Yellow vests were banned in Leipzig in 1775. The prohibition arose from the fact that they were the most distinctive feature of the costume affected by young men experiencing ‘Werther Fever’, the cult deriving from Goethe’s novel ‘The Sorrows of Young Werther’.

This early manifestation of Romanticism marked the beginning of the delusion that young people were more sensitive and gifted than their elders: it was effectively the beginning of the cult of youth. Those 18th-century snowflakes, however, offered one significant benefit: to demonstrate how badly they were ‘suffering’ they were obliged to commit suicide, which is why the authorities banned