In response to the last post about average-looking clothes being all the rage nowadays, our friend Ben down in Australia mentioned a supportive magazine article I want to share with you tonight.
Entitled "You Say You Want a Devolution" by Kurt Anderson, the article appeared in Vanity Fair in 2012, and early on sets the stage as to why Normcore and Avant-Bland might have arrived on the scene in the first place.
Anderson's premise is that fashion, music, architecture, even interior design have become stagnant, and have changed little during the past twenty years compared to the explosive, revolutionary changes in the twenty-year period before that, and the twenty years before that.
His entirely plausible explanation is that during these past twenty years we've all become so addicted to our laptops and notebooks, to our smart phones with their endless apps, not to mention a multitude of social media, that we're focusing less on individual creativity and style these days. With all of us being so busy, we have willingly yielded to major corporations like Ikea, Old Navy, and the Gap to tell us how to live and dress. In our online distractions, sameness has seemingly taken over and radical change has more-or-less been rendered dormant. This is, of course, welcome news to those corporations who don't want their cages rattled.
In Anderson's words, "The things we own are more than ever like movie props, the clothes we wear like costumes, the places we live, dine, shop, and vacation like stage sets."
Beyond fashion and design, the article goes even deeper into music for example, saying that Lady Gaga is nothing new or original, just an update and replacement for Madonna, and that Adele has simply replaced Mariah Carey.
All said and done, it's not a far leap to understand how Normcore and Avant-Bland fit into the overall premise of Anderson's argument.
It's a fascinating eye-opening article and if you have a few minutes, here's the link to "You Say You Want a Devolution". You'll not find it disappointing.
Thanks again, Ben, for remembering it and bringing it to our attention.