Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Vive le gilet fluo.........!

While the rest of the world sits head in hands, contemplating global financial implosion, the French have got better things to do.

"C'est jaune, c'est moche, ça ne va pas avec rien mais ça peut vous sauvez la vie" (it's yellow, it's ugly, it doesn't go with anything but it can save lives) shrieked fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld from the thousands of posters that littered the French road network.

What could he be talking about? Ugly, yellow? Christina Aguilera's latest hair colour hair colour? A mutant kangaroo? No, it was, of course, the high visibility jackets that became a legal requirement in all our cars from July 1st (Well, October 1st really as the French aren't always that quick to take things up).

Theory and practice have long proved that the use of a celebrity to endorse a product generates a lot of publicity and attention from the public. Perfect for a road safety campaign.

And here he is, looking all cool and mysterious, sporting his fabulous 'fluo gilet'

The stuff of nightmares!!!

But even he couldn't have foreseen the fashion trend that he'd be inadvertently leading. The PASSENGER SEAT IN FLUO JACKET effect.

Everywhere you go in France, drivers by the thousands have kindly put a little fluo jacket on their passenger seats. But who started it? And why? What made everyone else do the same?

On auto forums across France they are asking the same question. "C'est quoi cette nouvelle mode avec le gilet de securité?" (what this new fashion with high visibility vests?)

Photos are being posted .......

Here's one fashionista ......

and another

and another

This one's just plain

Oooh, a different colour

Everyone's getting in on the act.....

Be proud of your Ch'ti heritage with this high visibility anti-
spitball jacket (ideal for footie matches!)

Even the dogs want one ....

They're mad for em!

But why on the back of the passenger seat? It's one of those strange conundrums that maybe we'll never understand.

But I'm not the only one that thinks it's a ridiculous fashion, second only to

This or this

or this..(although I
rather thought the CH
looked quite dapper!)

But it's not just me that hates this new 'fashion'. So far it's spawned over 200 Facebook groups
"Contre ces blaireaux qui enfilent leur gilet fluo sur le siège passager !" (against these idiots who stick their high visibility vest on the passenger seat). Some have over 30,000 members.

Who needs 'La Crise' (not Le Crunch as some anglophones call it - that's a chocolate bar folks!) when you can occupy yourself with 'real' issues!

No fluo gilets were injured in the making of this blog


dND said...

I have mine on show too :-D It was suggested to me to stop the police pulling you over to check that you were complying with having the gilet available before you get out of the car. If it's in the boot along with the warning triangle you will still get fined as though you didn't have one.

Having seen the gendarmes with their guns there was no way I wanted to be pulled over just on the off chance I didn't have a gilet.


(Very) Lost in France said...

Hi again Deborah. The law says it must be easily accessible, not that it has to be on show. I keep mine in the back of the car. You are right though, it shouldn't be in the boot because you are supposed to put it on before getting out of the car. I've never been pulled over for not having my gilet on display and with my reputation for being stopped too! Actually, my gilet won't fit over the big 'armchairs' in our Grand Gasguzzler so I'm only jealous really! VLiF

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

y goodness that is really scary..perhaps I won't collect my french passport after all LOL!!!

(Very) Lost in France said...

FFF - don't be scared. It's not obligatoire. You can be like me and buck the trend! VLiF

blogthatmama said...

But VLiF when are you supposed to wear it and why???

Le laquet said...

I can't believe they got Karl Lagerfield to wear one ... is it really him? I shall wrap mine around the seat before entering France on December 19th - bucking the trend is all a little scary ;o)

(Very) Lost in France said...

BTM - you are supposed to wear it if you car breaks down. You put it on before you get out of the car then set up your warning triangle (also obligatoire) so no=one runs into you - although, around our way, you are more likely to starve to death waiting for someone to pass by than be hit by another road user. VLiF

Le Laquet - ahh, you see, everyone has their price, even KL. I'm sure that he must blanch everytime he sees one wrapped round a car seat, knowing he had something to do with the spawning of this fashion. VLiF

dND said...

I love your last comment VLIF, it had me laughing out loud (the starve to death bit)

As for KL he really would have preferred monochrome.

Cassoulet Cafe said...

When we were staying in France for a month this year, we took a little weekend trip to Spain. Our friends who organized it for us thru a travel agent, called us and said, "the travel agent says you must have a bright yellow vest in your car, and a safety cone". Say what??? Everyone i asked said they never ever heard of this being required before. (This was in April). So now, it's official! Thanks for the update! :)

(Very) Lost in France said...

CC - Soit prudent... in Spain you need TWO fluo jackets! Not sure about the safety cone, I think a warning triangle will do. Spain was well ahead of the fluo gilet game! VLiF

DnD - Thank god he did have his jacket on. He's so monochrome himself I'd probably have run him over! VLiF