There is the smell of change in the cultural air, and it’s from a very upmarket boutique. Distinctly expensive, and very alluring with it. The grinning ex-public schoolboys on the steps of Downing Street last year could smell it; so too could the ex-public schoolgirl as she stepped into a carriage wearing the most talked-about dress of the century. The smell has made previously mocked, or at the very least ignored, trends, places and people the Ones To Watch. Being Posh is back in fashion.
Who previously gave two hoots about what Princess Beatrice is wearing today, or which nightclubs Harry frequents, beyond Hello! readers and die-hard royal fans? But they are back in the public eye once more, along with the rest of their mad gaggle of a family. The Royal Wedding 2011 was not, as you might assume, between two rather endearing, vaguely good-looking and extremely wealthy individuals, who, would you believe, are actually are in love. No, this was the union of the British Public Of The Twenty-First Century and The Windsor Family. For the first time since Diana bashed her lashes at the paps, the Royal Family are cool. The whole saga is a phenomenal act of PR, making them appear down to earth, by marrying beyond their blue blood, stylish, by doing so in couture designs, and even quite cool, jetting off to Hollywood to awe Real Slebs. That the darn thing seemed to have such international appeal loosened that aura of embarrassment the royals previously provoked, and made them seem, well, a bit more A-list than before.
Yet there is something more fundamental at work, and the Royal Wedding is only a small part of it. Made In Chelsea is proving a massive hit, and not for the disgust one might expect. No, there is something aspirational about this kind of voyeurism; it is because we want to be exactly like them that we watch it. And we can; Elle.com this month published “Your Guide To Chelsea Hair”, a guide to getting that Kate Middleton/MIC barnett (read: long, healthy and expertly low-lighted) – privileged hair for privileged kids. In fact, Miss Middleton’s high street choices were much coveted, precisely if not expressly because mere mortals could get them too. Grazia have already given one of their signature monikers to the pretty young things who are loaded, investing Daddy’s money in some venture and actually pretty cool with it: “Posh 2.0”. WAGs have been long forgotten in the plethora of articles on women desperate to bag a Prince and, hey, did you know the Prince of Monaco also got hitched? The bride is, like, sooo on trend!
As the Bullington Boys empty the public coffers into the pockets of bankers and the like, the Welfare State is becoming a phrase of antiquity. There’s no two ways about it – if you want to be cool, you have to be loaded, and no imitations are allowed; you have to be rolling in money that grew from a tree at the bottom of your garden. No wonder Cheryl Cole is fast becoming clichéd old news. Nouveau Riche is back, while anything less is shunned as really quite sad, possibly work-shy and probably criminal in some way. Owen Jones’ new title Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class examines this latter phenomenon. Well there’ll be no Barbour Jacket guides here; all that posh chic is dull as ditchwater anyway. We positively stand for all things punk at HBAFH – Made In Chelsea? We’d rather watch Geordie Shore any day!