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As I have probably said before,
I've never been known for my satorial elegance. Fashion trends have mostly
passed me by and designer labels have almost always been anathema to me.
Nowadays I simply put things on to cover me in the most comfortable way,
in the least amount of time possible. And this is as it should be.
The only time I really tried
to have a 'look' was in the early Eighties. I affected a fairly retro guise
made up with Op-Shop suits of dubious vintage topped, almost always, with
a quite fetching green vest that I wore to distraction. I also started
to sport a cheap felt hat ('nothing up my sleeve...presto') bought from
Sydney's main old style menswear outlet - 'Gowings'. [I eventually lost
this up the windy London tube lines amidst much gnashing of teeth and wailing
of throat]. The whole look was quite down-at-heels 30's or 40's and, I'll
admit readily, was in direct emulation of street photos taken of my Dad,
looking hungry, sharp and whippet-thin, with an innocent twinkle in his
eye and a perennial cigarette dangling rakishly from a permanent grin.
I just wanted to feel more of a connection, I suppose.
At the airport before I went
overseas in the mid 80's I stood between my Dad and Mum for a quick polaroid
or two. Dad had ditched the depression look years ago and, instead, looked
comfy in his 70's style cardigan, perfect for Saturday afternoons at the
RSL. I'm next to him in my well-worn, emerald coloured vest and scratchy,
brown woolen pants held up by thin red suspenders and with a shock of root-permed
quiff (many Japanese would stare at me in abject amazement during the coming
At least the ghost of a similar,
uncertain smile lies on both our faces.