Noun; A form of idiot. Combination of someone who is fashionable and an utter wanker.
I love fashion but hate the crap that comes with it. The snobbery, the shoulder surfing at fashion week parties, the desperation to be seen and photographed. However, I have great admiration for anyone who spends time putting a look together day to day. It must takes hours of research, locating, collecting clothes and accessories before trying to weave it all together.
What I don't like is the ones who come loaded with arrogance and rude to anyone they deem less than worthy, these are fashion wankers.
Many can be seen at Broadway Market and nearby London Fields. Despite it being quite a large park, they converge on an area the size of a stamp to preen and judge, happy to pay £5 for a watered down mojito before converging on their temple, the Cat & Mutton. I visited the area recently and sat right in the middle of it all, watching fashanker warfare take place, everyone gets scanned up and down, where information is compiled and the output is a pout (yeah you're cool) or scowl (you are so not cool). Also see the take over of Hackney Wick. A low rent area that used to thrive with artists and creatives but soon quickly filled with cool kids wanting to live the bohemian dream in converted warehouses.
Many come across as spoilt and obnoxious with no regard for anyone who isn't in a variant of the hipster uniform. Some really are clueless and lucky to have Daddy's credit card on standby should their media job go tits up (I met a hideous example recently who sneered that his shoes cost more than someone else's entire wardrobe. Well hurrah for you, you soulless shit). Then again there are some absolute sweethearts who under the pretence are genuinely lovely, bright, caring people and actually quite shy.
It's obvious that most of London's creative types aren't originally from the capital. Unhappy with provincial life and attitudes, we flock here from all corners of the globe to find others like us, where we can be who we want to by forming tribes to feed a sense of belonging, an extended family that nurtures common interests. People will always complain about the trendy kids, but fashion tribalism has always occurred in London. Chelsea, Camden, Islington, Notting Hill, Soho and Shoredicth have all had their fashionable set heyday and now its Dalstons turn. In a few years it may well go back to somewhere in West London (heaven forbid).
I agree with the cited article that only a minority of fashankers are actually creating anything but so what? I'd rather be sneered at by insecure hipsters who will soon move on to the next big thing than go up against the kind of tribe that frequents manic boozy areas of most towns and cities in the UK.
Unless the fashion kids are being vile, and therefore fashankers, I say leave them be. It's just fashion mixed with naivety. They aren't going to hurt you.
As for slagging off Dalston, what a load of twaddle. It's an amazing area of incredible diversity, creativity, innovation and has some of London's best nights out (Sssh though, we don't want to turn it into Shoreditch). To toot my own horn, I'm privileged to run a night at Dalston Superstore where gays, straights, casual types and fashion hipsters come to get down. There have been times when a group of fashankers have sneered at someone dancing like a loon but they soon shuffle elsewhere when they realise everyone else is having fun and they are the ones who don't fit in.
If you really are adverse to hipster kids playing dress up, well there's always Wetherspoons.
P.S. In the TV series Nathan Barley set in Hoxton (ahead of its time and largely over looked), the shows every-man, Dan declared the hipsters 'Idiots'. Towards the end of the series, his paranoia became a mantra of 'the idiots are winning'.
No Dan, they won a long time ago. Just let it go.
* I coined 'fashanker' some time ago. A friend told a friend and it has since been mentioned by a broad sheet newspaper, without credit I hasten to add.
September 11th Update
Honourable mention must go to The Grand Spectacular, makers of 'Being a Dickhead's Cool'. Sums it up in a catchy song.