Prattle on
Wednesday, April 11, 2007

So, this morning I was on the bus on the way to the office, as I am every morning. Depending on the time of my bus ride I get surrounded by a very specific group of people, mainly young women on their way to their daily studies at McGill. Due to the presence of McGill (and a few other school) in Montreal, the city is, for eight months out of the year, under the grip of 18 – 24 year-olds all attending a post-secondary educational institution convinced of their own originality. They make me smile because frankly I was one of those people not so long ago (Although, I didn’t go to McGill).

There are a number of McGill student types – and I am confident that you can find these same types on city campuses everywhere. There are McGill students who feel the need to wear large jogging pants with salt and sludge stains on them all day and everywhere in an effort to look like total slobs. There is also the McGill boy haircut. Some melding of the mohawk/mullet with shaved sides, or the crazy and totally unkempt curly top. Mind you, the curly top is generally worn by grad-student boys cultivating a look that says, “intellectual bordering on absent minded genius.”

These people are not the ones I am concerned with today. They don’t take the same buss I do as they generally live in the few square blocks we lovingly call “The McGill Ghetto.” No, I deal with a whole different McGill creature. My neighborhood brings together two aspects of Montreal that are as unique as they are maddening: the slovenly McGill girl and the tasteless fashionista.* I like to call them “McGill Slovenistas”

As the weather gets warmer they get more shocking. In the picture that accompanies this blog we see a young woman who thought that it was a good idea to wear the shortest denim skirt she could find (what you can’t really see in the picture is that it is clear that she made this ‘skirt’ out of her old jeans). She paired it with black nylons that she cut so they would stop at her knees. While standing on the bus, she bent over to grab her bag off the floor. Please note, the skirt did not cover her behind.

*I want to make it clear that Montreal has a great and lively independent fashion scene. There are people here who make clothes that are both edgy and beautiful. Whatever your taste, you can find it. The city is home to several fashion design school graduates and they know what they are doing. But, you also have people who will take a pair of scissors to clothes they buy at a thrift store or decide to wear several different patters together and maybe three skirts or something.

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