The unification of the pride of London
Other than when Arsenal went a whole season unbeaten, for a fan of the club; it could be said that there are few moments sweeter than the taste of the 2006, ‘Lasagne-Gate’ revelations, where our biggest rivals’ supporters – Tottenham Hotspur, accused Arsenal of tampering with their Lasagne pre-match meal, before one of the biggest games of the season at that time of their club’s history. A game that would have resulted, if won, in spurs finishing above Arsenal and in the holy 4thplace position; a position that sees teams qualifying for the champions League in the following season.
As a result of food poisoning, Spurs were almost subject to starting their fixture with only 10 men. The likes of Lennon, Davids, Carrick and Keane – all critical players, out sick and unavailable for the fixture. The 2-1 defeat against other bitter rivals – West Ham, cost them the whopping £10 Million in bonuses they would have received if they won. Subsequently, this became for better or worse, to Arsenal fans – one of the most historic moments in their club’s history.
This is no more evident than in the new Vintage fashion line, based in North London, called Eighteen86. They offer a range of unique attire based around Arsenal FC, with their name being a homage to the year the club was founded. Along with a biannual magazine called ‘Poison Lasagne’, which features articles on vintage fashion based around Arsenal and the North London culture.
Eighteen86 are an unofficial Arsenal fashion line and say that they are “a platform that reflect and documents Arsenal supporter culture” – that can be no more translated than through the world of fashion. According to Bourdieu in ‘The Habitus and the space of lifestyle’, “while ‘Snobs’ buy exclusive products to differentiate themselves from others, ‘Followers’ purchase them to be identified with a reference group serving as a role model”. Eighteen86 have brought Arsenal fan culture together with their unique take on vintage fashion, reinforcing the identity of Arsenal fans through their constituent between the badge and the history of the club.
Such expression come in the form of T-Shirts that showcase historic moments and players of the club’s history, paired with humorous quotations, just like a meme. It’s pop-culture married with fashion and it’s fast becoming a hit across the North-London scene. One shirt says ‘Vulgar Display of Power’ over a picture of the famous Community Cup Final tie that saw John Terry knocked out (accidentally) by Diaby. It might not be tasteful humour, but in an age of political chaos, what is?