NEW Story: Drip
⚠️ This article is archived, and should be considered non-canon.
Unlike the United States and Western Europe, the ‘teen-ager’ has not been discovered in Vekllei. To be pedantic, they do technically exist — their people do indeed enter a transitory stage between childhood and adulthood, as far as anyone can tell — but they do not exist as a separate cultural identity. The teen-age person in Vekllei is immersed in adult economic and social relationships, and so they have no real cultural material of their own. They listen to the music of their parents, raise younger siblings, and generally marry young. I could go on for a while about things Vekllei has not ‘discovered’ (read: commodified through modernity); landscape, childhood, history, etc. But let’s stick with teen-agers for now.
By sexual maturation, a Vekllei person has essentially transitioned to young-adulthood and submerged themselves in the productive relations of the adult age; they often leave school for work, they quickly drift to mature, independent relationships with parents, and otherwise carve out lives in their wondrous country. All of this is not to say that the country lacks materials aimed at young people entirely — you can’t fit a middle-aged woman into a sixteen-year-old’s dress, no matter how much she might try — but I am simply trying to establish an understanding that folk here do not enjoy the glamour (or what was once glamour) of American teen-agers, with sock-hops and convertible cars and magazines.
Tangentially related, as Vekllei society has militarised in the face of nuclear war, so too has fashion adopted a bayonet’s edge. In womens fashion, we’re seeing the reemergence of ‘dazzle’ camouflage in imitation of her great capital ships. Jackets, skirts, jewellery, hats, are all being manufactured in flavours of it, and are often touspian or ‘pastelised’ into designs and colours considered more feminine. In men, military caps and ties are popular in semiformal social outfits, and often complement suits. The country is already heavily uniformed in the workplace, and has a passion for badges and armbands and decorative knick-knacks, and so a lot of these authoritative trinkets are trickling into everyday fashion.
It’s easy to despair at the militarisation of society, and a warhawk fashion culture, but it could also be seen as a critical modernist/postmodern attack on the traditional institutions that are so integral to life and culture in Vekllei society. In sharp dresses women wear armbands embroidered with brands of soup, men wear faux-military badges displaying ridiculous illustrations — while not outright political perhaps, they are certainly appropriating the imagery of war and domesticating it.
Tzipora here is sixteen, waiting for a first date, and patterned with the dazzle of the Sundress nuclear-equipped capital ship.
I haven’t really felt out my thoughts fully on the subject of teen-age life and its introduction to Western society, so if ya got any ideas leave a comment. I’m also building a website, www.vekllei.city, but it’s a bit shit at the moment. I’m slowly cementing its style and turning it into a proper wiki, so check back soon!