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10 Thoughts about Normcore

As an anti-trend, a post-modern appropriation injected onto life and style, or even as a Deleuzian inspired thought, Normcore is a phenomenon that I don’t think anyone is going to stop. From the mom jeans, to the dad shirt, the white Nike socks your uncle gave you for Christmas, and your old grandma's glasses, this thing is getting a hold of the fashion world. After Karl Lagerfeld debuted Chanel’s Spring/Summer’14 collection in the über chic and extraordinarily ordinary supermarket he transformed Le Grand Palais into, the trend was set. Around came Moschino with its mythic Mc Donald’s cartoonish collection, and from there, every runway show to come has been  tainted by a new sense of normalcy, a strange desire to get away from the overdosed styles and oversaturated fashions seen on the streets outside the shows. Personally, I’m all about finding our own individuality, and even being aspirational through fashion, but as trends forecasting agency K-hole says in the ‘Youth Mode:A Report of Freedom’ Normcore manifesto, we are coming from the era of mass indie, meaning the rule is to be different. This works as a double negative; when everyone in the crowd is “unique”, maybe it means we are all the same, everyone in this club is in the VIP section.

I’ve summarized my thoughts on the subject into 10 pointers:

1. A brief definition: Normcore is about blending in, rejecting differentiation, building community rather than individuality, and favoring apathy before empathy, and leaving nothing to chance.

2. Also, Normcore is about favoring intelligence over looks, having experiences over capturing instants, practicality over aspirations. But when will this life, this looks, will stop being confortable and realistic and become just plain boring?

3. Perhaps now our generation may be too concerned with their FOMOs and YOLOs to care anymore about clothes, and making apathy a trend seems like the perfect remedy, or to put it in the words of Rick Owens: “Indifference is the biggest aphrodisiac”.

4. Although it seems as if it's selling us the opposite of a fantasy, there is still some sense of utopia, or else why would they need a manifesto?

5. Some call it an anti-trend, but I think a trend is exactly what this is. A straight forward massive and easy to consume trend. Austerity has always been preceded by excess.

6. Fashion is a business on top of it all, so if anything, this phenomenon is a logical strategy during times of economic and political crisis. In these trying times it seems reasonable to blend, to pursue what goes beyond our façades. Fashion as we know it has become a luxury, a priced possession we no longer thrive for.
7. I have this friend, he is so Normcore. Though his style seems pretty simple, washed out jeans, unmarked sneakers, and a collection of simple shirts and sporty sweaters, he seems to put a lot of effort in, say, ‘curating’ his ever growing wardrobe. He carefully chooses every piece he wears, always careful to maintain a seemingly indifferent and uninterested look to him. This is where the irony resides for me, how much more effort do we need to put on to look like we don’t really care?

8. In terms of fashion, everything must be oversized, over washed, over used, and overdone. So much so, that it no longer matters if you spent a $1000 dollars on that plain white t-shirt or you found it in the bottom of an abandoned box in a dumpster.
9. There are several trends within Normcore, though. Some which can go more vintage (a.k.a Jerry Seinfeld circa the 90’s or even your parents circa their 20’s), and others can go all fashionista about it and mix high end designs with old  Converse and scrunchies... it all resides on the attitude more so than the clothes.

10. For me, it all goes to the point of achieving a perfect balance between the ordinary side of the quotidian life and the extraordinary tool fashion gives us.

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