Does weird equal fashionable these days?

Att: Balenciaga bejewelled Crocs.

For the past few months I have been – quite frankly – bombarded with a constant stream of whack fashion. 

At first, I was part of the pack. I bought pieces from labels who borderline on bondage, and double-tapped weird #ootds on Instagram like nobody’s business. I had been conditioned – no, brainwashed – as per the trends of 2017. 

I bit my tongue because this is how fashion works, right? Trends come and go, and we each have the basic human right of wearing whatever the f*ck we want, whenever we want. It’s simple: if you don’t like it, don’t buy it. 

But now, my tongue is hurting, and I just saw a picture of a UK celebrity wearing a huge can of baked beans as a dress, made entirely of sequins. It cost $3000.

When it comes to fashion, I like to think I’m a very open-minded person. I’ve worn my fair share of outrageous clothing, and occasionally my friends and I will laugh at my expense, reminiscing about some of the ensembles I’ve worn in public. I’d like to use this as proof that my debate against today’s weird trends is not a personal attack. 

Instead, I believe it’s a combination of a few things. 

We’re on a speed train to the future – robot silver is tipped to be one of the biggest colours in our wardrobe for 2018, and motorised foundation brushes are a thing now, so it’s no surprise fabrics and shapes are becoming futuristic right before our very eyes. 

With more choice in online shopping, local brands, international labels and Instagram stores, there’s more saturation and competition than ever before. Brands are trying to get your attention and create something that isn’t a repeat of someone else’s or inspired by a previous era (my mum always says my generation can’t come up with their own ideas, so they copy hers). 

Social media, and Instagram in particular, play a huge role in how we interact and perceive trends. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – just because something works for an #ootd, doesn’t mean it translates into real life. 

During Paris Fashion Week, Balenciaga sent a pair of bubblegum pink Spice Girls-inspired platform Crocs decorated with stick-on pins and badges down the runway, much to the delight of fashion-y people everywhere. Balenciaga’s Demna Gvasalia claimed he was drawn to the shoe because it was light and made entirely with a singular rubber mould – *very Balenciaga*. Someone even tweeted they were suddenly rethinking their lifelong vow against Crocs. Of course, this was nothing new – Christopher Kane also collaborated with Crocs back in July. But I’m sorry, but I was under the impression the whole world agreed Crocs were by far the worst shoe to ever rule the planet. What happened, other than a designer name being attached?

At NYFW in September, Helmut Lang debuted ‘bra bags’… but don’t be getting these confused with the delicate washing bags they try to upsell you at the Bras N Things counter. These are backpacks with a very large bra on the front that hook over your arms and wear over your clothes. They are extremely terrifying, and not at all supportive.

Once upon a time, extreme fashion was reserved only to add drama to the runway. We wouldn’t even think about wearing Namilia’s vulva-adorned dress IRL. Yes, vulva. Google. Now.

Now, whether it’s local labels selling pants that look like they’ve walked off Christina Aguilera’s Diirty set, or fashion houses releasing Crocs that cost more than your laptop, it’s become apparent we’re happy to sacrifice looking good in order to be on-trend. Shock factor really does rule them all. 

Illustration by Twylamae.

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