There’s a recent re-focus in fashion. If you’ve watched the street-style lenses of Tommy Ton or The Sartorialist, you’ve noticed that there’s a presence becoming more and more noticeable, the normcore fashionista. Normcore, in essence, is a movement characterized by wearing unassuming, un-pretentious, average looking clothing. It’s a characteristically Parisian move, with a laid-back aesthetic championed by the likes of Isabel Marant. The main core is that it’s not about the clothes, it’s about how you wear them.

But let’s go back in time, to an era when “normcore” was only really worn by the “working class”. Anybody with any status wouldn’t be seen dead in a basic, and the focus was on the tailor-made, the luxurious and the accessorized. This all faded like a pair of good jeans with the introduction of stars like Brando and Dean. For the entirety of a Streetcar named Desire, Brando is shown in a basic t-shirt tucked into a pair of well worn jeans, and the only accessory James Dean ever wore was his leather jacket. This simple style made them the icons they are today. It’s similar to the changes nowadays, with the introduction of ripped jeans and casually rolled t-shirts challenging the tailored pant and over-the-top shirt. 

More importantly, normcore is signaling a change in which we perceive the style Gods: we don’t see them as Gods any more. What many a person flipping through Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar forgets is that all of those people are human. They may be dressed in something more expensive or rare, but they all have their little problems, their friends, their families. Anna Wintour may be Queen of the fashion world, but she wakes up every morning and goes to bed every evening no different than the rest of us. The thing that defines her are her actions; which, as mentioned, is the core of normcore. Though I’m sure we won’t be seeing her in an American Apparel store any time soon, the future Wintour is already there, in a rolled-up t shirt, jeans, and a mind full of possibilities.  

Trench from Burberry
T-Shirt from American Apparel
Jeans from H&M
Shoes by Converse


Is Fashion Art?

First and foremost, before we get too engrossed in the topic, a big thanks goes out to Alex Acid for gracing my pictures with his own art. His blog is a must see, check it out here. 

The question has been up for debate since the beginnings of couture, and yet we’re no nearer to an answer than we were in 1960’s with the advent of designer-artist collaborations like those between Mondrian and Saint Laurent. Can fashion be art? And if so, what is the line between fashion as a widely consumable product and an art form? Industry giants like Lagerfeld are adamant in proclaiming fashion is not an art, while those like Schiaparelli were passionate about being considered nothing less than artists. In my opinion, fashion is as much of an art as is any other form. Yes, a Louis Vuitton bag, produced in the exact same way with the exact same print for decades may not be art (as much as it is a classic piece), but then again neither is the clay from which a sculpture is made. Only when the clay is molded by the hands of an artist does it become art, not much unlike how Louis Vuitton has been molded many times by artists such as Takashi Murakami with his smiling flowers and cherry blossoms. 

In fact, I don’t think there really can be any discussion as to whether the collaborations between artists and designers are art. One look at the works of Dali and Schiaparelli can tell you that. The real question is whether fashion in its primary (unmolded?) form can be art. The main argument for fashion not being an art form is that it is mass produced and follows the trends of its customer. But nobody claims that type of fashion IS art, just like nobody claims the mass produced print of a generic painting is art. It is when designers like McQueen, Mugler or Valentino create that fashion becomes an art. That is something indisputable, and whoever disagrees should take a good hard look at the clothing before making judgment. The detail, story, construction and vision of an Iris Van Herpen dress can rival any sculpture in its ability to evoke emotion in a third party. Isn’t that exactly what art is “supposed” to be?

Going even further than that, the art of clothing yourself can be an art. With the rise of performance art, and manipulation of the thoughts of others so they perceive you in a different way, the door has been opened for the way you style yourself to become your own artistic impression. The power is in your hands to distort the opinions and thoughts of those around you with what you wear. Your influence in the emotions of others is directly correlated with whatever you decided to put on that day. Even more so, you impact your own state of mind with clothing, and create an image of yourself by picking and choosing your outfit. So, in essence, what you wear is art as long as you think it’s art. 

The main reason most can’t say for certain whether fashion is art is because we don’t know what art is, it is an indefinable concept. The simple fact is that everything and nothing is art. In the eyes of one person, a Damien Hirst shark is fancy taxidermy, while another (The NY Times to be specific) sees it as a statement of life and death incarnate.   Art is what people think art is, and if you ask anybody who’s waited 2 hours for a shaky live stream of a fashion week show, purely for the emotional experience and wonder, Fashion will always be art. 

Photo edit by: Alex Acid of alexacidillustrations.blogspot.co.uk
Top from Romwe
Navy Trousers from Topman
Platform Sneakers from Asos
Jewelry from Topman


I was an Angel

In the land of Gods and Monsters this was a pop culture reference, and what better time to reference Jessica Lange’s rendition of the Del Rey song than in a post about Halloween? Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays, partly due to the fashion element, and partly due to the fact that I never really celebrated it until I moved to London. In Africa the houses were too far apart for me to go trick or treating as a kid, and in Serbia nobody really cares about Halloween in general. So imagine my surprise when I moved to London and come 31st of October had absolutely everybody I know inundate my newsfeed with pictures of them in elaborate, thought through costume. I’ve made more of an effort every year since.

Overall, Halloween is the most fashionable of the holidays. The art of dressing yourself in order to represent something you want to be (if only for a night), is something I’ve referenced countless times on here, and what I believe lies at the core of style. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Game of Thrones character or Anna Wintour (hi BryanBoy), it’s a free pass to be whoever or whatever you want to be for a night. Isn’t that a more intense version of what we do every morning? It doesn’t matter whether you wear a power suit or a slip dress; you’re emulating who you want to be. On Halloween, we just get a bit more fantastical with it.

Fantasy in general is one of my biggest interests, as you may have noticed from the blog post a few weeks ago on Magic. So on Halloween, I get to live in my own Nightmare of a Fairytale, watching the ghouls and ghosts saunter through the streets and clubs. It’s a strange image for those not accustomed to it, and I’ve always enjoyed the slightly strange. In fact, everybody seems to now enjoy the slightly strange and fantastical; American Horror Story being one of the most watched shows on TV is perfect evidence. I think that in the many real life horrors the world is going through at the moment, people are looking to escape by being a part of imagined horror, because it’s easier to bear.

But, let’s not get too dark, after all my costume was not particularly scary at all! I basically wore what you can see in the pictures, with some added makeup, and went as a fallen angel (very inspired by the Undercover runway show at PFW). I wanted to go as something dark but put a modern twist on it, hence the Leather and Astrakhan fur biker jacket (my favorite piece of clothing, and one I designed myself by the way). There was just something enchanting about going as something evil that wasn’t always as such on the night of frights. Although I haven’t fallen from grace thus far, it was good to be bad for a night. Hope you all had a trick and a treat and I’ll see you here next weekend. 

Photography by Kim Martyn

Fur Biker Jacket by yours truly Front Row Underdog
Mesh top from Topman
Skinny Jeans from River Island
Shoes from Dr Martens
Wings from Ebay