I recently read an article in the current issue of Vogue about glamcore, one of the new season's biggest fashion trends. Glamcore is the antithesis of normcore, 2014's most popular trend for wearing the most normal clothes possible (think plain t-shirts, tailored or denim trousers and pretty much anything without a logo). Where normcore was about nondescript dressing - even if that navy blazer did cost four figures - glamcore is the complete opposite; it's about piling on sequins and fur and colour. Basically, wearing statement pieces with statement pieces to make, well, a statement.
In the September issue of Vogue, Fashion Features Director Sarah Harris reports that glamcore is an over-the-top act of rebellion against the recession; after years of tightening our purse strings, we're so fed up of being sensible that it's time to do a 180 and go from Sandra Dee to Sandy Olsen in as little as one season. To celebrate how well we've behaved, sartorially speaking, over the last few years, glamcore is a flamboyant and bold way of flipping the bird at the economy; we're tired of investment purchasing (Harris describes this as 'purchases that had to be validated; they needed reason or context.'). Instead, this autumn we're going to proudly drop cash bombs on ludicrously expensive pieces of attention-grabbing clothing, thus telling the world in no uncertain terms that we've worked hard and now deserve to shop, shop, shop.
Frankly, I don't particularly like either trend. Normcore was, by its very own doing, so not normal that I found it irritating and try-hard. Glamcore is too attention seeking; as Harris mentions in her witty and very enjoyable report, it reflects our society today - we're so caught up in showing off our "perfect" lives on social media (yes, I too am guilty of this) that we've actually succumbed to a trend that, like everything else, is trying to be bigger and better than what went before it. Despite all of this, as opposite as they are, normcore and glamcore are fundamentally the same thing: a passing trend.
It's not that I'm against trends, not at all - I understand that fashion speaks volumes about society and can provide a fascinating insight into history. I enjoy working trends into my own wardrobe (seriously, who could resist the teeny-tiny but otherwise totally practical cross-body bags this summer?), but what ever happened to good old-fashioned (pardon the pun) style? Why can't we dress for ourselves? And by that I mean for our brains as well as our bodies. Does everyone really like the Valentino Rockstuds? Or do they wear them because they're the It-shoe of the moment? Why does fashion have to be about looking right, at the right time? For every Celine Luggage toting fashion blogger I see, there are a hundred women replicating the look. It's boring.
For me, it's important to buy the classic LBD, the staple summer white jeans, the basic strappy shoes (see, trendy!), the timeless diamond earrings and the reliable black leather boots. Yes, they can be by designers (I'm currently coveting this blue shirt by GANT) but they can also be from the high street (LK Bennett's Monique full spotted skirt, hello!). Surely, buying clothes that you genuinely like is the best way to shop? And then, after spending your hard-earned cash on your favourite pieces, you can feel good wearing them even after you've uploaded your #ootd.
Simply put, as Yves Saint Laurent once said: "What is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it."
Images from top: GANT shirt on model, GANT shirt, Storm and Marie jeans, Marks & Spencer Best of British trench coat, LK Bennett skirt, Dune boots.