Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 16, Tuesday April 22, 2008


of spikes

converse and fashion

Call it an attention deficiency or a sudden mood swing, fashion is tricky business. It never ever stays the same, changing with every season, year, and generation. However, an idea may come about which would be deemed to be so convenient and sensible that it would refuse to fade. This idea may be so popularized and even immortalized not only because it's useful for every season or generation but also because it just looks so great. An example of such, and the only one unquestioned, would be the trend of blue jeans. Faded, ripped, burned, massacred and what not, jeans have remained and survived different attempts to destroy them. After that no other trend has lasted for so long without its popularity waning. But then came two other fashion legacies.

Converse Shoes
Aptly labeled the shoe of the century, converse shoes began selling during 1909, gaining popularity after it was promoted by basketball player 'Chuck' Taylor. Though it was widely promoted as a shoe for athletes its rubber soles and sheer simplicity began attracting people by the hundreds, then thousands and finally it became a global phenomenon. Crafted out of canvas, converse shoes gained popularity over the years and unlike any other shoe, started a sort of fan following.

Entering Bangladeshi markets just a few years ago, converse are now the most seen type of shoes. It's not only the 'All-Star' converse shoes(Price Range from 5000-12000) which have become an object that must be owned but also the more affordable 'North Star' converse shoes(Tk 450-2000) launched by Bata, but of course besides these two there are many more converse shoes, some which come without a brand and without an assurance to last.

Every teen now has to own at least one pair of converse and many choose designs and colors to suit their 'personality'. 'I can select the design that I feel is right and unique and which suits me and this is why I chose converse over other shoes.' says 17-year old Rehnuma Anwar, a student of Adroit International. Of course now that over a billion teenagers are wearing converse, shoes with lights would stand out as more unique. However that doesn't stop people from thinking that they are special because of their converse, if not anything else. The converse century has begun and it doesn't seem to be ending soon.

Spike Hair
Not really something that you can put on or wear, but spike hair is also a 'fashion-do' that has been around since almost a decade. What began as only a metal-based fashion quickly turned into somewhat of a frenzy. Before spiked hair came in, the use of gel was pretty much restricted to bald men shining their head or used to part your hair in perfect balance. Back then it was all army cuts, crew cuts and hair-cuts which actually reduced hair, but spiked hair signaled a revolution almost. It isn't just that you have to spike all your hair or have a hair that resembles a Mohawk sans the baldness, but the concept was that you could spike your hair, either from the front, the whole head, the middle (Beckham-style), the back only or here and there. Simply put you could point one tuft of hair up, like Tintin, and it would be considered a spike. The spiked hair at the front, right above the forehead, was a fad that lasted for quite a while but of course spikes never could be used to their full potential due to strict school rules and the fact that most elders scoffed upon them. 'Porcupine' and 'Electrocuted' is what the lesser known would remark. However, as different variations of spiked hair began and more and more gel companies began competing for a growing market, the awareness for this hair-style kept on growing.

Long hair for men would come and go but spiked hair began to last and then instead of being labeled as a teenage, childish fad, many middle-aged men also began to take on this look and were preceded by who else but tons of celebrities. 'It makes me feel young again.' Rafid Ahmed, a 33 year old entrepreneur said, and that is only one of the reasons. Spiked hair also goes with any sort of outfit, is considered smart for an interview(if properly done) and has already won rave reviews, so there is no risk of being stared at if one wishes to adopt the style.

Finally spiked hair, in its preliminary stages can be pulled off on both curly and straight hair, so there it is not a discriminatory fashion at all! Best cuts assured at Face Wash, Hairobics, Men's Care and Craze for a price of about Tk. 80 per hair-cut.

And there you have it! The two biggest things to happen to the fashion scene since blue jeans. Go on. Buy yourself a pair of converse and get a new hair-cut to set ablaze the fashion maze and with a little luck you may just become a head-turner like yours truly…or maybe not!

By Osama Rahman
Photo: Zahidul I Khan


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