Sunday, 17 January 2010

Hip or Dangerous!

Coco Chanel once preached the immortal morning mantra ‘LOOK IN THE MIRROR BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE HOUSE – AND TAKE ONE THING OFF’ So why, when entering a decade in which fashion and popular culture promise to be more intertwined than ever before are we greeted by a wealth of mismatched monstrosities every time we enter any city centre. Plaid shirts, obligatory NHS specs, floating florals and Train spotter anoraks all served on the same paisley plate! Anti-cool or fashion-fool, it’s about time we stopped letting the twenty-somethings of today pull the 1980’s sequinned knit over our eyes.

Now I’m no enemy of the Common/Garden Hipster, heck I probably am one. Neat high-waisted minis, cute as pie ankle boots and pussy-bow blouses with a beret on top are a welcome sight bobbing in a sea of Top Shop floral prints. But as we enter 2010 it appears ‘looking good’ is as dated as a corking Tiger Woods joke. Born from boredom of 00's dapper dressing a new trend is spawned: “DRESSING DOWNS’.

The objective: a patchwork of imitation and emulation citing 1980’s twee-pop heroes, Amelia Fletcher and Steven Pastel cross bread with an Early 90’s Cobain to create a naïve ‘grunge’ look. DM’s, meets plait and florals, married with oversized garish knits and androgynous bowl cuts. Intended to create a reactionary anti-cool style fused with ‘grab and dash’ 30 second dressing. Innocent, a-sexual, childish.

The Reality: a foul combination which 9.7 times out of ten misses the mark by a country mile. Instead of successful sloppy styling we’re greeted by attire that resembles a mentally challenged menopausal mess, conjuring images of Disney picture socks with whiter than white Reeboks. To paraphrase: Awful.

But looking like everyone else sucks right? Better to be individual than a pawn to Society’s expectations and the corporate consumer market. If a need to be unique is the culprit for this awful new-wave dressing then why is this ‘Hipster’ trend sweeping the nation with the vigour of H1N1? As for myself, I’m happy to follow trends within reason, especially those that scream ‘hey, I’m a little kooky; I like good bands and read sufficiently intellectual books’. But this is one I’ll be leaving to the St Martians martyrs. If they want to look like dicks in the name of art, more fool them. Me? I’m off to Topshop.

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