Normcore: Ordinary Jo

Post by CM

Fashion’s newest buzzword goes against every grain of a fashion blogger’s fibre – Normcore. For a few years now the creatures scuttling around Fashion Week have had to compete with each other for the paps’ attention primarily by wearing increasingly out-there outfits, and in turn spawning mini-trends of their own – we are all aware that most people with an interest in fashion get their inspiration not so much from the catwalk but rather from the cool girls on the streets. But the new cool girl isn’t head to toe in Gaga-garb; she’s nonchalantly getting on with her daily business in jeans, a black top and boots.

Suzie Bubble – the fashion bloggers’ fashion blogger
Anna Dello Russo (editor-at-large Vogue Japa) - always pulls it out of the bag
Anna Dello Russo (editor-at-large Vogue Japan) – always pulls it out of the bag (whether we like it or not)

Normcore is basically an anti-trend; a descent into sameness. It’s a response to the hipster ideal, not to mention the look-at-me mentality pervading the fashion world, and while it’s dominated by ordinariness – a lot of black, denim, streamlining, untouched hair, minimal makeup, basically no eccentricity allowed – it’s a clearly thought out look designed to trigger a touch of envy, a little bit of jealousy at how these people can still look stylish, can still look ‘fashion’ without resorting to fluffy shoes and modified scuba masks.

norm1           norm2

The fact is, most stylish Irish girls have been rocking Normcore for years. It’s a really easy look to maintain, sort of an off-duty model vibe. On top of that, a lot of top designers wear mostly very simple outfits day to day – Ralph Lauren being famous for wearing a uniform of white tees, jeans and trainers, Michael Kors top to bottom black- in direct contrast with their fabulous creations.

Mary Katranzou with one of her designs

In film and tv the costumes are mostly Normcore; when they feature a ‘fashionable person’ she (or he) is usually a bit out-there and cray cray. Think Carrie in both her incarnations, think Romy and Michelle, think Isla Fisher in (that godawful movie) Confessions of a Shopaholic. Seinfeld has been held up as a Normcore icon, the ‘Friends’ were never far from a Gap sweater and even the characters in The Devil Wears Prada wore mostly low-key, easy to fit in, easy to emulate ensembles.

I’ll be there for you. And dress exactly the same as you. And maybe skin and wear you. Friends always had a dark side.

A recent study  has shown that when wealthy, successful people dress down they show a level of competency, of not needing to prove themselves. There’s a fine line; it has to look like this person is deliberately wearing shorts and a sweater in order to show that they are above convention rather than a newly minted lotto winner nervously roaming Chanel in an Adidas tracksuit.

I engage in a touch of Normcore from time to time, especially when it’s raining and all I can face wearing is a battered rain jacket and boots. My work wardrobe is mostly a varied palette of grey, except when I’m up early enough to think of something interesting to wear. Because as much as Normcore is easy and can help give off an alluring air of superiority over those who like to dress up, my inner child still prefers the thought of wearing whatever I like, when I like.

Rainy Norm
Sunny Norm
Sunny Norm

 Normcore is certainly all well and good, but I think I’ll continue to let my freak flag fly!

Thanks to Stacey for the photo!


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