Archive for the ‘TRYHARDTREND’ Category

TryHardTrends: WINTER SPECIAL

EVERYWHERE’S NU MUSIC POLICY: no taste tracklistings

Katie? Where are we? And what year is this?’

Remember that night in the student union when we heard them play Wheatus’ ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ followed by ‘Build Me Up Buttercup’ and were confused? That was called ‘cheese’ – it goes with £1 shots of Aftershock and the bitter taste of unidentified, crying-in-the-loos identity-crisis. You experienced it for 15 minutes before realising that The End was ten minutes’ walk away and you probably should go there instead. Well cheese is back. In Lower Dalston, in The West End, in Harrow, wherever there are pierced-up ears to hear it. NOW. Who cares if every song ever is available to play off Spotify and Youtube or that this year has brought us Grimes’ Visions and Duke Dumont’s ‘The Giver’ and more Bat For Lashes or the film about my favourite band of the 2000s which explains why everyone looks the way they do no matter what music they’re listening to these days. Sound good? Slam on 101 party hitz and dance the night away – it’s Christmas, right?

*There’s a difference between bad taste and no taste.

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THT (Try Hard Trend): The Pencil Wearer

You’ve all seen those scenesters sporting cigarettes as ear wear. The (technically) grown up versions of kids who smoked candy sticks ’round the back of the bike sheds at school; naively thinking they were far too cool for school when in fact, they were just about cool enough*.

Crucially, no-one ever finds out if these hipsters are actual smokers because the cigarette never gets smoked. It perches precariously, a vital accessory in their ‘I look cool, therefore I must be’ aesthetic – an elaborate ploy to fake insouciance without risking death. Which is fair enough. I fancy them.

I also fancy people who carry big and difficult books because 1) toting a tome requires dedication and/or muscles and 2) I assume the size of the book is directly proportional to the size of the carrier’s brain.

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Try Hard Trends>>> Winter Accessories Special!

Welcome to our winter guide to what to wear/do/think/say NOW!

One hand in my pocket

Cloakroom fees, queues, too many layers of bulky clothes… going out in winter is such an ordeal and having too much stuff makes it feel even less worthwhile.  Now, as the chill hits town, leave your handbag at home and fill up your pockets. These capacious clothes-holes are the ultimate Ghostbuster blast in the face of the fading spectre of the OTT IT bag. Imagine Alison Mosshart grasping a clutch or Patti Smith swinging a tote – impossible, right? So do as The Chung or the Kangaroo and minimise your necessaries and simplify by going sans sac. What’s the point in pockets if you don’t use them? LIBERATION/HANDS FREE.

Number one CeeD: FUN IRONIQUE! ‘OMFG what’s that? A CD? Are they like from the 90s or something?’ CDs are the latest fad from everyone’s old favourite decade to make a welcome return to our pavement-catwalks and top decks of buses. At supersecret disused warehouse raves in Hackney (sometimes I worry that there are no used warehouses in Hackney) DJs have been mothballing their slotless Macbook Airs and charity shopping their vinyl to once again spin CDs as if they’re the new cassettes. Snap up a vintage CD walkman now and battery-up, girlfriend.

STOPPED DEAD WATCHES//LIKE CLOCKWORK

I’m late. I’m wandering about and look up at the nearest clocktower to check the time but of course it’s broken. Everywhere I go in London, it’s pretty normal to notice that wherever there’s a clock, it will be telling the wrong time. At St Pancras it’s always 12.34, at Harrow and Wealdstone it’s mostly 6.08. Bring our chaotic capital’s spirit of malfunction and timelessness into your wardrobe by clipping on chunky stopped watches that don’t work (but skinnify the wrist) and slinging  kaput timeface medallions around your neck in the style of a carefree Flava Flav. Check the time on your mobile phone if you must. CRAZY.


