Like most high-society New Yorkers, Timothée Chalamet’s signature #OOTD is a beanie, overpriced hoodie, and jeans.
The Call Me By Your Name heartthrob was spotted on the streets of Manhattan all throughout election season, encouraging his young fanbase to engage in their civic duty and vote the big Orange out. Chalamet was all over social media last week, designer fit in tow.
The 24-year-old’s normcore uniform makes high-fashion hoodies look good for once, begging to be accepted by industry snobs who may turn up their nose at a garment that isn’t exactly the most couture.
The nonchalant style, dubbed normcore, places an emphasis on comfort dressing in a timeless way. If you’re looking for monogram label prints and diamond-encrusted belts, look elsewhere. Normcore is all about rejecting the uppity means of fashion, opting for a neutral, unisex palette.
The aesthetic took off in the mid 2010s. Retailers like American Apparel and Uniqlo hopped on the trend to produce clothing for the generation whose style goals included Steve Jobs. Hoodies, sweatpants, and your dad’s old baggy jeans weren’t just for those bloated days anymore, but rather became staple in the Indie kid wardrobe.
As consumers drifted towards tracksuits over tailored suits, luxury brands began adapting their products to jump on the cool kid bandwagon. In 2016, Gucci released its long-awaited logo hoodie on its website, cementing the brand as a youth-focused house. Balenciaga, Vetements, and Marc Jacobs were soon to follow. It wasn’t long before established classic maisons like Dior, Saint Laurent, and Louis Vuitton turned to logo-centric hoodies to cater to their growing base. With each three or four digit iteration of the cozy, fleece sweater comes a perceived blow to the gut to a brand’s creative integrity.
To a young audience, high fashion may mean designer belts and monogrammed canvas sneakers, but when maisons were first founded, style was anything but accessibility. Extravagant beaded haute couture gowns and expertly-crafted lambskin bags were the standard, not embroidered beanies. It’s hard to imagine Christian Dior’s Junon dress for the Fall Winter 1949 collection and current Creative Director Maria Grazia Chiuri’s feminist graphic t-shirts existing under the same atelier.
While Gucci is synonymous with chunky black logo belts on influencers, the Italian house’s humble beginnings in 1906 meant luxury leather saddles. Tom Ford’s Gucci in the 1990s breathed life into the house, cementing chic silhouettes and flower motifs that would place the brand at the height of luxury for decades to come.
And while Alessandro Michele’s tenure at the label since 2015 has taken Gucci to soaring new heights, it’s hard to ignore the large rift between the brand’s normcore pandering and artistic atelier creations. For celebrities, lazier luxury normcore garments are just everyday clothes, but for the majority of consumers who can’t regularly afford to drop thousands of dollars on custom clothing, a hoodie is as good as it’s going to get. With the rise of streetwear trumping runway collections, luxury label’s normcore aesthetics may actually be preferred.
Demna Gvasalia is quite the legend, but Cristobal Balenciaga was very different from the Vetements founder. While the Spanish Creative Director is regarded as a visionary for his innovative fluid silhouettes, Gvasalia is known for being a Bernie Bro. Only one designer can make the label’s often-memed political sweater from the Fall 2017 menswear collection.
You either die a legend, or live long enough to see your last name plastered on every 16-year-old TikTok star.END
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