W Magazine's 'Normcore' Story Involved $356K Worth of Designer Clothes

Illustration for article titled W Magazine's 'Normcore' Story Involved $356K Worth of Designer Clothes

In its brief tenure on this planet, the concept of "normcore" riled up every fashionable person (including, or especially, Blake Lively); inspired a fleet of quasi-ironic think pieces; and then, as an fun Internet meme to reference on Twitter, it sort of got supplanted by "¯\_(ツ)_/¯". All of which means that it's high time for a big fashion magazine to jump in and do a normcore spread of its own.

And here we have it, ladies and gentlemen: it appears in the August 2014 issue of W, it is called "Banal Plus," and it's rife with bowl cuts and Adidas socks. "Why be normal when you can be normal and then some?" it asks. In other words: why dress up like a pleb because fashion when you can dress up like a pleb because fashion, only in exorbitantly expensive clothing because HIGH FASHION?

As outlined in the amazing, baffling The Cut piece in that launched this entire fashion-debacle, normcore's practitioners proclaim that they intentionally court sameness as a way of "absolving oneself from fashion, 'lest it mark you as a mindless sheep.'" Which, you know, only works as a ~fashion statement~ if everyone can tell that you're affluent and hot and stylish enough to have made a conscious fashion choice: i.e., "I'm wearing lumpy jeans and a fleece because I know all about designers and shit and I'm sooooo OVER IT, not merely because these are comfortable garments within my budget that fit me."


A high fashion take on this, it seems, is, even more perplexing: lots of neutral-toned, oversized designer garments from the Fall 2014 ready-to-wear lines, plus Birkenstocks and sneakers (authentic!!!). Dressing like a Fashion Normal means putting on your $2,095 Stella McCartney coat or your $3,350 Céline sweater with your ugliest wig and some kooky shoes. In total, as Racked calculated, the entire spread involved $356,000 of designer clothing and accessories — including some $61,000 Dior coats. BANAL PLUS! Plus about seven times the median household income, that is ;)

Why be normal when you just wear a poncho quilted from $100 bills?

Images via W.

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My normcore outfit is a pair of Old Navy khakis I wore three days ago but doesn't smell bad, a battered old black tee shirt, a pair of tube socks, and a pair of Clark's walking shoes.

That is what is meant by normcore.