Sister Resisters!*

Friend of Pamflet Anna Fielding and I attended the Fawcett Society‘s Don’t Turn Back Time march and rally against The Cuts yesterday in a very sunny and gloriously autumnal London. Some had objected to Fawcett’s fancy dress suggestion of 1950s garb, but on the day a rabble of (mostly) ladies wearing natty tied headscarves, bright red lipstick and big skirts certainly made for a lot of extra attention and a jolly atmosphere on route. The mess we’re in right now isn’t much to celebrate, but it was reassuring to join a couple of thousand other people who want to support Fawcett’s work and there were smiles as marchers held wooden spoons, feather dusters and old cereal boxes repurposed as signs proudly aloft.

As we gathered for the rally on King Charles Street at the end of the march I was imagining what if Topshop ever did tryhardtrend protest chic with a pack including whistle, DIY sign, loudspeaker and facepaint :/ I was appalled when I saw evil V*ce’s utterly ridiculous ‘riot grrrls’ fashion shoot at the student demonstrations last year (and I definitely I won’t link to it here). Some things are just too precious to just be labelled ‘cool’ and packaged up as a trend in a crappy magazine. So even if everyone looked rather nice at yesterday’s march, there was a serious point being very well made by a lot of chanty, passionate attendees and an inspiring lineup of speakers invited along by the Fawcett Society.

The extremely cute and funny Josie Long came straight from her 6Music show to chat about why she’s a feminist and made everyone laugh, the occasionally disagreeable-in-print journalist Tanya Gold shouted us into cheering for her (she was very good!) and Chitra Nagarajan representing the Southall Black Sisters reminded everyone that ‘the only people these protests intimidate are the government’.

Right on sister resisters! Keep up-to-date with Fawcett’s Don’t Turn Back Time campaign by signing up to their newsletter here.

*This is how one of the speakers addressed us yesterday – it made Anna and I very happy.


La Loca Moda (de Pedro Almodovar)

Never mind the crazy plot and the deranged characters, Pedro Almodovar’s new film The Skin I Live In  is all about ONE DRESS – the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. Feminine, floral and fitted, this dress – which  holds particular symbolic significance in the film when prisoner/experiment Vera puts it on towards the end of the film looks perfect (she spends most of rest of her time in a rather tricky to wear bodystocking which comes in black or beige).

It was the luridness and hyper-kitsch styling of his earlier work that first got me hooked me on Pedro and while he’s still satisfyingly outrageous and melodramatic, much of his first films’ sartorial silliness and playfulness has gone as fashions have changed and he has matured into his rightful place in the cinematic establishment.

In those early pictures with their shoestring budgets and shabby but cheerful outfits, there was a lot of visual comedy to be found in what the characters wore on-screen: the bright makeshift punk of Pepi, Luci y Bom (in 1980 and second below) where outfits were as improvised as the action; Dark Habits‘ nuns (see the bongo-players below) and secret sequins; the polkadot powerdressing, faux-Chanel and novelty earrings* of 80s opus Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. There’s room for the everyday clothes of the working Spanish woman too, styling Penelope Cruz with a bouffant, miniskirt and hoop earrings in Volver and the traditional black  lace of widows lurking around the edges of many a scene. Pedro has always been a champion of transsexual chic, his oeuvre showcasing all that Madrid’s drag queens and casual crossdressers have in their wardrobes: shoulderpads, glitter, wigs and plenty of make-up – this is a world where anything goes.

Consistently celebrating the outlandish and the extrovert when it comes to dressing up in his films, it’s no wonder that fashtypes wanna hang with Pedro (SKIN features creative input from Jean Paul Gaultier – not sure if he made The Dress, but he probably had something to do with the tiger man – look, you can’t miss him and check out this peculiar shoot from last year in US Harper’s Bazaar featuring recreations of film scenes starring JPG, Karl and el director himself). But if you can’t hang with him/don’t live in Spain, at least you can still go to the movies: Pedro, te amo.

*Above: Candela – one of the Women on the Verge… – wears stovetop coffeemaker earrings – they carry particular weight in a film where no one can sleep but everyone keeps passing out. Inspired…


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