Thursday, 9 April 2009

Vice v7n3 Feature: Wear Dare

A feature involving me wearing seven days worth of clothes that my biddy Bruno had selected for me for the paltry some of £50. I did the same to him. It doesn't really work without the photos but meh, whatever.

Day One

Today I feel like a camp male stylist in Lil Kim trousers. And a Hackney wino’s shoes. Thanks, Bruno. The little old guy who has been letting me through the gate with my bike for about 15 years at Kingston train station dispensed with his usual cheery smile and did a green-cross-code-guy stop signal with his hands and examined my ticket eyeing me up like he was a gumshoe in some Raymond Chandler novel about to snuff my ongoing offense to decent dressing. Next stop: BBC Radio 6 Music. The building 6 Music broadcasts out of shares studios with Radio 2 and usually it’s a pretty fun deal pretending you are John Peel but from security right through to actually getting inside the studio I got stopped about four times and grilled. I usually sail through no questions asked. The producer guy even informed me that I wasn’t “dressed for radio”, whatever that means. I then had to go see a friend’s band play at Café 1001 off Brick Lane. Luckily the amount of two bit LCC drop outs who drape themselves all over Dray’s Walk hoping Gilbert and George might wink at them made me feel pretty camouflaged in my get up. So far not so bad.

Day Two

Today’s combo was actually hugely comfortable. The Hawaiian shirt was made of kind of silk and its verdant greens were almost soothing. The trousers were basically pyjama bottoms that someone else had worn into that really nice thin soft stage without any effort on my part. The only major downside of this whole shebang was what can only be described at best as skid marks, at worst “a load of crap stains in my trousers”. I managed to finally provoke some reaction when I tipped up in my piggy jim-jam suit to the Underworld to catch the end of Wolves In The Throne Room’s set. All the stern-faced blog metal kids with sixty-seven variations of every Sunn release looked as though I’d casually strolled in and started sodomising their mothers because I wasn’t wearing a t-shirt with some band on the front whose logo you’d need a PhD in BM symbols to decipher. Sadly they all also live with their mothers and were never taught bar fighting at Stowe or Harrow or wherever they went to school so I managed to go another day without grievous bodily harm.

Day Three

Today I had to wear a dress. So did Bruno but luckily mine was more like some kind of gown I imagine a hash peddler in Marrakesh might wear. The hat still brought it down to an escapee-from-a-home-for-the-severly-autistic level but, compared to the Tinker Bell number I’d got Bruno in, I was pretty OK with the set up. I was beginning to feel a little like I had been overly malicious but you can’t dwell on these things. After some warm-up drinks in the safety of my flat we took to the town. All was fine at the Old Blue Last amidst the usual turn out of ridiculously dressed guys who look like girls for a living but the walk up Hoxton Street saw us get into a little bother after someone took offence to Bruno’s lilac frock. It finally felt like the British aversion to silliness had been vindicated.

Day Four

After yesterday’s triumph of brutality, today came felt a little like an anti-climax. Until I got a call from my mum reminding me that it was my grandmother’s birthday. Granny and Grandpa Knight are from old south-west London building stock so don’t look too kindly on any unnecessary fruitiness. I feared that their predictions that their grandson might get turned “a little queer” by a career in “media” might be confirmed by the mock Juicy Couture bottoms and green roll neck. They took it all surprisingly in their stride and just offered me cocktail sausages and pineapple and cheddar on a stick maintaining the stiff upper lip drill right through until goodbyes when I got an “if I make it through to my next one, can you not come dressed like your sister?”. Sorry nan.

Day Five

The most inappropriate till last. My computer had warned me it might snow today but the BBC are about as trustworthy as the guy on Great Eastern Street who has told me he needs a pound to call his lawyer every single day for the last two and a half years. For once though Auntie was on the money. The temperature had dropped to solidly around zero, the sky was swelling with white stuff and I was in some shorts Maradona would have waved off for being too high-cut back in 1978 and a vest that made me look like a Brazilian beach volleyball player. Leaving the house led to my hopes of future fatherhood halving every second they were indecently exposed and imposed on passers by. After a day of shivering and shaking I couldn’t turn down an invitation to a lamb shank pot roast at my girlfriend’s parents’ house. Her 11-year-old brother gave me perhaps the most withering “grow the fuck up” look of the week when he answered the door but I was too hungry to care about the raised eyebrows that accompanied every bite.

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