'Visigothic' best describes how I feel walking to work each morning. Like some kind of ignorant barbarian interloper in a high visibility jacket caught traipsing through a rose garden. And yet this is more down to the similarity of dress and physical appearance of the local Neapolitans than much effort on my part. Hair on men is slicked back/up and short, I've rarely seen hair past the shoulders but when I have it's oiled into ringlets. Jeans are ubiquitous, tight and blue. Because they think it is unseasonably cold I've not often seen below the shiny blue/black plastic hybrid puffer-biker jackets usually reserved for bouncers in Britain. Maybe it's like some kind of personal air-bag system for when they come of their scooters...
But I digress, the sneakers+tight jeans+plastic puffy jacket trend is unanimous and indiscriminate, no matter age, gender or profession. I could choose to understand this as some twisted form of social equality... perhaps there is some deep subtlety to labelling/coordination/form that my inexperienced eye cannot as yet pick out, but mostly I just wonder; what happened to fabled Italian style? I have come to realise that Italians are like Elves; while renowned for impeccable poise, an innate sense for fashion and goblins, style by the designer Wellington boot load, and possessed of a culture many centuries more developed than the lesser races, the reality is... well, more realistic; Elves, like Italians, have a well developed stereotype that is really difficult to overcome (bravo Susanna Clarke).
Now I'm not really one to speak, I've never been particularly fashion conscious, but I have been cursed with a deep rooted imperative to display my own personal sense of style whilst having been left devoid of the sensibilities required to do anything stylish. This leads to a tendency for me to wear things that appeal to me and that are vaguely alternative but a far cry from fashion... thus I suspect I look more distinctive than anything else. Maybe I'm just too used to the kind of tolerance displayed by Aberites towards the self styled weirdos that sweep the streets with the hems of their red silk lined black leather trench-coats. Then again, maybe this place needs some more of that kind of weirdo willing to go against the grain. Where are the piercings? The tattoos? The one man gay-pride parades of colour? The ball-gowns worn to get the shopping? I even miss Emos!
Somehow its as if wearing an ankle length cotton duster, unbound shoulder length (increasingly) auburn hair, comfortably baggy combats, boots, plus octopus bedecked t-shirts/linen shirt combos is more alternative than can be born. Staring, laughter, shaken devil horns, cries of 'Mamma mia!', more in shocked surprise than hostility as far as I can gather, are not uncommon. It sort of helps not understanding the lingo at times as it makes one far more able to turn the other and maintain a semblance of dignity amidst adversity. Now I'm used to a bit of this back home, but really get over yourselves dudes! Get out and see the vast variety of materials and colours in which humans clad 'emselves, break free of the mould and celebrate the diversity. You are not Zerg!