Generally sought after fashion trends intentionally veer away from the norm in an ever-evolving effort to be new, and hip, and relevant. Or still, some designers just try their hardest to piss people and all PETANS off– like Alexander McQueen’s all fur ‘Beauty and the Beast’ collection recently shown at PFW. And while Rihanna, Kim and Kanye, and Kate Moss may still traipse around the town in tails and feathers, there’s a new-old trend that PETA might find a bit more palatable.
“Normcore” (short for normal core) is essentially a totally banal effort of otherwise hip young people who have taken to purposefully dressing like their dad in 1990. Jerry Seinfeld, if you will. Invented by trend forecasting agency K-Hole, normcore is comfortable and boring, easy-never-does-her clothes. Because you’re never going to get any dressing like Larry David, right? Fiona Davis of NYMag pointed the trend out last week, describing its aesthetic as: “embracing sameness deliberately rather than striving for difference.” And naturally everyone ran out to Walmart to buy a blank baseball cap and give the Waltons a few more dollars.
And then came the backlash. Because this “style” has always existed. “We’ve been carrying your #normcore staples since 1969,” tweeted GAP. It’s just never been a statement maker. Which apparently is what it sort of is now. Hipsters in the New York area started embracing the non-style concept in a movement against mainstream fashion, which has turned this non-style into a new style. Sort of.
This is complicated stuff. So complicated in fact, that we got it all wrong.
HOW could we be so wrong about normcore, you ask as you look at that pile of boxy fitting jeans, nondescript athletic shoes, generic baseball caps, button down shirts, and fleeces on your bedroom floor.
K-Hole has posted an explanation of normcore on their Facebook page to help clear up the recent proliferation of Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld images and folks on the subway in black turtlenecks. Contrary to internet belief, normcore has nothing to do with clothes, and everything to do with personalities.
“#Normcore finds liberation in being nothing special, and realizes that adaptability leads to belonging,” they Tweeted. LA-based journalist Christopher Glazek writes: “Normcore means you pursue every activity like you’re a fanatic of the form. It doesn’t really make sense to identify normcore as a fashion trend – the point of normcore is that you could dress like a NASCAR mascot for a big race and then switch to raver ware for a long druggy night at the club. It’s about infinitely flexible, sunny appropriation.” (Isn’t that what Miley does?)
To make trivial matters worse, this whole normcore, dad jeans dressing actually refers to a different and dated K-Hole concept called “Acting Basic.”
Acting Basic, is pretty much what it sounds like–blending in to avoid standing out. And it’s for all you basic b**ches out there. (Smile.)
If neither of these trends are your alley, up next on the K-Hole horizon is what they call “YOUTH MODE.” Tenants of youth mode include being: engaged with newness, critical of the past, down with groups, rebellious, and free.”
See, cosmopolitan prodigy K-Hole is not. It’s avant garde trend forecasting at its worst, most clownish, and yes, most normal.
So if you busted out those Tevas thinking their time had come, we suggest putting them back in the closet. Or not. How about wearing whatever you want? That sounds normal.