This past Saturday, I went to California to eat at a new premier restaurant and catch up on my surfer lingo with members of the National Counsel of Hang-ten. While ordering appetizers, an actress walked in wearing nothing more than a banana peel with pink fur glued around it and sixty-four #2 pencils strapped across one shoulder. Following the actress was Joan Rivers, her daughter, Melissa, and a big prissy white man named Leon Hall.
"Dude," I said.
"You mean, Cowabunga
" corrected one of my hosts
"Cowabunga," I continued, "Why the hell is Joan and her entourage following the chick in the Chiquita banana?"
The National Counsel of Hang-ten then informed me that E! has hired the three fashion savants to kibitz and kvetch about high fashion on their own talk show.
"That's so not bodacious," I explained.
"It's completely un-tubular," they added as we finished ordering our catfish rolled in a tortilla and stuffed with mango jelly appetizer.
Personally, I can't believe that there is a daily talk show about fashion. What would happen if Wolf Blitzer of CNN or Chris Matthews of CNBC's Hard Ball started critiquing how Arafat wears his turban rather than debating his noble cause of sending juvenile terrorists to suicide bomb large numbers of innocent people?
For starters, there would be a lot of stupid people watching CNN and CNBC. Also, it would be expected that Gucci and Armani would have to start outfitting the world's political landscape. Following that, next year, right before the State of the Union, Joan, Melissa and Leon would have to do a congressional fashion exposé entitled, "The White Men in the Blue Suits on the Red Carpet."
I once saw a poster that read,
"Dull people talk about other people, average people talk about events and intelligent people explore ideas." If this is indeed the case, then perhaps we can all gleam something from the caliber of entertainment E! broadcasts and the triviality of fashion's control over our attention.
Why do so many people care about a one-of-a-kind $26,000 Prada dress when they themselves only feel comfortable wearing the same Abercrombie sweater with a line on the chest that everyone else wears. Real changes in fashion are dictated by one cool kid in the town of Grover's Corners, N.H., and the rest of the nation just copies his style.
That being said, I would like to talk about my own ideas and predictions for the future of style.
Revolutionary-Era tri-corner hats are going to be huge this spring. With last year's release of The Patriot on DVD, and the new wave of patriotism being observed all over the U.S., it is fairly obvious to me the next phase of Americanism will happen in clothing.
Like the three-cornered hat of Paul Revere, these pieces of head garb are sure to get the attention of every teenage town crier and be a big seller with aristocrats and the remaining members of the Whig party.
In conjunction with the tri-cornered hat, the cape is coming back. First made popular in pre-draconian times by members of nobility, the cape was later adopted by a host of DC Comics superheros looking to fashionably exude both their machismo and bravado. Adding flare to almost any outfit, be it a black tuxedo, a t-shirt and jeans ensemble, or a white zoot suit ala Lou Bega, the cape is destined to be next season's eye catching accessory.
The monocle will also enjoy a brief stint of popularity, but the really exciting addition to next year's wardrobe will be both trend setting and functional. Attached to every belt buckle will be an adjustable "Bottled Water Holster." The holster, which will be able to accommodate quart, liter, gallon and water-cooler sized jugs, will be adorned by rubies and located on the right side of the belt.
While this may present a problem for left handed people, lefties should note that if they wear their water bottles on their left hip they will be subject to the same stereotypes applied to those who get earrings in their left ear.
It is expected that Louis Vuitton and Evian will make a line of designer shaped bottles and holsters as part of their Vuittevian Collection, and a new breed of fashion sense will arise from within our country as thousands compete to claim the title, "The Fastest Squirt in the West."
The last bombshell to be dropped on the fashion scene is the first merger of the clothing and welding industries since the medieval days of yore. The biggest difference between then and now being the substitution of metal chest plates for NEW! Facial PDAs.
Instead of carrying their Palm Pilots or Handsprings in their pockets, society's hippest will start having their electro-planners professionally grafted to their cheeks, forehead and thyroids. One's measure of sociability and class will be apparent by how many listings they have in their organizer's address book, and having a piece of electronics protruding from one's head can be a great conversation starter.
Fashion touches all of our lives, but if we let it touch us in inappropriate ways we're just setting ourselves up for future law suits and scandal that will rock the garment church. In a world where war is brewing, the economy is standing as straight as FDR ever could, and the Queen mum couldn't even make it to 102, why are we so preoccupied with what Gwyenth Paltrow is wearing? Retail salesmen and haberdashers aside, (sorry Dad) it's time we abandon fashion, and start wearing color-coded Star Trek-esque body suits, so we can focus on only the most gnarly global issues.