The Original Hipster

The Original Hipster >>> click link to view article

Here is a cool short series by Julia Chesky. She shot this story showcasing Chris a homeless man that has lived by choice on Mercer Street in New York for decades. Mercer Street runs from the West Village to Canal Street. It is lined with boutiques and is a bit of a fashion lovers wonderland.

This original hipster piece speaks to the unoriginal culture of hipster taking over the streets of Vancouver. You know the “I am so cool I do not need to dress cool but since I do not try to be cool I am waaaaaay cooler than you”

This isn’t to say that all hipsters are unoriginal as many are living the style and repping the cause with authenticity I am sure. All I can say is there have been times when I have escaped from my Main St apartment only to be surrounded by many stuck up pretentious no-lenses glasses wearing hipsters eyeing my shiny Nike’s with a disapproving glare.

A truly comical representation of what I am speaking of comes from a friend of my girlfriends. Lets call him Eric. Good ol’ Eric looks like he could be on the cover of the Abercrombie and Fitch catalogue, pretty lil prep. Now Eric went to a party over in my quaint Main Street neighborhood. This party happened to be a hipster bash. On four occasions during that night different people approached him and commented on him fitting in.

“What is someone like you doing here?” and “You don’t quite fit in here hey.”

Eric was pretty surprised given that he was unaware of the hipster movement. “All I knew was that these people seemed fairly trendy,” says Eric. “I felt extremley out of place and if it wasn’t for the girl I came with being a fox I would have left.”

Funny how a sub-culture that is based on being original and against the mainstream can be so concerned with assimilation. Follow in line or you’re not welcome. So are these hipsters really defining a new cool or simply replacing one definition of cool for another?

Now I do not want to take one instance and paint Vancouver hipsters with an unfair hypocritical brush but one has to comment on the irony of this groups identity.

The hipster movement has made a comeback from the 1940’s when it is said to have originated. The slang was used to describe urban dwellers teenage and/or mid aged adults, middle class with interests in non-mainstream fashion or culture. According to Christian Lorenzen, writer for Time Out New York, “hipsterism fetishizes the authentic and regurgitates it with a winking inauthenticity.”

NY Hipsters

Meaning hipsters seem to claim to be authentic but their representation of it comes across created, forced and manufactured. The roll out of bed look becomes ‘the look’ and now you do your hair and shop for clothes accessories (lense-less glasses) to portray this image. Can that be any more unauthentic?

As we look back at Chris from Mercer street we see how he represents his cool. The definition of keeping it real is somewhere in those photos. This dude simply likes what he likes and is what he is. If that isn’t cool well then maybe the definition of cool is what the real issue is.

This entry was published on July 23, 2010 at 8:24 PM. It’s filed under Fashion + Culture, Vancouver Culture and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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