It was a warm breezy late Sunday morning, just the perfect weather for outdoor activities. I was neither feeling hot nor cold but just right hence all roads led to the Molapo Piazza for the now Famous Chillstep Sunday sessions which are held on the last Sunday of every month.
The set up was a colorful open flea market kind of setting and seemed pleasant enough to spend a whole day there relaxing over drinks with a few cool people. The host, Orange Botswana had set up an intimate little corner on the far end away from the blaring studios and up and down movement between the stalls.
The day progressed, drinks went down and voices got louder but what transpired within the next few hours was a complete generational shock. A few moons ago people in their mid to late 30s shocked their parents with their choice of clothes, music and what they considered normal within the popular cultural spectrum. Now a decade and a half later, they are the ones being shocked by the very same choices the younger generations are making, more so, they are even making endless comparisons.
A generally conservative community, Batswana has not been spared from the ‘Global village’ madness and therefore due to Mob Psychology and different external influences nothing seems impossible in this era. Just as an example, behind the scenes there was a group of teens who did not look a day older than 15 idling under the shade on the grass. They were sipping on colorful slushies laughing and occasionally dancing to the beats like normal teenagers except that every single item they were wearing – that was visible to the human eye – was torn.
They call it distressed – a trend which started on denim material influenced by the torn denim trend of the early 90s. Less than a decade ago, ripped jeans came back in style, as a 90s revival, and they were re-introduced as distressed a look very similar to ripped jeans, but the horizontal sewing point was occasionally removed to look like it was distressed.
However, not all distressed jeans are being worn as a fashion statement ÔÇô some are merely a result of over-wearing. Before the 1970’s, they were associated with people from less privileged backgrounds, basically the lower end of the working class who could not afford to part with their denim. Long before people were wearing torn jeans to express personal style, people wear wearing torn clothing out of necessity.
This trend has now gone beyond jeans and popular US Hip Hop artist Kanye West’s Yeezy clothing line has not helped the situation as far as producing ripped shirts, sweaters and T shirts. And hence the human race is now at a point where they work hard, earn a lot of money only to spend their hard earned cash (it does not come cheap) to look like hobos.