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A Man of Few Words - by Swan Morrison

The Fashion Icon

Thinking back, I had noticed an unusually large number of moustached and bespectacled men, such as myself, purchasing mackerel - my favourite food. There had also been something of an upsurge in the price of second hand Skodas, like mine, as these had become increasingly sought-after. The connection between these observations, however, only became totally apparent when my wife persuaded me to shop for a new jacket.

I had worn my favourite jacket for many years, and I had to agree that the elbows had become rather threadbare and the regularly overfilled pockets had become irreversibly misshapen. There was no longer a purpose in seeking another button as a mate for the one which remained attached. On entering several clothes shops, therefore, I was disappointed to note that fashionable modern jackets were exact copies of the one I was wearing. It was obvious that I had become a ‘Fashion Icon’.

I thought back to the days when the public tried to emulate the appearance, behaviour and lifestyle of the rich and famous. A change in hairstyle by a famous footballer could be seen in every town on the following week. All, of course, wished to be original and exclusive. Eventually, it dawned on people that copying the rich and famous was anything but original and was also self demeaning. This gave the fashion industry a problem - what could fashion be based upon? Any design would be as contrived as the now rejected styles of the past. ‘Unplanned Authenticity’ was needed.

So it was that undercover fashion scouts searched the British Isles for individuals with no conventional fashion sense and a complete disinterest in modern lifestyles. Once located, however, they could not be alerted to the fact that they were ‘Fashion Icons’. To be aware would have destroyed their ‘UA’. Icons would inevitably, of course, discover eventually - as I had done. The fashion scouts would then move on.

Hamish Mactavish was one of the first. He neither read magazines nor watched television. One summer, however, he left his fishing boat in harbour in the western isles of Scotland and journeyed to the mainland for a holiday. He was not an unintelligent man and the huge numbers of sou’ westers sported by those he met, particular on hot, dry days, soon led to suspicion. Cosmetic companies marketing cream to increase wrinkles, and southerners smoking pipes like his and feigning a western isle accent, confirmed matters. Hamish was removed from the ‘UA’ list.

I realised that my days as a ‘Fashion Icon’ were similarly numbered. I had to act quickly to impose my creative mark on fashion history. It took three weeks for the fashion world to recognise my awareness and for my personal style and habits to fade from public consciousness. I was pleased in that period, however, to note the trend for flowerpots to be worn on heads as accessories to green and pink striped straightjackets. Also the tying of legs together, requiring the fashion-conscious to hop everywhere. Finally, of course, the donation by all of a large cash sum to charity - I felt that fashion should produce a useful outcome at least once in its history.