A series of Interviews by Terry Witts of the Intellecter Identity with Fashionites and an Antifashionate, unconvering what you didnâ€™t know you wanted to know.
welcome to the world. choose a fashion identity.
RACHEL MORGANS CREATIVE I.D
RACHEL MORGANS CREATIVE I.D
“..as time goes on your identities change and you have less in common, we can’t connect...” We’ve met at a park near the city; it’s near an oval and looks to be relatively neglected. There are few of us here because it’s a grey day. Rachel is twenty-five years, four months and thirteen days old; her fashionite I.D is The Creative. She has been The Creative since the day she was born she tells me. Rachel checks into this park at the same time and day every week to clear her mind. Rachel’s mid length hair is wisped around her face like her own personal cyclone, covering her eyes and the dusting of freckles on her cheeks, It is pinned manically around her ears in the fashion of many of the Creative’s. As she approaches me sitting under a tree, I notice her lanky body is pale and moves with ease, in every step there is a bounce, a typical Creative characteristic, disjointed steps as though preparing to take off from Earth. Breathing in the air slowly. I greet her discretely as she sits down next to me, not bothered by the damp grass on her grey stockings. Thanks for meeting me Rachel. That’s all right, the project sounded interesting. It’s always nice to have a chat with new people….. Like minded people. Do you live far from here? Not far, but I’m in the city for work most days. I’m always commuting on my bike city to home city to home. Day in, day out. I make sure to come to this park once a week just to break the cycle. I like the view of the city from up here, to watch other Fashionite’s out being themselves. There are mostly Actives of course, out playing sports on the field; I watch them like Aliens so different from me. The Actives my age, they look at my bonnet of hair covering my face and pinafore growing flowers and scattered with paint and they are nervous, unsure, I can tell. So you’re a Creative is that right? Yes, since I was born, my mothers a Creative she passed it onto me. It’s always shaped who I am; I’m so much like her everyone says. She’s an artist, makes sculptures of rare plants multiplied in size. I learnt to paint, to sculpt from a young age. Are you an artist as well now? In my own time yes but professionally, I work as a hyper-customisationer for the state. I design logos to correspond with each Fashionite I.D, so the identical products are altered physically to appeal to each identity. So you must have just finished your studies? I did a five-year creative degree that trained me in arts, sociology, design and customisation; I graduated last year when I decided to go into hyper-customisation. What I.D is your father? My father is a Gentle, he was a teacher and is retired now. He taught me to believe in my creative identity and be kind to others. While we are on the topic of family do you have siblings? I do, a sister and a brother, I am the middle child. My sister is older, Sarah, a Gentle and a teacher. She has children of her own now. My brother is younger I thought he’d be a creative too we always used to be joined at the hip, but when I started university something started stirring in him, he is clearly a Curious now. Like my grandfather, we’ll never clip his wings he wants to see the world. Explore. Experience. I’m intrigued by his adventures. My family structure is uninteresting, very placid thanks to my father. Back on the topic of your job, working in hyper-customisation for the state, do you enjoy the work you do there? I do, my interest in customisation started during my studies it seemed like my whole life fell into place when I had that realisation, that was what I wanted to do. I work in a team a lot of the time, full of Creative’s just like me, and we all get on so well, it is a great environment. We have some Actives working above us so at the end of the day we are reminded we have a deadline and product to produce, we could design and discuss all day, if it weren’t for them. She laughs, so content. It turns into a smile as she looks at the city. Are most of you friends from your workplace? I have made a lot of friends from my work place, I am still in touch with some friends from my studies but it seems as time goes on your identities change and you have less in common, we can’t connect as much or go to the same places. That is okay though, you can’t form deep friendships with everyone, you have to like the same things and visit the same places or it doesn’t really make sense. At work we all love to go to exhibitions together and see new art films, even foreign films some times. We are constantly looking for inspiration and its nice to share that with each other.
“We laugh at work because we often dress the same.”
