Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tomato, tomato, keffiyeh, shemagh. Let’s call the whole thing off.

For the past year or so if France I’ve been noticing a curious fashion trend especially amongst the Eurotrash hipsters. Everywhere I go in Downtown Metz I see kids wearing keffiyeh around town with their beat up, yet insanely over-priced, Chuck Taylor sneakers. Just last month at a boutique downtown I saw an entire display done up with these carves in just about every color in the rainbow.

According to the all-knowing gods of wikipedia: A Keffiyeh is a traditional headdress for Arab that is folded and wrapped in various styles around the head. Traditionally worn by Palestinian peasants, the keffiyeh became a symbol of Palestinian nationalism during the Arab Revolt of the 1930s. Increased sympathy and activism by certain Westerners toward Palestinians in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict have led to the wearing of keffiyehs as a sign of their solidarity with the Palestinian people.

I’m a little slow, so I didn’t pay much attention to the scarves until the whole Rachael Ray Dunkin Donuts incident came out in the press. (Also, please note that I didn’t even know who the hell Rachael Ray was at the time. Still don’t kinda. That’s how big the rock I live under is.)
Now, I ususally don’t pay much attention to these University kids since all they do is stand around in groups drinking diet coke, eating potatoe chips and smoking cigarettes, but I’m totally baffled on this one.




So my question here is---What gives? I don’t hang out with many French University students so I’ve never had the opportunity to ask—is this a political statement or some kind of misguided fashion trend? Could it be that these Euro-Trash hipster ids are actually displaying some sort of political consiousness?

Well whatever, call me crazy, or maybe I’m just turning into an old lady, but a hot-pink keffiyeh on just about anyone looks downright silly!


Thoughts?

14 comments:

raynaae said...

this trend has been going on globally for about 8 or 9 years now. And I've been officially ready for it to die four about 2 years. I can't tell you exactly where and why it started, but it's definitely a "hipster's" fault.

Ksam said...

Nope, it's totally just a fashion trend!

Eve said...

It's definitely a fashion trend, nothing to do with politics. I think that the youngster don't even know the meaning of those scarves...

Megan said...

Huh. Perhaps it is a regional thing or perhaps I just haven't been fashion-conscious these past few weeks (months, years) but I haven't noticed them around here. Or if I did, I probably just thought they were scarves. Anyway, I am going to guess that French+university age+urban outfitters does not equal political awareness.

Shanster said...

I know - I think the same thing when I see boys with pants belted tight around their thighs with their behind and boxers hangin' out. Am I getting - dare I say - OLD? Seriously - how do they WALK?! Drives me bat shit crazy...

Jess said...

On the positive side, they are the perfect solution for freezing neck, hot arms. Who couldn't relate to an uncomfortable situation like that...am I rite?

rhonalala said...

All about fashion. We have that here too in Ontario, Canada. I like them BUT I HATE when guys wear them. So. Not. Right.

Che Che said...

eh, it's just a fashion thing. it's EVERYWHERE on my campus and i'm just about ready to smack the next person i see wearing it, lol. most ppl don't even know the symbolism behind it, i know i didn't until i read your post.

@Shanster - OMG i hate that too! skinny jeans aren't that cute in the first place, so to see them on boys....womp womp.

Rochelle said...

Apparently back in the 70s or 80s, when the war in Palesteine broke out, people did wear the scarves as a sign of solidarity. But now it's changed into a very warped fashion trend and none of this youngsters have any clue what it means. It's kind of like how that craze of Che Guervera tshirts happened or when the mainstream co-opted riot grrrl and started making 'Girl Power' tshirts. But this is much worse I think..and honestly it just looks retarded.

Madame K said...

Ohhhrg, don't EVEN get me started on skinny jeans on zee men-children. I go into convulsions and start foaming at the mouth!


Oh, also, uhm I slept with Che Guevara: http://tiny.cc/che

teri1960sumpthin said...

Most Arab men wear kufiyyah in the desert to keep themselves cool... it's amazing what the slightest breeze will produce under a little peice of cotton. Now it's cool.. we have been doing it for thousands of years though.
I'm officially not a lurker anymore! :o)

Sara said...

They're pretty big here in DC, too. Along with guys sporting skinny jeans. I don't get it.

Aaron Grunwald said...

I noticed it last Fall as well, and concur it's just a fashion trend not a political statement. But they are so, so frekkin' ugly, I hope they've gone away by time it starts to cool down again.

Lita said...

i love that topshop or claire's accessories sell ones with stars of skulls...talk about missing the point!