As the spiritual home of obstreperous sports teams and raucous revellers, Park End is a place where my spirit goes to die. For this reason you could say I was somewhat relieved to experience last week’s FUBAR merely through the medium of online photographs. By the end of second week, the cold reality of ‘life in Oxford’ had returned: the rustications had begun and signs of alcoholism were beginning to emerge. Any possibility of being catapulted through the bubble to engage with the outside world was all but a distant memory. I had so many unanswered questions. What were people wearing these days? Are clothes even ‘in’ at all? Bravely, I turned to the Park End photo album in my search for enlightenment.
A piece of advice that has been engrained in me since reading it in September are the words of wisdom offered by Caroline Issa, Fashion Director and publisher of Tank magazine and becauselondon.com: shop on the runway, and when looking at a catwalk show distil each collection into four or five key pieces that you will buy. If Park End manifested itself as such a show, the ‘collection’ could be broken down into four distinct components. First, we have the basic crop top, which apparently is still ‘in’. Whilst our recent climate forces me to question the wisdom of such a garment, who am I to argue with the near-biblical status of a Facebook photo? Second, checked patterns of all varieties featured heavily across the ‘collection’, suggesting a sub-conscious desire to emulate the SS13 collections in the wider world. Third, the shirt and tie combination continues to be a classic (albeit only amongst the male population). Finally, there was a distinct prevalence of black clothing, symbolising the despair of our generation. Either that, or a desire to adorn oneself in the most forgiving of clothing, perfect for disguising that extra bit of Winter weight.
It appears that we can learn a lot from the 648 photos of that night. I for one am deeply relieved that such clothes are still ‘in’ – even if I had to resort to this album for confirmation.