Bicycle Diaries: Fixie prix & elegant chix

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16.7.09

Fixie prix & elegant chix

at least
they roll!


Something weird is going on with the Vélotariat. The well-trod debates over bike lanes, critical mass etiquette, and proper frame-sizing have given way to a growing rancor towards bike fashions. I'm not talking here about whether you should cover your ride with guerrilla stickers or colorful electrical tape. Rather there's been a fascinating reaction to the clothes in which folks choose to roll. Over at Manolith, a UK-based men's lifestyle site, Yosef Solomon posted 13 Reasons Why the Fixies Fad Should End Now! The usual criticisms of obnoxious attitudes and dicey braking practices take a backseat to fashion posers. As Yusef states:
It seems to be a sad fact that every “underground” fashion scene will inevitably be taken over by pretentious wannabes. The most recent victim of this trend is that of the once-edgy bike messengers. Actual bike messengers are now faced with the decision to either just suck it up and be confused with mobs of posers, or simply change careers ... Since the whole Fixed Gear trend has finally been maxed out on douche, we thought it fitting to call this fad out for what it is.
Meanwhile critics are setting their sights on the fixie prix's more well-heeled colleagues. The Pipeline, for example, recently took aim at The Sartorialist. Created by Scott Schuman, this blog documents high-end street fashionistas in New York, Milan, and Paris. Many of the posts show incredibly elegant chics and gents. In contrast to Manolith, Pipeline seems particularly cranked up over Schuman's choice of purportedly upper middle-class subjects. It even provides a helpful flowchart explaining how you can get Shot by Scot. If you're a man, it helps to be old, rich and European. If you're a woman, be model pretty or wear a quirky hat. Either way a vintage bike will pretty much guarantee you a spot. Slate's Julia Turner, who first mentioned this critique, defends Scott even though ...
Gathered together, his subjects often seem rich and pampered, too many fashionistas wearing the same expensive and unwieldy shoes.
She can't help loving his work because his focus on facial expressions goes behind the togs. Even though his subjects form a limited spectrum, his photos expose joy, wit, and candor. She feels as if she's met these folks before.

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