Everywhere you turn in the UK at the moment someone is talking about the impending General Election.
Indeed, the Guardian have been running a Fashion Election Special series, including the Westminter location shoot below. As well as a Sarah vs Samantha article, which is very similar to the one I did last autumn which you can read and compare here!
Source: Guardian online
No ones knows yet when it will be called but that hasn’t stopped anyone and everyone talking about it. Suddenly it is fashionable to talk about politics. Politics in the UK has never been fashionable. Really. In the United States on the other hand, everyone from film stars to designers jumped on the Obama-McCain bandwagon. US Vogue Editor, Anna Wintour and Sarah Jessica Parker co-hosted a fundraiser for Barack Obama during his campaign in 2008. Now here too, everyone wants to be seen cozying up to Brown, Cameron or Clegg.
Yesterday I opened my post box and happily found my copy of Vogue magazine inside. (In case I haven’t made it clear before; I love post! Any post. Except bills, of course!)
So yesterday evening, after a day of cleaning, washing, tidying and general housework – plus a little shopping – I sat down with a glass of wine and my Vogue to indulge in some frivolous day dreaming over the beautiful photos of beautiful people wearing beautiful clothes. And there, right in front of me, is an article about who will be supporting whom in the up-coming General Election. Seriously?! This is supposed to be fashion.
So when exactly did it become fashionable to be interested in politics?
As a politics graduate I was under the impression that the subject was distinctly unfashionable. An impression garnered from years of people looking blankly at me when I told them what I studied. (And, of course, my own opinion from years – literally, years – of attending politics lectures!)
But things, they are a-changing.
For me, this will be the first General Election that I will have voted in. I could have voted in 2005 but I was living in Italy and didn’t register in time for a postal vote! Oops! Over drinks recently the group I was with started to discuss the first General Election that we had any real recollection of. I have a vague recollection of John Major’s win in 1992 when I was eight years old but my first real memories are of Tony Blair’s victory at the polls in 1997. Since I was 13 I have lived under a Labour government. For others at the table, Margaret Thatcher’s win in 1979 was their first memory of a General Election and they spent their formative years living under a Conservative government. I don’t know if this makes any difference to which party people are likely to vote for at the next General Election.
Today, many people seem to switch political allegiance every five years. Throughout much of the twentieth century most voters stuck with one party or another with few so-called swing voters but in our current political climate and with the three main parties seemingly so similar voting intentions are more fluid.
Much has been made in recent years about the throw-away culture of current society, in particular with the rise in popularity of cheap and disposable fashion. Perhaps our political leanings have been influenced by this and perhaps political views are now seen as disposable as our clothes.
I’d love to hear your views on this subject.
Of course, if you’re fed up with all the politics talk why not check out the fashions of politics’ first ladies in my weekly Style Icon series?