Carnage, Carnage, Carnage!!!  

Text by Yonatan Thiang

Gavin McInnes is a ruptured abscess that’s never out of puss

The ’90s ushered in the widest bifurcation of fashion with the gay community becoming both: more formal and louder. In the flinty end-days of grunge nuanced aloofness, revival fashion became about paying homage rather than posing; Harajuku trends were ordered through the internet and catalogue magazines to New York, London, Paris and LA—garbed Oriental and African expatriates’ tessellated prints reflected the changing physiognomy in fashion and urban centers. In the cacophony, Gavin McInnes’s obsession with street fashion filled the desideratum for a critic and he has become iconoclastic for his endeavor. McInnes’s street fashion critiques antedate all others and all others are in some way or another derivative of his. Only his exceptional record for being right matches his temerity.

—Why do you think street fashion critiques became so influential in the mid ’90s, yours, arguably, the most influential?
—Temerity? Bifurcation? Desideratum?! Dude, what is with that intro? Did somebody buy you a thesaurus for Halloween? I haven’t heard words like those since university. “The changing physiognomy in fashion?” Is this how artists get by the part where everyone thinks they’re full of shit: they make up a language? You’re like a bunch of fucking lawyers.
To answer your question: who says street fashion critiques had this big surge in the ’90s? Where is that documented as a fact? As with most questions, they say more about the asker than the subject. YOU think there was this big zenith in street fashion critiques because YOU were reading DOs & DON’Ts back then and starting to give a shit about how you looked. There was nothing special about this time and making fun of people’s pants has been going on since before there were pants.
My street fashion critiques were and are popular because my level of wit tends to be reserved for serious shit like politics and social commentary. To do high-IQ jokes about lowbrow stuff like shoes and socks is the hook that keeps it on most people’s radar. It has nothing to do with the epoch.
—Chameleon by Woody Allen is about a man who immediately transforms to suite [sic] his surroundings. Can someone do that wearing the exact same thing?
—Too good. You use huge words to try to sound smart and then you spell suit wrong. And it’s Zelig not Chameleon. Ha. This is why it’s always best to just be yourself and not try to be this Christopher Hitchens English intellectual. How old are you, 23?
—When does character trump actual attire?
—Jesus, this is not easy. First I have to translate each question into English then I have to try to answer it honestly. I’m going to assume you mean, “Is there a point where someone is so amazing, it doesn’t matter what they wear?” If that is the case, the answer is, “Of course.”
Fashion, like art, is… just kidding. To take it seriously is to miss the point. When I say I want to kill men that wear flip-flops, I am being hyperbolic. I actually could care less, obviously. The real impetus behind style and dressing well is, “I know none of this matters but I’m stepping into the fray and giving it a go anyway, how’s this?” Fashion is like a board game or a dance. You want to do a good job because it’s fun and it shows you’re happy to be here but as soon as you take it seriously, the bubble pops. Some of my best friends are bad dressers. I just think it’s lame and wish they’d try harder because it’s fun to do that.
—What is style analogous to? What does it tell us about someone?
—I think you just wanted to say “analogous.” As I said earlier it is “analogous” to, say, the board game Risk or even Operation. You are participating in this thing called society and fucking around with the parameters (great, now I’m talking like you people). Style is about someone who knows the rules and can tweak them a bit to reflect her personality. She’s never going to wear Juicy Couture but she might be funny enough to wear Rocawear with a Balenciaga bag. Sometimes she blows it and her friends point it out and everyone laughs.
—Who are some women and men who dress poorly but pull it off?
—There’s a New York artist named Spencer Sweeney that always wears overalls and flip-flops. I don’t know if it’s his confidence or his art career but nobody can fuck with him. It’s a mystery how he does it but if I tried it, I’d look like a gay farmer who sells ice cream to construction workers.
Sarah Silverman is a woman who couldn’t dress her way out of a wet paper bag but somehow she makes it work.
Who else? Um, I wouldn’t say notorious 92-year-old night owl, Zelda Kaplan, “dresses poorly” but she dresses “really fucking insanely” and always manages to pull it off.
—What things are common in any fashion faux pas?
—Basically, attraction is built on recognizing our differences. Women want men to be masculine and men want women to be feminine. That’s why flip-flops are such a crime. What if someone slaps your girl? How are you supposed to fight now or go chase him with your little rubber soles? And why do men have to be so comfy all the time? In New York the summer uniform is cargo shorts and wife beaters. They look like Thai street vendors. Men dressing like they’re still in dorms is not masculine and women don’t like it.
Similarly, there seems to be a huge contingent of females that think it’s empowering to walk around in clogs and sweatpants with short hair and no makeup. This “throwing in the towel” look ignores the part where women are more attractive than men and should take advantage of it. Elevate your ass with heels, paint on your face a bit. You can grow longer hair than men so take advantage of that.
We’re only of courting age for about 10 years or so. To ignore that and say you’re over it is like refusing to play musical chairs with the rest of us because it’s “gay.”
—Why are women so clueless to what man [sic] want and like in fashion?
—“To what man want”? What are you, a cave person? Dude, you come at this interview with a tidal wave of synonyms and you can’t even pluralize “man.” Is this what the Canadian education system has come to?
One’s first instinct when answering this question is to say, “The problem is you have mostly gay men designing, casting, shooting and basically running an industry based on making women attractive to straight men,” but I don’t think it’s a “problem.” Sure, they choose models a little boyish for most of our tastes and we’d appreciate a lot more ass than they’re willing to give, but the relationship seems to be working just fine and I love the way women dress when they try. That’s basically what this whole discussion comes down to. You have to at least try. Not too hard. But a bit.