'Normcore'. Does the mutter of that word make you want to throw your computer across the room and find a way to break the internet? Have fashion trends gone so far that they are now parodying themselves; the latest look an uber-trend masking itself as a non-trend?
There a few ways of approaching this subject:
i) The nineties has been buzzing around for a few years now, grunge in particular. Is norm-core actually that far removed from the Fruit of the Loom sweatshirts and unflattering mom jeans that our 1992 counterparts sported with their Birks the first time round? Isn't this just your bog-standard case of trends repeating over 20-year cycles?
ii) It was inevitable that after so many years of figure-hugging, brashly hued shiny fabrics fashion was going to spin 360 degrees on it's skinny jean clad hips and give us something different. Minimalism was ushered back in via Celine whilst grunge crept back into fashion. Whichever one you prefer, normcore is the extreme version: it's minimalism stripped back to no-labels, no print, no colour or grunge stripped back to it's early nineties we don't care what we look like roots.
iii) As the Guardian loves to whinge, the 'hipster' is dead and normcore is on the upsurge. Fashion have always started on the streets; all of the big fashion houses and high street chains employ trend spotters whose jobs are essentially to spot the latest micro-trends on the street, tap into them as early as possible, target and market them at the majority of the population who wait to be told what to wear by such people and then watch triumphantly as the latest trend is born. What the Guardian refers to as 'hipsters' began as a trend filtered down from East London's youth scene and evolved to become more of a subculture than a mere trend. Essentially, the only difference between hipsters and mods or punks is the presence of Instagram. Now the Guardian are claiming that hipsters are a dying breed and normcore is surfacing to take over. What they are branding 'normcore' is probably the original 'hipsters' (please note my use of inverted commas throughout this post and take everything I write with a pince of salt) becoming sick of seeing the outfit they've been wearing for the past decade on sale in Primark and trying to reclaim some sort of individuality for themselves by going down a root they thought fashion would never take.
Normcore: whether you love it or hate it, just watch it start to creep into your wardrobe.