In our Sound Style series, we talk to artists about how the idea of image plays into their work. For the latest installment we caught up with Madeline Casas and Shavone Otero from Chulita Vinyl Club, who schooled us on the way modern Chicanas are incorporating elements of pachuca fashion into their style.
The pachucas were the female counterparts to zoot suit-wearing pachucos, part of a Mexican American rebel subculture that emerged in Los Angeles and the Southwestern United States in the 1940s. They were derided in the mainstream press at the time as gangsters and criminals, but the movement was deeper than that, says Otero, who moved to Austin from Albuquerque, N.M., to attend grad school in 2014: “It was really focused on reclaiming Mexican heritage and identity.”
Chulita Vinyl Club performs at the inaugural Chingona Fest at Hops and Grain in East Austin Saturday.
“Chingona is like a badass chick. She’s just down with herself and is strong and is like la firme woman, a strong woman … no apologies,” says Otero.
“It was like a bad word, but we’ve definitely reclaimed it,” adds Casas.
Our favorite Selena tribute act, Bidi Bidi Banda will also perform at the event, and promoters take note: there’s clearly strong demand in Austin for events featuring powerful Latina women, as Chingona Fest is sold out.
But if you didn’t get a ticket in time, don’t fret. You’ll be able to catch Chulita Vinyl Club next week when they perform at Ney Day at the Elizabet Ney Museum in Hyde Park on Saturday, April 14.
MORE PHOTOS: Eclectic style from members of Chulita Vinyl Club