I bought some duct tape the other day. In the post office. It was white, and said “FRAGILE” in big red letters. Whoa, you’re thinking. What a fascinating life I lead. Truly, I should be a columnist. People will pay money to read singular anecdotes like this. Anyway. When I got home, I took the duct tape and used it to seal my parcel – a unicorn rucksack that I needed to return to Amazon, since you ask – because that’s what duct tape is for.
Apart from when it’s used as a belt, obviously. Yup. A. Belt. None other than Raf Simons has decreed it, and when Raf Simons decrees it, we plebs had better consider it Officially Decreed. The new creative director at Calvin Klein first wrapped duct tape round models’ waists at his autumn/winter menswear show, a flourish that looked strong in pictures and received commensurate coverage on Instagram. No-one thought any more about it… until the tape rolls went on sale yesterday. For £155.
It’s all very Supreme Brick. In fact, Supreme did duct tape before Raf Simons, if you care about such things, which you probably don’t (and if you do, feel free to look for bootlegs on Ebay and style up your M&S trench coat. At least it’ll give the mums on the school run something to talk about other than how much weight they put on over the summer hols). It’s also very Prada Paperclip. Yes, Barney’s in New York is selling a large silver paperclip – embossed with the Prada logo, obvs – for a bargain £140. You could stick it through your earlobe and make like a middle class Sid Vicious.
Increasingly, at the luxury end of the fashion market, the overriding principle seems to be: if you make it, someone will buy it – whatever 'it' might be
August is always silly season, but the fashion industry doesn’t always join in with such humorous abandon. We haven’t even gotten to the schmoo yet. The what? Oh, it’s a jumper – minus the traditional hole for your head to go through – designed to be worn over the shoulders for extra warmth. “It’s like a child’s security blanket,” schmoo inventor Michael Kors said after his New York show in which they debuted. “A kid would call it a schmoo or something.” Maybe, but I’ll just stick with a scarf.
Be careful, though, with how you style your schmoo – because you don’t want it messing with those jeans you’re going to be wearing wrapped over your hair like a turban. According to the new Frame denim campaign, shot by no less a luminary than Bruce Weber, the chic-est way to wear your jeans is on your head. “They sent him a box filled with denim, asking him to send back his own interpretation of the pieces,” explains a spokesperson for Frame. It goes without saying that among Weber’s “truly unconventional portraits” there is one of a dog. Well, they are the new social media stars, after all.
While it’s unlikely that the front row at London Fashion Week will be awash with people wearing jeans on their head (or will it?), I’m fairly sure that at some point over fashion month, I’ll see someone in a schmoo. Ditto the duct tape: they may not be using it as a belt (although I wouldn’t bet against it), but someone will stick a length over the back of their jacket, or maybe even wear the entire tape roll like a giant sticky bangle. Why? Because it exists. Increasingly, at the luxury end of the fashion market, the overriding principle seems to be: if you make it, someone will buy it – whatever “it” might be. Even if it’s a £140 paperclip, a £185 DHL T-shirt or a lookalike Ikea bag with a price tag of £1600.
That’s what happens when you’re lucky enough to be born in a land of plenty, and have everything you need. You start buying all kinds of stuff you don’t need. Yes, August might be silly season. But in the fashion world, some might say that silly season runs all year.
*One of these is made up. Kidding. None of them is made up. They’re all real. Yup.