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, 2022-08-02 07:00:00,
It’s cool to dress like an unwashed urchin, emerging from the landfill of consumer culture like a blabbering Minion
Trends are dead! Long live trends! People don’t know what to wear! But wear this! TikTok trends are fake! But not Indie Sleaze! Blokecore! Barbiecore! Namecore! [email protected]!!!
This is what happens when you spend too much time on websites, where the language of trend reporting has completely buckled in on itself. In April, fashion critic Rachel Tashijan described the whole thing as a “mass psychosis”, citing the internet’s feverish attempt to funnel algorithmic junk into deep and meaningful categories. This isn’t a particularly new phenomenon – magazines have always made outsized statements about fashion fads – it’s just that they are now competing with thinkfluencers, TikTok essayists, and Substackers to coin phrases like “Vibe Shift” in order to cash-out on clicks and send 30-something Twitter into a meltdown. Trend, and fashion more generally, is about so much more than being the first to identify the next big thing – which is almost always a mirage, fading as quickly as it’s labelled.
The real issue is that people seem to have forgotten what the word “trend” actually means, how it moves with and against culture, creating networks of taste and ideology. This can be hard to distinguish when there’s just so much culture happening at once, but in London, young people are beginning to clamber out of the chaotic consumer landscape: grubby scene kids and ragtag meme-merchants living on a diet of Elf bars, Monster, and SoundCloud rap. Musicians like Luke Blovad, designers like James Wallace who treat Minions as muses, tacking their turgid little bodies onto all-swamping hoodies. Teens adorned with Eurotrash truckers, wraparound sunnies, anthropomorphic plushie-hats, airbrushed sweaters, camouflage mini skirts, sharpied jeans, and Spongebob tees. They are the feral love children of Chief Keef and Trisha Paytas, destined for greatness but slumped into a barbiturate haze in front of South Park.
“My style is meta-ironic, ketamine chic, Pinterest vibes,” says @oatmilkandcodeine. “Truthfully, I don’t think about it that much but I feel like it’s about making what is traditionally seen as ugly appealing”. A stew of early web references, thrifted grunge, lowbrow cartoon characters, and “anything obnoxious or fake is always good,” @babydoublecup says. “I’ll find…
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