So we need to talk about this 'normcore' trend that is shaking the sartorial core of our NY-LON in-the-know trend friends. For those stuck under a fashion rock (me most days of the week) the self-professed arbiters of cool over the pond at New York Magazine have dedicated too many pages to a 'trend' where followers dress 'like they are one in 7 billion'. More specifically, they care so much about what they wear that they need to look like they don't care, like they are 'anyone,' anywhere; like they are 'no one' really. Are you keeping up?
As Twitter burned these past weeks with normcore chatter, Jerry Seinfeld started to trend as the ultimate representation of normcore chic. The Daily Mail even pointed out that Harry's Cressida pulled off normcore with aplomb recently by donning boring jeans, a nondescript dark jacket and sweatshirt to a charity event at Wembley. Because even though she is one in a million, Cressy knows how to rock it like she's one in 7 billion. Don't go calling her a princess-to-be, she's down with us common folk.
How to dress normcore, let me break it down: no-name, unflattering, comfortable jeans, boring unfashionable warm jacket, plain tee, plain white socks, trainers, etc. If you've mastered the look, it should be hard to tell from behind if you are a 50-something executive or just taking a break from backpacking in Nepal.
As it turns out normcore was the brainchild of trend forecasting collective K-HOLE and was intended to suggest an attitude not a manner of dressing (and let me tell you this 'inaccuracy' in the article has caused a whole lot of 140 characters to shoot around Twitter) The attitude that normcore is intending to espouse is in 'embracing sameness deliberately as a new way of being cool, rather than striving for 'difference' or 'authenticity.''
Okay, sure, that sounds slightly more interesting and intellectual. But the problem here is New York Magazine's breathless suggestion that what a tired mum wears on the school run (who isn't Claudia Schiffer) or what most men I know put on Sunday morning is 'fashion'. Can you just see a future where Vogue interns chase women through M&S to ask where they got those ill-fitting slightly too blue jeans and vintage '98 windbreaker jacket from a petroleum trade show.
It reminds me of one of the many great quotes in Mean Girls: "One time I saw Cady Heron wearing army pants and flip flops. So I bought army pants and flip flops."
So before you head off to stock up on no name jeans and Cressy-blue jackets, I remind you of this passage:
So off went the Emperor in procession under his splendid canopy. Everyone in the streets and the windows said, "Oh, how fine are the Emperor's new clothes! Don't they fit him to perfection? And see his long train!" Nobody would confess that he couldn't see anything, for that would prove him either unfit for his position, or a fool. No costume the Emperor had worn before was ever such a complete success.
I don't think Hans Christian Andersen would be too impressed with normcore.