We’ve noticed the word “naff” is being thrown around quite a lot lately. Lady Lloyd’s been calling everything naff (she’s one to talk), there’s a DJ who’s popped up called Naff Baff, and if we know the gay scene, there’ll probably soon be a night called something like “Naff Dads” or maybe “Homonaff”.
SO WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT? What’s made naff the mot-du-jour? Why is there loads of amazing, naff club night artwork? Why are people running around in metallic ponchos and making crop tops out of Nisa Local bags?
Well, times are changing! Slick affluence and unapologetic, frivolous wealth were glamorised in the late 90s and early 00s. It was all about designer clothes and expensive cars. But with the dawn of austerity, and the rise of several rich old bastards into power, being flashy with your cash is just not quiche anymore (omg remember the Quiche Crew?! Naff!)
As is often the case, art and pop culture now reflect this. We’ve seen it in the rise of artists like Jeff Koons – now the highest selling living artist in the world and also totally naff – as well as fabulously tackorama aesthetic directions taken by designers like Moschino, Jack Irvine and our old favourite, Vivienne Westwood.
So, rich is the new lame and tacky is the new chic. Microsoft Paint is the new Monet, Greggs is the new Gucci, and Dalston Sainsburys is the new Dolce & Gabbana. Remember Dolce & Gabbana? Nah, us neither.
We, personally, are pleased as punch with the rise of naffery. We’re actually very naff ourselves. In fact, QX is possibly the naffest publication ever. Glossy Armani ads? Nah. Just copy & paste a picture of Sarah Harding onto a stock image of Big Ben. Thinkpieces on the sociopolitical implications of North Korean politics? Absolutely NOT. We’ll do a list of Jesy Nelson’s funniest facial expressions, thank you very much.
So, from our standpoint of being very knowledgable about naff crap, here are a few of our favourite naff things. Enjoy!
Very naff. Usually found in 1960s bungalows in Devon, perched on a mantelpiece above an awful electric fireplace, or under one of those corrugated glass indoor windows. Your nan probably had at least one, possibly a hundred. Also, they’re usually white and surprised. A bit like Anne Hathaway.
SO NAFF! Always called Clive or Gaz and ALWAYS wearing too much wet-look gel, with hairs poking from the collar of a cheap button up shirt from Burton, and probably wearing Lynx Africa, or maybe they splashed out on Joop. Will start the night with Uptown Funk and end it with Sweet Caroline!
Dog draft excluder
The canine race features quite heavily in the canon of naffery. Maybe because dogs are, inherently, quite naff. Like, there’s nothing naffer than a poodle is there. So naff. Anyway, dog draft excluders make our list of naff things. Never actually REALLY used as draft excluders. Usually received as a Christmas present from an uncaring relative, then put in the attic and forgotten about.
Paul ‘O Grady
We love you Paul, but you are very naff! The catchphrases, the glittery sets, the bad jokes. Ultimate naff.
Cocktails with umbrellas in
Quintessentially naff. We’d actually like to bring umbrellas in cocktails back. Out with the jamjars, in with the umbrellas! We feel like a venue that would actually do this is The Glory – the Glory team, if you’re reading this…use your influence to cause a cocktail umbrella renaissance!
Possibly the naffest thing on this list. They’re usually migrating across a beautiful expanse of textured paisley wallpaper. One probably fell on the floor at some point over the years and is missing a wing. Hilda Ogden had some on her wall in Corrie.
Live Laugh Love sign
Your mum bought one online after a few glasses of pinot and now it’ll be on the kitchen shelf forever. Naff.
Tom Daley & Dustin Lance Black’s Flat
Now this isn’t good naff. It’s not the naff we like. It’s just terrible.
Ooh look at me, I went to Latitude in 2015! Naff.
Royal Family memorabilia
Anything to do with the Royal Family is totally naff. This includes plates, mugs, or in some cases, entire cafes (shout-out to Café Diana in Fulham!)
These jeans with these shoes
Totes naff, we love it.
Moving Waterfall Picture
With the introduction of things like tablets and actual screens, moving waterfall pictures are sadly a dying breed and can now only be found in charity shops and the gift shops of some rural zoos.
Totally naff! A lot of us had sweaty, disappointing adolescent sex to the undulating light cast by a lava lamp. While Alanis Morrissette wailed her way through Jagged Little Pill on the HifI (!)
Anything from Ed Hardy or Paul’s Boutique
Paul’s Boutique bags are so gross and naff that they’re sort of fab, and also sometimes there’s nothing hotter than a right bruiser of a man in an awful Ed Hardy t-shirt. You know the ones.
For some reason cow-print bins are EVERYWHERE at the moment, and we love them, they’re so naff!
The epitome of naff! American Apparel tried to make them cool but only succeeded in making them even more naff.
So that’s it for naff stuff! If you can think of any more naff crap, do let us know in the comments below.