When cultures collide the results can be pretty zany, to say the least. Recently Fashion and Food have been meeting in the middle and the outcome has been surprising and thought-provoking, with Deliveroo uniform jackets becoming prized by the sartorial-minded.
These two spheres of human interest haven’t always gone hand in hand. In fact this collaboration is remarkable if you think back to the days, not so long ago, when super-thin models were de rigueur.
When David Gandy first started his career he was considered by most to be too classically masculine and too heavily built to succeed alongside the lissom men then in vogue. And of course the female form then seen on the catwalk and in all the magazines verged on skeletal.
Food was as far from the world of fashion as it was possible to get. Models were often said to live on nothing but cigarettes and alcohol and the body type promoted was often blamed for the rise in the incidence of anorexia and bulimia in young women.
Well now things seem to be changing….
We might see the beginning of this development as the Moschino Autumn/Winter 2014 Ready-to-Wear Collection. The playful and very explicit references to McDonald’s uniforms undoubtedly did more than just raise a smile. Seeds would certainly have been planted in the heads of designers and consumers, changing expectations and the general outlook.
This sort of interaction between features of everyday life and fashion has more recently manifested itself in the realm of streetwear and rave culture. The food delivery company Deliveroo are perhaps most notable for using bicycle couriers to get the food delivered. It’s less expensive than maintaining a fleet of vans and allows them to beat the traffic. Of course they want to look after their staff so they kit them out with branded jackets to keep them warm and safe on the roads. It is this jacket with its high-visibility material and utilitarian design that has recently caught on.
Quite why it’s so popular is open to debate. Of course there are the obvious formal properties- the reflective material looks good in a rave under the lights and works with the normcore trend. In addition it also has retro appeal, fitting seamlessly into that urban, ‘90s, Fresh Prince stream.
There seems to be something else going on here as well though. The obvious branding is all part of it and this can be linked to cultural phenomena such as Skepta performing in a Royal Mail jacket, the popularity of Ikea bags and DHL t-shirts. The trend certainly brings to mind ‘60s Pop-Art and its concern with mass production. It might be an unconscious response as we settle into a more classless society, or it could be connected to an attempt to retain individuality in an intense consumer culture. Whatever the theory, the fact is that Deliveroo jackets are now highly desirable and we can expect further exciting developments to come….