The End of Decadence

Here is a photo posted on a popular style blog today. The others in the series were NSFW. The handful of comments were enthusiastic.

A light finally went on in my head.

It’s the fucking decadence that I hate! Not really hipsters in general so much as the ones promoting decadence.

Nipple rings,   blurred sexuality, tattooes, shaved heads, pseudo bondage, jaded topless girls with cigarettes, Gareth Pugh this and Gareth Pugh that, it’s all so tragic and played out.   There’s just nowhere to go with this shit.

I’m aware that young people must shock their elders. But it seems like too many people aren’t growing out of it. I don’t want to call out bloggers because it’s not their fault. They’re just deluded. The images they’re purveying have been around in some form for centuries, but now it’s so joyless and commercialized. Just take it away.

I’ve been scrolling through paintings of angels and religious allegories for hours, trying to elevate my soul through beauty and sincerity but it’s hard to find a strong enough antidote to the sadness of everything tonight.

Just to keep hipsters in the loop, though, please enjoy this:

This entry was posted in Art, grief, Rants and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

46 Responses to The End of Decadence

  1. TheShoeGirl says:

    I’m going to email you a couple photos that might cheer you up… Photos of me being a douche earlier today.

  2. Aja says:

    I was talking about this with my best pal today. It’s just too much. Everything. This is cool, this is not, whoops it’s cool again. Wear these shoes, wear those shoes, wear everything you own all at once. Sometimes I get internet/blog overload and I shut my computer with haste and run outside to get some fresh air.

  3. How freaky, I was thinking how can this decadence/cool end. And this wasn’t after the shot above, just from reading January’s British Vogue. I feel a counter revolution coming on. I’m so bored of editorial and blogs managing and shoving what/who is cool and therefore decadent because it always involves consumption and all the stuff you detailed above.

    For the record I’ve always despised Gareth Pugh’s work. I hate (although I tell the petit off for using the word hate) all this hipster/frickster/douchebag/ introspective crap. It bores the pants off me. Thank you I feel cleansed and free to pursue my non decadent uncool life!

  4. Sister Wolf says:

    TheSHoeGIrl – You are the BEST, I had a great laugh at your expense! xoxo

  5. Tanya says:

    Dare I say, that was a very snarky diagram! Just think of your potential, Sister, if you were to elevate above all this shallow snark…Well, the hipsters are extremely self-indulgent creatures, and it’s so easy to peddle anything (including ready-made identities) to the poor saps who are pretty much defined by this trait. I agree with Make Do Style. This has to go away soon.

  6. Not just decadence, misplaced arrogance. What gets me is that there is no joy or silliness or fun in any of it. I’m not against shaved heads or nipple rings (I have friends with both), I’m against people with shaved heads or nipple rings who won’t smile because they are too cool. And I’m with Kate, I find Vogue vacuous and plain awful at the moment.

  7. David Duff says:

    You’ll be voting Republican next – it can only be a matter of time!

  8. Dru says:

    Penny Dreadful Vintage- “no joy or silliness or fun in any of it”- yes, that’s exactly what it does seem like. When people treat personal taste like it’s up for judging on a CV, i.e. you like all the “cool” things or else, it’s really quite sad.

    And Vogue UK, please fucking STOP trying to make Georgia May Jagger happen. I get that she’s rock-star offspring, but she just looks like Lara Stone’s gormless younger sister* in every single shoot she does.

    *sorry to Lara for the comparison.

  9. Eddie Izzard said something like this a while ago (fine line between cool, hip and groovy and looking like a dickhead). It’s true. Stuff that was once actually radical is now being used purely for its supposed rad-ness, and thus is no longer cool.

    On another note, I found a picture of a candidate for ‘most hideous shoe of the week’. It’s NOT from Solestruck, either!
    Link from another person’s blog. Just needed to share.

  10. Liz says:

    Amen Sister! Sing it!

