Hurts, whose September 6th debut album is a total gem, recently did a video interview with Popmat.net. At about four minutes in, they are asked about men's fashion. Here is a snippet:
Theo Hutchraft: Aesthetically, our desire is to be masculine again.Really? Elegance, to me, is a different matter than - barf! - male pride. Is this whole gender declaration what they truly believe or are they taking the piss? I never know with these boys.
Adam Anderson: Men should be men.
Theo: Yeah. Men should dress like men. And there's a lot of that missing... The only people fashion-wise who I kind of look at are all men and what they wear, because they dress very smart, very elegant. It's lost a bit, I think... That's why we do what we do, to... bring the spirit of man.
Adam: Male pride, I think.
All of this leads to a bigger question: Are Theo and Adam actually in character as Hurts? Are they wryly portraying pop stars? While I love their style, they also seem eager to "bring the spirit" of pretension back to pop. Keep watching the clip for Theo's entertaining spin-the-bullshit-wheel theories on why a duo is better than a single artist (at min. 6:50).
Genuine or not, I think their view of self-expression is more than a bit arcane. Hurts can dress like "men," but not all men have to follow that lead. The clip reminds me of two things. The first is a quote from George Washington, of all people:
Do not conceive that fine clothes make fine men any more than fine feathers make fine birds.And the second, a Sting song about the late Quentin Crisp:
Be yourself, no matter what they say. That goes for Hurts too, yes?