Attention trendwatchers: There’s a new hipster icon in town. They wear black and white, eschew buttons, rarely wear accessories, and mostly only hang out with one another. Their elusive hipster enclave isn’t in Williamsburg, Brooklyn or Silver Lake in Los Angeles — or even in “Portlandia.” For the latest trend in oblique hipness, head to Pennsylvania Dutch country and the homes of the Amish.
Yes, you read that correctly, the Amish are experiencing a zeitgeist of fashion-forwardness that they haven’t experienced since, well, the 1800s. Last year the New York Times ran a fashion spread under the title “Amish Fashion Week” featuring men in simply cut trousers, unadorned shirts, and broad-brimmed black hats. As with many trends from the runway, the look has finally trickled down to the rest of us. But the accidental hipsterness doesn’t extend just to fashion.
In a recent Los Angeles Times profile of an L.A. hairdresser who grew up Amish, the author states, “In her first 30 years, she’s butchered large farm animals…sewn her own clothes, grown and canned her food.” Whether in Austin or Brooklyn, there are unquestionably hipsters engaging in those very same activities right now. Go buy some jam, pickles, or pies at a local artisanal market and the purveyors are as likely to be young urbanites as they are Amish farmers.
Unfortunately, there’s little doubt that the Amish would not especially appreciate their unlikely hipster status. The culture that considers buttons to be a sign of worldliness may not enjoy a Paris runway show dedicated to their look. However, the handmade food movement is probably something they can get behind, because who doesn’t enjoy a nice jar of artisanal jam made from local fruit?