18 September 2010

Chic to be poor as long as you are rich

There is a wine bar near me that offers both indoor and al fresco dining and beverages. Gas fired torches keep it warm and cozy on a winters afternoon, (the establishment closes at 5pm) and in the summer, offers a cool oasis from the unforgiving sun. It's one of those rare wine bars that is smart without being trendy - a nice change from artificial leather furniture to seat artificial plastic people.

The waiters and waitresses dress like chimney sweeps. It's a little bit like being served by Bert from Mary Poppins. I have this dread that one day they will all line up together and start singing, "Step In Time" in an embarrassingly fake and patronizing Cockney accent.

The choice of "uniform" reminded me again of the increasing trend to make "working class" clothes chic and fashionable. Of course this only works if the wearer is not working class, which is rather ironic. Patrons of fashionable establishments will pay out hundreds or even thousands of dollars, to dress just like those who frequent establishments the oh-so-chic wouldn't be seen dead in, dontcha know dahlink.

I recall a few months back watching a news segment on a German fashion designer who makes clothes made out of old miners overalls. If they were grubby or greasy - so much the better. The outfits sold for hundreds of dollars and there were no shortage of buyers wanting to look like a left over extra from How Green Was My Valley. All very well and good if you are one of the beautiful people - but I'd like to see a real miner trying to gain entry into a fashionable bar in grubby overalls - and I am not talking about the sort of minors Leicestershire Constabulary admit enlisting to engage in illegal activity in bars and night clubs!

Is it just me, or is there something slightly tacky about the rich paying good money to like, "the poor"?

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