To some, it seems, there is no better place to spend the two-week English summer than London’s hippest scorched-grass catwalk, London Fields – especially the section nearest Broadway Market, which I like to refer to as cunts’ corner. Stroll through the park any time after midday on the weekend and you’ll find yourself in what looks like the opening scene from Apocalypse Now, with the napalm (unfortunately) substituted for the smoke coming from the myriad disposable BBQs plopped on the grass. Through the grey haze you’ll see packs of top-drawer cretins in Ray-Bans splayed out on the grass like horny peacocks, trying to catch the eye of a potential mate as they scorch their leathery faces. No matter how sunny it is, most of the men (who all claim to be either band managers or video directors) will be dressed in tight dark jeans and smart shoes – the exact opposite of what’s comfortable for a day in the park. Elsewhere, you’ll find fashion bloggers snapping pictures of young girls who look like they had a nervous breakdown midway through a shopping trip at a vintage clothing shop. The park starts the day looking like the Monday after Glastonbury and goes downhill as the hours pass. Forget the crazed crack squirrels of Brixton, here you’ll find smug, obnoxious pigeons flapping around with their heads stuck in the cocaine wraps left behind by the park’s visitors. Read below for a breakdown of the typical look.
Hair: Side-parted 20-inch high WW2 fighter pilot-esque quiff held in place by a tub of lard. A moustache that wouldn’t look out of place in certain Vauxhall nightclubs is also essential. The acoustic guitar player of the gang usually favours free-flowing Devendra locks.
Hat: You’re not allowed through the park gate without one. Usually it’ll be a wide-rim straw number or something you might expect an elderly man in the Amish community to wear in winter.
Tattoos: A couple of classic sailor tats or a bomber babe to match the haircut.
Jacket: A Burberry mac their mate stole from a fashion shoot or a pea coat that they picked up in a Brooklyn thrift store.
Top: Deep-V-neck T-shirt to show off some Buddhist beads, which they wear to summon the spirit of Animal Collective.
Trousers: Skinny black or navy jeans that are ever so slightly too short, perfect for a day of basking in the scorching sun.
Favourite phrases: “Got any blow?” “I love your look, can I take a photo for my blog?” “Barney’s new ska-folk band are fucking wicked, mate.”
Footwear: Brogues with no socks.
Accessories: Gross man jewellery and bangly shit that they picked up in Goa as a teenager. A couple of grams of shit coke for an afternoon down the Cat & Mutton. A bratty little dog (“the minge magnet”) that runs about pooing everywhere and nipping at the heels of passers by. A tote bag from an organic food shop filled with pear cider and organic chewing gum. Coloured Ray-Bans to take the edge off the lurid clothes on the people all around them.
Girlfriend: Some annoying cokehead. Pale skin and dyed ginger hair essential.
Plaid shirt? Naturally. With the sleeves rolled up at all times to show off the tats.
Fixed-gear bike? Stupid fucking question. It’s stacked with the rest of their group’s rides in a temporary ultra-lightweight sculpture on the grass.
Words by John McDonnell. Illustration by Daniel David Freeman