Thursday, January 06, 2011

Mr Big

I'm still reeling that GQ has named Romeo Beckham as a style icon, despite being just eight years old.

If I'm honest I've never given him a second look. He's just one of the Beckham sprogs that are wheeled out at every event when they turn up en famille. I've always viewed them as mere fashion accessories, as is the trend these days.

But on closer inspection this boy is like a junior Niles Crane, all neat hair, stripey ties and stiff suits. According to his mother he's not interested in going to the beach with the other boys, he likes to accompany her to the offices of her fashion line and discuss fabrics, etc. I think it's safe to say where this one's going.

Fair enough, everyone's different, but seriously what eight-year-old takes such an interest in fashion? When I was eight I didn't have much choice in what I wore. Not that I cared. It was royal blue hand-knitted chunky surgical collar-style polo-neck jumpers from Auntie Maggie, who had nothing much better to do following the hip replacement she had after falling off a bus in 1971. Otherwise it was normal blue jeans, lots of brown flares and plimsoles. More often than not it was shorts too, and I have seen pictures of flowery shirts with matching ties, but none of this was my idea.

I didn't sit poring over Look-In wanting to copycat David Cassidy's wardrobe. Mum did once buy me some purple trousers and a T-Rex T-shirt (not to be tucked in but I couldn't resist - I was something of a formal child, and even wore a tie to the beach, so the story goes), but I didn't take to it.

As I got to be a teenager fashion became important. But I do wonder how many eight-year-olds, even today, give a fig about looking up-to-date. When you see kids who are dressed head to toe in something their parents would happily wear, it's not the kids who are making the decisions. I have a friend with as son who's a mini-me of him, and you can see he's dressing him in the sort of clothes he'd like to have worn as child, rather than the clothes his parents chose for him.

I'm convinced that back in the Seventies there wasn't really fashion for kids, certainly not in the first half of the decade anyway, and definitely not in the Sixties. A boy in our class (aged 10, 1975) had wedge shoes, which I considered unbelievably racy, and of course we all wore flares, but that was kind of it. Unless, I'm wrong here, fashion was for adults.

So they're starting young these days. And an eight-year-old has become a style icon. It's absurd. No child should be so obsessed with such things. The parents encourage it of course, and of course children must express themselves, but it's an odd one. Then again, who takes any notice of GQ, the world's most ridiculous magazine?


Clair said...

Suri Cruise anyone? I'm sitting in the office in a pair of ballroom dancing shoes, a tutu and a coat, as she is my style icon.

Honestly, is this what we've become? Making 'icons' of children barely old enough to tie their (Gucci) shoelaces?

Anonymous said...

I would have more respect for his style if he was one of those kids who won't wear anything but Spiderman pyjamas or a fairy costume, no matter what the weather, occasion or time of day. That would at least show admirable conviction.

Ishouldbeworking said...

This genuinely depressed the hell out of me on several levels. Did GQ have to consult his parents about this ludicrous piece of nonsense? If so, how the hell did the parents come to the conclusion that it could be a good idea? Oh but hang on, I've just remembered that his parents are the most trivial individuals on the planet.

I wore terrible kids clothes until I was at least twelve, and even then felt very ambivalent about moving into the realms of 'fashion' as I didn't want to stand out (that all changed a couple of years later of course, when I couldn't get ENOUGH attention - but that's what's supposed to happen.). When I was eight, I was a child. Fortunately.

Mondo said...

I'm not surprised. I can't stand GQ and that cut of style mag for men. There are always copies around in my barbers - awful. So smug and preachy.

On the subject of offsprings - what a shock Weller Jr must be for his dad - He's become a gothic Gok Wan.

True about seventies fashion the trendy bits were bought by mum(luckily we had a great shop selling Lord Anthony bits just a few miles down the road) although I had very clear idea of what I wouldn't wear: mustard colour turtle necks, cardigans or cords in bottle green or brown were out..