Wednesday, 31 August 2011
Hug a Hoody
This summer the image of the ‘hoody’ became a menacing symbol of youth culture turned violent.
Of all the political and academic experts now dominating our media offering explanations for the causes of this month’s dreadful violence, few will have been looking to the catwalks for evidence. And yet, a glance to the shows of Spring/Summer 2011 shows an eery presence of the hoody on the catwalk. It’s not just disillusioned youth hiding behind a hoody; Celine, Lacoste, Diane Von Furstenburg all made a feature of the hooded shirt, sweater and jacket. Just like on the streets, designers used the image of the hoody to project an attitude of independence, rebellion and of toughness. Perhaps more interestingly however, the soft hues and comforting cottons of these hoodies also portrayed the garment as a source of solace, comfort and protection in an increasingly challenging environment.
We might do well to take note from this season’s catwalks. Perhaps the hoody can act as a metaphor to help us realise a common enemy. The hoody itself is not the problem (as Celine’s delectable example proves): it’s whatever we are using it to hide from that we need to confront.