x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Katie Trotter: On the culture of "cool"

Text speak is nothing new. The oh-so-uncool over-30s have seen it all before.

I'm just about still cool. Apparently. Although very much "on the cusp", according to my 21-year-old colleague. Why? Because I had to ask what a "g thang" is. (For those over 30, it is a commonly used phrase in rap culture referring to gangster-like behaviour.)

Twenty-nine, it seems, is still acceptable in cool land - part of the mob. Thirty, however, is decidedly not (unless you're Keith Richards).

It has been creeping in for a while. Particularly when it comes to acronyms (text messages from those with fewer years that look like a form of Morse code). Out of touch, me? Call me an OAP (old-aged pensioner), but I still think of an acronym as something like Nato, Awol or Swalk. At a push, I'm perhaps cool enough to know what LOL (laughing out loud), BTW (by the way) and BFF (best friend forever) stand for. But it appears things have become a little more sophisticated, further popularised by the need to fit messages into the 140-character limit of an SMS. So much so, in fact, that an acronym is no longer used as the odd abbreviation but exists as its own language - thus entering common parlance. I want to blurt out DILLIGAFF (do I look like a give a flying fig?), but I don't think it will help my credibility in the long run.

Instead, let me tell you something, "little 'uns" - acronyms have been in use by us fashion lot well before you got your grubby little mitts on them, so listen up.

Of course, it all started with the LBD (little black dress), which you all know. Then in the Eighties we coined the term Yuppie (young, upwardly mobile professional.) Which, by the way, if we are going to get down to the nitty gritty, is not strictly a proper acronym. If it were, it should read as yump, but that just sounds hideous. And here's a question: if all those Eighties yuppies are now middle-aged, what are they called now? Muppies?

Let's get a little more obscure and throw you out of shape a little. How about OTK (over the knee), NWJ (no way, José), or PPW (price per wear)? Perhaps TFFF (too fat for fashion), or better still (please excuse the expletive), Sofa (sweater over fat ass). Shall I continue? We have Snag (sensitive new age guy) and our own insider play on Glam (greying, leisured, affluent, married). Bet you didn't know these, did you now?

Language is one of our better inventions. So while you may write off anyone over the chasm of 30 as dead in cool land, there are things we can teach you. Things, in fact, a whole lot bigger than what you have just read. Things you don't yet have a clue about.

In other words, listen up: we are 2FC/2 (too flipping clever by half).



This week's highs and lows

ETOILE LA BOUTIQUE One of our favourite shops in Dubai is now open in Saudi Arabia.

NIGHTY NIGHT Why are pyjama-looking clothes working their way into our daytime wardrobe?

COACH CLASSICS Net-a-porter's exclusive bagsby Coach are ideal for everyday use.

COPYING ACT Is it just us or do Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé and Shakira's music videos all look the same?

LEATHER IN LACE We love the details in Chloë Sevigny's collection for Opening Ceremony.