Trust Me, I`ve Been There
Zoe Williams chooses her destinations wisely. ILLUSTRATION: TOM PERCIVAL / ADVOCATE ART
I NEVER REALISED THERE WAS A FASHION component to holidays until the Blair family went away to Tuscany. You remember that, way back when the now perma-tanned Mr Blair was Prime Minister of the UK? Other stuff in fashion at the time included sun-dried tomatoes, kissing people you’d only just met and tartan. Anyway, the whole thing was completely new to me – I’d only just got out of the student demographic where taking any holiday at all was the height of chic (unless it was with your parents).
So what I want to know is why or how would a region/resort/place be fashionable? It’s not as if you’re going to run into the PM and his wife at a local bar (and, let’s face it, who would want to?). All the people and things that make a place hip – the high-ranking politicians, the strippers, the pool parties, the decision-making, the panthers in cages (I’m no longer talking about the Blairs here) are behind closed doors and incredibly high walls. You may as well read about the cool things in a magazine like this, then go to Corsica – which hasn’t been fashionable for almost ever, and yet is incredibly nice.
Whoosh, some months or possibly a couple of years went by, and Tuscany was no longer fashionable. Suddenly, it’s all about Puglia, which makes even less sense. I mean, Tuscany hadn’t done anything wrong, and Puglia wasn’t as nice. Everybody insisted it was lovely, because they didn’t want to admit to the fact that they’d been had, if not enslaved, by the meaningless laws of fashion.
It reminded me of a time I got £50 off a bike because it was “last season’s colour”. Sure, it was 50 quid, I wasn’t going to hand it back. But I nevertheless left the shop muttering under my breath: “Absurd! I can’t even see the frame while I’m riding it and, besides, I want to keep this for the next 10 years, what on earth do I care what colour it is?”
I can see why places could go out of fashion within a family, for example, where you’d simply get bored of a region or a whole country. You might get sick of the sight of your dad mispronouncing names of cheese, and your mum falling out of a kayak in the exact same gorge you’ve been to for the past 13 years. But the idea that we might all, en masse, abandon Italy and decide that Spain is nicer just doesn’t make sense. You know how annoying other people from your native country are on holiday anyway.
Much better if someone was to start a kind of anti-fashion travel movement, which would scatter us and make sure we all ended up somewhere different!
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