  11. Sheri says:

    Self-consciousness at its worst, and for all to see.
    Something we all hope to outgrow by the age of 18; well, used to, anyway.
    Maybe the problem now is that the audience has gotten too large, and they don’t have anything else to do.

    (I love REdHeadFashionista’s paraphrase: the fine line between cool, hip and groovy and looking like a dickhead. I remember coming downstairs once a few years ago in an asymmetrical silk, plaid skirt, tweed blazer, boots, and belt, and First Son told me I looked good, but like I was “trying too hard.” I took off the belt.)

  12. I get you. A few weeks ago we rented The Matrix (to revisit story structure and the really very well done references/allusions to the story and big issue in early dialog) and early on there is a scene at a S&M club. I found myself yawning – yeah, yeah, S&M, black leather, vinyl, decadence…this is so 1990s. Add some extra NIN and it’ll be parody (I think that the soundtrack at that point was White Zombie which already IS parody).

  13. annemarie says:

    sister wolf hits the nail on the head (again).

    i have a very clear memory of myself at 14 yrs old. i was in a punk club and i had a pint of heineken in one hand and a big fat joint in the other. some hours later, having made out with a pimply dipshit and allowed him to paw my nether regions with his sweaty hand, i found myself vomiting copiously in the bushes outside my friends apartment, where i was temporarily living. i went to bed that night feeling full of joy and happiness, saying to myself “this is living!”

  14. E says:

    This self-obsessed reverential nihilism; blacker-shinier-and-pervier-than-thou – is just so old as a ‘fashion’ statement. Why – its practically mainstream! Run like the wind, hipsters!!

    Sister W – lose yourself in a film instead – I can recommend Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day.

    Intelligent escapism rules – hell – I’ll just settle for escapism.

  15. james says:

    I concur! Although, I must admit I have admired Gareth’s work since his CSM grad collection (not that it makes me a more credible fan) and I’m decadent (to an extent). So many I’s in this comment. I must read as irritably conceited. To be honest – i’m very sick of fashion and everything at the moment. Hipsters, snobs, elitists, trends, scenes etc. over it all! You should seriously write for a magazine though. love your perspective, honesty and integrity. 🙂

  16. Carrie says:

    First, and quickly, as a designer myself I do agree with James about Gareth Pugh. His CSM collections was exciting at the time, he has developed a much better eye for quality/construction in the relatively short time he’s been working in the industry, and I appreciate the contribution he is making toward helping the fashion establishment move away from traditional runway shows by exploring film presentations….Ok, that wasn’t quick. But Gareth also wasn’t really the subject at hand, was he Sister Wolf?

    Which brings me to hipsters and decadence. I saw a quote (yesterday, the day before?) in which Paz de la Huerta declares most folks out there who “think they can be artists” are NOT…but she IS and she “knew she was born an artist.” Proving that the hipster race has mutated sufficiently at this point to imagine tit-flashing and pouty semi-sexualized cigarette smoking, along with some bad acting (which, incidentally, seems to involve quite a lot of…..tit-flashing and pouty semi-sexualized cigarette smoking!) makes you a “true artist.”

    Um. I don’t think I really need to elaborate further for everyone to see my point here.

    And if you don’t know who Paz is look her up. She demonstrates Sister Wolf’s entire post with as much accuracy as a calculus proof…

  17. the real andrea says:

    Isn’t the true meaning of the “hipster” the antithesis of consumption? I read Patti Smith’s autobiography a while back and she and Robert Mapplethorpe weren’t about consumption at all. All the ones that followed are wannabes. And I guess that can be bought. Which, to me, doesn’t make you a hipster.

    And Carrie, I agree with you. That Paz de la Huerta makes me want to throw up. The only way she can get attention is to take off her clothes and talk about sex to show how together she is about her sexuality. Read the cover story in the new Paper Magazine- it explains it all.

    One more thing- when you get older, you know what the hippest thing is?- it’s being healthy.

