Now then. The man on the right, as you may or may not know, is Mr Deak Ferenc. Take a quick look, then answer the following question... d
oes he strike you as

a) sly?
b) moustachioed?
c) fashionable?

The correct answer of course, is c. If you answered a or b, then you've made a silly mistake. Have another look. It might be 132 years since Deak Ferenc died, but clearly, he's still a sartorial trailblazer... that vest/bib... those slanty buttons...
the nondescript haircut...this season, they're so in! In fact, confronted with a picture of our dapper friend, the rebranding of Deak Ferenc utca as FASHION STREET suddenly makes perfect sense. (Quite why we aren't currently changing trains at FASHION STATION, soaking up rays in FASHION SQUARE, and struggling to change FASHION FORINT NOTES is a mystery).

Okay, enough of that. In all seriousness, I have no idea wh
y FASHION STREET is still around. When the monstrous sign was first hauled over the side of an innocent building in late 2007, I grimaced and hoped that this was just end of year madness, that everything would return to normal once the twelve days of Christmas had passed. But it was still there yesterday and it'll probably be there tomorrow. An unfortunate, permanent (?) eyesore.

This afternoon, I wandered over to FASHION STREET, hoping to find out if there was any chance of all this nonsense coming to an end. The first thing I saw was a skip, a stone's throw away from a brightly coloured pair of mobiltoaletts, something you'd hardly expect to find on the Ginza. I strolled on a little further, and gradually realised that most o
f the customers on FASHION STREET were tough-looking men, pushing FASHIONABLE wheelbarrows, wearing FASHIONABLE workclothes. Cutting edge, I thought... is this what to expect from Paris and Milan 2008?

No, of course not. FASHION STREET is under construction. It was started on 6/11/07, to be finished on 15/3/08, and apparently a man called Tibor Kamondy is to blame. I stumbled across this information on a sign, shortly before I went into a shop charging 34,300 ft for a jumper, 20,400 ft for a t-shirt (on sale) and 104, 990 ft for a bag (not on sale).

It's hard to put a finger on what's so irksome about FAS
HION STREET. Maybe the fact that many Hungarians struggle to pay their heating bills, never mind 10,000 ft for an umbrella. Perhaps it's the transformation of an unassuming corner into a characterless, slightly pathetic imitation of streets in other cities (FASHION STREET would hardly look out of place in say, Peterborough). Or maybe it's not that at all... it could just be the fact that FASHION STREET really doesn't need a signpost.

Andy T.


  1. The Duke of Kent said...

    'It's hard to put a finger on what's so irksome about FASHION STREET. Maybe the fact that many people in Peterborough struggle to pay their heating bills, never mind £30 for an umbrella.'


  2. Charlie B said...

    I think I know why "Fashion Street" is so galling. It's because it's both commercial and desperate at the same time.

    Whoever decided on this idea has no concept of how to establish an identity. Fashion Street? That stops right here with a Hungarian public wowed by any use of English. For anyone else, it's laughable.

    If they'd made the same hoarding, with "Deak Ferenc utca" and tried to make that synonymous with fashion, it would be hard to begrudge them their "progress".

    But as it stands, it's just another indicator of Hungary's all-out failure to adapt. Budapest should be competing with Western European capitals on its own terms but all it can do is make a fool of itself. It's not fashionable, it's embarrassing.  


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