Fall Trend: Normcore?

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The other day I came across an interview with Natalie Kingham, the buying director at matchesfashion.com. Natalie, 40, was the one who picked up Alexander McQueen’s 3rd collection for Joseph. She buys for 14 boutiques and the Matches online store too. The woman can apparently look at a bag and know that if it fastens in a certain way it will sell. In other words; a buying prodigy. 

Anyway, in this interview they ask her about what she thinks will be a key trend this fall. Her answer?

“Normcore.”

Excuse my ignorance if you’re familiar with the term ‘normcore,’ I applaud your fashion savviness. But I came home and did a little bit of research. Turns out, normcore is a unisex trend, characterized by unpretentious, average-looking clothing. The term combines the words “normal” and “hardcore”, and was coined by K-Hole, a trend forecasting group. Source? Wikipedia. Seriously. 

It goes on to say that “normcore wearers are people who do not wish to distinguish themselves from others by their clothing. This is not to mean that they are unfashionable people who wear whatever comes to hand, but that they consciously choose clothes that are undistinguished – except, frequently, for a highly visible label to impart prestige. The “normcore” trend has been interpreted as a reaction to a fashion oversaturation resulting from ever faster-changing fashion trends.”

It occured to me quite suddenly, that I actually have witnessed this trend, and have been witnessing it over the past few years.  I just didn’t know what it was coined. With birkenstocks coming back into fashion, Adidas slippers, knits, knits, knits, and rucksacks by every single living designer in the world. Basically a return to normality. Casualness. I think it’s more of an attitude than a look really. A plain attitude. Jeremy Lewis, the founder of Garmento, calls normcore “one facet of a growing anti-fashion sentiment.” 

It’s clear as day now when I scroll through my Instagram and tumblr and find bloggers and fashion it girls following this trend. Throwing on a nike snapback with some anonymous denim and disappearing into the crowd headphones in ear listening to their Alt-J playlist. Personally, I do think everyone in this world has a particular sense of style and an interpretation of how they perceive it too. I have never worn Birkenstocks, or the Celine version there of for that matter. So why would I go out and buy a pair now?

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I think my style has been pretty consistent over the years. I do like to try new things, but I’m not comfortable changing the way I dress to to follow a certain trend. However, the anonymity of the normcore trend is what appeals to me. “I wonder who that blazer is by?” and “that leather skirt is divine”. I’m attracted to hardware, which is why you can always tell what bag I’m carrying. The Vivienne bag by Louis Vuitton, the Cassandre by Saint Laurent, and even the Natalia bag by Tomford, all have massive statement hardware. It’s chunky. It’s hardcore. I like buckles, chains, and statement hardware. With clothing, the more understated the better. I’m very monochrome, and quite plain. So I’m a little norm with a little core myself, but you won’t find me in birks and sweatpants, ever. It’s quite ironic that this trend is meant to be quite effortless, but it’s actually far from. People are consciously going out of there way to be anti-fashion. Oh well, there it is. Normcore everybody!

 

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What to wear in this Ramadan heat.

The holy month of Ramadan is time of self-reflection for many of us. Muslims all around the world fast from sunrise to sunset to help us train our self-restraint and feel with the needy. It is a month dedicated to charity and kindness unto others. I feel that although for most of the year I don’t think about it twice, Ramadan is a month in which I dress a little conservatively- out of respect to others. Most of the Middle East has dealt with quite an early summer, with heat waves reaching as high as 39 degrees in Amman. To those of you living in the Gulf, this might seem normal. However for us living in Jordan, it’s sometimes intolerable. We’re not used to weather like this you see, our bodies do not adapt well to this type of heat. But nonetheless, we’re grateful for the sunny weather because our winters have been blistering cold and icy over the past couple of years.

So in this scorching heat, what do you wear? I’ve opted for blouses over lightweight jeans. Today I wore a maxi dress under a little denim jacket with cropped sleeves. I feel that a white blazer is a Ramadan essential in this heat because it’s casual and it’ll keep you cool enough at the office, and you can also dress it up with heels for a chic iftar outfit. I especially like this Zara one below.

Zara

Zara

Kaftans and abayas are also an option, especially if they’re made out of lightweight silk. They’ll keep you cool and you’ll look like you’re dressing for the occasion, which is always a good thing. Invest in a good quality Kaftan because it will come in handy for a friend’s henna night or Katb Ktab celebration.

Oscar De La Renta

Oscar De La Renta

Cool Kids Only.

