Fasten your seat belts. A bunch of spendaholic peacocks are headed to Russia to strut their stuff. The fashion show is about to begin.
The love affair between footie and fashion kicked off in the swinging sixties when George Best — aka The Fifth Beatle — went stark raving mod. Best, the Manchester United winger, became a pied piper for those of us who were attempting to claw our way out of postwar austerity. I was born in Reading, in 1952, with a great view of the Huntley and Palmers biscuit factory (back then Reading FC, my team, was nicknamed “the biscuits”) and a burning desire to get my swag on. Hedonistic, beautiful George, with his velvet jackets and his floppy collars, was my groovy enabler, jump-starting my interest in footie and forever linking it to the world of style. Thanks to him, I have been surveying the footie landscape through a fashion lorgnette for more than half a century.
Since Best, things have only got worse, or better, depending on your point of view. If, like me, you enjoy a bit of flamboyance and fashion exhibitionism — dragon tattoos, jangly wrist-scapes, manbuns and manbags — then you doubtless celebrate this growing parade of pampered popinjays. Possessed of a natural elegance, these wiry young studs are the perfect canvas for today’s retro biker jackets, souvenir blousons, wallet-busting sneakers and nut-mangling Balmain jeans.