RACHEL MORGANS CREATIVE I.D
“...I can’t imagine not wanting to be a part of this world.’..... ‘There are millions of people alike to me.” One of my closest friends outside of work is a chef we often go out to new and exclusive bars together. Can you describe to me a typical day for you? Sure, I’m not really a morning person so I tend to sleep in till the minute my bed ejects me; I ride my bike to work rain or shine. I get to work and drink a multi-fruit-mix drink that is filled with inspiration and energy. My friends from work and I catch up on news mostly within our art circle, new movies that are out, creative exhibitions we want to see etc… I work five days a week. I tend to eat lunch at my desk, don’t really take a break except for on Friday when we all have lunch together. I leave the office at 6pm, ride my bike home. A couple of nights a week I’ll meet friends for a meal or drinks either in the city or locally to my home. Do you think your physical appearance represents your I.D? I don’t have to wear a uniform at work, so I guess I always look the way I want to. We laugh at work because we often dress the same, being Creatives and all. Typically we grow plants from our clothes and I like to wear dresses with stockings and ankle boots. As we produce creative ideas they often are reflected on our clothes; that explains the erratic paint strokes on my pinafore today. I sometimes enjoy a bit of vintage shopping, it amazes me that those pieces of history exist, the fabrics look so primitive and it’s not clear what is meant for your Identity. Do you ever meet or think about antifashionates? I have never known one to be honest… My circle of friends is very intimate and I don’t really understand Antifashionates. There is a Fashionite Identity for everyone and communication and bonding with people is so important, I can’t imagine not wanting to be a part of this world. I feel that I am exactly who I want to be within my identity, they are just trying to be difficult, rebel but it’s sad as though they don’t exist. I try not to think about it I guess. Some say Antifashionates are freer than fashionites though; do you consider yourself to be free? Of course, I’ve live the way I’ve wanted to live my whole life. There are certain places I can’t go because I’m not a Materialist or something sure, but I don’t want to go those places I wont belong. The thing is the Antifashionates don’t belong anywhere, I think they are lost in an isolated world. So what is next, what are your dreams? Isn’t there anything you dream to do that you could never because of your Fashionite Identity? I dream to fall in love. I imagine there to be no greater feeling of exclusion or loneliness than if you were an Antifashionate. I am lucky to have my friends and family so close to me but I am waiting for love to appear. I have not met a male Fashionite with a similar identity to me yet, with compassion and creativity but I know I will, there are millions of people alike to me. So you mustn’t be fond of the saying opposites attract in love? I believe that ‘theory’ has been long dismissed by most people, the rate of divorce used to be one in two in the times of that kind of mindset. Divorce is almost eradicated now; it makes sense to share your life with someone that will enjoy the things that your life consists of and vise versa. What would you consider to be the most significant things about your identity then? That I am a passionate, caring person, I care for the world, the earth, our environment and Fashionites within it. That I express myself through creative means, designing and that I believe family and friends are linked spiritually and we must nurture this. The sun is hidden behind the clouds and the grey sky seems to be drawing closer to us, Rachel has combed the grass back forth with her fine, lingering fingers so many times that it looks to have flattened in defence. She has pulled daisy’s growing from the hem of her skirt and arranged them on the grass. I decide to wrap up the interview…Thanks for speaking with me Rachel I think I have all I need. It was great to meet you. And you I hope the project goes well. She hurries to the exit of the park and checks our with her I.D card, a silver charm hanging around her neck.
