Where: Dinner at The Electric, Notting Hill.
God, I felt so embarrassingly cool when I put this outfit on. The boyfriend jeans, the pattern clashing overload, the red leather… my thought process was along the lines of “NAILED IT”! That confidence somewhat waned when I entered Hammersmith tube station and my ensemble caused a group of youths to basically keel over in hysterics. But I thought, screw you all. You know nothing about fashion, fools. In retrospect, I think I maybe did look a little nuts (it was perhaps the glasses that did it) and when my Dad saw these pics his response was, “at least you’ve still got a sense of humour”.
But do you know what? I’ve decided I don’t care. I felt fabulous and that’s at least half of what matters. Plus, the fact that this look is basically the antithesis of normcore makes me endlessly happy. These jeans may be nice and roomy and the block heels wonderfully comfortable but let’s be honest, anyone who puts together this many prints clearly has no desire to fit in. You see, I just don’t get normcore. It’s not so much the aesthetics that leave me cold. The idea of spending everyday in grey, eschewing heels in favour of understated plain white trainers and generally keeping it casual may bore me almost to tears but whatever floats your boat. And while no fan of minimalism or perennial casualness myself, on others it can look fantastic. But beyond how that understated turtleneck or logo free pair of sneaks look, if they make the wearer feel confident, stylish and generally good about themselves that’s brilliant. No, there are two things that baffle me about this whole normcore shabang. Firstly, its premise; the notion of settling for sameness, accepting your fate of immersion into a sea of faceless blandness. It is pitched, not as a specific sartorial choice but genuine, couldn’t-care-less, normality. This leads on nicely to the second thing that peeves me about this phenomenon, the fact that, largely speaking, its premise is complete bollocks. Whether its a music journo in a thermofleece at SXSW or a Brooklynite rocking nondescript jeans and an unbranded baseball cap, the look is every bit as stylised and deliberate as that of the FROW-ing blogger, madly instagramming their sculptural, pom pom trimmed hat. Applied to the middle aged, mid Western tourist the concept of normcore would make sense. But of course, said Dad jeans wearer wouldn’t dream of referring to their “look” with such a name. I can’t help but feel that once a phenomenon has this kind of hashtag worthy moniker, a gazillion articles written about it’s origins, then it is by definition no longer really normal. A “how to get the look” feature on normcore immediately renders it about as effortless as head-to-toe digital prints or winter leg. I’m not saying that magazines should refrain from publishing these kind of pieces about normcore, more just that it’s rather ridiculous to pretend that hipsters and editors donning pool sliders means that they no longer care about making a statement with their lewk. Ultimately doing a Dello Russo is much the same as channeling Steve Jobs. Only one is infinitely less fun to look at that the other.
How do YOU feel about normcore?
Love Ella. X
Images by Holly McGlynn