Friday, August 14, 2009
When style goes out of fashion
I've been taking it easy out here in the land of good and plenty. Good in the sense of there being a lovely landscape and beautiful ocean. Plenty , because there's too much of everything to excite the senses. It's too much of the same wherever you look. The best way to describe the "scene" in East Hampton and the surrounding villages are they are one huge Ghetto. The rich, the would be rich, the has been rich and the ones who hope to appear reach,let's not forget the pilot fish of the rich and then the regular hard working middle class and poor are all crammed together out here. The ghetto aspect applies particularly to the wealthy .
One might assume that one's means are a means to an end. That end often means a fabulous ,way over the top home, nice wheels, membership to the right country club and a guaranteed table at Nick and Toni's. It also could mean that elusive gene, Style. In my naive mind , I figured that the 2 should go together, considering the proximity to NYC and all things informed and fabulous. Even with the Euro element that has migrated , one would think a bit of savoire faire my seep into the ground water. Well after years and years of studying the habits of the inhabitants in their increasing numbers, I've concluded that this once amazing enclave has altered its face and now is by definition a ghetto. I don't know about you, but any sort of ghetto, be it underprivileged or way over, is not a pleasant environment.
Main Street is a sea of pushy , ill mannered men , women,children,nannies and lapdogs. Everyone acts as though the side walk is their personal property. The excess in luxury designer shops directly mirrors the foot traffic. Even though you have 16 Ralph Lauren shops, Tiffany's,
Hermes, Gucci and a 1000 more which aspire to the same grandeur, no one seems to have any style. What happened to style? Was it in the one steamer trunk they forgot to load into the truck when they moved out for the summer?
The guys have forgotten how to tuck a shirt into pants. It's just not done. The women , no matter their age or body type wear cotton jersey strapless tube dresses day and night. No support, unflattering, often way too short and in the end cheap. A gauzy , quasi- indian tunic with cheesy embroidery is an alternative with short shorts or capri pants, but that's it on the wardrobe effort.
Hair is a non issue.....it's bleached, broken and burned. Shoes are flip flops or towering platforms of one sort or another. Ballet slippers are the in between option. Still it's a sea of sameness. Ghetto mentality in habits, dress, and behavior.
Some of you may think this is an off assessment or just a snotty smack, but it's depressing to go into town and feel in 5 minutes you can neither breathe or move. Well that's the HamptonEffect.
Is it a luxury problem not worth complaining about? Sure. But when you have an interest in style and you see that it is absent and in it's place is conspicuous consumption of high and low merchandise that is indistinguishable and everyone looks dull and duller, then it becomes something more than just a luxury problem . There's no longer respect or regard for each other . It's not considered or considered cool. It's vulgar attitudes, showing off and way too much passing on the right.
Style used to be valued and cultivated. Now it's just out of fashion.