The more things change, the more they stay the same. While we have enjoyed seeing the death of New Eras, tie dye and Margaret Thatcher, the fashion industry is still taking itself far too seriously and the UK has as ever, embraced a new wave of terrible American music, clothing and slang with open arms. I don’t know what’s happened to all the brands doing Navajo print pocket tees and fruity 5 panels but I will bet the past year has not been kind to them. With a new year comes a new flood of stuff that needs to fuck off so here’s The Shit List from High Society to call out all that is rubbish.
Streetwear’s latest bastard son is an onslaught of black-on-black sportswear that the blogger illuminati has decided to call ‘street goth’. Sadly it has nothing to do with wallet chains and that time I wore black nail varnish in year 8 and more to do with blending high/low, luxury/street and ridiculous/retarded with some bad rappers thrown in for extra measure. Like most trends, it quickly became tedious as it was embraced by jimmies all over the world in a shower of leather tracky bottoms, mesh baseball tops and they’re-not-dresses-they’re-long-tshirts. So instead of streetwear Daves in chinos and Air Max 1s we now have streetwear Daves dressing like Neo from the Matrix on his way to American football practice, thinking Rick Owens did that Livin’ La Vida Loca tune and Alexander Wang is a hilariously named Chinese takeaway. Even avant garde, fashion forward boutiques like Topman have joined the party and started spewing out some monochrome drapey sportswear inspired dogshit of their own – probably time to bin that £250 extra long Acne shirt before Peter Andre starts wearing basketball shorts over leggings. Out to the brands who only just jumped on this hype by the way – see you in six months.
The only thing more embarrassing than using the word ‘sneaker’ in a real life is how mental people go over them these days – endless retro reissues have reduced grown men who don’t like basketball to swoosh addicted mentalists every time some Jordans drop in different colours from the ones that came out last month. Hysterical PR, re-seller hype and releases more limited than Dane Bowers’ knowledge of Fractional Distillation have been causing heartbreaking scenes worldwide as sneakerheads have been missing out on the opportunity to spend £140 on trainers made by Cambodian orphans. Things get even more ridiculous as spotty virgins have started writing computer programs to auto-cop hype trainers when they drop instead of queuing up for days with their spotty virgin mates to buy them from a proper shop. This insanity has definitely been driven by the cultural value of trainers and has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with smart thinking from a company whose marketing budget is twice the entire economy of Somalia (that’s $2.4 billion).
Pretending to be American
Ever since kids in shitty British suburbs have been able to watch kids in shitty American suburbs on TV, people from the UK have been embarrassing themselves by pretending to be from the USA. It’s 2014 and pretending to be American is somehow still at an all time high – melts from Shoreditch to Scunthorpe are convinced the Brooklyn Nets are gonna win the Superbowl this year, wondering if you can make purple drank out of calpol and even thinking Jay Z still makes good music. Even more cringeworthy are the legions of UK brands who live in one of the world’s most culturally significant countries but still have a hard on for the stars and stripes and wet dreams of A$AP Rodney or whatever his name is wearing one of their snapbacks. Thank god the internet has allowed dorks to embarrass themselves in front of the whole world, with mugs like Yüng Cull$ (real name Steven Cullen, 28 year old Urban Outfitters sales assistant) prancing around online dropping all sorts of cringey Americanisms, calling their mates homies and pretending they drink Hennessy for the taste. “We out here getting turnt” piss off mate you’re from St Albans.
So apparently this is actually a thing. Big up to Nike for managing to convince people that buying shoes is a culture because it looks like sneaker conventions, sneaker customisers, sneaker message boards, sneaker magazines and sneaker reviews, alongside the actual fucking shoes themselves are not enough so now we have sneaker art too. To me sneaker art, from the ‘re-imaginations’ doing the rounds at the minute (What if Kanye West designed sneakers for New Balance? WHAT IF ANTHONY FROM BLUE DESIGNED SNEAKERS FOR FILA?!) to more abstract pieces like ‘LA Gear’ by Christopher Gray, look more like someone’s A level art project than a profound expression of mankind’s sensory interpretations of beauty but what do I know. Either I’m a clueless goon that hasn’t noticed the abstract post-cubist reassembly of perspectives going on or basing an art form around trainers is just a stupid idea in the first place.
Successful people blowing their own trumpet is bad enough but successful people bullshitting that it’s all about hard work and not cos of money, contacts or being in the right place at the right time is just the fucking worst. The internet is full of vague semi-motivational bullshit about hard work or dreams or never giving up that makes you feel like a lazy piece of shit that should be ‘grinding’, ‘making power moves’ or ‘changing the game’ while you’re sitting on your mum’s sofa eating scrambled eggs and watching Blade II. As well as armchair-philosophy written by people who want the world to think they don’t pick their nose like the rest of the human race does, the internet has no end of vulgar displays of bad taste that makes even the #trillest streetwear celeb look like Craig David. The people behind your little sister’s favourite streetwear brands just love to fill their Instagram feeds with Ferraris, iced out Rolexes and other tacky shit that only Russian oil barons and footballers like – I suppose when you’re making clothes for Justin Bieber you shouldn’t expect much better.