Subversive basics and archive fashion have been gaining momentum over the past year and have no signs of stopping! These two style movements have invaded the closets of millions, including some familiar faces of Kpop. Here’s a quick introduction with examples from some of our favorites!

An Introduction to Subversive Basics & Archive Fashion
Subversive basics and archive fashion have been gaining momentum over the past year and have no signs of stopping! These two style movements have invaded the closets of millions, including some familiar faces of Kpop. Here’s a quick introduction with examples from some of our favorites!

(Cover photo from article: 'Inside Hyein Seo's Spring 2019 Presentation in Seoul' by Vogue)

The Basics of Subversive Basic

Though subversive basic echoes Y2K cut-outs, this is a move of its own. TikToker @thealgorythm coined the term “subversive basics” to describe this trend. This style is about taking a basic piece of clothing and giving it a rebellious twist, almost to the point where it loses its functionality. These looks are on the runway as well as the teenager’s closet. It’s amazing how many people are enjoying this trend and how quickly it took off! 


Some speculate this movement was birthed out of quarantine. Didn’t we all experiment in 2020? Remember the tie-dying phase? While some were twisting clothes and tying them off with rubber bands, others decided to get out some scissors. We loved both attempts at creativity and are so happy subversive basic was born! 


Fashion is a way to speak without audibly saying anything. Subversive basic says revolution, rebellion, and one-of-a-kind. Some might even consider this a futuristic spin, which is certainly how some Kpop groups have chosen to style this (we’re looking at you aespa!). It’s no wonder this has become a hit. We have you covered for incorporating this style into your wardrobe. Need some inspo? Check out how three BLACKPINK members rock this style. 




ic: BLACK PINK ’s Lisa in a subversive basic styled fit. 

Lisa is no stranger to subversive basic. Here she sports a burgundy turtleneck that not only has an altered hemline, but an oval cutout. Turtlenecks are already so flattering, but it’s easy to see how they can become next level when adjusted to this style. This trim gives her golden cross necklace a spotlight. Lisa’s jeans are also customized with half of her beltline being detached and a section of the waistline removed, opening a new space for additional shape. We’re taking notes!



ic: Rosé sports subversive basic in BLACK PINK’s “How You Like That” Dance Practice Video. 

Rosé is stunning in this black look. Her standard black cargo pants and white kicks support the more creative top. There, she starts with a black sports bra, which she cuts a small portion out of in the front. Over this she layers a customized black sweater. All that is left of this sweater is one full sleeve and a diagonal cut across her bodice, revealing most of her chest. There doesn’t seem to be any sleeve left on the other side, allowing for this piece to twist and turn like a cape. This is the beauty of subversive basic–you can make something completely new, functioning in multiple capacities, giving new shape and life to a fit.



ic: Jisoo in subversive basic elements from BLACK PINK ’s The Album. 

Jisoo is an incredible model for this style. She wears a plaid cami dress and adds a customized jean jacket. Subversive basic is able to be used to highlight other pieces of your fit that perhaps would have been overshadowed otherwise. For instance, her dress is in full view whilst still having the functionality of the long jean sleeves and buttoned collar. This particular subversive style has become the go-to for many celeb fashion looks.


The Basics of Archive Fashion

Vintage shopping has been on the rise for a while. “Archive Fashion” takes it to a whole new level. This trend is all about scoring those rare statement pieces from times past and incorporating them into our modern world. Though it might not be easy or affordable to score rare brand name items, archive fashion in itself is something that anyone can try their hand at. It’s all about going back to what works from the past–those classic pieces that are timeless. BTS rocked this style during their 2021 Seasons Greetings.



ic: Kim Taehyung in 70s style. Featured in BTS’ 2021 Seasons Greetings.

Taehyung is an old soul when it comes to his fashion choices. This makes him the perfect candidate for archive fashion. Here, he takes a color palette reminiscent of the 70s with a harvest gold and rust combination. The styling gives a modern twist by layering, but his sunglasses remind us that he is a blast from the past! He layers a sunflower print caftan shirt over a collared silk Gucci shirt, tucking this into flare trousers.



ic: Kim Seokjin in a Gucci jacket. Featured in BTS’ 2021 Seasons Greetings.

Jin rocks this velvet GG jacket like no other. This stunning jacket is paired beautifully with his tucked in light blue pinstripe dress shirt. He wears loafer with this fit, bringing out the classic nature of his fashion. Another great archive statement piece he incorporates is a silk neck bow.



ic: Park Jimin in a Gucci tracksuit. Featured in BTS’ 2021 Seasons Greetings.

Jimin highlights some throwback pieces in his fit including an incredible Gucci tracksuit, a floral scarf, and a twill necktie. We love how he combined old and new by sporting Jordan 1s. You don’t have to have the exact name brands to recreate some of these looks–just take note of the use of classic pieces and find similar styles! We’ve got your back if you need any help! 


Fascinated by these new styles? Archive and Subversive Basic have been taking over fashion lately and we want to help you find the perfect fit for your needs. We added a category of Subversive & Archive just for you to browse what we have to offer in this specific style. Check it out and let us know how you’re using these new fashion movements. 


If you are interested in similar items of clothing as described above, please scroll down the to 'Related Products' section of this article, or take a look at our product catalog. Our nightcity grows with every inhabitant - follow us on Instagram and Facebook to find out where we're headed, as well as for discounts and offers!


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