|A sketch of the|
character Amber when
the Tribe was
in planning stage
Saturday June 1st sees the broadcasting of the 200th episode of The Tribe in the UK – a fantastic feat. The Tribe has been a tremendous success around the world since it began broadcasting in April 1999 and over three years later, is still going strong into its fourth series.
This Tribestyle takes a special 200th episode anniversary look at the unique style of The Tribe…
Let’s start by going back in time to 1998. It’s June. It’s a nice sunny day outside. And people are thinking. Minds are ticking away. Inspiration is flying around the room as people work on designs for costume, hair, make-up – for the visual look and feel that will bring to life the style of The Tribe on screen.
It all starts with an idea and after Cloud 9 Screen Entertainment decided to produce the first series of The Tribe in early 1998, the creative forces in the company got together to plan how the series would look…
FASHIONING THE FASHION
|Zandra in her|
The co-creator and Executive Producer of The Tribe, Raymond Thompson, wanted the series to have a “Gucci Grunge” look befitting its unique backdrop of a world with no adults – where there is no longer money, no constraints on what people wear – where kids and teenagers could grab whatever clothes they could find – designer clothes or casual ones – and create their own styles reflecting their own distinct personalities. And with its city landscape, there would be an urban look and feel.
Also, the “Tribal” element of the series with kids and teens banding together in separate tribes for survival would affect style because the way teens would dress would partly depend on the Tribe they belong to. The powerful Loco Tribe were identifiable by their urban leathers, rollerboots, helmets, and often wore black – reflecting their position as the most powerful Tribe in the city.
By contrast, rural Tribes who live in the countryside may have more neutral or plainer fashions reflecting their more peaceful surroundings and eco-friendly personalities.
|The first images of The Tribe|
Feathers. Plants. A radical make-up look. This series would have all three elements as characters would stick feathers or bits of plants in their hair and some would have streaks of make-up on their face. The characters in The Tribe don’t look the way they do in order to appear on a magazine cover or the catwalk – they dress to survive in a tough world and their fashions mirror this backdrop.
With no adults and no conventional forms of media to influence fashion trends in the series (for example, no television, newspapers, movies, and magazines) then it would be more up to the individual themselves how they dress too – depending on their personalities and attitudes. If Zandra loves clothes and fashions then she would naturally seek out clothes she loves and Zandra in Series 1 often wore quite unique mixtures of designer clothing. Lex is macho and tough – he views himself as a man’s man and a chick magnet so he would naturally dress as a tough guy all the time.
|Amber with her|
trademark “Zulu Knots”
HAIR TODAY, HAIR TOMORROW
Hair in the Tribe would also be quite unprecedented compared to any previous television series. Teens could have their hair however they wanted it because there are no adults to say you can’t do that” and no standards to stick to like school uniform.
There was also a realistic element to fashions and hair in the sense that since there are no hairdressers or beauty salons – and since things like shampoo, scissors and hair-dryers would be hard to find in the world of the Tribe – then characters’ appearance would be “grungier” and a little “messy” – instead of having pristine and wonderful looking hair all the time.
Famous hairstyles? Well, Amber’s “Zulu knots” must be the most famed hair from the Tribe.
In an on-going drama series like The Tribe, characters change their looks regularly. As in real life – people usually don’t look exactly the same forever. It is the case typically that people wear one thing then change and look a little bit different or slightly alter their hair – and go through “phases” in fashion.
So similarly in The Tribe, characters change their appearance over the course of each series which reflects the different storylines or stages they find themselves in. Salene will look one way in some episodes then she has a change and looks a different way. Although having said that, some characters like The Chosen, are fanatics and dress the same at all times because of their particular ideology and obsessions…
Likewise, from series 1 to series 4 there is a lot of change in how characters look. When Amber becomes involved in the eco-Tribe, she stops wearing her previous black leathers and goes for the “eco” look.
|Tribe fans influenced|
by the “Tribal Look”
JOIN THE TRIBE?
Since the Tribe has been broadcast in April 1999, it has influenced many all around the world. Many fans and viewers have taken on board the “Tribal look” and people in major cities around the world from London to New York, Berlin to Paris, can be seen in a “Tribal” style – some with Amber’s Zulu knot hair or others with daubs of make-up on their face.
We’ve been sent many photos and pictures of fans dressed up in Tribe style. When the Tribe cast have been on their European tours they have met loads of fans who have dressed up as their favorite characters – or invented their own Tribestyles inspired by the series.
THE FUTURE OF TRIBESTYLEŠ
Look into the future – what do you see?
What will style be like in the future for The Tribe? Well, if you have seen series 4 you will know about the new Techno Tribe and how they bring their high-tech advanced way of life to the city and their gadgets and virtual reality style.
After that? What will happen to the hairstyles, make-up, clothes and fashions of tomorrow?
Remember that The Tribe is all about the teens and kids building a New World in their own image – whatever that image may be.
As we celebrate the 200th episode of The Tribe and look ahead, as the characters continue to build a New World in their new image we can anticipate there will be new styles of fashion as a New World is fashioned…