Sunday, November 20, 2016

Fashionistas At The Fairs

Someone really should have a word. Time was in Mallorca when the citizens of a village would keep local tailors and dressmakers in gainful employment by taking themselves off once a year to acquire a new suit or gown for the annual fair or fiesta. Sadly for those traditional shops, the demand fell away, although some staggered on until remarkably recently. In Sa Pobla, where things don't get much more Mallorcan, the last tailor's shop in town closed down only two years ago.

The ritual of the yearly new suit - one which, in truth, was only affordable by comparatively few - has long since fallen victim to the onset of the casual and to the arrival of such traditionally Mallorcan retailers as Primark. Nevertheless, one can still witness some adherents to the old ways: those who do actually dress up for fairs and what have you.

Certain politicians in Mallorca, ones wedded to traditional ways, of which there appear to be an ever-increasing number, could easily revive the village tailoring cottage industry by supplying demand for such a revival. Alas, this seems most unlikely, even if it is somewhat contradictory. Més, representatives of all things Mallorcan in a nationalist sort of fashion, are revealing themselves to have (with one exception, see below) absolutely no fashion sense whatsoever and to be unwilling to beat a path to a tailor's or any other shop that isn't a charity one.

Dijous Bo, when Mallorca puts on its finery and celebrates its fair antiquity, is an occasion to be seen. And that goes for politicians. They are seen, and what a sight some of them are, which is why someone should have a word. Take our Vince, for example. He may be agriculture minister, but this is no reason for him pitching up, looking as if he's just dug up some potatoes and stuffed them down the legs of his jeans. And what in Heaven's name did he have on his feet? Whatever they were, they had long since had any acquaintance with polish. (To be fair, they were probably trainers; an old pair at that.)

Then we had David Abril. He has in the past been spotted wearing what looks like a woollen, brown tie affair, which has thus far been his greatest concession to normal political fashion but which is also in keeping with his usual appearance - as it was at Dijous Bo - one reminiscent of a member of an English folk group circa 1965. At least he doesn't stick a finger in one ear. Or maybe he does.

But did we perhaps witness a demonstration of fashion (or non-fashion) infighting within Més? Vince and Dave are remaining firmly in sympathy with crisis-struck citizens, while elsewhere Biel is gadding around in quasi-Armani style. It's bound to have to come to all the best eco-nationalist politicians eventually, especially those who are sent abroad on official duties, but Biel is clearly displaying revisionist fashionista tendencies. Smart suit, tie, shoes well-scrubbed; they had all been on show at a very different fair - London's World Travel Market - where the suits and the gowns of the dreaded hoteliers do all come with an Armani label.

The political casual look doesn't have to be one that has been dragged in by the cat. J.R. (Bauzá) used to make a decent fist of the casual style on his periodic dress down Fridays (or normally Sundays, when he'd attend a PP function at a time when the rest of the PP were still speaking to him). Well-tailored jeans were very much de rigueur. So much so that it seemed as if an order had been issued to make sure all other PP types (male) invested in customised Levi's. Now, however, we get Vince, whose jeans are in a constant state of about to fall down. Tailored is the last word you would use. What a pity for all the old traditional tailor's shops.

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