PETER SMALL ISOLATE I.D
PETER SMALL ISOLATE I.D
I’ve met the Isolate in a public library, completely desolate, I imagine it must be one of the only left. There is one staff member, an elderly lady with curls plastered into place, A Plain I could imagine. She looked at me suspiciously as I checked in as though she wasn’t expecting anyone. When Peter Smalls the Isolate I.D walked in she smiled at him though he didn’t smile back just looked at the floor looking infinitely nervous. His fingers seemed to fidget as though that had a mind of their own. He walked toward me knowingly then continued past me and I followed him into a discrete corner of the library. Travel. How nostalgic; the notion of borrowing books to inform a trip abroad. I spoke in a hushed voice sensing Peter was immensely uncomfortable with the scenario although I was positive the librarian had no interest in us. Hi, you’re Peter Smalls aren’t you? ….Peter Smalls…. Yes. Forty-seven years, two months and five days old….Isolate Identity… As you know. His eyes dart around me creating a hexagonal shape in the sky, looking everywhere but at me. I try to contain my surprise as he utters his age, as wrinkles on his face and his folded shoulders suggested he was ten years older. His skin is grey, like the colour of his shirt and trousers, grey from a lack of sunlight I assumed Do you come to this library often Peter? I must admit I haven’t stepped foot in one since I was a child. He scoffs at me…. Everyday… for research in relation to my work at home…..I love a place of mutual silence. He speaks in a disjointed way, as though he answers and then feels he has revealed too much and retracts instantly What exactly is your job? I analyse data for a non-government organisation.. A quietly calculated job that unfortunately may not exist for much longer. Seems technological advancements are beating the humans now, most of what I do will soon be done automatically. At this he sighs, with great pain, his piercing amber eyes full of sadness. So the research you do here though that is not related to your job? No I come here on my way home from work…. see I live just behind it. I’m in the midst of creating my own personal encyclopaedia including topics I have a personal interest in…... I research on a singular topic at a time…… Aviation for A …. I compile the research and then move onto the next letter. He seems to have cheered up now that he is talking about his unique research, for a man that has lived his whole life in the time of Fashionites and pre-determined automated information it is interesting that he is nostalgic of a time he never knew That is fascinating. Can you tell me more about a typical day in your life? Everyday the same…. 6am wake up….news projected from my I.D band…. walk to work early…work… eat lunch…sandwiches. 3pm home….the library as I mentioned. Twice a week I go to the supermarket as well, one of my favourite activities to do. I appreciate the efficiency of scanning the items I need that are all so close together on the shelves and then finding them at my doorstep when I’m home. I find unpacking them therapeutic too…. I work on my research. dinner. sleep. Sometimes my neighbour will come over to play a game of Information Overload. I enjoy the game though I’m far better than him, I know I’ve beaten him before we’ve begun.
“[it] Seems technological advancements are beating the humans now...”
Do you ever get lonely? No…. I have an iguana. Once a month my sister comes over to visit. She brings her children and they all make so much noise that it maintains its presence until their next visit. By this stage in the conversation while Peter has opened up to me with information, his body had contracted almost into the foetal position, his knees pulled up against his rattling chest and his ties and unties the laces of his shoes in intricate knots. Do you think much about what you wear? At work I have to wear a casual suit, I wear a grey shirt, that I have several of because
PETER SMALL ISOLATE I.D
“An old friend of mine I heard... went Antifashionate...” you can buy them in packs of two at the supermarket. I wear charcoal suit pants and a blazer that is now too big for me that I have had for years. My father bought it for me for my first job interview. On weekends I just wear comfortable clothing, usually grey t-shirts and sweatpants, the tops I wear tend to buzz constantly because of their close proximity to my head and my I.D band I’m always over thinking things and so they are caught in the cross-fire…… but the clothes I wear don’t mean anything. No need to draw attention to myself. He is indeed almost camouflaged into the unremarkable grey carpet and faded books surrounding him. Peter still hasn’t looked at me once while he’s answered these questions; he now looks intensely at the ground as though he is digging for the answers with his eyes. Is there anything you wish you could do, dreams you have? I am quite content. Though perhaps I wish I were trained to do more than my job, so that when it becomes obsolete I had something to do instead. I suppose I will just have more time to work on my research. Read. Some people think that Isolate’s are the Identity closest to Antifashionates, what do you think about that? … I’m not an Antifashionate.. I want to be a part of this society and I work and do my bit. I have no interest in abandoning this world and fending for myself. More than anything I find comfort in feeling safe…in my home. I have concerns in the world of course, I am suspicious if the government really has us all protected because we are identifiable but I’m not willing to risk throwing my band in the river to find out.
