The hoodie fetish went mainstream on every news channel, in every country, this summer.
Between 6th and 10th August, numerous London districts and – in a series of copycat incidents – other cities and towns in England saw widespread acts of rioting, looting and arson. When I saw all those feral teenagers out shopping aggressively in high street sports shops, electrical retailers and designer boutiques I thought to myself “it must be cold over there because everyone is wearing a hoodie”.
Watching four nights of the mayhem on TV and online must have been a dream for the hoodie fetishists
among us. They didn’t need to make excuses or feel self-conscious about their obsession as all of those hoodies filled the blazing, night-time streets – their only problem was that they were spoilt for choice about which one to fantasize over next.
A hoodie is a sweatshirt with a hood and a very large pocket in front. It is capable of carrying those essential items for when you’re out on the street. Not only a symbol of street individuality, but a mark of brotherhood with friends, the hoodie has become unfairly associated with gang culture.
Modern British media prefers to view the hoodie as a piece of primitive tribal clothing commonly seen in large quantities around street corners, public toilets and McDonald’s restaurants in town centres up and down the country, and almost certainly in any recently-stolen car. Instead of being a functional piece of casual-wear, the hoodie is seen as being a form of disguise designed to shield the wearer from CCTV cameras, store detectives, and police patrols.
David Cameron, before he became the leader of the British coalition government, gave a controversial speech in which he called for more understanding of why young people commit crime. It became known as the “hug a hoodie” speech. In it, Mr Cameron insisted “We–the people in suits–often see hoodies as aggressive, the uniform of a rebel army of young gangsters.” He continued: “But hoodies are more defensive than offensive. They’re a way to stay invisible in the street. In a dangerous environment the best thing to do is keep your head down, blend in.”
As a UK ex-pat I was surprised when I discovered that the hoodie, an item of comfortable and practical clothing, had come to be associated with criminality. I read somewhere that wearing one can even exclude you from some shopping centres. Personally, I have a hoodie fetish because I love the youthful feeling they give me; I live in them when I’m not posing in photo-shoots and writing at home. Hoodies are my second skin when I have any free time, I have a real hoodie fetish. Now, knowing that they are so associated with being bad, they just get sexier and sexier every time I put one on.
As the shoot progressed-even in the bright sunlight-the coldness of the chain, as it dangled from my dog collar, sent an arousing chill through my body. I was unable and unwilling to stop my nipples hardening and pushing through the thin material of my crop-top.
In this set you can see me loitering around, up to no good and looking suspicious.
So, wouldn’t you like to know what I’m hiding in my pocket?
Featured photography by Stephan