The Treehouse + The Cave


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Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Infirmity Spreads

Keffiyeh

Since first discussing the adoption of the Keffiyeh as the accessory of choice for those shedding their trucker and box caps, I have seen the trend propagate further. Two kids in my building wear them, dozens on the L over the coarse of a week. Hundreds on the web if you look close enough at the party pix.

Again I ask, what are the wearers' motivations? What is their relationship to the cultures from which the garment emerged? What reaction are they hoping to stimulate in their peers? Do those peers openly question the meaning behind the choice to wear one? Do the wearers themselves?

I find it terrifying to watch my peers, my social allies, manipulate symbols this haphazardly, this disrespectfully. Even more so to watch the inanity spread. Soon this'll be on Youth Intelligence, and a day later in Nylon, then Teen Vogue. Traveling through culture, embraced by many, all blind to what their gesture might actually mean.

Image 1: The Cobra Snake, February 8, 2005
Image 2: The Cobra Snake, February 17, 2005
Image 3: The Cobra Snake, February 20, 2005
Image 4: The Cobra Snake, February 18, 2005
Image 5: The Cobra Snake, February 16, 2005
Image 6: The Cobra Snake, February 14, 2005
Image 7: The Cobra Snake, February 10, 2005
Image 8: The Cobra Snake, February 20, 2005
Image 9: The Cobra Snake, February 8, 2005

Blogger hipp-o thought:

and so it goes....

the hipsters will wear it, it will be diluted and stripped of meaning and sold on st. marks place. where do they get them now i wonder?? you can't really even call it a keffiyeh if you don't have a koloshnikov in the other hand, right?

i imagine most who are wearing them now are indeed doing so in a spirit of solidarity. this is a good intention, but naive, for they are introducing it more as an element of fashion than of fraternity. wearing one to a rally, fine. but wearing a keffiyeh to a bar where one is wearing $250 jeans and buying girls $10 mojitos is hardly a genuine act of solidarity.

but those who live directly immersed in a world of war and poverty will create new symbols for themselves, as they have no other choice. their creativity and need for symbolism and identity will continue due to their unfortunate adversity.

March 2, 2005 at 6:11 PM - Comment Permalink  
Blogger Paige thought:

hey... maybe you can answer this for me.. is there a story behind thecobrasnake? like who *is* taking all those pictures!?

(sometimes i spend evenings just enamoured by the pretty people in pretty places...)

March 2, 2005 at 7:18 PM - Comment Permalink  
Blogger Dirty Jase thought:

Not that I thought these were cool,but nothing is cool anymore these days...

March 4, 2005 at 12:21 AM - Comment Permalink  
Blogger Andy thought:

Paige,

All the pix on Cobrasnake are shot by a kid named Mark Hunter from LA, he used to be Shepard Fairey's assistant and has since become the de facto society photographer for the commercially acceptable art/fashion crowd.

I'm totally neutral on his work, it is what it is. I'll admit though, just like everyone else, it's fun to to sift through his site looking for pictures of friends.

You can read up on him here.

A.

March 4, 2005 at 9:10 AM - Comment Permalink  
Anonymous Anonymous thought:

well, i somewhat agree with your position on this, but it's also ignorant to deny that wartime garments are often re-introduced into popular culture. khaki's, combat boots, camo, i mean... army surplus stores are huge centers for the 'fashionable'. just because they come from another culture doesn't mean it's insensitive to wear or redefine. so what if it's a fashion statement as well as a national symbol for another country? i think it's overly sensitive of you to defend a garment because it has some political affiliations that are being ignored by the people wearing them here. just because people happen to enjoy the way something looks doesn't mean they have to be also giving some 'message' - it's tough, but it's true. fashion is a ridiculous industry and a funny idea - but political it ain't.

polluxafx@mac.com - don't have a blog, apologies.

January 10, 2006 at 4:20 PM - Comment Permalink  

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