Toronto Star offers G20 fashion guide, demonstrates its discomfort with irony

Toronto Star offers G20 fashion guide, demonstrates its discomfort with irony

Bandanas: protest police catnip (Image: Martin Poulter)

With G20 fever gripping the city, it seems as though an article can’t get published without having a summit angle. (We admit that we may be guilty of this at The Informer, too.) Sometimes it works, and other times not so much. For a lesson on the latter, the Toronto Star has provided a fashion guide that promises advice for the “militant and fabulous.”

Yes, we know this piece is mostly a joke, poking fun at the predictable attire of protesters, who are often ripe for mockery, but somewhere halfway through it’s as if an editor got a hold of it and suggested real advice. Note the change in tone:

If you’re the rabble-rousing, tear-gas-loving type who won’t be held back by mere warnings, synthetic fabrics are your best bet since tear gas sticks to natural fibres. Bandanas soaked in vinegar are a snazzy, yet functional accessory if you don’t have a gas mask handy when noxious fumes fly.

Next we’re told to wear sunscreen and mixed fibres to avoid overheating in the sun and given an apparently straight explanation that dressing like a protester might make one appear to be a protester. Most perplexing is what the article associates with wearing black: “Black, the refuge of brooding artists, the late Johnny Cash and goths, is the colour of choice for militant protesters who hang out near the fence.” Luckily, the statement is rescued by some irony: “It is also slimming,” they report.

G20 Fashions for the militant and fabulous [Toronto Star]