Style coun­sel: The pol­i­tics of prep­pie

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Cover Story -

Vam­pire Week­end have been mocked for their preppy look, but they’re only fol­low­ing a well-worn path that goes back to

circa 1977 and all the way back to the

of the 1960s.

“We watched Con­trol to­gether, and we kind of re­alised that dressed pretty sim­i­larly to us, but no­body ever ac­cused Joy Divi­sion of be­ing preppy,” says Ezra Koenig.

Still, some rock fans feel that

and have no place in the mosh-pit. But what could be more re­bel­lious than coun­found­ing ex­pec­ta­tions of how a rock band should dress?

“I think some­times it con­fuses peo­ple, be­cause they think that if we dress

then it means this and this and this. Not nec­es­sar­ily. When you come to our shows, it’s not like the en­tire front row is dressed like the cover of the al­bum. We get all sorts of dif­fer­ent peo­ple.

“The rea­son why I’ve al­ways grav­i­tated to­wards preppy clothes is be­cause I liked how they looked –

IAnd I’ve also al­ways been in­ter­ested in the se­man­tics and the his­tory of clothes. A brand like Ralph Lauren has an in­ter­est­ing his­tory, and it means dif­fer­ent things to dif­fer­ent peo­ple. I try not to have a knee-jerk re­ac­tion to any­thing I know some peo­ple would have a knee-jerk re­ac­tion to some­one wear­ing a band to be kind of like per­form­ing for them, so even some­body who doesn’t dress that them­selves, they still want their bands to be grungy. You know, it’s like some busi­ness­man be­ing into rap and get­ting an­gry that

doesn’t wear like huge jeans and jer­seys any­more. You can’t ex­pect a band to look a cer­tain way. So in that re­gard

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