“...I am suspicious if the government really has us all protected because we are identifiable.”
Have you ever known or met an Antifashionate? They are around. They come knocking at our door sometimes. In this neighbourhood, it’s apart….Away from the city. The Antifashionates try and convince you to come with them sometimes but mostly they just hang around hoping to find something useful in the things we throw away. I’d rather they weren’t here but I don’t think they’d do us harm. An old friend of mine I heard went Antifash-
ionate, lost the plot one day ripped his I.D out and who knows where he has ended up. With that, sombreness appeared in his eyes again, I knew he was done. Peter selected a book from the shelf Venice for V he said and made his way to check out with the I.D band loosely wrapped around his wrist as though he’d lost 5 kilos since it was first clasped around him.
AL SMITH RIGHTIST I.D
AL SMITH RIGHTIST I.D
“..no such thing as privacy in this world...” I’ve met The Rightist in a dark wooden drinking hole in an outer city suburb. They were reluctant to let me check in being so far from my locale and regular activities, the I.D bar blinked red and I had to talk my way in; they believe I’m doing a write up about hidden bars for every Identity. I feel slight guilt because I can’t imagine this bar has had many write up’s in its day. I spot Al a mile away; he’s sitting contently alone in a booth with the news projecting in front of him. I sit down in front of him and he waits until the sport report is finished to acknowledge me.
Hi you’re Al? Al Smith, sixty-eight years, four and a half months. Lived in the Right-Side of the city’s outer suburb my whole life. I’m a Rightist. Like most of us in here. What do you think makes you a Rightist? Well I didn’t get a choice to be honest, I was young when Fashionite Identities started being assigned, and my parents were Rightist and most of the people we knew. I vote for the right-wing party in the yearly polling assessment and that gets calculated into a large part of our Identities. And have you ever considered that it is not the right identity for you? Well of course not, it’s calculated by your every move, I do what I do and it’s never waivered. They know everything about us, no such thing as privacy in this world. The projecting has bee playing on mute, he switches it off as though to prove a point. The projection knows what he wants to watch and that is an advantage of the identities So what is a typical day for you? Well my wife and I we own a specialty sports supplies store, mostly golf equipment, I’m at the shop five or even six days a week. I work with a lot of Actives and Rightists. In the evening after work a lot of us come down here for a drink. I’m always home for dinner with the wife; our kids stop by occasionally with their children’s. My grandchildren stay with us on the weekends some times they’re great children, full of energy of course. We always watch the sports projections or polling over dinner. What are the things most important to you? Family. First and foremost, keeping my family safe is important to me. I’m not keen on the invasion of privacy Fashionite Identities creates, I don’t why they need to know so much about us, tell us what cereal to eat and what brands we should buy but its price I’ll pay if it means we are safe. There’s always threats of natural disasters, seems once a month these days but they never hit because the governments got us protected and that’s what matters to me. Al speaks matter-of-factly, he seems to have lived a hundred years, resigned to all the facts and yet burning with rage inside. Al’s clothes are covered with political messages, or branding for the things he likes, sports etc. His bright red t-shirt reads ‘I’m always Right’ and it seems to be the uniform of everyone in this bar. His skin is printed with ink reinforcing his commitment to certain ‘likes’, his children or grandchildren’s name I’m not sure are etched across his upper arm. That’s when I realize his I.D card is printed on his wrist. Elderly people tend to have their identities printed on them because they lose I.D objects constantly. I believe Al’s is printed simply because of his assurance in his I.D or perhaps it’s resignation to the Fashionite system?
“... I don’t why they need to know so much about us, tell us what cereal to eat and what brands we should buy..”
