Some years back an acquaintance who I guess is about eight years younger than I am (I’m thirty-seven now, so at the time I was probably thirty-two and she twenty-four), sent out an email telling people about her “zine.” In the text, she said something like, “don’t know what a zine is?” and then included a link to a Wikipedia article … on zines.[i]
I smiled a bit haughtily; this somehow brought me back to my teens and early twenties, when I never quite fully understood why my mother was so tickled by my recycling of fashions she knew from heryounger years. I would dig through her archival closets and extract dashikis from the sixties and wide-lapelled pleather trench coats from the seventies and wear them just that moment in the nineties when they made sense again. Seeing me off to school she would shriek or furrow her brow or laugh and shake her head.
Since I had never lived through the first iteration of such fashions, it didn’t occur to me why my wearing such things would be humorous-but-kind-of-sad to her. But now, living in the Never-Never Land of contemporary Cultural-Capital-Capital Berlin, where no one grows up and leisure and industry are incestuous canoodlers – if not out and out indistinguishable – I get a front seat to the latest trends. These are of course also recycled similarly to the abovementioned interval – and now the nineties are back in a big way. And it’s pretty funny-sad to me, too.