Revisiting James St. James' 'How To Be Trendy' Rules In 2015 To See If The Club Kids' Manifesto Still Holds Up
If you know anything about club kids or if you've seen the infamous movie Party Monster, you'll know who James St. James is. The club kids of New York were famous in the late '80s/early '90s for being the best dressed and hardest partiers ever known. Their styles were outrageous and so were their lifestyles. To be in, you had to be as unique as possible whilst still in keeping with the unwritten rules of cool. The group was headed by big personalities like James St. James (a queer icon) and Michael Alig (who was released from prison last year).
Project X magazine was actually founded by club kid pioneer Michael Alig in the late 1980s with fellow nightclub personality Julie Jewels. In it, the pair devoted a zine entirely to club kid style and culture with some of the best photos, gossip and advice around. To be featured inside was to have Made It, club kid style. Of course then, it isn't surprising at all that Alig's best friend and partner in crime (not literally) James St. James wrote frequently for the zine.
In one issue, James St. James wrote ten infamous rules titled "How To Be Trendy." Now we're in the late 2010s, I couldn't help but wonder how many of the rules written 30 years ago are still applicable to the modern party kid.
1. NOT RELEVANT: "NEVER dress subtly or tastefully."
As upsetting as it is to me, a self proclaimed tacky bitch, being sleek, subtle, and stylish is the Look right now. I crave Nicki Minaj to go back to her harajuku barbie style and even Lady Gaga is opting for more stripped back fashions as the years go on. You can still dress ridiculously and look fabulous, you just might not be on trend right now.
2. RELEVANT: "Change your name."
Almost every celebrity going right now is using a stage name! I just wish it was more accepted for people like me to assume a pseudonym.
3. RELEVANT: "Have a gimmick."
Not even just a gimmick, it's trendy for celebrities to have a cause right now. Lady Gaga is an LGBT icon, Miley Cyrus is heading up trans rights and body hair positivity, and Nicki Minaj has called out racism in the music award industry. More than that, every celebrity right now has their own, instantly recognisable style. Being "immediately identifiable" is still as important now as it was in the '90s!
4. NOT RELEVANT: "Have your name on a celebrity club pass."
WTF is a celebrity club pass? Is it like a guest list? Because in Britain at least, "guest list" has changed to mean write your name on the event wall and get two quid knocked off your entry if you arrive at the club before a certain time.
5. NOT RELEVANT: "Have everyone's phone number."
Instead, have the club promoters on Facebook and flirt with them on Instagram by liking all their pictures. Collecting phone numbers just doesn't happen anymore but I'll always wake up from a good night out with at least three new Facebook friends. Snapchatting a promoter your nudes is the 2015 answer to being unafraid to call them!
6. SOMETIMES RELEVANT: "Have slept with at least two of the following..."
Hello Geordie Shore culture! In some friendship groups still, sleeping with all your friends and all your friends' friends is definitely a status raiser. There's some people in any scene that if you sleep with them then you move up higher in the scene. Usually, they're a pretty good shag and if they ain't? It's a funny story to tell.
7. NOT RELEVANT: "Drink tickets are back in vogue."
Drink tickets are only in vogue if you're abroad and you have to swap your money for drink tickets instead of actually just buying your drinks (or getting gross men to buy them for you).
8. RELEVANT: "Have a (naked) sitting with..."
Having a photoshoot with your photography major friends to get a kick ass Tinder picture is always worth it. Having a collection of your best nudes ready to go for when a cutie starts sexting you is always worth it. I think now more than ever, it's incredibly important to have a collection of fabulous photos of yourself ready to go. Who knows what new social networking site is around the corner?
9. RELEVANT: "Have a wardrobe designed exclusively for you by any hip young designer."
Celebrity/fashion designer collaborations will always be in style. How could being a style muse ever not be in style?
10. RELEVANT: "Dye your hair!"
As someone who's been dyeing their hair from mousey brown since they were 12, reading "no one with mousey brown hair makes it" strikes a personal chord. Celebrities these days have even taken it one step further, with most of them changing their hair colour and styles daily with the help of wigs... and Kylie Jenner's extensions.
So, it's about half and half, with the still-resonating tips being all about finding your own unique self and sticking to it. Pretty rad, no matter the decade.
Images; Getty Images; projectxarchive; Giphy