Thursday, December 29, 2005

County Lads: A Celebration of Football's Casual Culture

Casual Culture, if one could use that word and ascribe such a high level of sophistication to what is, essentially, a bunch of yobs intent on committing acts of violence, was born out of the working class desire to look sharp and not get arrested before the games began. In the early 1980’s young Englishmen abandoned the obviously menacing skinhead look (which had everything to do with fashion, and little concern with politics) and cultivated a desire to achieve a kind of European sophistication. What, that fellow in the Stone Island jumper, that cost him $400.00 on the high street, is looking for a bit of aggro? It took the Filth a bit of time to catch on. For a time, gangs of well-dressed men wandered up and down Cold Blow Lane with impunity. This move from skinhead to fashion-plate is a more organic evolution than one might initially suppose, especially when you realize that traditional skinheads were themselves an evolution from the “hard-mod” youth cult.

Nowadays, violence at the football is in marked decline. The look, however, a kind of tough, knowing adherence to the trendiest labels, is still in. Casual Culture contains a number of excellent pictures, a time line of the development of the cult and its sense of style, and links to all the trendiest shops where you too can spend $800.00 on a jacket.

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