Cool down

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Quentin Crisp knew how to make an impression

Our columnist Boyd Clack tells us what it takes to be effortlessly cool… 

I have never been a slave to fashion. I go along with Quentin Crisp’s assertion that fashion is the antithesis of style.

It seems obvious to me that fashion is a mass movement whereas style is individual.

It is impossible for ‘fashionistas’ (horrific new word!) to have style. They are followers by inclination, and style or ‘cool’, as we now call it, is inherent.

It’s not to do with what you wear – it is a variation of charisma. A ‘cool’ person would look cool in a duffel coat and flares. An uncool person would be uninteresting in an Armani suit.

Take this ripped jeans thing for example. You see multi millionaire actors and pop stars wearing them.

If only people visiting fashion shops knew how they looked

Why? Well, they want to suggest that despite the received image of being the modern Gods and Godesses that they spend their lives cultivating, they are also ‘down with the people’, and they still have a link with the world of the despairing.

Other people wear torn jeans to show the opposite, that despite being poor and unknown they are still a part of the world of glamour and celebrity to which they have been taught to aspire.

What a convoluted affectation, with the haves and have-nots meeting in the slashed denim of desire!

To some being cool comes naturally

I am qualified to speak on this subject because I am one of those blessed with natural, unshakeable cool.

If I walk into a room full of the glitterati (yes I know) at an awards ceremony or into a valleys pub at ten o’clock at night, I am always the coolest person there.

It’s always been the case.

Everyone who knows me understands this to be true, and I remember discussing it with Rhys Ifans, another effortlessly cool bloke, in a pub.

Some are not cool…

He agreed that he was in my shadow when we were in each other’s company. The fact he had the self confidence and knowledge to admit this, only adds to his cool.

If I met someone cooler than me I’d confess to it in a shot. It’s never happened – but I would do it if it did.

So what I am saying is, please don’t be beguiled by the fashion industry. You are either cool or you’re not, and all the money in the world won’t change that.

(Donald Trump is a billionaire without a microdot of style!) 

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Boyd is a writer, musician and cult TV personality.


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