All change please! We’ve reached the worn and dusty end of the season, that point when we find ourselves yearning for the new and the next. All the zingy summertime fashions are being consigned to the sale rail and — without even a sniff of a beach holiday on the horizon — we suddenly see them for what they are: tacky, garish linens. And it’s not just fashion. August’s cultural slowdown and the season’s many vats of rosé have left us feeling soporific — praying for a cool autumn breeze to whip away the cobwebs and get us excited again.
So without further ado here is the Evening Standard’s guide to all the summer cliches we once adored but which have suddenly begun to give us an almighty ick…
As this publication’s food writer, Josh Barrie, wrote way back in April: “Burrata, burrata, burrata. What a moment it is having. The new avocado. A squelchy mainstay of tired executive chefs hell-bent on profit margins.” He likened the oozy globular cheese to Keir Starmer. In July, New York magazine followed suit and declared it “a big fat blob of boring”. Our lactose intolerance welcomes this vibe shift.
Kate Middleton was spied sipping them at Houghton — a death knell was sounded. (see also: Houghton).
The emotional whiplash of experiencing the hottest, wettest, windiest, driest etc days on record, all within a single week; the overwhelming sense that everything is NOT OK; the need for ventilated outwear. It’s all just too much.
The tipple that tells you you’re at a rock-bottomless brunch. Delicious in a Made in Chelsea way. Must not drink until next April, when it’ll become kitsch and fun again.
The unofficial logo of east London’s elite. A status olive, as it were. Ick.
People who caption their holiday photo dumps with ‘my job is beach’
And obviously anything related to that travesty of a film.
(NB: I suffered the biggest backlash of my 15-year journalistic career when I dared to imply that the Barbie film was offensive and moronic but if there is any proof more unequivocal that we are living in a post-truth world, where nothing means anything, than a two-hour-long toy infomercial being branded a “feminist masterpiece”, I have yet to see it. We are through the looking glass. Truth is dead. That’s all I’ll say.)
Every year we convince ourselves that, despite the smell of sewage and the thick film of lurid green algae, “drinks by [insert body of water]” is a lovely idea. Down to the Hackney Riviera we go for a mouthful of salmonella and an altercation with a mangy city swan! Why are we so desperate to kid ourselves when it is all so clearly un-lovely?
Water lovers take note: a few of the tastemakers we canvassed for this article also nominated “performative lido attendance” as a major end-of-summer ick. We must simply stay on dry land.
The Chatsworth Bakehouse Phenomenon
The sandwiches at this Crystal Palace bakery are harder to get, and require more tactical planning, than a Glastonbury AAA pass. You must log into the site as soon as they “drop” on Monday morning for a chance to book your sandwich later that week. The laws of hype dictate that anything which sells out in 30-literal-seconds must be good but please God let this not become a norm…
The sad, shivering beast of the season. 2023’s French Bulldog.
Swarms of slim-hipped twentysomethings in combat trousers and wrap-around shades descended on London’s parks this summer, horrible with youth. Their yucky g-strings were all pulled high over their trouser lines. Gross. We just pray for the day they get over this disturbing early-00s throwback trend and develop their own style.
Since the middle classes developed a conscience and broke up with their cocaine dealers, shroom chocolates have been making the rounds at parties like trays of psychedelic Ferrero Rocher. Ambassador, you’re spoiling us.
Whatever, just admit you’re having a breakdown and get on with it.
Small plate debt
The waiter always recommends at least nine dishes per person; each dish costs £16 — at one point you have to spit an asparagus spear. And the bill is never less than £70 plus wine and service. Bring on the season of pies.
Talking about Elon Musk
He’s just doing it for attention; if we don’t look, he’ll stop (right?)
Talking sh*t about the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition
Don’t be a snob.
Unless you once woke up naked in a ditch next to Pacha nightclub in Ibiza after “just going for a quick one”, with no sense of how you got there or who you are, then we don’t need to know about your sobriety journey, it simply isn’t interesting.
Not just being bludgeoned by the techno emanating from someone’s else’s house party — though obviously that’s hideous — but also having to listen to other people’s uproarious laughter in public spaces. We’re living through the end times, what could possibly be so funny?
Why won’t it go away?
Non-ironic Adam Sandler-core — a phrase we never want to have to write ever again, please.
The length of the Booker longlist
We buy them but do we ever read them? It’s not our fault… we can’t read more than five lines of a novel without getting an itchy scrolling finger. It’s the algorithm, we are powerless.
Vaping’s cultural cachet is all but spent. It looks stupid and it’s bad for the environment.
We’re not gaslighting you, you’re gaslighting us.
We love Beyoncé too but the end is nigh for silver stetsons. Or any stetsons — which, be honest, will look incredibly silly come autumn. Put them in the bin with your cowboy boots.