Do you think what you wear reflects your Identity? It certainly does, I don’t want anyone second guessing what kind of person I am, we get sent the brochures in our mourning projections with things we might like to wear, it’s easier than going shopping that’s for sure. I’m part of a few ‘groups’ too so they come with group clothes too. Does your identity stop you from doing anything you want to do? I’ve no interest in branching out from the things I do, I ‘like’ eating at one restaurant in town, I ‘like’ drinking at one bar in town,
AL SMITH RIGHTIST I.D
“...I’m not waiting for anything spectacular to happen to me.” I ‘like’ watching action films or documentary’s. Do you ever think about life span though and that you might get bored? We live to a hundred, I know I’ve got another thirty something years and something months but in that time rather than trying to travel or ‘broaden my horizons’ I’d rather stay put and watch my family grow around me. Al Smith certainly makes a point, it intrigues me that someone that deep down seems to be quite against Fashionite Identites as a system behaves as one of their most successful Fashionite’s, conforming to their identity religiously, no desire to confuse and jumble the results. Do you have any dreams you are yet to achieve? The question seems irrelevant after all that he’s said and the fact that Al has drunk three bottles of Energex during our conversation, a drink that erases dream-sleep and keeps you awake longer, suggesting he has too much to do in a day and also hinting to his age. He answers me regardless… I met the love of my life, grew my own business, had wonderful children, watched them grow up, get married and have families all of their own. It has all gone according; I’m not waiting for anything spectacular to happen to me. I am waiting for the day that all this rapid development of technology backfires, they have so many robots making things everything automated, one day it will all stop working. What will they do with all the Fashionite’s that aren’t trained to do any of it? Learn a lesson they would. On one hand you are very proud of your Fashionite Identity but on the other you seem to have a negative feeling about some aspects of the system. How do you feel about Antifashionates? I don’t have anything in common with Antifashionates. This system was created in front of me, before my eyes, assigning of Fashionite Identities, the rise of products suitability through hyper-customization, destruction of privacy and increased efficiency in decision-making. Some of its good and some of I wish never happened but at the end of the day I like to be a part of it, I a part of my family and my community and I can’t imagine wanting it any other way. Antifashionates they live in the outskirts, alone and excluded and by choice. They don’t care to live or die, I don’t see the point in that. Some people say it is that attitude that makes Antifashionates more free; do you think there lives are freer? Sure free to do things I have no interest in, they have no purpose each day other than the hope of a revolution, a revolution that will never come. They live in hell that’s the truth, fending for themselves out there with no reason to live in my eyes. Al takes a last swig of his Energex, scratches at his I.D print before he shakes me hand with great strength and leaves the bar. He gives a nod to several other men resembling him as he passes by. He checks out at the door and it deducts his account for the drinks, of which he had far too many.
LAURA QUIRK MATERIALIST I.D
LAURA QUIRK MATERIALIST I.D
“... I just updated and updated until my Fashionite Identity changed...”
I’ve had to do a bit more preparation for this meeting as I’m far from being a Materialist myself. A little update to my hair and handbag will help me to be a bit more accepted in the Mag Bar that our meeting is at. It’s not as easy to sport The Materialist Laura Quirk as I check into the Mag Bar, I’m offered vodka infused candy- espresso shot and an e-magazine about essential accessories for inside your handbag that I’m surprisingly interested in. As I walk in I am surrounded by Fashionites in variations of exactly the same thing. Although I just updated my hair I am one of only with that update, everyone else’s is far beyond. Laura notices me just as I think everyone else in the room did, my identity reveals that I am an Intellecter, but that’s not what they are interested in; they can see that I’m a journalist. Despite my appearance Materialist’s love to interact with Journalists knowing that they might be able to assist with their self promotion leading to more money and more updates… The truth is I can’t help them with that at all, but it assists with me walking off with Laura with less suspicion.
