Evidently, hipsters in New York and all across the Internet these days are cultivating looks that can only be described as decidedly boring. Or plain Jane. Or ubiquitous. NY Mag’s Fiona Duncan began to notice how all the downtown cool kids were dressing more and more like, well, normal people. And by "normal people" I mean, those poor schmucks you avoid eye contact with on public transportation, on line at Starbucks and the other people flying coach with you that you make fun of on Twitter for being barbarians and wearing Uggs. Duncan and her friend came up with the term "normcore" and applied it to the washed out jeans and Patagonia fleece look that all the cool kids are embracing.
Normcore? C'mon, son. The look is called NARC DAD. That's the last time we're gonna tell you how to describe shit. WHO ARE THE REAL JOURNALISTS? Shouts to people who are purposefully cultivating a "normal" look. What the fuck does that even mean? It sounds like those people on Twitter that eat at McDonald's for the irony. YOU EAT FAST FOOD BECAUSE IT'S DELICIOUS AND THE GUILT ASSOCIATED WITH DIGESTION IS BETTER THAN THE GUILT ASSOCIATED WITH CRACK ABUSE NOT BECAUSE YOU WANT TO PROVE HOW COOL AND UNAFFECTED YOU ARE BY TRENDS LIKE JUICING. Dressing like a narc dad because you have narc dad sensibilities is one thing. Dressing like a narc dad purposefully is completely different.
Okay, fine, the NY Mag piece is actually a lot more nuanced than my rambling, yelling, profanity-laced response is going to make it seem. But the people and looks it describes seem far removed from anything normal at all. Embracing the mundane and bland palette of overworked Midwestern uncles isn't in and of itself a bad thing. But it's the execution of this look—the attempt to don decidedly bad clothing and make it look cool—that makes it so annoying. It's no different than when a new restaurant opens and the chef/owner boasts about how it serves "elevated street food." The notion that a style of dress or food needs to be elevated by an individual that possesses entre into the rarefied world of high-end before it can be palatable is patronizing to the source material and perpetuates the stereotype that too cool for school industries like Fashion are so out of touch with reality that they find romance and exclusivity in the outfits of "normal, working people." Normcore is not too slippery a slope away from "Derelicte".
NO ONE WANTS TO BE REMINDED OF HOW THEIR LIVES HAVE GOTTEN AWAY FROM THEM AND HOW THEIR JOBS AND FAMILY RESPONSIBILITIES DON'T AFFORD THEM THE TEMPORAL AND MONETARY LUXURY TO OVERTHINK THEIR OUTFITS.
The whole notion that this is an "anti-fashion" movement makes me want to vomit. FASHION INSIDERS CAN'T BE ANTI-FASHION. THAT SHIT IS DUMB. There's literally a quote in the article that says, "I like the idea that one doesn't need their clothes to make a statement." WHAT?! ALL CLOTHES MAKE A STATEMENT WHETHER YOU WANT THEM TO OR NOT. STONEWASHED JEANS AND A BEAT TO DEATH SWEATSHIRT ON A FATHER OF FOUR AT O'HARE MAKES A STATEMENT: "I AIN'T GOT THE TIME OR FUCKED UP PRIORITIES IT WOULD REQUIRE ME TO FORGO MY CHILDREN'S NEEDS TO FOCUS ON WHAT MILL MAKES MY DAD JEANS." That same look on a stylist/designer also makes a statement: "I CAN TAKE THESE SHITTY, UNCOOL CLOTHES THAT NO ONE WANTS AND MAKE THEM COOL BECAUSE THAT’S JUST HOW FUCKING COOL I AM."
The only thing worse than making the argument that this is some sort of rally against the commodification and label-happy world of high fashion, is saying how you think "normal people" are more stylish than "fashion people". Let me clear that up for you—STYLISH PEOPLE ARE STYLISH NO MATTER THEIR BACKGROUND. An editorial that features random people caught on Google Maps? Cool. Because if there's one thing people love, it's patronizing observations like "OMG normal people are so interesting." NO THEY AREN'T. NO ONE WANTS TO BE REMINDED OF HOW THEIR LIVES HAVE GOTTEN AWAY FROM THEM AND HOW THEIR JOBS AND FAMILY RESPONSIBILITIES DON'T AFFORD THEM THE TEMPORAL AND MONETARY LUXURY TO OVERTHINK THEIR OUTFITS.
The truest and realest conclusion of Normcore? That we really are all the same no matter what we wear. That life is a slow and monotonous fall from grace that continually reminds us of the banality and futility of existence. That it's just a pair of destroyed boot cut dad jeans abused by years of mowing the same lawn and driving the same route to the same job for the same paycheck. Then you're dead.