Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Liar, liar, pants on KAFIYAH!

I really hate it when 'ethnic fashion' become trendy. They become overdone and a dozen companies put out abberations and butcher the classics. Of the such, kimonos, saris and, of course, mandarin dresses. I admit I have half a dozen 'Mandarin-inspired' clothing, but c'mon, I'm Chinese!

The latest ethnic trend to hit the streets is actually quite new. That is, the kafiyah kahfiyah keffiyeh scarves. It's those long, black and white checkered scarves often worn around the necks of women (and some fashionably gay men) with a fitted t-shirt, denim mini and (ugh!) black leggings. OR on the heads and necks of gun-toting young Israeli boys on CNN.


^Not cool

Perhaps this is a relatively new trend because of all that jazz going on with Israel and Palestine. I started to notice this trend about a year ago. It seems pretty popular with the 'Scenester' crowd and the trend is growing world-wide. Now, I haven't exactly confirmed this with, but my definition of a Scenester is one of those people (most likely from New York City) who cruise after-hour clubs (doesn't even have to be on the weekend. They probably don't have steady jobs), wear grungy clothes and have disturbingly coloured hair and/or makeup. Most, if not all, smoke and there's most likely alot of drugs involved (which probably explains the lack of care for appearance and that starved look). One such example I can point to is that kid (what is she, like 14?), if-she-says-she-doesn't-do-coke-her-pants-are-on-fire Cory Kennedy.

Anyway, this new 'keffiyah revolution' comes to light with that never-ending war in the middle East, made popular by none other than that hipster, Yasser Arafat. The scarf has certain meaning, one that I won't get in to it too much since I don't really know the details and history but it's Googable. This reminds me of all those other trends that people wear without knowing what they fuck they're doing. Plastic bracelets (you wish you played that Sex Game when you were 12), yellow rubber Armstrong bracelets ("Who's Lance Armstrong?") and um, crosses (LOL, no really. If you wear them, why do you do what you do?).

My fashion comrades, from all points of the world, agree that there is that CONTROVERSY tag attached to this so-called trend. But it is still adored. Although I think we are just largely influenced by the runway...

Yeah, we're slaves to fashion [models]. So sue us.

Personally, I like this scarf look. I don't know why. Is it because it comes with a story? Or because I like black and white tattered scarves heavily draped around my neck? I'm not sure. I've been contemplating whether or not to purchase one (they're rampant at flea markets and such) but there is that 'controversy issue' (and everyone knows I love a controversy) and the fact that I don't want people thinking I'm supporting some sort of political movement (that is, politicians as fashionistas). Oh, and most importantly, I don't want to look like a moron who clearly doesn't know what she's doing with this scarf.

I suppose it takes a knowledgeable person to wear one in confidence and to actually do more reading on this, I would need some time. Or perhaps it takes a sensible person to know that this is perhaps a trend that shouldn't be exploited and is best left with the professionals.


whit said...

this has nothing to do with your post and for that, i'm sorry, but i love your new layout.

hmm, brandon boyd has been wearing something kind of like that for about a year now. (that was me trying to talk about your post)

kathy said...

Wow, Lil, the things I learn from your blog. It's like my connection with this world that I know nothing (and probably will always always know nothing) about, lol.

Anonymous said...

I hate to add this so late after the post, but many of your facts are wrong. Firstly, the keffiyeh is not worn by Isrealis, but by Palestinians. Secondly, the "fashion" of wearing keffiyehs in the West is not a new thing. Westerners have been wearing them since the 1980s as a symbol of their support for the Palestinian cause. I would posit that some of the folks that are wearing them probably aren't aware of the political statement they are making, but none the less wearing keffiyeh is not just a fashionable look.

One last comment. In a world that is shrinking, and as we are becoming more and more aware of other cultures, styles etc. I think that saying that only Chinese people should be allowed to wear Chinese inspired clothes is down right racist and culturalist of you. By that argument Chinese people should not wear suits and ties, baseball hats, or tennis shoes. Silly don't you think?