OPINION: The Shame of New Street

20150307_114812Words by Sasha Holt

As a fashion obsessive with a certifiable addiction to sartorial swagger, I want to take you on a journey through fashion around our fabulous city and beyond.

Although I feel I’m almost committing fashion treason by starting with this particular blog, but I can’t keep it in any more.

Watching the shiny leviathan of New Street station take its place in the centre of Birmingham, it should be a beacon of hope, of regeneration, crowned with the retail mammoth of John Lewis.

But just around the corner lies the sartorial shame of our city. The home of the Every Item for £5 shop, a tired looking BHS, and not forgetting the soul destroying giant like presence of Primark – where you can buy three Scarves for £5 pounds, a handbag that will last 5 minutes, and be harassed by a hundred and one poorly clad chuggers.

PrimarkAround this hive of degradation breeds a Petri dish of the fashion fallen. If you want to watch the lesser spotted see-through-legging-wearer, alongside the Ill-fitting-sportswear-clothed-creature this is the place to be. I am at a loss as to how the designer divining Bullring shoppers make it to their destination as they are not to be seen in this mire of fashion sorrow.

We live in a city so full of fashion innovation, with the stores like Disorder (just off Corporation Street) and even innovative High Streeters, such as Top Shop and the yellow fashion Mecca of Selfridges, within tottering distance.

DisorderI, for one, am standing on my soap box to extol the fashion credentials of this exciting clothing cosmos we call Birmingham. But the burning question on my lips is why are the beacons of our fashion future hidden away from the main public sight?

How such a fashion forward city allowed a black hole like New Street to appear in its fabric, is truly unforgivable.

So I call on you fashion followers to stay creative, risk innovative; don’t let the tractor beam of homogenisation suck you in. New Street might tempt you with its disposable offerings, but listen to that perfectly primped fashion angel on your shoulder – don’t go over to the dark side.

Stay fashionable suburbia and most importantly stay you.

Follow Sasha Holt @sashahawker


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