March 7, 2014
I really don’t intend this to be hipster central (“Hipsters! Can’t stand them!”) but this was sent in by an alert reader whose sole comment to me was Murderous rage prevents me from typing any more at the moment.
This is excerpted from the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/06/fashion/the-monocle-returns-as-a-fashion-accessory.html?_r=2
One Part Mr. Peanut, One Part Hipster Chic
The Monocle Returns as a Fashion Accessory
By ALLEN SALKIN MARCH 5, 2014
From the trendy enclaves of Berlin cafes and Manhattan restaurants to gin ads and fashion magazines, the monocle is taking its turn alongside key 21st-century accouterments like sharply tucked plaid shirts and certificates in swine butchering.
Martin Raymond, a British trend forecaster, credits the rise to what he calls “the new gents,” a hipster subspecies who have been adding monocles to their bespoke tweed and distressed-boot outfits. On a recent trip to Cape Town, Mr. Raymond said, he saw such a group carrying monocles along with tiny brass telescopes kept in satchels.
“All of this is part of a sense of irony and a way of discovering and displaying old artisanal and craft-based technology,” Mr. Raymond said. “You see the monocle appearing in Berlin, parts of South Dublin.”
Toby Miller, a cultural historian, said: “Monocles have always marked people out as beyond the crowd, slightly different. On one hand you have the Prussian officer, on the other you have the effete English lord, and then you also have the New York and London lesbian in the 1920’s.”
There is more, a lot more, but the author obviously buys into that nonsense. Seriously, who wouldn’t want to look like a Prussian officer or, better yet, a 1920’s lesbian? Yeah, that’s a desirable look. It goes perfectly while butchering a pig, which hipsters can do, according to this article, because they all have swine butchering certificates.
I can go on and on, but we’ll move on to this picture from the same NY Times article.
The man with the half-glasses above is Jose Vega, who is quoted in the article:
“I got it just to have my own style, bring something new to the table,” said Jose Vega, 23, an aspiring Miami rap musician who can be seen sporting a monocle on his SoundCloud page. “Also, I’m nearsighted.”
# 1: He is actively hurting his eyesight by only wearing a half of a pair of glasses.
#2: He is “bringing something new to the table” by wearing an accessory that thousands of other people are now wearing, and has “his own style” by wearing something that all the other hipsters are wearing.
All this guy and every other monocle-wearing doofus is doing is joining the crowd, not starting a trend, but jumping on a trendy bandwagon. Give Pharrell credit. His hat may make him look like a ranger at Jellystone Park, but at least it is unique. No one else is wearing it, at least for now.
No way, Jose. Your may think your monocle screams “look at me! I’m different!” but all I hear is a small pathetic whine of “I just want to be part of the crowd.”