Boris Johnson: Now Here’s a Guy Who Dresses Rich!

When Boris Johnson became Britain’s Prime Minister earlier this week, it felt like a television character who was ungracefully written off long ago was suddenly back on the soap opera. Didn’t he disappear to South America or start a fake consulting business? You know we’re getting to the end of the show—or the world—when they start bringing back the villains from three seasons ago.

Johnson is the sort of person who reminds you that beauty comes from the inside out. Since coming to dubious prominence writing fake news for the Telegraph in the ’90s, his career has been a timeline of offensive blunders. In 2017, endangered a British-Iranian journalist detained in Iran, whose government then threatened to extend her sentence; last summer he compared women who wear niqabs to “letter boxes.” The list goes on. And on the outside, he couldn’t be more buffoonish, with his hair a scarecrow’s flop and his suits always askew. The New York Times wrote about his “deceptively absurd image” that shows “he doesn’t just break the boring old rules, he blows raspberries at them.” The Cut held him up as an example of our unchanged and ongoing fixation on female politicians’ appearance: “Real Equality Is When We Can Elect a Female Slob,” the headline read.

Johnson isn’t rewriting the rules, though. He’s a product of them. He comes from a long line of dopey, space cadet British guys. Johnson is the product of Eton—the echt-elite British boarding school, and a place so seamlessly integrated into the pathway to government power that the school gets a day off whenever a graduate is elected PM—and Oxford. Hugh Grant epitomized an idealized version of this cliche in the ’90s, pushing wire-rim glasses up his nose as he put his John Lobb-clad foot in his mortified rictus mouth to the mixed delight of ingenues like Julia Roberts. In Four Wedding and a Funeral, it was cute! But on Johnson, the look says: This is a guy who thinks he just has to show up. He doesn’t need to look “presentable.” He can literally do whatever he wants and the forces of money and privilege will keep him on the path to greatness. In Grant’s case, that was a makeout session with Andie MacDowell in the rain, who agrees she is totally against marriage too! And in Johnson’s case, it’s the most powerful elected position in the British government. In Johnson’s world, to look rich is to look sloppy, undone, and foolish—and never to be made to suffer for it.

Donald Trump’s style is also widely mocked—those long ties, the gigundo mafia bully tailoring, his cream puff-left-in-the-sun hairdo. But Trump comes by his sloppy-rich look from precisely the opposite angle, powered by a populist energy and establishment hatred that seems like it might all stem from a twenty-year-old rejection letter from a Hamptons country club. But rather than cancel each other out, these Lewis Carroll characters are like menswear echolalia: Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the stupid twins who agree to fight each other over some perceived slight but get freaked out by something bigger than themselves—a crow!—and then forget to spar. (Spoiler alert?) There’s no big message between their shared style, though, other than the fact that sloppy male power looks the same when its gained dishonestly. Together, they’re an insane clown posse.

At Auction: Are Sneakers the New Handbags?

Sotheby’s sold the 1972 Nike “Moon Shoe,” made for the Oregon University track team’s Olympic Trials, for $437,000 this week as a part of their first-ever collectible sneaker sale. Christie’s has made a big business out of second-hand handbags over the past five years. Is Sotheby’s poised to make big sneakers the new Birkins?

This post was originally published on this page

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published.