KHAWAGA'S TALE: London Trends

Peter A. Carrigan
6 Min Read

The English summer is in full bloom and I’ve jettisoned London’s Nu-rave, patton shoes and Generation-Y for the south coast and one of those iconic pebble beaches this island is so famous for.

London is cool alright, too cool for school in fact and its teeming with Generation-Y who have poured into Chelsea and North London, bringing with them an eclectic fashion trend that is too reminiscent of the 1980s to be funny.

When the colour black was de rigueur in the 1990s, it was said about the 1980s, that such horrendous assorted trends could never return. Surprise surprise, the footless tights, the thick elastic black belt, shoulder pads, smocks, tartan, day-glow florescent clothes and dangling accessories are all back in. Topped off with a trilby hat.

The girls have a wiggle when they walk in London. Sashaying along the Kings Road, around Notting Hill and the posh young punks on Chalk Farm Road in Camden all cruise the boutiques with one hand cocked through the strap of a knock-off designer bag.

Body moisturisers come with a hint of summer glow. This cosmetic used to be known as “fake tan, but it has been repackaged, stylised and gives the Generation-Y what they demand. A sun kissed bronzed Ibiza tan without leaving the gossipy pages of Facebook.

London has become the capital of Generation-Y. The high maintenance, me me me crowd aged between 18-28, who have grown up in a society where they don’t have to wait for anything and don’t know the meaning of “no.

“No doesn’t exist for this generation, a graduate recruitment professional from one of London’s top laws firms, who wasn’t authorised to speak to the media, told me.

“Generation-Y is very demanding, they have no loyalty and they are not used to waiting for anything. They live on credit, grown up in a world of plenty and are obsessed with consumerism.

He added that the consequence is that in the work place Generation-Y is not flexible and are not accustomed to adapting to new situations, they have grown up with the world adapting to them.

“The world of work comes as a big shock. Everything is optional to them, nothing is compulsory. Even at university you have lectures and tutorials which are optional and one academic from Liverpool has identified a new trend, helicopter parenting.

He explained that helicopter parenting is when “little Johnny is too hung over from the night before to attend classes. So parents go instead and take notes, which they then type out professionally for their children to pursue at their leisure.

Generation-Y is also not used to punishment, he said. There is no penalty for their actions. There is a lot of diva-like behaviour and their expectations are very high, which is why – he believes – traditional manners don’t exist anymore. According to the recruitment professional, Generation-Y takes everything for granted, as if it is their right.

“Celebrity is the new religion and as we know, more and more people are famous for being related to someone famous, winning reality TV shows or notorious behaviour.

“Generation-Y has tapped into the media’s obsession with C and D list celebrities. They all feel that they too should have the celebrity lifestyle, clothes, travel and special attention. If you ask Generation-Y if they would like a drink? They expect champagne. A beer is not good enough anymore.

“In the work place, when Generation-Y is rejected for a job, they cannot understand why. It makes it one hell of a challenge to explain to such precious gems that they are just not good enough for a top international law firm. It is a hard lesson to finally realise that work, unlike the rest of society, will not bend to fit in with you.

Of course trend watchers, marketers and advertisers are always looking for that next big thing. So if you are having children today, your little ones are to be Generation-I. The i-Pod and the i-Phone. I think you can work the rest out.

So I am out of London for the next chapter of my summer, happy to chill with the Baby Boomers and my own Generation-X in the sea side village of Torcross in Devon. The simple pleasures of a family holiday; fish n chips, a game of tennis, a good book and when the rains return, Scrabble. But for the moment, I’ll sit back on this train and plug in my i-Pod and listen to that iconic Baby Boomers band, The Who, who sang all those years ago, “Talking ’bout my generation.

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