Totally Ri.Pel-ant

November 17, 2011

Today, readers, for a short ride to Portobello Road to get a much-needed haircut, I have been “rocking” a pair of three-quarter-length trousers, legwarmers and a wooly jersey in a bucolic shade of green. I call this “look” The Urban Fop. Other “looks” I occasionally like to “rock” (i.e. particular sets of clothes I wear with an unwarranted degree of overconfidence) include The Rococo Punk (Rock Racing kit in dry-weather-only white), The Not Eddy Merckx (black and orange Molteni homage with “Kannibaal” across the chest) and One Of Those Bloody London Dynamo Persons You See Absolutely Everywhere (Dynamo gilet, Dynamo jersey, Dynamo socks and optional Dynamo girdle – an option I choose not to exercise).

Given, therefore, that I am prone to making wardrobe decisions even more varied than fashion pioneers David Zabriskie and the great Cipollini, I am not in principle against dressing up as The Homoerotic Mandroid, which appears to be the default mode that attracts purchasers of Assos garments.

Nor am I repulsed by Zegho, the Swiss manufacturer’s new foray into eyewear. How could I? It completes the “gay porn version of Terminator” style that the clothing range appears to have been striving towards. But yes, I am irked. And it is the lexicon of Assos that irks me.

Take “Ri.Pel”. Apparently this is supposed to denote a special type of lens that prevents water resting on its surface, but it looks like what a robot might plop out of its mouth instead of the human word “repel”. Similarly, an ordinary person might conceivably say “zero optical distortion”, but in the lexicon of Lugano’s boffins “zOd.Tec” somehow sounds more to the point. As for the technology that prevents the specs from slipping… well, I’m not a man of violence, but I confess my initial reaction to “clickFace” was: PunchFace.

The innovations themselves, if they work, are actually quite handy; it’s just a shame they’re obscured by such arse-clenchingly earnest pseudo-labspeak. For those aesthetes who reckon the shades look a little “90s clubber”, or a bit “sports-car-with-the-sunroof-down”, you’ve always got the option to not look at them; also, at about £400 a pop, you’re unlikely to see too many pairs on your club ride. But I like words, and once I see one, it tends to find its way into my head and stay there. I am stuck with zOd.Tec. How Ri.Pel-ant.

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