For those who know me very well you’ll know there’s an expression I use that just came to me one days and it’s simply “Who wants normal? Normal is boring”. Now I know it isn’t anything deep or inspiring like Shakespeare or Lincoln, but it means a lot to me and it’s pretty basic. I use it as a way of showing how I like to be different in my personality because it makes life more interesting. By personality I mean sense of humour, behaviour, interests and other such factors, I don’t tend to delve to much in to material possessions.
Those who know me quite well will also know that I’m far from a fashion icon. I wear the clothes I want to because they’re comfortable and they make me blend in reasonably well in most social venues, as well as possibly wearing something that means a lot to me (such as a band shirt). I don’t have an in depth knowledge of what looks good or trendy, but I do have a good sense for what looks similar and what is different. The thing with fashion nowadays is that people try to be different, which isn’t a problem, if it done properly and correctly. If a new idea comes along that someone starts using in their appearance it is quite interesting because it is a way of expressing them self, but if too many people catch on to it then it makes the idea somewhat redundant. It’s silly when it’s a case of “Oh that looks good, because it’s different. I might try it” because it just removes the whole point of it.
Back the days of the 70s and 80s there was always this idea that David Bowie was ahead of his time. If you wanted to see what the next move of fashion was then it was something of an urban myth that you could wire Bowie to a machine, read his thoughts and you’d see what was coming next. He was always strutting around in something that was totally out of this world and yet suited his image. If anyone else even attempted to copy him they would have looked ridiculous because they weren’t him. Nowadays it’s a case of large collections of people wearing the same clothes but claiming to be different. Obviously in some cases they do add their own touch to an idea to make it their own, but the basis of them is still the same. It’s a strange feeling walking down the high street and seeing so many people with the same style, as if they’ve just been copied and pasted like year seven homework assignment. It messes with your head, with constant thoughts of “didn’t I just walk past him? oh no it’s just the same clothes” and “If i couldn’t see their faces then they could easily all be the same person”.
Now by this point I’m assuming some of you will be thinking that I’m ranting at people with the same fashion and who wears anything that is at all up-to-date, when I’m not. This frustration is aimed at those who say their ‘look’ is different when it is far from it. This is not a rant about fashion just to clarify, it’s about the choice of words people use when describing their fashion. Specifically “different” and “unique” are among the misused.
I understand the idea of wanting to look different because it is a form of expressing yourself, but why can’t some people do it properly then? Being different is about going against what others are doing. Not taking what others are doing and tweaking it slightly. Fashion admittedly isn’t a subject I’m too well informed on, but I know when someone looks different and when they don’t. It’s getting ridiculous how there’s no creativity or imagination in what people wear, it’s just a case of running with whatever is ‘in’ at the moment or not fitting in with the crowd. I personally do not care about what I wear because either way somebody somewhere will judge me for it, so as long as I’m happy with it then I’m not too fussed. There is this idea of people being “indie” nowadays which I understand means “individual”. To me they all look the same, so the term “indie” for me refers to the individual group of people within society, not specific people because it is a more plausible use of the term.
But the need to look different will get worse and I can’t wait for it. People frantically running around the house looking for something different to enhance their appearance and make them stand out. Grabbing ordinary household items and attaching it to their clothes before leaving the house so that it looks unique. So the streets will be filled with people wearing combinations of suits, holiday wear and kitchen utensils. With mixtures of flip flops, bow ties and whisks we’ll be sure to be seeing something new on a daily basis. All shiny with a hint of formality, it will look like a low budget 70s sci fi film meets Downton Abbey. So while this issue rages on and people continue to experiment with fashion, David Bowie will be sat at home laughing and reminiscing about the times when he looked like all of us at one point.
So to sum up, this wasn’t a rant out fashion, it was more a rant about people’s choice of words. If you want to be different then do it properly. And most importantly; if you need advice on fashion to keep your look up to date then ask Bowie.
To end this post I shall leave you with a quote from Stephen Mangan talking recently about an unsuccessful band he was in. I think it shows quite well what being different is all about: “We were ahead of our time. And behind our time. There was no time that we would have fitted in at all”.