Connect with us


Core is the new chic



In the film Phantom Thread, Daniel Day-Lewis plays the crotchety yet brilliant designer Reynolds Woodcock. A man so tightly wound he yells at his muse for audibly consuming toast, Reynolds is not concerned with keeping with the times. When he learns from his sister Cyril (Lesley Manville) that a major client has switched to a new fashion house, he feigns confusion. “All I’ve done is dress her beautifully,” he says. To which Cyril replies, “I don’t think that matters to some people. I think they want what is fashionable and chic.” Reynolds loses it. “Chic! Whoever invented that ought to be spanked in public. I don’t even know what that word means! What is that word? Fucking chic! They should be hung, drawn, and quartered. Fucking chic.” Sub out chic for core, and you’ve just glimpsed my inner monologue for the past few months. You either die a Cyril or live long enough to see yourself become a Reynolds.

I’ve been guilty of using the word core in place of style, and the phrase that has become common parlance almost overnight. But I’m here with contrition: It’s time to retire the expression. Over the past month, Barbiecore has become the trend of the summer. This magazine has published several articles on the style and its history, and I’ve received 18 P.R. pitches outlining ways to bring Barbie style to the beach, your bar cart, and your underwear drawer. The items cover everything from a utility jacket to a sapphire necklace to a Telfar bag. The aesthetic through line is the color—that’s it. Depop informed me on July 8 that they had seen a 93% increase in searches for “Barbie pink.” I have nothing against the color pink, but what’s with the deep desire to label a trend with an entirely new word, to elevate it from a series of garments into a fully fledged phenomenon?

The digital obsession with cores—used as a suffix that basically denotes a kind of style—began back in 2013, when the term normcore was first coined by trend forecasters K-Hole as a philosophy of fashion. They posited that the chronically online were competing for virality and uniqueness, and as a result, both were harder to come by. Enter normcore. It was a look for people who didn’t want to stand out but saw the social power of fitting in. “Normcore moves away from a coolness that relies on difference to a post-authenticity coolness that opts into sameness,” they wrote. Memorably, New York magazine described it as “fashion for those who realize they’re one in 7 billion.”

Normcore was followed in 2017 by gorpcore, also popularized in New York. This took its name from acronym for the hiker snack “good old raisins and peanuts” and, therefore, was defined by crunchy, outdoorsy gear that could very well be Patagonia. Then came discourse around menocore, a term coined by Harling Ross of Man Repeller that was coastal grandmother chic by another name. And so on. Though they were undeniably a product of the internet age, they reflected real shifts in how people were approaching fashion and dressing. Then we all lost the plot.

The rise of micro-cores coincides with the rise of hyper-specific internet aesthetics. There’s even an Aesthetics Wiki that chronicles all the possible cores online, including, but not limited to, bubblegumbitchcore, cottagecore, and fairycore. The ones that have penetrated the mainstream this year have been balletcore, regencycore, and our dear friend Barbiecore. Regencycore—fueled by the return of Bridgerton and often conflated with princesscore or royaltycore—started popping up in my inbox last year, hitting a peak in the spring when season two came out. I haven’t heard anything about it since May, and according to Google Trends, not many people are searching for it. Balletcore shot up in searches from February 5 through February 12, and while there is still some interest, it’s clear it had a one-week-long peak. Of these three terms, Barbiecore has the most interest, sharply rising from June 19 until now, although the projected searches show a steep drop-off. Kidcore, a rainbow-filled trend that leans heavily on ’90s and Y2K childhood nostalgia, and cottagecore are both vastly more popular than any of the terms listed above, showing that some of these terms have longevity for at least 12 months. Depop—the resale app beloved by Gen Z—also tells Vogue that the trends that have held strong through 2022 on the app are fairycore, gorpcore, and cottagecore. Kidcore saw an 82% search increase between the end of 2021 and Q2 in 2022. To be clear, my issue isn’t with the fact that young people are coming up with new trends. I’m more interested in the disposability of these terms and the constant cycle of identifying and naming a new thing only to forget about it a month later.

What the earliest cores and the most interesting ones have in common is the understanding that the clothes represent an inner existence. Normcore is for people who believe that cool is blending in rather than standing out (a philosophy adopted by the hyper-rich like Warren Buffet and the hyper-cool like the Olsen twins); the clothes represent a way of thinking. Similarly, I think the enduring power of cottagecore is likely in part because there’s a whole lifestyle to ascribe to—one that involves churning butter and making jam—or at least the fantasy of one. I’m certain that some people really identify with these terms, and it is a helpful shorthand to define their style in the same way that Lady Gaga deployed what she called “painful Italian glamour.”

Calling every trend core makes sense from some perspectives. My colleague José Criales-Unzueta wrote for i-D earlier this year that “these micro-trends are a way for writers and commentators to make new collections and designers’ ideas more digestible or understandable for a broader audience.” A core is easily googled, whether you’re searching for clothes that fit into the look or just the definition. Also, trends exist—but not everything needs to be legitimized and elevated to the level of a core. By giving it its own name, it’s a phenomenon, not just clothes. More often than not, it overcomplicates what is in fact quite basic.

Let’s take Barbiecore as a prime example. There are a few simple reasons for why celebrities are wearing bubble-gum pink now. First, Pierpaolo Piccioli—one of the most influential designers working today—made an entire collection of gorgeous Valentino clothing in the same shade of Pantone-approved pink. Second, big Hollywood director Greta Gerwig is behind a movie about Barbie starring big Hollywood stars Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, and the costume design is intriguing. Third, pink is an eye-catching, summery color that people like. Yes, pink is trending—but for reasons much more easily explained than why people turned to dressing like Jerry Seinfeld in 2014. It’s not running against the grain; it is the grain.

