This year, we have introduced a whole new movement into the fashion industry
which goes by the name of “normcore”. The name itself is an oxymoron, mixing
two opposing ideas, “normal” and hardcore”, into one concept. The way I would
describe it is a moderately androgynous anti-style that is completely muted
and nondescript. It has emerged as a kind of personal protest against the need to
constantly stand out and express oneself through their clothing.
The term was coined by K-Hole, a trend forecasting group, to describe this hyper-normalised look.
K-Hole are using “normcore” as a way to fight against self-differentiation and to find
“liberation in nothing special”.The anonymity and “self-identification” involved with this
movement is essentially a way to subvert the mainstream narrative
of eccentric fashion and embrace the blandness of insipid items such as
over sized t-shirts and baggy jeans.
It is true that fashion for so long has tried to recycle, re-invent and borrow looks from all eras and
subcultures from punk rock to indie. I myself have always been an advocate for simplistic clothing
as it seems that those who make an active effort to stand out and differentiate themselves indeed
merge into the masses who are trying to follow that same philosophy. In doing so, their efforts
ultimately become void.
However, one could assume this whole movement is a bit of a paradox in itself as “normcore” is
already being recognised as another modern fashion trend. It would seem though that
clothes are clothes are clothes. There are only so many looks and styles that can be invented.
Most fashion trends have been stolen only to be discarded and then recycled a few years
down the line. I would much rather support a style that emphasises individual personality
and authority, rather than let the clothes do the talking.
In style lies a timeless vigour
that the fleeting nature of fashion simply cannot compete with and therein lies
the strength in “normcore” against the rest of the fashion world.