“In [Joy Division’s] songs, ordinary life achieves an epic grandeur. There’s no bombast or emotional theatrics; instead there’s a modernist starkness as pared down as a Samuel Beckett play.” – Simon Reynolds, The New York Times
Joy Division (originally titled Warsaw) formed in Salford, Greater Manchester, in 1976. After a slight re-shuffle on drums, it was Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris and Ian Curtis who conceived a uniquely stark and static sound – leading to a rise in melancholic post-punk across Northern England.
Defined by machinic pulses, low-key synthesizers, existential lyrics and a restless energy, Joy Division’s music was like the mindscape of Manchester – a crumbling industrial city with a dystopian environment. Style was born from this. Framed by stripped back silhouettes, bleak colour palettes and regimental postures, Joy Division used utilitarian uniforms as protection from their violent sounds.
A breakdown of their united style:
For the underlayer: white crew neck t-shirts. Simple, practical and ever so slightly exposed.
For the shirt: short sleeved ones sealed with ultra-skinny ties; long sleeved ones semi unbuttoned and finished with military-style pockets; patterned ones featuring monochrome line or band more or less wide that marks a fabric More.
For the overlayer: V-neck lambswool sweaters and chunky sleeveless pullovers. Colour palette: black, white, grey.
For the overcoat: by day, three options: British pea coat, single-breasted V-shaped decorative pattern obtained by reproducing, after i More blazer, double-breasted trench. By night, zero in sight.
For the trouser: two options: dark jeans or dark fabric with diagonal ribs and grooves of varying widths - on More trousers. Straight cut, flat front. Shirts tucked into waistbands, silhouettes sealed with slim leather belts. A strapped-up stance for all.
For the footwear: battered zip-up boots, battered lace-up boots, well-worn brogues. Leather designs for intoxicating nights.
And the overall result: Militaristic silhouettes used for radical radio transmission. Eternal power, eternal energy, eternal effect.
- HITCHCOCK’S MEN« Few words, to outline the men who punctuate his films. »
- DON’T LOOK NOW« revealing as work of ghosts, a little black, a little red, a little brown – tweed-clad Englishmen, too elegant for Venetian apex »
- THE WHITE JEANS« birth of the white jeans; from a disregarded choice to enticing youthfulness and cinematic appeal »
- THE BEIGE SUITS« the suits that populairzed the urban wardrobes by lightening the silhouettes, complimented by a contrast colored tie »