But nowhere is this more important than in the uniforms and names of our national sports teams. Adhering to this naming convention, with it’s limited vocabulary, has led to an inventive, if largely slapstick branch of New Zealand humour. Read more…
All posts tagged fashion
A rose by any other name; although the word bogan is uniquely Antipodean, the lifestyle it describes is a universal phenomenon. Formerly, and perhaps more affectionately, referred to as ‘salt of the earth’ or ‘the working classes’, every country has bogans, they just have different names for them. Terms of endearment, including ‘White Trash’, ‘Chavs’, ‘Rednecks’, ‘Pikeys’ and my personal favorite, ‘The Great Unwashed’.
In New Zealand, getting around in bare feet is considered cool – in a sort of sexy-Jesus meets pro-surfer way. It demonstrates how laid back, Eco, and generally unconcerned by commercialism or fashion Kiwis like to think they are.
To the rest of the world, though, it’s just something homeless people do.
In spite of the weather, many Kiwis would happily wear this vagrant look all year round. Unfortunately, there’s just too many fucking prickles in the grass. So the next best thing, and something of a cultural icon in New Zealand, is the humble Jandal.
Located in an out-of-season timezone, with a population less than most other nations’ statistical margin of error, it’s a wonder the factories of China sell New Zealand any clothes at all. Lacking the substantial buying power of big countries, Kiwi retail chains are always last in the queue, squabbling over scraps of overpriced, end of the line, monochrome fashion that simply screams ‘THREE YEARS AGO!’.
Soul Patches (aka ‘Clit Ticklers’), Goatees & Lamb-chop Sideburns – or any other combination of facial hair that wouldn’t look out of place on a sound-engineer mixing an ‘Alice in Chains’ song, for the soundtrack to the movie ‘Singles’, in a recording studio in Seattle circa 1992 – are all still weirdly popular with a large percentage of modern day, Kiwi men.
As an expression of Kiwi individuality and identity, there’s nothing better than copying other Kiwis and scarring your arms, torso, ankle or (for the real hard-outs) neck and face with a ‘sort-of-pacific‘ design, picked from the wall of a K Road tattoo-parlour, after 15 cans of Lion Red and a double-dare, on your 21st birthday.
As a rule, the more likely that the tattoo will look horrifically out-of-place on either a) your wedding day, b) an important job interview some years later, or c) your sagging skin when you are a grandparent, the better.
Nothing informs the world of wearer’s modest Kiwi patriotism better than a printed T-Shirt with words or images cleverly rearranged into the shape of New Zealand. Ironic, then, that 99% of these are worn exclusively in this country only.
Modest to the point of peity, Kiwis consider it a sin to ‘stand out’ too much, be it in fashion, opinions, or lifestyle. And nothing blends into the background better than the colour black.
Black is everywhere in New Zealand. Or rather, bright colour is nowhere to be found. Clothing stores can’t get enough of it. It is the colour of all our national sports teams. Even the cricket team – who compulsorily wear white – call themselves the ‘Black Caps’.
Kiwis are a pretty adventurous bunch when it comes to weddings. Any popular activity pursuit can be mangled into some sort of a wedding ceremony. Bungy Jumping. Parachuting. Snow Boarding. Domestic Violence. But by far the most popular outdoor destination for tying the knot, is the Kiwi Beach.