Finally! Ethical designers were part of the main schedule, understatement out shone statement, flats were worn instead of heels. It actually happened, London Fashion Week 2014 finally focused on real people!
Normal people are at last on trend. We even have an official fashion term - ‘Normcore’. Normcore is all about simple, dressed down, well made non-seasonal pieces. The phenomena was even discussed on Womens Hour this week. So relax about pulling on that old tee, you're just being fashionable!
The term was actually inspired by William Gibson's logo-phobic heroine in Pattern Recognition and first phrased by New York trend agency K-Hole to describe a fastidiously functional dresser.
Vogue rather beautifully referred to Normcore as “ a palate cleanser after the ubiquity of print, but today's serious chic translates as a well-considered line of T-shirts, denim or tailored trousers, cashmere sweaters and skate shoes - the plainer the better. Barely a logo in sight. This is high-end pedestrian dressing.”
But is Normcore a social or a fashion trend? Is it here to stay.
Long wear clothing is certainly good news for sustainability but consider the following facts and figures.
• The UK fashion industry is worth £26 billion; from £21 billion in 2009. 22% increase.
• Fashion’s total contribution to the economy via both indirect support for supply chain industries and induced spending of employees’ wage income is estimated to have risen to over £46 billion. An increase of 23% since 2009
• Since 2013 UK sales of online fashion have increased by 14.5% to reach £10.7 billion in 2014
• Online sales in the UK account for approximately 17% of total fashion spending. Up from 13% in 2011
• The forecast for on-line sales expected to reach £19 billion in the UK by 2019
• Today 70% internet users in the UK buy fashion online, making clothing and footwear the most purchased online item.
(source: Oxford Economics 2014)
If we’re buying less and wearing more is Normcore also good for a sustainable economy? Will the fashion industry want it to stay.
We believe they will. There will always be a desire for the fun and frivolous but that's fine because this emerging desire for more grown up clothing brings balance. Fashion can still generate the same amount of revenue and jobs but it's just distributed a little differently. We may pay a little bit more but if this means our garment workers are paid properly, we're giving due consideration to our environment and we're reducing our land fill then surely everyone is a winner.
So we were very inspired by London Fashion Week this year!