A post 9/11 world of fashion gives rise to an abnormal worship of plainness in all of its glory. Competing with the basic-ness of our generation, normcore grants permission for embracing the fashion icons of Seinfeld and all of its 90s counterparts. With the ever increasing desire to stand out -- which I do not feel pertains to any particular generation but an overwhelming human trait caused by a basic need for attention and contact -- a hiatus exists in a neutral movement. What does this mean for the outlandish hipster trends and anti-trends. I hope the beards are staying but without the ornamentation.
Walking around New York City, one can see a caste system playing out on the runway that is the streets. Status simply by clothing, and many other factors, as well. However, normcore praises those who blend in and prefer to distinguish themselves with their education, connections, and background. This is not to say that those who use fashion as a means of status recognition do not harness a brain packed with smarts or maintain connections of substance. Normcore is simply a call to action for those who choose not to keep up with the impossibly changing fashion industry.
To say that this trend has no agenda in regards to fashion would be a lie. There is a cynical shadow that follows normcore around. One of the agendas of this exodus is to offer an oasis to young people, the working class and the poor from the fickle-minded world of trend. We cannot keep up. Trends change yearly, monthly, weekly, daily, and by the minute. An oversaturation of the fashion market has created a much needed asylum: normcore.
With the birth of this new portmanteau, one wonders if the beloved revival of 90s hipster culture will slowly cease to exist, come to a grinding halt, or grow in harmony with this new plainness. Will we still stock our fridges with artisanal cheeses? Will we maintain our rooftop gardens in the city? And what about the top knots and man-buns? Normcore has the ability to wreak havoc on the everyday wear fashion industry. Most likely never affecting haute couture, but perhaps influencing a simplicity to high-end fashion trends.
Our columnist Kate Edna (@katewrightnurtur) wrote an article last month about the topic of gender-bending. Ironically, normcore seems to be a distant relative to the gender-bending progression. Offering a gender neutral style, normcore extends its lackluster attitude to gender roles. Normcore may be considered just another trend, maybe even a manufactured part of the zeitgeist that is the fashion world in order to give fashion designers a break from always trying to be different and one-up their competition. At the end of the day, just like its counterparts, normcore is the essence of an attitude. Unlike hipster-ism, normcore is not a lifestyle as much as it is a statement of simpleness, plainness, basic-ness, and neutrality. Get out those logo-free, zip-up hoodies, chinos, and crew neck T-shirts. Ditch the Cole Haans you spent a fortune on and grab those comfy sneakers you have been saving for no good reason. Dress yourself up with a pair of store brand Keds.
Thank you, normcore. We love you.
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