“They’re all dead! My haters, they’re all dead!”
Look, New Zealand doesn’t have the most enlightened and distinctive history in fashion. We just don’t! Problems of being a small country that treats the idea of ‘art’ as something even more hostile than any gang member Newstalk ZB harps on about. Even some of our most well-known stars have poor search engine optimisation; Karen Walker is the name of Will & Grace’s famous sociopathic alcoholic ‘friend,’ for one thing. Our homegrown icons are also lacking in… focus. Sometimes, we have to take our fashion icons where we can get them: at the Santa Parade many years ago, I once saw Rachel Hunter in a ill-fitting golden sequin halter gown, or at least my fuzzy memory thinks that combination of words makes sense, and it has stayed in my mind ever since.
But luckily, we have one fashion icon that will always remain fresh within New Zealand’s collective memory. In 1994, a message was found typed on the Bain family computer that said “sorry, you are the only one who deserved to slay, queen.“
He may (not) have killed his family, but if there’s one thing David Bain really did, it was kill the cameras with his sweater sophistication. He was stunting! And we’re here to celebrate that. After all, who else have we really got to elevate? Hillary Barry always looks great, but it’s just not the same. We have to turn to the Whodunnit of Dunedin if we want to find a fashion queen we’re really proud of.
Craccum has selected some of David’s famous sweaters, and we’re gonna rate them based on how iconic they are. Simple as that. Let’s go!
1. Striped Red and Black Sweater Notes: This was David’s Women’s Weekly moment—his Victory Sweater, if you will. I’m a bit shocked he had the balls to style himself after that famous British hoodlum Dennis the Menace, but that’s the cheeky David we all know, always willing to do something a little risky and hint at his wild side. Luckily, not too wild this time!
Rating: It’s cute, but it’s not the style we come to David for. Two rifle casings out of five.
2. Black Collared Turkish Rug Jumper Notes: Really in the thick of things, David had the marvelous idea of appealing to the jury through sheer aesthetic charm. Now as we all know, that didn’t quite work out the first time around, but gosh, you can see how New Zealand may have thought twice, can’t you? Contrasting with the wisps of his sandy blonde hair, it was a strong attempt by David to really bring some elegance to the drab of the courtroom.
Rating: Now this is more like it. Three guilty verdicts out of five.
3. Antique Green/Brown 1917 Christmas Sweater Notes: This was a very rare misstep from ol’ Davo Baino. It’s too similar to the Turkish rug, and New Zealand simply wasn’t ready for a fashion repeater in 1994. Most tragically, he had forgotten to bring his glasses to the trial that day, fatally lacking his signature accessory. He was simply not on his A-game. We still applaud him for daring to shoot for success, however.
Ranking: One distressed 111 call out of five. No acquittal for this one, David.
4. Custom Chequered Sweater la Davide Baine Notes: He went out for a paper run, but he came back on the runway. It’s a misconception that many of David’s sweaters were from his own collection, as they were actually repurposed from the police lost property box. Except this one. The colour coding, the immaculate stitching, the dismissive confidence David ‘the Culler’ Cullen Bain showed when he strutted out in this one? Much like the murders, all (allegedly) David’s handiwork.
Rating: Five Black Hands out of five. What else can be said?