Tony and the ties that blind you!
Sad about Health Minister Tony Ryall.
Just at the peak of his form and he’s going. Noone will really replace him. With his ties, that is. To say nothing of the shirts he’s worn around Parliament and in Cabinet over the years.
Nothing will ever match his mismatches.
Few would have the guts to wear some of his wonderful ties.
Hospital doctors apparently ban ties these days – something about a drooping tie picking up germs at the stage a stethoscope is on your bare skin.
The theory: Next patient could get the latest infection.
That’s a thought in these tieless days: How often do stethoscopes get any sort of disinfecting?
Then there are those deliberately ripped knees on faded jeans – how much to pay to catch up with that style? Plus a cap worn backwards or sideways. Who wore them first, in what big budget thriller?
And how do wearers get those skin-tight trousers on or off when the need is urgent – for one thing or another?
Then there’s the stickon, cheating tattoos.
Worse (or better), how much does it cost to get the real thing off?
Specially if some very obvious design has an out-of-date name as its centrepoint.
I know I’m a generation (or two, maybe three) behind the times – from the age, for instance, when cadet reporters had to put on a suit coat or a sports jacket before quietly tapping on the editor’s office door with mail, the latest edition, the glasses he left at home, whatever. My first day back after a year in Sydney and I wore a lightly patterned shirt.
My boss, a totally conventional fellow from the era of plain white shirts, took one look.
‘‘We’re a bit psychedelic today, aren’t we?’’
I muttered something like ‘‘You haven’t seen anything yet?’’ And he hadn’t.
He learned to cope as my Sydney shirts were eased into daily viewing.
Later he did make mild reference to my version of sideboards.
I realise how far more facial hair has gone when every second sports international boasts the sort of growth fishermen might bring ashore after three weeks away.
And there seems to be some unofficial weird rule that rugby and cricket players need to look as if they haven’t shaved for weeks. Which they haven’t.
Talking about facial hair – who began this remake of Victorian standards? Even All Blacks seem to be reviving styles from greatgrandfather’s day or looking like reincarnations of W G Grace. Just as well their sponsor isn’t Gillette.
Then there’s those ridding themselves of all hair on their head, often to attract money for good causes.
I’ve pondered one of the more memorable events of the fashion pressures before giving it a retelling all those decades later.
A new staffer from overseas in a fine pair of latest fashion bell bottom trousers with turn-ups – all the rage in Hong Kong – was taken aside to be told that in our newsroom, women wore skirts.
This from someone who could be depended on to record the arrival of summer by wearing an open-necked shirt, safari style shorts, long socks and sandals.
Precisely the traditional New Zealand summer gear that a young Auckland graduate wore on his first day with a London law firm. He lived to return next day in the compulsory suit – and tie, of course.
All of which means that I’ll be watching to see how long it takes fans to match Lorde’s hair – they’ll need a good wigmaker! And what about those black finger nails?
Dress sense: Loud ties, facial hair, walk shorts and Lorde – a quick stroll though decades of fashion fads.