Thursday, July 2, 2009

My London Tan and Other Strange Events

Being of the far Northern bloodlines (Scottish/Scandinavian) my pale, red-headed self usually shrinks from extreme heat and too much sun exposure. I have a tendency to go from 0 to tomato red in less than sixty seconds, and then straight to peel with no lovely golden stage in between.

This week's heatwave in London has made it impossible for me to hide from either sun or heat. As long as I avoid the tube (which is always at least 10 degrees warmer than the already hot above-ground and always smells of sweaty folk burdened by their dark business suits), it hasn't been too bad.

I noticed with a shock that the result is I have...a tan. Yes, indeed my arms somehow managed to take on the color of a perfectly toasted marshmallow (plus freckles...I am ginger, after all). I keep waiting for this strange skin phenomenon to vanish, but after three days I still have a *gasp* sun-kissed glow.

I'll get back to the States and be accused of taking a beach vacation when I was supposed to be pouring over manuscripts. Good thing I have my BL reader card and research notes to prove my whereabouts.

In other strange events, there's an unsettling movement afoot over here...the 80s seem to be rising from the grave to shape fashion once again. Now if this trend had coincided with the sudden, tragic demise of M.J. I wouldn't have been surprised. But I notice the definite 80s influenced wardrobes the moment I arrived in London.

Now I'm a child of the 80s. I went gleefully to the first and second Transformers movies, and yes I will even be going to see G.I. Joe this summer. (How could I stay away?)

I love 80s pop, and as much as I pray that I will never have fluffy bangs or big hair again, I remember my crimper with a pleasant, if blushing, tenderness.

But when it comes to 80s fashion, I can't see any redeeming qualities. Neon, zipper-jeans, and too much spandex don't help any of us. And ALL of these things are hanging from racks and adorning mannequins in ALL the shops of Oxford Street.

At first I was puzzled. Then alarmed. Now I'm genuinely worried. I knew it would be a serious problem when I saw several acid washed denim skirts in the mix. And there are zipper jeans too. Sigh.

I had an acid washed denim skirt when I was ten. It had ruffles. Many of the skirts I've seen in London have eerily similar ruffles.I like to think that I'm still young enough to at least appreciate new pop culture and fashion trends. But I have to draw the line here. No acid denim with ruffles. This style is not something we want to return to...please, enough.

In my experience it takes four to six months for London trends to jump across the Atlantic and fill U.S. shops. That means we have four to six months to plot a strategy of resistance.

Who's with me? We can even use an 80s slogan: Just say no to bad fashion revivals.

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