I’m honoured to be able to call my dad an early pioneer of what is currently the world’s most talked about fashion movement. He wears Levis 504 Jeans. You know the ones: the regular-fit straight-leg style with an inconspicuous zip fly. He wears them roomy. Sometimes he wears old pairs of slacks and long-sleeved t shirts on the weekends.
My dad’s been owning this look for decades, literally – long before it entered the mainstream consciousness of modern fashion. He wears comfortable dad clothes and doesn’t know who Nicholas Ghesquiere is or that Cara Delevingne’s eyebrows are literally everything, however the garb he chooses as his lawn mowing ensemble comprises the statement look of the most powerful fashion trend circling the Internet right now: Normcore.
For the uninitiated, normcore is possibly the most revolutionary trend since shabby chic because it is a trend making a fashion statement which is decidedly anti-fashion. Confused? An enlightening article digging into the sartorial core from which the trend emerged was published by New York Magazine, including some insightful commentary by normcore champion, stylist and fashion writer Jeremy Lewis.
In the feature Lewis explains, “Fashion has become very overwhelming and popular. Right now a lot of people use fashion as a means to buy rather than discover an identity and they end up obscured and defeated. I’m getting cues from people like Steve Jobs and Jerry Seinfeld. It’s a very flat look, conspicuously unpretentious, maybe even endearingly awkward. It’s a lot of cliché style taboos, but it’s not the irony I love, it’s rather practical and no-nonsense, which to me, right now, seems sexy. I like the idea that one doesn’t need their clothes to make a statement.”
I think the key pull from Jeremy Lewis’s quote is “conspicuously unpretentious” because, ironically, his description of normcore is the most conspicuously pretentious justification for someone who just wants to be a comfortable dag in the history of language. This is the fashion world equivalent of the conceptual artist who puts a seven metre squared pile of cow shit in the middle of the room then writes a five page artist statement explaining that the piece is a satirical commentary on the nature of consumerism. Cow shit is cow shit is cow shit is cow shit.
Speaking of cow shit, Pedestrian’s writing staff [ZING!! Kidding you guys!] got to talking about normcore in an email thread which eventually just turned into a list of possible flow off sub-trends. The following are options that came out of that discussion…
Trend: “Greg Normcore”
(Sorry, Elephant Man)
“Operation Desert Stormcore”
The normcore thing represents that very worst of the fashion industry: fetishising “normalness” and a lack of interest in fashion is not the new fashionable. It is cow shit. And anyone who believes otherwise is feeding the tail of the fashion industry into its own mouth.
Let me leave you with this clip of a real American TV news network covering the normcore phenomenon.
Thanks so much to Ash, Nick and Claire for the Greatest Hits reply thread that became this post.