Tag Archives: Culture

Mary Portas Is An Inspiration

So recently I’ve watched all of ‘Mary’s Bottom Line’ and ‘Mary Queen of Frocks’, about Mary Portas’s fight with fashion. In ‘Bottom Line’, she tries to restart British manufacturing, producing some lacy underwear, and in ‘Queen of Frocks’, she takes on the lack of fashion for woman in between teenagerdom and old age. She really is an inspiration, like, for me, and for a lot of other people. I used to watch ‘Mary Queen of Shops’, when it was on BBC2, and she really implanted the idea that business and fashion aren’t things that other people, big important rich people do, but something that everybody could do. Her ideas about how shopping should be an experience and how it should be fun, seem like such simple ideas that are just overlooked by most of the businesses I’ve visited.

The idea of owning a little chic shop somewhere, and having a job in fashion, but not working for somebody else, just seem like it would be so fun, and I hadn’t even thought about it until I watched her television shows. I know it’s a far-fetched idea, and it might not happen, as I’m not targeting fashion as a career path at all, but, as I’m an art student, aspiring to study art at university, then why couldn’t I take the short jump into fashion as well? All fashion is is art with clothes, and I don’t need to be taught how to apply my artistic mind to fashion, it’s all instinct and skill, and skills are something that you develop, and I already have the artistic instinct into what looks good and what doesn’t.

It’d be so fun to just be able to own a little piece of the world where I can build this little place where the rules are different, where I can have fun and be creative, and to make money from that as well, that would be the best thing in the world. The thing is, I don’t really know where to start, because it’s just a typical gay career, fashion, so I’d rather not talk about it with teachers, career advisers, so I don’t look silly, it’d have to be something I work on by myself, but that’d just make it more of a journey, an exciting adventure.

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Off The Shelf Non-Conformism

Hipsters, where have they came from all of a sudden? It’s not as if the concept or even the group of people are new, it’s just that recently, with the rise of Twitter and Tumblr, some people were, for the first time, exposed to music, culture and things that they hadn’t been exposed to before, and decided that it’d be cool, hip, swaggy, to devote time to these things. Knitwear, expensive cameras and Starbucks are key examples. But, still, this wasn’t a mainstream thing, this was a small community of people on the internet. It was the rise of the chinos and of Topman that brought this fashion style to popularity. Cashing in on the new wave of non-conformism, of the break away from pop music in the form of bands that were more folky sounding, (Mumford And Sons, Ben Howard, Laura Marling..), and with the older sound they brought, the high-street retailer started shipping off knitwear. And by knitwear, I don’t mean the occasional jumper. I mean seas and seas of stuff. And it was pushed hard. From this, they pushed chinos into the limelight, and here’s where it gets annoying; they added elastic cuffs to the bottom of the trousers, so tracksuit-wearing chavs felt comfortable wearing them! 

Even then, with a ever-growing group of people wearing granddad jumpers, listening to pop-folk music, and covering themselves in yellow-brown-sandy chinos, there was no problem. I’d have no problem if that was the end of the story, but it wasn’t. Next came the rise of the indie hipster. Yes. The terms “Indie” and “hipster” entered the public conciousness. All the new things were quickly labelled with one of these, and then people started looking at the real meanings of the terms, and decided, okay, I am Indie/hipster/non-conformist, etcetera, etcetera, when, really, they’re not.

“I’m going to get a (Mac computer/Starbucks/clothes from Topman) to show how Indie I am.”

Ur, really. How does this work? Indie is short for independent, and these things aren’t anywhere near independent. They’re all major brands, who make seriously large profits every year, and even more now, as all these kids are buying into the hype surrounding the new-wave false-hipster movement.

Really, the whole thing is a well-planned corporate strategy, getting people to part with ridiculous amounts of money to be Indie by looking like 90% of the teenagers around today. Well played Topman with your overpriced clothes. Well played Apple, with your shiny white laptops that scream “look at me, I wasted thousands of pounds on this”, and well played non-comformist conforming teenagers, by buying into the whole idea of hipster.

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The Hunger Games, AKA Twilight 2.0

So, recently, my social media profiles have gotten choked up with the latest fad in popular culture, The Hunger Games. On Twitter, people have been changing their display names to characters from it, Tumblr has been full of various fan-related posts, and Facebook has too many statuses informing the world that whoever has just seen it.

I don’t understand how or why it’s gotten so big so quickly, as I don’t study sociology or whatever, but it’s quite interesting if you think about it. The original book was released in 2008, so it’s had four years to explode in popularity, so why has it taken so long, and why are people becoming obsessed with it?

But until I find time or energy to write down a massive list of the reasons why I think it’s suddenly became popular, I’ll just kindly ask everybody to sit down, relax, and reflect on why you’re so suddenly obsessed with a fantasy film.

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