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Decoding the Latest Fashion Trend, Normcore

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New York-based trend forcasting group, K-Hole says “It’s a trend being a Normcore now.” We explain this fashion trend further, its inception and the probable future.

Understanding Normcore

It is time to slip into clothes that blend with the crowd rather than follow brands blindly. After all, it is about your individuality and about showing to the world you are not slave to fashion trends. That is the essence of belonging to the group of ‘normcore’. A relatively new term, normcore came into existence just about a few months ago and it is already making waves!

It is grabbing eyeballs and commanding newsprint and web space. Don’t believe it? Well, just Google the word and you will be flooded with scores and scores of web links. Last we checked, there were results amounting to approximately 9,09,000 links on the word. New York Times first wrote about it and then, as the saying goes, the rest is history!

Like they say, too much of anything has a boomerang effect, so our understanding is that too much of fashion, which came to being too dependent on labels, simply made people trade the ‘fashionable’ for the reasonably average looks. It is time to just dress ‘normal’ and from here stems the idea of normcore, where being ‘normal’ is at the core of one’s dressing.

The India Story

Talking about how the word itself has turned into a norm, let us come back to India for a while. Well, we are yet at the inception stage of getting used to global labels and using them as part of our everyday lives. So, truly speaking, K-Hole’s forecast of the normcore culture setting in perhaps does not apply that well to India as yet but yes, in the US, the word is catching up like wildfire.

Anita Dongre, the name behind labels like AND and Global Desi, shares her views on Normcore. According to her, “I would classify this trend as comfort fashion – a trend that defines understated chic. It should not necessarily mean sloppy and ill-fitting clothes. The need is not to look anonymous but perhaps to break free from what you are expected to look like. Since I associate normcore with comfort fashion, for me this trend is about being you.

It is a kind of a reverse snobbery that works for those who would rather be themselves than appear to have tried too hard.” Talking about the acceptance of this trend in India, she reveals, “This trend has been very popular internationally. I think in India we have our own version of normcore – not the sneakers, baggy jeans and fleece zip-ups look. We can embrace this effortless fashion by pairing our everyday basics (denims, shirts, tunics, leggings, skirts, etc.) with interesting elements like a scarf, stole, or bag while keeping the overall silhouettes clean and fuss free.

Most Indians would embrace this trend because the modern Indian woman desires functionality and comfort in her everyday dressing. With simple accessories, one can also pull off a chic and stylish look. For instance, a basic tee, jeans and flat combo is simple but it can be spiced up with an interesting scarf, a spunky sling bag or a belt.” The brand story So, does that spell good news for brands? Or, does it forecast gloomy days ahead? What happens to the creative minds from your design teams who have relentlessly been churning out apparels based on the forecasts using prints, colours and designs with an eclectic mix? What happens to the USP of your brand that makes it stand apart from that of your competitors?

Above all, what happens to the designers who take pride in bringing out bohemian collections for people who like to step out in envious designer clothing? After all, normcore is all about having an understated look. It is about not showing off what you can afford – perhaps it is even a bit of being anti-fashion!The society we live in does not really accept anything that is ‘normal’ and when it comes to dressing, how can simplicity and anti-fashion rule the roost, especially with media and entertainment dictating every aspect of our lives!

Can you imagine a Bollywood actor stepping out for an event dressed casually? What if their competitor too is seen wearing the same blue jeans with a white cotton tee? Now, that surely would be a big embarrassment! And, if our idols will not do it, how can we? Normcore, we think, is just a term to make people who are less fashionable feel secure amidst the lot that would spend the last available buck on buying the label they set their eyes on. After all, it is an ‘in’ thing to wear what is in trend. However, with normcore taking centre stage, the one donning plain and regular clothes is the one in demand. So, take pride in being a part of the ‘normcore’ group and take out the boring denims and tees from your closet with pride.

The Way Ahead

The internet is already revolting against the further spreading and acceptance of the normcore attitude. You will find leads to articles with headlines like ‘Skip the Normcore Trend’, ‘Go Glam in Revealing Spring, Summer Styles,’ etc. But, fret not and put all your worries to rest! Normcore lets you be ‘you’. It allows you to blend with the crowd and wear what you have always left back at the closet for fear of being termed a ‘fashion disaster’. Normcore is making news. It is big, and you better encash upon it.

Blending in with the crowd is perhaps more social than looking like an alien amongst humans in clothes that are simply an overstatement today. Not too much of scratching the brain required here for designing of such clothes, right? Or, perhaps the nuances of even this will prove us wrong! Guess we will just have to find out. We can already foresee a section at your store with a signage stating – Normcore
Collection 2014-15!