To go back to Reynolds, he is railing against chic because it’s so amorphous as to be useless. It doesn’t describe the way the clothes fall on the body; it doesn’t describe the effect. It is as vague as calling something good. Attempting to elevate something as simple as a color into the trend of the summer by calling it a core is a lazy way of thinking about fashion.

Still, there are times when I can’t resist calling a style [fill in the blank]-core, just like I reflexively call outfits, decor, and runway collections chic. It’s just so easy; it communicates just enough to keep the conversation going. But it’s worth resisting precisely for that reason. It also creates a cycle where writers, TikTokers, and less-than-casual observers of fashion are scrambling to be the first—or the best—at naming the next big thing. There’s enough disposability in fashion as it is.

Culled from Vogue

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Kanye West, Yeezy ordered to pay $300,000 to snubbed creator



As another day passes, another Kanye West saga has unravelled. The rapper-turned-designer and his brand Yeezy have now been ordered to pay over $300,000 to New York-based creative Katelyn Mooney after failing to attend a court session.

A default judgement was filed in Mooney’s favour at Manhattan Supreme Court when no legal representative for West or his brand showed up or responded to the court papers.

In her lawsuit, Mooney initially claimed that West and Yeezy owed her over $300,000 in damages and unpaid invoices after failing to fully pay her for a photoshoot she was hired to produce in September.

The artist was appointed to create imagery for Yeezy’s new SHDZ sunglasses collection for 110,000 dollars, of which she claimed she had only received $15,000.

In her complaint, Mooney, who is a freelancer, said the snub forced her to take out “a significant loan and max out her credit cards” so she could cover her bills, calling West’s behaviour “exploitative conduct.”

The news comes days after it was revealed that Adidas was confronted with a lawsuit from its investors regarding its past dealings with the controversial figure.

The complaint alleged that executives for the sportswear giant knew about West’s troubling conduct long before an anonymous letter from employees revealed a series of “problematic behaviour” they encountered during his time as a collaborator for the brand.

It has also been reported by NBC News that West and Yeezy are facing further issues in regards to more than $600,000 of unpaid tax debts, dating back to 2021.

The media outlet added that it had uncovered 17 government-imposed liens in California against three of West’s businesses, including a charity in his name.


Continue Reading


Ellen MacArthur Foundation launches database for circular startups



The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is beginning the roll out of the full version of its circular startup database, designed to help businesses explore startups and drive the acceleration of the circular economy.

On ‘The Circular Startup Index’, 500 brands that are a part of the foundation’s community are already featured across a range of sectors, industries and geographies, each one selected for incorporating one or more principles of the circular economy into their propositions, as stated in a release.

According to the organisation, the index was created to address the challenge behind financing and scaling circular business models, with the initiative hoping to help facilitate innovation through capital.

Commenting on the launch, Ella Hedley, project manager, startups, at the foundation, said: “Designing a circular future requires radical innovation to rethink how our economy works.

“Thousands of circular startups are already on the case. But they need more support and investment.

“So we created the Circular Startup Index to create visibility of the breadth of circular startups on the market and help businesses discover suitable circular solutions.”

Continue Reading


Report: Handbag market to grow by $14.1bn  from 2021 to 2027



Technology research and advisory company Technavio released a report on the growth of the global handbag market, pointing out its estimated increase in value by 14.11 billion US dollars from 2022 to 2027 and a CAGR of 4.3% and highlighting key findings on this development.

The handbag market 2023 to 2027 is split up into three segments by Technavio – type, distribution channel and geography. Types of handbags include leather, fabric and others, distribution takes place online and offline, and locations concern Asia Pacific (APAC), North America, Europe, South America and Middle East and Africa.

Vendors of the market include Burberry, Dolce and Gabbana and Chanel, to name a few, offering a wide range of bags in different sizes from tote bags, to cross body, and shoulder bags.

Over the past several years, there has been an upsurge in demand for leather handbags with various textures, qualities, and feels. This element will fuel the segment’s growth during the course of the forecast.

A key driver of this development is the personalisation and customisation of luxury handbags, which has heavily emerged as a new trend over the past five years, particularly in western Europe and North America.

The product’s aesthetics are improved through embroidery, straps and buckles, or the inclusion of a name tag, which at the same time increases its value in comparison to standard products.

The report revealed the customers’ increased preference to shop duty-free at airports for high end and luxury items, such as handbags, during the forecast period. Last-minute shopping or external factors such as delays and early check-ins further push the growth of the market. This uprising trend results in renovations of retail outlets within airports to enable this shopping experience.

The research company explains that strengthening the foothold in the fast-growing segments while maintaining the positions in the slow-growing ones is a key action for brands in this context.

However, Technavio also discloses how stringent government regulations will play a major role in terms of challenges for the growth of the market during the forecast period.

Due to a number of associations and government departments enforcing these rules, for example in Europe and particularly in Germany, parties operating within the tanning industry should adapt and consider ethical production, synthetic use and reuse.

This factor, alongside fluctuating operational costs and the measures needed to reduce waste and protect the environment which make up almost 5 percent of manufacturer’s total costs, might impede the growth of the handbag market.


Continue Reading