Shift Your Focus and Discover LA’s Inimitable Indie Subculture
When the destination is a Life Lived True, what’s important isn’t how you choose to get there, because the ends will create the means. A distinct path will emerge, one in which being yourself is the only option. For native Angeleno Alex, how he expresses himself can vary from day to day—his individuality defies rules of gender, race and age. As an embodiment of the city’s indie spirit, he’s driven by a constant influx of inspiration and a down-for-whatever attitude that promises to keep things interesting.
He finds his true north by trusting his gut—and like other members of his Los Angeles subculture, he’s learned to lean into instinct and let it guide his path of creative righteousness. Forget the past, don’t worry about the future, be present in the here and now and listen to what your heart is telling you is authentic.
“Be true to yourself,” he explains of his life’s philosophy. “Really know the space that you cut out in the universe, and build and define what that is, and yourself.”
By refusing to wear a mask like all the world’s a stage, those who find respite inside this community embody an imaginative totality that finds expression through myriad channels, be it the written word, musicality or even modeling. Trends fall to the periphery, which is often where you’ll find these individuals most comfortably relaxing—on the fringe, outside the mainstream.
Like David Bowie, these modern bohemians are artistic chameleons, accessing whatever form of expression best represents their current state of mind. For the experimental glam rocker, this flowed from music to art to design and theatre. The same holds true for Twiggy, who genderlessly transitioned between modeling, acting and singing. Without pretense, they let their individuality reign supreme, unafraid of the should’ve, would’ve and could’ve.
Their external also avoids conformity, erring towards what is sleek, dimensional and clean. There is no right or wrong way to look, there is only what feels genuine, regardless of categories like male or female. The way they take care of their body, skin and hair echoes these sentiments—make up for men, cropped bobs for women—traditional dictates of sex need not apply.
“The resurgence of longer hairstyles for men have been quite evident, and feeling like a rockstar has always held its place in prevalence in this subculture,” says Julius “Julius Caesar” Arriola, an artistic leader in the barbering industry. “The Manchester Shag immediately yells out leather jackets and indie shows. This amazing cut is meant to look free of worry, but with ideal attention to minuscule detail.”
After fueling up on coffee and inventive fare at Silver Lake’s hipster café Sqirl, or perhaps Venice’s modern deli Gjusta, these twenty-first century hippies may pass by a local weed dispensary on their way to venues like the Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. With a calendar as eclectic as their interests, the multipurpose location features music shows, readings and conversations between established artists, with chill, people-watching poolside hangs available in between the inspiration.
Possessing the wherewithal and confidence to be yourself is always a flattering look, and by opening themselves up to the infinite, those who find themselves inside this “outside” Los Angeles subculture know no bounds. Others may not always be able to understand or relate to what drives those of the indie community to act, feel and be, but their actions will always push upwards from a bedrock of pure, beautiful individuality.