Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Retro - Unique???

Posted by Tahirah

Rope chains, neon colours, skinny jeans and scarves. Those are some vital fashion guidelines that make up the Urban retro look that is in rotation at the moment. The 80s are back, with a twist of extra funk and a dash of class. Originality is being celebrated, and cramming as many colours and patterns together without looking uncoordinated is the only way forward. Stealing your granddad's glasses, digging through second-hand shops for ostentatious gold plated accessories costing no more than £1.50 and matching them with dog-tooth shemagh scarves from Hennies (yes I'm old skool - Hennies not H&M) and bright coloured skinny jeans is the only way to be respected by a funky fashionista. Yes I am oversimplifying - keep reading I'm going somewhere with it...

And while it’s the “in” thing to rock my much-loved Run DMC styled shower-hose looking chain with my lime green Reeboks and purple scarf – can I really call myself “unique”? [Alright, I most certainly CANNOT with the kicks - I knew it was all over when they got mentioned in the same set of bars about slapping a female's backside on a platinum selling T-Pain produced single "....& the Reeboks with the straaapppps, I turned around & gave that big booty a slaaappppp...."]

I personally have given up on looking original while rocking my rope chain – even though, when I threw out the suggestion of an 80s themed fancy dress party only two years ago, I was treated as if I’d suggested staging a communal dirty protest on a number 12 bus. People screwed up their faces and said “what, like, you want me to wear afros and platform shoes?” – "ERRR, NO, dumb ass, that was the 60s," came my terse reply – but they still couldn’t quite grasp the concept of 80s ghetto glamour at that time. I digress...they didn't get it then, but they certainly get it now. Now the rope chain is probably one of the most common pieces in my wardrobe, and definately the only accessory of mine I'd definately see other people adorning at the same event as me.

And lets not kid ourselves by pretending that this "retro" thing hasn't gone mainstream. As always, high-fashion designers have plagurised the styles of the streets and regurgitated our looks, spitting them back out in a form that high-street retailers can copy themselves for the average consumer to buy into - therefore you can find pink skinny jeans in Primark and gold coloured door knocker earrings in Claires Accessories.

A la the played out slogan t-shirt phenomenon a couple of years back - a couple of celebrities wore a t-shirt with a witty comment and all of a sudden it was "cool" to make funny/political/profound statements on t-shirts, like they hadn't been on sale in Camden market for years!

But then, this blog isn't about high street or high fashion retailers - its about a fashion movement becoming faddy and unoriginal.

I know that, while the masses haven’t caught up to the movement, images of funky retro kids, nu-wave ravers or hip-hop nerds can be found on Myspace pictures and blogs around the globe (I was mooosively tempted to steal & upload some photos of some of you but I behaved myself and I didn't) – so although we all might have very different, very flyy pieces, are we honestly allowed to call ourselves original when we look like we’ve been dressed by one stylist?

(Yes these are my legs in all three images)

I'm going to keep rocking multicoloured tights, bobble skirts, second hand jumpers, HUGE earrings and skirts/shirts/jeans that have been butchered at my mercy of my unskilled hands until I'm ready to stop (not when it's not "cool" any more), RETRO will become....just plain old...something new will be "in", and of course, the real trend setters will allow fashion to follow them as they carelessly throw pieces together, unknowingly creating ever-evolving ever-original new styles that can't ever truely be pigeon-holed, categorised or copied.

Tahi-RAH x