Norwich IS unfashionable - and long may it last
Archant © 2010
According to Q magazine, Norwich is an unfashionable city.
The comment in a review of city musical duo Let’s Eat Grandma provoked some anger, so Q responded.
“We’ve looked into your complaint and I’m afraid we’ve decided to uphold the description of Norwich as unfashionable. Sorry about that.”
How very dare these waistcoat-wearing metropolitan snobs peer through their monocles and down their noses at our Fine City?
What do they know about Norwich that enables them to make such a sweeping statement?
It’s typical of the way that Norwich and Norfolk are sneered at by outsiders who think all we’ve got is Alan Partridge and the Singing Postman.
Hang on a mo, though - am I getting a little too uptight? Is it time to downloose?
For “unfashionable”, even if meant as an insult, isn’t. It should be taken as a compliment.
I’m actually rather proud that people regard the city where I live in such a way.
Fashionable means representing a current popular style - but current very easily and quickly becomes past.
Or it can mean dressing or behaving according to the current trend.
Right now, a current trend is for men to wear trousers that are about four inches too short, with no socks, showing off their mankles. What on earth do they look like? They’ll have many years to regret their folly - as we all ought to understand.
For who hasn’t followed fashion, only to wish fashion had given them the slip?
I’ve done the ponytail with undercut, the mullet, the late 1980s white golf shoes with tassels, the flat top and so much more. I’m currently sporting a ginger beard: it’s only a matter of time...
Fashionable can also mean frequented by fashionable people - which is enough reason to run for your dear life.
Would you like to be surrounded by people who consider themselves to be fashionable? No room at the washroom mirrors, egos colliding all over the place, and the constant worry that people are judging your unfashionable soul. It also leads to an inevitable increase in the price of everything, including houses, restaurants and a pint of beer.
At the moment, one of the most fashionable pairs of trainers are the Y-3 Saikous for £330. They don’t look all that to me.
Being in fashion really is overrated. Which is fine, because Norwich is neither.
Our city is unfashionable and underrated - and long may it last.
It’s the capital of a county whose people like to do diff’rent, not follow the crowd. It’s a place where people from other nations have long been given refuge and a warm welcome. It’s somewhere that encourages creativity and expression - two things that can only be straitjacketed by an obsession with the fashionable.
Norwich is quirky, unpredictable, a little edgy, inventive and refreshingly free.
If it ever becomes fashionable, I’d suggest moving away - unless you fancy yourself as one of the dedicated followers.
For the f-word would bring ruin to Norwich, stealing its soul.
So a big thank-Q to my favourite music magazine of the early 1990s for the timely reminder that the city is unfashionable.
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