Normcore. It's the Hot New Media Thing that's already been exhausted to death. Probably before you've even heard or understood it. Seriously, how much have we grown to love a trend with a buzzword at it's sticky center? We've already learnt that Bear Grylls is normcore's poster boy (it's very 'male') - oh, but that we've actually got the wrong end of the stick entirely. It's not about Larry David - wealthy people who could afford, say, a seriously ritzy wardrobe but instead wear cheap 90s-esque togs non-ironically - LA-based 'normcore' creator Christopher Glazer argues with gusto, it's about the adaptability and empathy that comes from belonging. (Although that would insinuate that not standing out and ergo, assimilating, is the ideal - which seems to me a similar message.) There's also been some really brilliant thought pieces in riposte, about the culture of the norm in relation to class.
All that has happened in the two weeks since I shot these pictures. I thought I'd turn up in my zippy little pool slides and chuck in my two cents worth of anarchy to this brand new 'normcore' thing. But then time passed - don't cry for me or anything but I've been working my trapped-nerve arse off - and when the time came to writing this, at 1.30am on a now-Friday-morning, the whole 'normcore' thing had already been through a million different washes, like a teenager at a Boots make-up counter and suddenly we aren't really sure what any of it means (although we've been told that contrary to popular opinion, it's not really about fashion, which I'm going to largely ignore, for the sake of writing a blog post about my fucking outfit, okay?)
The one certainty is that a
total can of worms conversation has been opened up about what 'being normal' means. It's tedious to break down an aesthetic into what's 'normal' and what's 'outré' - as if Jeremy Scott and Anna Della Russo were sipping Sherley Temples in one corner of the room whilst throwing Birkenstocks and Breton tops at Phoebe Philo and Calvin Klein - but there's no doubt that we all have a concept of what's de rigeur daywear and what's, say, a little more off piste. Call it the Inditex army, but there's a definite sense of fashion 'uniform.'
There is, of course, nothing wrong in not giving a shit about what you wear and emulating everyone else. I wish I could, often. My boyfriend regularly returns home at 1am to me wading blindly around my bedroom, which is now a shit pit of my own creation, with pom pons and leopard print hanging from the rafters. What this whole 'normcore' thing tossed up, like vomit in the after-party toilet bowl, is staying true to my own version of normal. For better or for worse, the standard uniform thing has never been one that I wear well. On one hand, you could applaud my individuality (not saying you have to, chill hombre); but on the other, you could look at the facts - or shall we say stats. The New Balances and the distressed denim is re-pinned and Instagram hearted as many time as it is, because it's the popular choice. Which is why it can be hard to resist the lure of my trust Topshop Jamie jeans and Chelsea boots, over the tank top and tartan skirt with heels that look like actual strawberries (pics coming soon) that make me feel like the truest version of 'me'. In a sartorial sense, at least.
As Leandra Medine recently discussed, you can opt for a all-singing and all-dancing style (all in favour say 'aye') and be dedicated to your cause (all in favour of actually not being able to leave the house in a crew-neck t-shirt, a pair of jeans and some Converse, say 'aye' again) but still feel yourself wavering. But c'mon, stay strong. I'm not saying force yourself to wear a boob-less onesie made of peacock features (if you're a jeans and a tee girl then just own it) but you have to allow yourself to embrace the thing that may not court approval, or subscribe to a popular trend. This outfit - at last! I get there! - is my normal. The jumper is hot as hell, lending credence to the bare shins and pool slide situation. And culottes are my favourite thing ever. If they're yours too, you're in luck; the shops are now full of them. Oh shit - does that mean I'm....