Rosemary Mac Cabe

Hemlines, heels and haute couture – your daily dose

Dislike: the keffiyah as a fashion statement

Following on from my earlier slightly ranty post comes this masterpiece in train-of-thought blogging. The other day I found myself in Abigail’s in Brooklyn – a cool little café that looks a little like a bar and has one of …

Mon, Mar 28, 2011, 12:30

   

Following on from my earlier slightly ranty post comes this masterpiece in train-of-thought blogging. The other day I found myself in Abigail’s in Brooklyn – a cool little café that looks a little like a bar and has one of the most handsome men I’ve ever seen working in it – drinking lukewarm coffee and eating flourless chocolate cake. Behind the counter languished around six people, each of whom was giving the impression of working, while simultaneously managing to do very little, one of whom was wearing – wait for it – a Mickey Mouse sweater.

I don’t mean a cool leftover-from-childhood Mickey Mouse sweater, I mean a suspiciously clean and in-good-nick jumper, probably purchased in Urban Outfitters and intended to make some kind of cool statement. Then, at the table next to us, four girls sat down and discussed their college course. Of the four, three were wearing geek glasses with no glass in them. The fourth girl was wearing geek glasses with glass; I couldn’t tell whether or not they were prescription.

The point is, readers, and I accept I’ve been meandering on my way to it, this was a ridiculously hipster bar – and so I wouldn’t have been surprised to see several people in there sporting keffiyehs, today’s first “dislike” topic. Don’t know what a keffiyeh is? Lucky you. Prepare for your innocence to be spoiled:

See, you’ve undoubtedly seen it, even if you didn’t know you had. (The image above taken from Midnight Poutine; hope you don’t mind.) Actually, read her post on it first and bone up on the origins, so you can accost your hipster wannabe friends with your knowledge. Hipsters love that crap.

Keffiyehs remind me of crusties in college who were pro-Palestine but couldn’t find it on a map, and protested when the Israeli ambassador came to attend a Q&A session. (Does anyone else have a problem with protests that seem only to curb freedom of speech?) They also remind me of markets in Amsterdam, of my Dad in the 1980s (he had one, although I highly doubt he is pro anything other than Formula One) and of American college students, none of which I think are acceptable sources of inspiration for my peers.

They’re also ridiculously expensive to buy in hipster stores in the western world and, really, what are they supposed to be saying? You can’t all be pro-Palestine. So what is it? Do you want to give the impression that you’re a liberal with a college education and the inability to make your own fashion decisions? Answers on a postcard.

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