  18. anon says:

    feast your eyes on these two sw!! my only hope is that you will do a post on them…

  19. anon says:

    ps. they dated a MONTH before getting engaged- and both clearly- struggle with addiction. yet they are such artists- google their youtube account pleeeassse!!! for the loveeee

  20. Laurin says:

    But being a dickhead’s cool!

  21. annemarie says:



  22. P says:


    Sorry, I just finally felt as though the moment I’d been waiting for had arrived.

  23. Erika says:

    Take heart, the decade is just beginning and as things are cyclical there is bound to be a shift.

  24. Alicia says:

    @the real andrea – dudeguy and I were talking about this a couple of weeks ago. According to him, there’s been a shift in hipster culture from anti-consumerism to just another form of consumerism; you have to have a certain “look,” a porkpie hat, a Jetta, and an iBook/Phone/Pad to be in with the crowd who isn’t really “in” or mainstream. He compared it to what happened with punk/the punk aesthetic. A very anti-consumerism and DIY ethos transmuted into a $10,000 studded Balmain (sorry, BAL-MAAAAAAAAAHN) jackets, anything mixing leather, zippers, and studs, and Doc Martens…not because of the actions of the originators, but because of those who followed viewing it, wanting to emulate it and “making it their own.”

    Or something like that. I suck at paraphrasing.

  25. No Little Plans says:

    Once again you’re spot on, Sister. My favorite theory about the hipster is that they mimic actually interesting people-

    Which goes along with what the real andrea and Alicia are saying, in that they consume tons to mimic those who consume little.
    It’s all about appropriation.

  26. claudia says:

    Paz dlH gleefully exhibits “what life is like when, despite evidence of talent outside of pretty genes, you’re convinced that everything you do is awesome.” Let’s all give thanks for the occasional tinge self-doubt and insecurity, because at least that way we’re not all lazily fighting eachother to cram our cobra-tatted tits in front of the camera lens while shouting about our ARTS (protip: if you are the only one saying you’re An Artist, you probably aren’t).

  27. Erika says:

    Claudia, you have inspired my new quote : In the modern age, the glorification of self has been decompressed into an illusory art form

    I dobn’t know whether it’s actually good, true or I am just and assshole. Probably some of each.

  28. Alicia says:

    @ No Little Plans – that is a great link. Thanks for posting.

  29. Alicia says:

    @Erika – I like it!

  30. E says:

    I have a great cartoon on my fridge – a crowd of clone trendy-folk – two of them chatting together in the foreground with the caption “If we’re all so individual – why do we look like the same individual?”.
    Nail. On. The. Head.

  31. Sister Wolf says:

    No little plans & ALicia – The butterfly theory is very funny! Cannot wait to unleash it on unsuspecting hipster theorists.

  32. E says:

    Also ‘pretty genes’ – snort!

  33. Alicia says:

    This may put a little more meat on that theory:

    I remember this project being highlighted on a blog. It’s a photography project where individuals of different types/groups are photographed separately, but look eerily alike in both dress and pose. Brilliant.

  34. Alicia says:

    And I am redundant as hell. I really need to work on that.

  35. Sister Wolf says:

    Alicia- I LOVE the picture of the Fluffies. And I agree: Just Pucker you fucker is godhead.

  36. I’m genuinely freaked out. I was planning a post, very similar to yours called the ‘Last Days Of Decadence’…


  37. Sister Wolf says:

    Layers&Swathes – Maybe we’re at the forefront of collective consciousness!!! Do your post and ask who else has arrived at the same tipping point or whatever it is…

  38. You know how much I love collective consciousness! I write about it all the time!

    You’re bang on point. I think what irritates me the most is that its decadence in a classless form. Its looking ‘heroin chic’ and malnourished when there are people really suffering. Yet the luxury of looking that way because they can – not because they have to. Is that decadent? It’s those miserable gormless stares when their lives are to be envied by most of the world’s population. If you can afford to spend that much time on your art rather then in a rice field, smile every now and again for fuck’s sake. It’s all become so boring and… silly?

    My ramble is so much better in my head but I will elaborate at some point on L&S….

