THIS STORY is about my flatmate Calum. You may remember him from such bars as Jinty’s and The Park, but he won’t remember you. Anyway, I thought it fitting to ask this warlock his views on male fashion and, in particular, about his cracking array of jumpers. The following is the fruit of thirty seven minutes of me,him, a Dictaphone and some firewater he picked up as ‘medicine’ for his cold. Make of it what you will.
ALI: Calum, would you give me your thoughts on your incredible fashion sense, please? You’ll be helping the male populace of GU, and Cally, if they fancy it.
CALUM: I don’t really think about fashion. I get like funny wee t-shirts with films and bands on and that. Like everyone does. But,ach. Sometimes I get T-shirts that look actually good. I am starting to grow up, I guess…But always with a jumper,not just bare arms. Not an option in Scotland.
A: You’d get beaten up in Newcastle for wearing a jumper.
A: What aren’t you keen on in fashion for guys in Glasgow?
C: Meh, it’s the sportswear. The people in Edinburgh keep trying to propagate the myth that Glaswegians will kill you. The tracksuit isn’t helping us much. But the tracksuit is so ubiquitous, it’s such a part of our identity now.
A: I agree. We’re not collectively Usain Bolt. We are not.
C: Oh. And. Apparently. Being “geek “is “in” (Calum looks like his firstborn has been given the Nobel). I feel like the stopped clock is telling the right time, baby!
A: Yes! Yes, that is true. Geek Chic. Louis Theroux mentioned that he had seen Geek Chic in a bookshop, but “daren’t pick it up, in case anyone thought I imagined myself a chic geek.” Besides which, who is your jumper idol?
C: Well, I always thought Kurt Cobain had great jumpers. Or like rocking the cardigan look. But they’re all usually pretty raggedy.
A: The drizzle in Seattle, you see.
C: Fair enough wearing wrecked clothes. I mean, my jeans are on the way. But…mess has to happen organically, if you will. Or you can buy like Batman T-shirts already faded like you’ve washed them a 1000 times! Why would you do that? Do it and wear it for 13 years like my friend Greg did.
A: Which out of Superman and Batman do you like better?
C: Batman has the best villains. But if I had to be one, I’d be Superman. He gets his power from the sun! Batman has to work out and stuff. Balls to that. Oh, and have his parents killed. Superman just rocks up.
A: Yeah, Batman’s kind of a dick.
NO.1 – VESTY JUMPER
A: Nice sweater vest,Cal.
C: Sorry, dunno the technical terms. I call it a vesty jumper. I normally wear it with this shirt.
A: Oh! Babycord!
A: Yeah, like corduroy, but it’s really really skinny. So yeah, babycord.
C: Right. I saw a lecturer wearing this exact one! I was in Boyd Orr and I saw a man in – what did you call it – sweater jumper? Makes me look like a Rangers-supporting Geography teacher in his mid-50s.
NO.2 – LAGER TOP
C: I got it last Christmas. Came in a box; I don’t think I’ve ever had a jumper in a box before.
A: Deprived child.
C: I really like the brown…and then the dark brown. But if it was black, it wouldn’t work.
A: What’s your favourite memory of wearing it?
C: Ehhhh…Yeah,well, it’s my lager top. Hides the stains.
NO.3 – FISHERMAN’S SWEATER
A: This…just. Wow. I love this beast.
C: I’m not really sure where this one is from again. Reckon it was a XMAS vouchers job. I don’t really shop in Next. All clothes shops merge into one. That’s a great thing for your fashion article, eh.
A: Yeah, cheers. Where do you like wearing this anyway?
C: Spend most of my winter in that one. Saturdays and Sundays…you know. My Hangover days.
A: Yeah, I know. Saturday, Sunday … Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday….
NO.4 – ACTUAL FISHERMAN’S SWEATER
A: It looks like you’re from the Soviet Union.
C: I have a picture of Ernest Hemingway, and he is wearing something very similar. Makes me feel like Hem without having to grow a big beard.
A: Where did you get this bad boy?
C: Ach, well, when I moved to work in Barra, I’d mostly steal my granpa’s jumpers… they’re all thick and hairy, and I liked this one. It was good when I was on the beach at six in the morning.
A: Why the frick were you on a beach at 6am?
C: I was a shellfisherman.
A: A shellfisherman.
A: I knew you lived there and poked around. But I didn’t… Jesus, a shellfisherman.
C: Mostly cockles.
A: You like cockles, do you?
C: Well, yeah, they pay the bills.
NO.5 – STRIPY DAVID TENNANT ONE
A: Stripes are good.
C: I’m always conscious that you can’t really wear green and white stripes here.And when I’m in Edinburgh, everyone thinks I’m a Hearts supporter…but I can live with that.
A: I can see that. So does Barry Manilow know that you raid his wardrobe?
C: Judging by the evidence….no.
A: That’s about right. So, any final words of wisdom for the masses, Cal? Send your legions of new fans off into the battlefield with a witty aphorism?
C: Err…just…wear what you’re wearing.
INTERVIEW BY ABI L. GLEN