WINTER WATCH EDITOR’S NOTE: Financial Times spots the trend and cites some examples, but it completely misses the target on its analysis of the causa promixa of this so-called “fashion” statement. It doesn’t seem to occur to the article’s author that in times of social unrest — punctuated by hostility and violence toward white people — the walking stick is a subtle, socially acceptable weapon for self-defense.
‘Have you got the Moses factor?
Dominic Cummings, David Beckham and why the summer’s hottest accessory is a wooden staff
By Jo Ellison | 23 July 2020
FINANCIAL TIMES — Prithee sir, where are ye goyng with that wooden staffe yn youre hand? Or, for those of you who have yet to familiarise yourselves with this summer’s more bucolic moment: what the hell are you doing with that massive stick?
Currently being brandished with a fervour not seen since those saucy pilgrims ambled towards Canterbury in Chaucer’s tales, the wooden staff has lately vaulted into fashionability to become the cult accessory of choice. Chief among its advocates is David Beckham, the football hero whose Instagram feed is fecund with pictures that find him leaning on a stick. Shot at golden hour during his daily perambulations around the £6m Cotswold property where the Beckham clan is based, he wears his wooden appendage with earth-coloured cords, a flat cap and farmer jumpers, recalling one of DH Lawrence’s rural bachelors, if Lawrence’s bachelors took baths.
Where Beckham leads, being the official pin-up of the prelapsarian movement, others have soon joined. Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson’s chief adviser, was last week pictured setting out from his home in urban Islington as though off to tend a flock of sheep. The outfit — straw hat, linen blouson, designer jogging bottoms and blue Nikes — was odd enough to start with. Part impressionist painter, part druid. The addition of a giant wooden walking stick tipped it into the surreal.
People might accuse me of having an unhealthy obsession with Cummings’ appearance, a feature of a Tory administration whose wardrobe choices tend to force a second look. But I am powerless in his orbit — I must simply sit and stare. Frankly, I would argue, that’s exactly how he wants it. His ensembles are so fecklessly haphazard, so bizarro, that they seem painfully contrived. The Harry Styles of Downing Street, Cummings has a taste for headline-seizing rig-outs that seem just as stage-managed and craving for attention as those of any would-be social-media star. […]