My friend Theresa told me about this recent (Sept. 26) Huffington Post column by Verena Von Pfetten, entitled "7 Hipster Fashions We Love to Hate." It's fall, she says, and time to say goodbye to old trends and embrace the new ones. But--the hipsters need extra encouragement in this regard because, she says,
...no one group of people have ever so succumbed, so embraced, so clutched on to trends for dear life with cold, pale, smoke-yellowed fingers as that so-called creative counter-culture: The Hipster.
"From what I can tell," Von Pfetten continues,
the hipster depends, nay, thrives on irony, but the problem is that in doing so, they've a) diluted and deserted any formal definition that irony may or may not have once had and b) they've only served to create a fashion version of The Blob in which once they adopt a "trend" -- usually historical and always ironically, of course -- it feeds on itself, and it grows and grows until frat guys are wearing it and the cast of "The Hills" are designing it, and then someday Rachel Ray will star in a Dunkin Donuts commercial while wrapped in it. Or maybe it's the other way around.
Interesting, isn't it, that it's the hipster kufiya that's the iconic villain of this piece, the viral hipster fashion accessory? And that it's dead when frat boys and Rachael wear it--the archetypes of un-coolness?
And then there's Von Pfetten's point c):
...though they initially drench themselves in these sartorial affectations in a (soon-to-be proven misguided) attempt to show how very unconcerned they are with what exactly it is they wear and though it would seem that their entire image hinged upon the sheer disinterest they have in other people's opinions and the exquisitely cultivated and the desperately disdainful, "What, this? I picked it up off the floor and pulled this out of the garbage and stole this from my myopic maternal grandmother!," the very act itself is contradictory. In attempting to embrace something so patently unflattering so as to prove how patently unimportant such flattery is, they are -- in fact -- acknowledging their concern, and therefore, their endorsement.
To put it simply: these trends, these [seven] accoutrements, these god-awful outfits are fugly. And yet, they are everywhere. And somehow they just never seem to go away.
And then there's the slideshow, with a slide of Rachael Ray in kufiya, and the comment: If Rachel [Rachael] Ray is wearing something in a Dunkin' Donuts commercial, it's most definitely no longer cool. It's done. It's dead. Get over it. And a slide of Kirsten Dunst in brown-and-black "global chic scarf," with the comment: And while I'm a personal fan of Kirsten Dunst, this wasn't cool then, and it sure as heck isn't now.
Will Von Pfetten help kill this trend off? Will it revert back to the politicos?
I don't know. Fayetteville, Arkansas is certainly no bellwether of fashion. But now that the weather has cooled off, you do see the odd kufiya around. I have at least three students who wear them, who are both rather fashionable, and pro-Palestinian.
The saga continues...