You might call them hats. Surely – once – everyone did. But the bogan, when faced with the prospect that it has purchased (hence, is defined by) something that is akin to what any old shmo could also purchase, must figure out a way to differentiate itself, post-haste. This, naturally enough, created the ideal conditions for the rise of the fascinator.
Fascinators, so named because it is truly fascinating that anyone would fork out money to clip feathers to their heads, are, today, a feature of the racetrack, and routinely appear beneath words like ‘fashion’ in the newspapers’ social pages. Effectively, the fascinator is a hat that makes the femme-bogue look like a Nissan Patrol that collided with a parrot.
The fascinator originated forever ago, when milliners, faced with minimal remaining material for hat-making, needed a scheme to convince ye olde femme-bogue that something it bought for less, with less effort or material, was actually better. One crafty such hat-maker noticed a pigeon land on a cow, and voila, the fascinator was born. While the term, and the hat, fell into disuse in the 1970s, the re-emergence of bogans in plague proportions in the 21st century has led to its revivification.
The nomenclature also allows the femme-bogue to convince itself that it is headgear that causes the homme-bogue’s fascination. It is indeed quite fascinating that male bogan is taken by the retina-scorching aesthetics of what is essentially a shambolic crow’s nest. That said, the male bogan may see the crow’s nest, but all it can think about is storming the poop deck.
What is actually causing the fascination, of course, is the combined efforts of two six packs of corona and the femme-bogue’s slatternly behaviour. And, of course, the two ripe ‘fascinators’ spilling out the top of her gauche and anatomically-insufficient attire. The fascinator also lends a perceived degree of class to the femme-bogue’s getup, giving her carte blanche to be as tactless in her behaviour and show even more tandoori limb and cleavage as would otherwise be acceptable. Indeed, impartial observers have theorised that the scale and gaudiness of a female bogan’s fascinator is an inverse measure of the female bogan’s ability to fascinate a bystander once it opens its mouth.
The female bogan will not, at any other point of the calendar or compass, consider any headwear beyond a sunhat on the beach or beanie with stupid horns or ears in the winter. Every spring, however, when the racing carnivals start up, bogans will reach into the cupboard, and dust off last year’s effort, a pink-and-black number that by race nine she had named ‘Svetlana’. Rapidly, it will realise that pink-and-black is no longer in, having routinely checked the inside fashion pages of NW, and dash out to Myer to acquire the new season’s latest in odd and inappropriate headwear.