Hi I’m Laura you must be Terry? Laura is bursting with energy and poise all at the same time, she reclines on a chair in a more private area of the room that is covered with mirrors, her endlessly long limbs pick up an e-mag sitting on the table which she flicks through while listening to me. Yes I am, and your Laura Quirk correct? Laura Quirk, thirty-three years, a month and three days and I’m a Materialist, a model and an actress for commercials, I’m in some of these magazines! Oh wow… And how long have you been a Materialist for? Well I’ve always loved clothing and make up but when I was young I was assigned as an Active like my mum but then I just always wanted new things, I’d read all the e-mags and I just updated and updated until my Fashionite Identity changed when I was a teenager. I ‘liked’ make- up and fashion groups and a few of my girlfriends and I would watch all the Materialist shows. How did you afford to update all the time as a teenager? My mum would pay for things first but when I became sixteen I started my modelling, when you model you get the products you promote and then I would buy other products it all just snowballed I guess, which was great! Laura smiles constantly flashing her sparkling teeth encrusted with glitter and diamonds. She has the latest updates for her clothing gleaming with newness and style, alike to about five other people I can see in the room. What kind of places do Materialists go out? Well it depends on your Fashionite-level, I get exclusive invites on my morning newsletter projections all the time, so I go to these places and it automatically updates me, the more I go out and try new-trendy drinks the high my level gets. We always like fun clubs, we love to go out at night and try new things. Whatever is in fashion according to the e-mags. At that her eyes transfix on a page she has flicked to on the e-mag in her hand Oh I need those shoes! She squeals showing me a picture of shoes identical to the ones she’s wearing but in shiny lipstick red instead of the now out-dated matte pink ones she has on. Do you ever want something that isn’t ‘in’ fashion and what would be the consequence if you bought it? Well not really, my morning newsletter shows me all the next things, I want it all, If I see something on someone I like I’ve usually already had that update and I’m over it. The Materialists that are at the highest level though, they choose the trends, they have such strange
ways of thinking and will choose something so unfashionable and just know that it can be cool and then they wear it and it is. I couldn’t risk doing that though, no never! Laura buys the shoes by swiping her I.D ring on the e-mag. Her I.D ring is a diamond the size of an eyeball, with her identity projections swimming around inside it. Is there anything you wish you could do that you don’t do? Dance, there are some clubs I can’t go to because they are dance clubs, and I just can’t dance, my legs are so lean and long they just can’t seem to move the right way. Most of the time I can go to clubs to drink and stand around, make conversation but the dance clubs are another level filled with Materialists that can act, dance and sing. There is a waiting list to take lessons but I’m sure one day I will.
LAURA QUIRK MATERIALIST I.D
“I love to be different and stand out...”
Long term what are you dreams? I hope to be on more covers and I’d love to travel to other Fashionite nations to do modelling. That would be amazing! To my surprise Laura is eating, she got a 5-tier platter of elaborate cakes covered in cream and fruits and glitter sent to our table that she is mindlessly munching on. I can see dollars signs and stars flashing in her ring as she eats one after another, updated as she divulges, sucking cream off her fingers covered in jewels. As a Materialist do you have to live in a certain area? Not really, it’s more about the way you live, and like I said before that will also determine your level. Living inner city automatically keeps your updates high, I live in a penthouse in the city, and it over looks the silver-sea, a man-made lagoon that looks like a mirror, which is in the middle of the exclusive-residences. My building is full of Materialists and Actives, some Intellecter’s too actually she says sympathetically to me though I imagine them to be primarily P.R over achievers. How far do the updates extend, what kind of things can you buy and do you buy? It is everything really, from holidays, to food and drink, events or clothes and accessories. That is why Actives and Materialists are quite closely linked, to be a Materialist you need a lot of money to buy the updates, so you need to be working a lot or socialising and contributing to society a lot. Actives also often buy a lot of material things when they have wealth and can sometimes end up being Materialists if they become more interested in that than their careers or hobbies. Do you ever get bored of everything being so attainable? Laura laughs uncontrollably, thinking it to be a rhetorical question, she flings back her shiny red locks that are twisted and entwined with ribbons in an up-do.