  39. Brie says:

    I think we all go through stages like this…I did as a teen/early 20s age Goth but we grow out of it and move on. Sadly, there are people who don’t seem to and seem stuck in this mindset where they need to shock. There are some true visionaries in the art/music/fashion world that appear “scene” but are not but then there are loads of lemmings who embrace the sorts of things described in the post just to “be cool”. The lemmings drown out the valid voices and then make everything “yawn worthy”.

    Sister Wolf’s graph is so spot on.

  40. inj says:

    hurrah sister wolf, well said.

  41. Nickie Frye says:

    I couldn’t agree more. There is so much filth & darkness in the world, & there are so many people who are down in the muck for one (legitimate!) reason or another. Why perpetuate it with all of these contrived & creepy images? People are having a hard enough time as it is, why spread darkness? I want to be uplifted, inspired, amused, & encouraged. Doesn’t everyone? I just don’t get the appeal.

  42. I’m into a lot of the same things ‘hipsters’ are, but agree with many of the comments above. I have such a love/hate relationship with hipsters. On one hand, I like that they’re willing to try anything. On the other, the lack of authenticity grates on my nerves.

    The internet has given rise to the ‘poseur’ revolution. Nowadays ‘hipsters’ can download all the once obscure music and film, and use google to fill in the blanks. Becoming an expert has never been so instantaneous.

    I don’t think most ‘hipsters’ are REALLY into all the things they claim to be into either. They just run down the list of names to check off, to keep their bases covered and seem cool. The extent of their consumerist attitude even reflects in their misuse of free knowledge!

    And to further enable their counter-cultural pillaging, the ‘edgy’ clothes gays, punks, and goths once got their asses kicked for wearing is now readly available at any mall. I can buy a sweatshop made spiked choker at Forever 21 for 5 bucks. Chances are, the gal who sells it to me will be the type of person who would’ve bullied me 17 years ago for being ‘weird’.

    What pisses me off about the faux decadence is that when faced with REAL outsiders and eccentrics, ‘hipsters’ can’t hang. Ever notice how timid and overall well mannered ‘hipsters’ are? Stick ’em in a room full of loud, obnoxious, unfashionable, unpopular, confrontational, conventionally unattractive, rowdy people and HIPSTERS GET SCARED SHITLESS.

    Perhaps that’s an extension of their ironic fashion though. ‘Hipsters’ love irony.


  43. Marmalade Wombat says:

    I’d be more impressed if they dressed like they REALLY didn’t care what people thought; if the girls didn’t bother to shave or wax or pluck or tweak or torture themselves by wearing ridiculous heels; and if they also didn’t bother to buy buy buy if they already had clothes that fit in their closet.

  44. RLC says:

    There was a great documentary on a few years ago called ‘Decadence: The Meaningless of Modern Life’ – worth checking out if you can.

    I think one of the main problems – and one that is exacerbated by the internet and blogs in particular – is this constant comparison to other people. It’s getting harder and harder to just be happy with who you are and what you have because there are endless reminders of what you don’t have; people who are cooler than you, prettier than you, more successful than you; people with better houses and better shoes than you; people with more tattoos, more money, more street cred, more shrunken-head jewellery… It’s all a big competition, and I guess it always will be so long as the main objective of my generation is looking good to other people.

  45. Ms. Fitz says:

    I am SO BORED by all this black depressing shit. I get it, its rebellious or what ever.. I want to see LIFE GIVING, EMOTIONALLY FACETED, SINCERE and most importantly INTERESTING imagery to come out of the fashion industry. But Sister, there are some of us within the confines of the industry who are creating new, exciting and uplifting images.. I think you should check out photographer Thom Kerr, his work exemplifies everything that is missing in the industry. Not all us youngens and souless hipsters!

  46. Sister Wolf says:

    Ms. Fitz – OMFG, what an experience. I’ve been watching the revolution in Egypt all day… then BAM! thank you for a great comment and link. xo

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