November 2008-August 2009
Oftentimes, unlikely candidates become the inspiration for breakout fashion flash trends. In 2003, Jappy rich girls at private schools, deeply engrossed in the love saga of Marissa Cooper and Ryan Atwood, looked at Australian surfers, and in one of the biggest mysteries of modern history, decided Uggs would be the perfect accompaniment for any outfit. Then, in 2004, those same smart pretentious girls looked to the next most likely fashion inspiration. Obese American truckers, obviously. Once Ashton Kutcher decided to punk America by wearing one stupid Von Dutch trucker hat, it became the greatest fashion must-have since Levi invented jeans.
In 2008, those gods of fashion (who must truly work in some mysterious and fucked up ways) once again decided to wreak havoc on the world and determined that plaid would be thrust upon the poor citizens of Earth. And so, from fall 2008 to summer 2009, blue, green, red, and continually more risky variations of plaid (purple! yellow!) popped up in subway trains, on Sunset, in clubs, and then finally in high schools in the midwest…where they are currently living out their cold, last gasps of life.
So what made lumberjacks into the Anna Wintours of 2008? Was it an economy that dictated that fashion would equally have to look as shitty and cheap? Was it a new president’s promise of change that made people shy away from traditional choices? Who the fuck knows.
However, the most ironic aspect of the entire plaid fad was that Abercrombie & Fitch, that mad house of style for tweens and Nebraska collegians, which often carries tons of plaid, failed to stock it during this entire stretch of time. If you don’t believe me, check out the shuttered store in your local mall.
So, how do we say goodbye to plaid? Will we move on to solids? Glitter? Stripes? As the confused faces on the stairs of Barney’s or the distressed junior publicists checking out racks of clothes at photo shoots can tell you…it’s an uncertain world out there. While we now may breath a collective sigh of relief that fashion’s symbol of beauty is moving on from large, burly, northern woodcutters, we may one day reminisce on these days of economic despair and fashion malaise. Imagine if Lady Gaga inherits that throne. Hopefully you’ll never see me wearing bubbles or walking down Melrose with a galactic spear in my hand. But then again, no promises.
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