The zany world of student fashion never fails to amaze me. The rise of neo-Morten Harkets popping up with their daft neckscrves, leather Top Gun jackets and baggy kecks tucked into unlaced Frankenstein boots has increased tenfold over the past month or so. Take On Me? I’d love to take these cunts onto the Birkenhead ferry and drown em.
They’ve ditched their Billy Babbit swedes, ten sizes too big scuffed to fuck 50s rent man shoes and skin tight beatnik kecks in favour of the 1972 Open University Maths lecturer look. Indie Folk frauds Noah & The Whale have returned with two members of the band rocking this style whereas the other two are still Babbits. Atleast it beats that boring as fuck Bench/Fenchurch/Addict/GStar plazzy cazzy ‘streetwear’ look and students are starting to dress like students once more.
Now that Moss from the IT crowd has become a style icon, it can’t be long before this post-ironic merrygoround of rehashed fashions eventually consumes itself completely. The signs are already there with neo-skins and neo-rockabillys and neo-punks and neo-casuals and neo-retro-mods and retro-futurist-new-romantics and dandy highwaymen and proto-scally-scuttlers all vying for attention.
Bands like British Sea Power and Vampire Weekend have attempted some neo-post-punk sartorial revivalism every bit as Hackneyed as their music. It’s all karaoke these days. If it’s not boring bands doing their ‘classic’ albums live (it won’t be long before Northern Uproar perform Yesterday Tomorrow Today infront of their mams and dads in a retirement home in Middleton) then it’s bands dressing like bands from 15, 25, 35 years ago. Working on the same street as LIPA and watching the clueless sons and daughters of upper middle class Europe walk past with their distressed guitar cases and wacky early 60s beatnik fashions as they attempt to revisit a mythological Merseybeat past is pretty dispiriting. They seem to have cash and confidence and contacts and some of em may even end up becoming the new Wombats but they have zero imagination.
They exist in a bubble and some may live their entire lives cocooned in this manner and in some ways that’s fair enough, they will wear XTC shirts and ties and they will play XTC style pop punk and they will get Radio 1 coverage and maybe play a few festivals and have a pint in Ye Cracke with Miles Kane and then become the people they were always meant to be. And Aha will re-form and perform Hunting High & Low all the way through with an orchestra and a full choir and everything.