The Ford Capri – UK
Fashion and irony have a complex relationship, parasitically feeding off each other in some strange and unspoken interdependency. Boundaries melt together, become indistinguishable, and sometimes, inadvertently, birth whole new trends. What starts out as a fancy-dress joke can become woven into the fashion turbine, misinterpreted, weaved and replicated, with the punchline omitted. Concentric circles of irony revolve so fast that no one knows the tongue-in-cheek fashion move from the authentic one. Dungarees were never meant to enter the style vernacular and spawn into the retail world. No, they were erroneously misfired from a boot-scootin costume party – splatted into the mainstream, poisoning the fauna like faulty plumbing at a public event.
Geographically, the UK is the spiritual home of satire. This deeply ingrained idiosyncrasy leads many people to self-satirise their whole lives, rarely emerging from the facade, a hard-wired cultural condition.
And today, the streets are teeming with strange statements – joke or serious? We’re unsure.
Case in point: Why are young affluent males driving Ford Capris around London. And not vintage ones, with tasteful lines and handsome contours.
We’re talking about the gaudy 1980’s souped-up version, accessorised with hamster tail spoilers and go faster stripes.
This type of Capri was synonymous with the old school chav (the Gary), personifying a time where your chosen ‘wheels’ were a direct reference to your manhood – often offset by a tinted mullet, spray tan and neat pubic region.
Only in the UK would someone parody their whole image with such a monstrosity. The in-joke not only sweeping over the heads of Japanese tourists and literal Americans, but many homegrown Brits too, who simply presume this automobile/style mismatch to be some kind of anomaly, or mental illness.
Why the Capri?
You’d be forgiven for assuming these guys to be neo-Capri revivalists, on some quest to spark a renaissance in shite cars. Or some strange byproduct of economic austerity; nice clobber over shabby wheels.
But no, they’re in fact executing the highest fashion statement: To sabotage their look with utter incoherence. Foie gras with a side of tomato sauce, an Ottoman amongst IKEA plastic chairs, Kafka between the Harry Potter series, some sick on the Queen’s Carnation Gown – all hail the incongruent item, it reigns supreme.
Flaunting a contradiction is all the rage.
I know what you’re thinking: how do we tell who’s cool and who’s inadvertently cool, due to poor taste? Certified coolness is now beyond aesthetics or labels. A deep understanding of irony is now equally important as colour-coordination or following Instagram trends.
And so the plot thickens, we have just slipped into the most pretentious and confusing era of fashion.