James Griffin 's Opinion

James Griffin is a columnist for Canvas magazine.

James Griffin: Personal style

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

Ring, ring.

James Griffin: Hello?

Michele Crawshaw, Canvas editor: Hi James, Michele here. Just wondering how you're getting on with your column for the style issue.

JG: Yeah, right, not so good actually. I thought I'd write about my own personal "style", then the more I thought about it, the more I realised I don't have one.

MC: Don't be ridiculous. Everyone has a style.

JG: I don't. I think I used to have my own style but somewhere along the way it disappeared. Style abandoned me and I, literally, went out of style. I briefly held out some hope when I read about the fashion trend called Normcore, where everyone dresses normally. Then I saw pictures of Normcore people and they were still way more stylish than me. So I've got nothing, style-wise.

MC: You like shirts. You've written about shirts before. Shirts are a kind of style.

JG: My shirts, these days, would only be considered stylish if Jimmy Buffett were playing the Mission Concert where middle-aged party animals sliding (sometimes literally) down a slippery slope is the style theme.

MC: Okay, fine, you don't have style, fair enough. Write about Fashion Week, where they have nothing but style. Are you going to Fashion Week this year?

JG: Yeah, right, about that, it's all gone a bit weird, on the Fashion Week front.

MC: What have you done now? Have you been making fun of the models again?

JG: No! No way! The models scare me. Well, the female ones do, with their towering height and their strange walks, like a giraffe has mated with a heron. The male models, I will admit, I do find funny and will happily mock them. Especially the tattooed ones who try to look dark and glowering and threatening when you totally know you could break them in half like a twig if push came to man-bag-tossing came to shove.

MC: So how can Fashion Week be weird when it hasn't even started yet?

JG: You mean when I haven't even got there to make it weird?

MC: Yes, that.

JG: Well, when I registered online on the media registration page thingy, I got to the bit where it gave me a drop-down menu of options to describe what I am and it didn't have "columnist" on the list. It had "journalist" but, as you know, I really don't see myself as a "journalist" so I chose the one at the bottom of the list that said "other" because, frankly, I feel a bit like an "other" when I'm among all the inhabitants of Planet Fashionable.

MC: So you're an "other". Why is that a problem?

JG: Because when my media accreditation came through, the "other" had somehow turned into "videographer" and now I'm getting invites to "shoot" things. I haven't even got a video camera. I suppose I could go along and point my phone at people.

MC: No, don't do that. That will only get you, and the magazine, in trouble.

JG: But if I'm holding up my official video-grapher accreditation with my other hand no one will be able to question my legitimate right to point my phone at them.

MC: That does not make you an actual videographer; that makes you an "other" with a phone and some erroneous credentials.

JG: What is a "videographer" by the way? In the real world don't we call someone who points a camera at something a cameraman? Or a camerawoman; or a cameraperson. Ew, it's not like a video blogger is it?

MC: It could be.

JG: That's no good. That's not on. I may have no style but I still have dignity. Okay, how about this: what if I use no video-recording technology and tell anyone who asks why I'm not videographing things, that I'm recording the action with my eyes, forming images which are downloaded into my brain and that later I will output these images in the form of "words".

MC: Which is another way of saying "being a columnist".

JG: Yes, but a slightly wanky, pretentious way of saying it, which means I might actually have a shot at fitting in at Fashion Week.

MC: Despite the fact you have no style.

JG: But is not having a style the new style? Have I gone to a place beyond style, which is where style is inevitably heading and it's just that I got there first?

MC: Maybe you should give Fashion Week a miss this year.

JG: But I have to go. I'm a videographer now, don't you know?

- NZ Herald

James Griffin

James Griffin is a columnist for Canvas magazine.

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