Bangkok trends we'd rather not see in 2010
I’m proud of Bangkok and its never-ending drive to become a center for trendy, cool and fashionable people. Hence all the fashion weeks and surge in the number of art schools.
But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a bit of a problem with the way we deal with and understand fads, always jumping on the latest faux pas wagon. While there have been many, here are the top five Bangkok trends of 2009 I hope will die a quick death in 2010.
1. Blythe dolls
You used to have to fly to Hong Kong or stay up all night trying to outbid a tenacious Japanese preteen on eBay to buy a Blythe doll. And when you bought it, the creepy doll with the big eyes became little more than a pretty decoration on your shelf -- not something you have to dress like and parade around Siam Square like a pet.
Then came mall corners, celebrity endorsements, market knockoffs and Blythe-centric "fashion stores" and it all just went down hill. But it's not a surprise hit really, with all things "kawaii" remaining hot in Bangkok. Which brings us to the second trend …
2. Iris-widening colored contact lenses
It's weird enough seeing blonde and redheaded Asians. Now I have to look at Thais with blue eyes the size of 10-baht coins? Now that's just ridiculous. Some people want to look like their precious Blythe dolls, others want to look like Japanese anime characters. Whatever the reason, it is not a good idea to wear these colored contact lenses outside of a cosplay arena.
I met a restaurant manager, a flamboyantly gay man in his forties, who with eyes closed would look very professional in his corporate suit. It wasn’t until I looked at his eyes that I thought he was bit by Edward Cullen's fabulous "Twilight" cousin. Golden big eyes and middle-aged men don't go together -- trust me.
I love the phone, I really do. It's the BlackBerry users that I do not particularly enjoy. And I'm not talking about those who were handed one by their companies or got it because they find its keyboard and connectivity function useful and technologically appropriate for their lifestyles.
I'm talking about the "I wanna get one because now it's cool and everyone has it" kind of user.
I had one two years ago and you all suckers in Bangkok said it was a stupid, email phone. And I felt ashamed for having nobody on my BBM list. Now I'm hearing from friends I haven't spoken to since middle school on Facebook, not asking about how I am or what I do now but what my BBM pin is.
And turn off that horrible ringer. It can vibrate too, you know?
4. Ambiguously gendered superstars
Are they male? Are they ladyboys? Are they men trapped under a woman's hairstyle? Whatever they are, there's just something about these boys that make Thai girls swoon.
For some reason, these boys with the greasy flowing hair, eyeliner, sequined tops and live male-on-male makeouts in concerts have gained massive legions of screaming followers.
I miss the Backstreet Boys.
5. Gaga shoulders
Sure, Lady Gaga is hot. But that doesn't mean we need to dress like her crazy onstage persona. Many "fashionistas" are going to hate me for this but what's with the overly perky shoulder-padded tops? You know the ones that make you look like a cross between an Amish and a bad Lady Gaga impersonator? These shirts are everywhere and they all just HAVE to come in metallic sequins.
Sadly, this trend is new and I have a feeling it will go long into 2010 but I really do hope it doesn’t have the fashion longevity of those hideous gladiator shoes.