Within my world there are always things that are slightly
out of reach, you have to work your way to the top and the top is always getting higher and higher. My life is exciting and full of new things; every day is a new day full of possibilities so that is never boring! Laura has finished gobbling down cakes and is reapplying her lipstick in the reflection of her metallic fingernails. Do you think your identity defines you? Absolutely, especially because I updated to a Materialist, it is who I am. I love to be different and stand out so I constantly update and people can tell I am Materialist because of that. My identity steers me to the products I’ll want and I always snap them up. These things are almost designed for me as much as I am defined by them. It is the absolute contrast to be an Antifashionate, what are your thoughts on Antifashionates? They terrify my to be honest, I have never met one; never even see one but I’ve heard about them of course. They live far from the city because they can’t get in past the inner city check points. I’ve heard they speak another language completely and some even have deformed bodies …. I guess that’s sad, but no one is forced to be an Antifashionate they chose to be one. You believe you have a strong identity but Antifashionates believe it is the Fashionites that lack identity because they are conforming what do you think about that? It is not true at all, I have a strong identity and I’m not afraid to show it, the Antifashionate’s don’t have an identity or they hide it from people, which is suspicious, they are outcasts that choose not to be a part of society and have no interests, I wouldn’t be able to tell anything about them, so what is their identity? What about freedom, Antifashionates can travel anywhere undetected do you ever wish you could do that? No, I can travel and go where I want to go and I have no concerns about being ‘detected’ because I have nothing to hide. The Antifashionates are far from free they are completely cut off from society, I think they are miserable out there. Eek things just got heavy! Laura laughs and immediately signals for some vodka-infused espresso shots to lift the move Thanks so much Laura it’s been great to meet you. She seems relieved that I’m leaving and her fellow Materialists flock to her once I’ve stepped up from my seat. She sparkles and glistens as people surround her.
“... things are almost designed for me as much as I am defined by them.”
NUMERO THREE HUNDRED ANTIFASHIONATE
NUMERO THREE HUNDRED ANTIFASHIONATE
“...we have numbers not names” It has taken me three hours to get to the last check-out point of society, past several suburban areas till the train line ends and you have to walk a great distance. I scan my I.D card; it scrambles with the confusion of all my recent activities but still ends as an Intellecter. A warning appears on the screen suggesting I don’t leave the society, which I disregard. The area in front of me is desolate, baron, hopeless. Antifashionates are visible in the shadows. Here old buildings and factories with smashed in windows have become homes, everything is strewn in graffiti. Much of the area looks like it has recently been hit by a hurricane, buildings are flattened and everything looks abandoned. There is a strong smell of synthetic melting through the air. I approach a park bench that has outlived any sign of a park and the Antifashionate is sitting there. Hi I’m Terry? I ask cautiously, unsure of the reaction or if it is the right person. He is hunched and his skin thick covered in hair, creeping up his neck. He doesn’t turn to me, just looks at the space in front of him and responds in a muttered voice that is barely audible. I’m Numero Three Hundred… It is a joke we have, Antifashionates, we have numbers not names. Surprised it hasn’t come to that for the Fashionites. Were you born an Antifashioniate or when did you become one? I was a ‘’Curious’’ once, as a child I guess, I grew up out of the city and wanted to explore, know about everything, experience everything. Of course as a Fashionite you can never experience everything because they wont let you, you think you are making decisions but your not, you’re choosing what they already chose for you. When I was eighteen years, seven months and nine days I came here, I met an Antifashionate and he made me realize all that. So...
“I tossed out my I.D band and I was freed”...
This is my utopia out here, the choices are mine to make and I am an individual. I cannot be diffused into a group. In what sense do you consider yourself freer than a Fashionite? Every way, maybe I can’t go to the places they go, can’t be in the inner city area but those who can, those Fashionites they don’t go there because they want to, they go there because they should or they have to maintain their Identities. That isn’t freedom. I am free to feel any way that I do, to like what ever it is that I like because I don’t have a Fashionite Identity to conform to. Many of the Fashionites I’ve spoken to believe Antifashionates to be ‘face-less’, saying that you don’t have an identity. What defines you? I am an individual that is what defines me, myself. There is no automatic hovering, accessible information around me that tells passer-by’s what I like and don’t like and what makes me, me, and I couldn’t be more thankful for that. They think you only have an identity if you can see it in writing, ticking certain boxes, what those identities do is eradicate individuality, none of those Fashionites are individuals they are all grouped. What is so repelling to you about being a part of a group? It is not that I
don’t like people, I just prefer real people. Fashionites are a part of identities because they are scared, these groups mask real people, and they put facades on to be a part of something that they may not really want to be a part of. I wont do that. They rely on their identities to make their choices easier; one day none of them will think for themselves at all, that terrifies me. By being an Antifashionate though, doesn’t that make you a part of that group? We have one thing in common out here, we are Antifashionates and we don’t posses Fashionite Identities but if you speak to each of us you see we are all different.
