Chen introduces us to a mesmerising photostory that fuses the whimsical charm of clowncore with the gritty spirit of Britain’s iconic 80s punk rock scene. This editorial, aptly titled “Rebel Circus,” showcases a riot of bold colours, exaggerated silhouettes, and irreverent details, capturing the essence of rebellion and avant-garde style.

“Rebel Circus” is a visual feast that challenges conventional fashion norms by combining the audacious elements of clowncore with punk’s raw energy. Moving away from the typical dark, androgynous punk aesthetics, this series brightens the edgy pieces with a splash of bold colours and a hint of femininity. Stylist Phoenix Tiffany dispels the notion that adopting an edgier design necessitates sacrificing a cheerful and vibrant aura. The outfits achieve a harmonious balance between edgy and whimsical by skillfully pairing heavy jackets with softer, textured dresses. The addition of neon colours and circus-themed props like balloons injects a playful, carefree spirit into the series, inviting viewers to embrace their free-spirited side.

This project doesn’t just revisit the past; it reinterprets it, drawing inspiration from the individualism of the 80s British punk scene to inspire today’s audience to explore and express their alter-egos. Ty Chen’s work encourages creative exploration of style, proving that even the most unconventional fashion elements can be transformed into strikingly beautiful and wearable with the right contrast and context.

Photography by Ty Chen @tychenphotography
Styling by Phoenix Tiffany @lionesslookbook
Hair by Jennifer Ehrke @jennehaircraft
Makeup by Dion Xu @makeupbydion
Models Anna Woodard @annadomonique and Chiara Ballard @chiaramtbat PHOTOGENICS @photogenicsla
Photographer’s assistant Michael English @_mwenglish


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