NUMERO THREE HUNDRED ANTIFASHIONATE
“...we are evolving, as human beings...” I’m getting a headache straining my hearing to make out the words Numero is saying combined with the fumes of synthetics, he doesn’t seem fazed but the hair on the back of his neck stands on its end as though in defense. I notice that he his fingers nails have been broken far back as though he uses them for digging. So without being a part of something, without a job what is it you do all day? We’re not given any resources out here, all the materials are sent directly to Fashionites so we have to fend for ourselves and scavenge for anything it is we need. Sometimes we have to find other Antifashionates to trade things, all our materials are from hybrid-synthetics, and we melt down garbage and make new fibers in the lifeless factories remaining here. As a result we have created far-advanced fabrics than what the Fashionites have access too, they are strong materials with multiple capabilities, our bodies and the materials we make are evolving. Electricity is attained during the thunderstorms we have frequently at night. Sometimes I excursion into the outer suburbs to gather materials, build shelters and sometimes find food. While you may be free are you happy with this life? Happier than I was as a Curious, we are building a new way of living out here, becoming stronger more developed beings. The Fashionites evolve in technology but we are evolving, as human beings that one-day will be more powerful. In what way are you more developed? It has taken some time, more than ten years I’ve been an Antifashionate now and a lot has happened. In the past Antifashionates would die shortly after removing their Identities, with no supplies and few survival skills. Now we have to hunt for our food though many of us refuse to kill animals, so we feast on vegetables and plants that grow deep in the forest, we stay strong, living on minimal sleep because the sky lights up during the storms keeping us awake. I’ve seen everyone’s bodies changing; I’ve grown long hair all over my body to stay warm through the winter, my back has hunched and my spine is crippling so that I can dig and crawl into the ground for food, my skin has hardened I never get cuts or injuries. I’ve seen Antifashionates with spikes. Our skin becomes so thick that even the hairs harden.
We are an improvement of the Fashionite Identities. I start to really take in his appearance; he still stares angrily at the space in front of him. His skin has darkened in patches, where it is exposed to sun all day there is no shelter around the Antifashionates, any tall buildings or trees, no form of protection against the elements. His teeth are sharp and yellow and more of him is comparable to an animal than a human, but he is not an animal he is an evolved super human. His clothing is like armor made of plastics and metals it is fused together and seems impossible to take off. Do Antifashionates think much about what the wear? We dress, more than anything, for survival. We are left with only the scraps but we have converted them into hybrid-fabrics that are high performing and functional for protection against any threats. We are exposed out here to more extreme heat and extreme cold than Fashionites. Yhe hair on our bodies helps in the cold but the synthetics are not typically very warm until we combine them and melt them and create new fabrics. None of our bodies sweat anymore, we have to preserve the liquid to survive in the heat we stay cool by wearing mostly metals that reflect the sun. What do you hope will become of the Antifashionates? We are developing slowly but faster than the Fashionites in a sense, although we are without most technologies one day we will be stronger and more equipped as beings than the Fashionites, we will have a revolution and free the Fashionites of their identities so that everyone can be an individual not pre-determined. He stamps his foot on the concrete with force and cracks appear in the ground, making me very aware of his strength. The sky is grumbling and I am sensing a storm coming that I would like to avoid, it will be getting dark by the time I get back to the city after my long journey home.
Who do you IDENTIFY with?