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How cute are these Filles à Papa’s one piece bathing suits? The playful swimwear is inspired by New York street style, so it combines jersey lettering with cool cuts. Pair these swimsuits with denim shorts and some rounded shades! 

Each bathing suit comes with its own neprene pouch. Sweet. 

Yellow Dressed Afternoons.

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I was feeling very “little house on the prairie” this afternoon. I think yellow suits almost every skin tone, (except for yellow skin tones maybe). I bought this Marc Jacobs dress back in 2006, and I still manage to get some wear out of it every year. My shoes are Manolo blahnik.

“The yellow glistens. It glistens with various yellows, citrons, oranges and greens.. Flowering over the skin” – Wallace Stevens

The Dream Weaver Collection!

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I’m obsessed with Whitney Eve’s Dream Weaver collection! The print is bright and bold, like the great summer that will be two thousand and fourteen’s. My favourite piece? The cropped boyfriend shirt!

The collection is available at The Rail, Amman (06-5856082)

Brocade Espadrilles!

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I love these Brocade Espadrilles by Dolce & Gabbana. They’re a refreshing change from the Chanel espadrilles that saturated my instagram home feed last summer. Pair these floral beauties with denim shorts or a little white dress for a walk on the beach!

Striped & Spotted’s Style Resolutions for 2014

Last year, I put together a list of closet resolutions to help organize and revamp your wardrobes. But this year, my list of resolutions will address personal style and ways to refine it. 2014 might be your most stylish year yet!

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1. Wear what you want

I can’t say this enough. Be confident when it comes to your fashion choices and ignore the backlash. You can seek others peoples’ opinions but try not to base your decision entirely on what they think (except for mum, always listen to mum). It’s not what you wear, it’s whether you wear it with confidence or not. Personal style is a matter of self expression; don’t doubt it.

2. Brave the prints

If your closet is monochrome, add a pop of colour. If you always avoided prints, brave an aztec blouse or dress. A breathe of fresh air never hurt anyone. And besides, it’s the new year and that means you get the chance to try new things. It’s the same with fabrics and materials. Dyed leather will add some rock n’ roll chic to your wardrobe. Dramatic tulle will give you a playful edge with a touch of femininity. Don’t go overboard though- leave the glittered ballerinas for your 6 year old niece.

3. New day, new lipstick

You’d be surprised at how many people look amazing with red lipstick, but are too afraid to leave the house with it on! Try a bold lip colour and consult with a beauty technician to pick the perfect shade. I never go anywhere without my favourite lipstick. Somehow, it gives me a boost and brightens up my day. I use Chanel’s Rouge Allure Velvet.

4. Resole your soul
Take your shoes to a cobbler and have them resoled. They’ll feel brand new again. There is nothing worse than a pair of scuffed Louboutins! You can visit www.saveyoursole.co.uk (as seen in Elle, Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan) and buy their gift pack that has everything you need to care and love for your Christian Louboutin shoes. Protect your new shoes or repair your scuffed soles with touch up sole paint – in perfect “Louboutin” red.

5. Vintage dreams.

Keep an eye out for beautiful vintage pieces and try to incorporate them into your look. Vintage pieces add a story to your look and what’s fashion if it doesn’t tell a story? Your grandmother’s pearl earrings will look so chic with a buttoned-up blouse and skirt. And that necklace you bought at Portobello market is always a good conversation starter!

 

 

 

 

The Charlotte Olympia Jukebox

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Pair this Charlotte Olympia jukebox bag with your favourite pair of dancing shoes for a night out on the town. Its big enough to fit your essentials; lipstick, plastic, and your phone. What else do you need when you’re painting the town red?

 

Repossi: Back in Stock

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The Repossi ring that took over my Instagram feed not long ago is back in stock. This 18-karat gold ring from the label’s signature ‘Berbère’ collection is designed to sit on the finger and past the knuckle. You can find it on net-a-porter by clicking here for a whopping £5,256.25. CRAY!

Winter Essentials.

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1. Leather jackets – check

2. Black skinnies – check

3. Chunky knits – check

4. Beanies – check

5. Chunky boots – check

6. Super sunglasses – check

7. Loads of scarves – check

8. Bottles of Merlot – check

9. Norah Jones  album – check

10. Chapstick – check

 

Cutouts by Shatha Al Dabbass.

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Yesterday, I got to play dress up with the talented Shatha Al Dabbass, AKA queen of the cutouts. I fell in love with this figure hugging silhouette and the cheeky cutout that flashes just enough skin, if you know what I mean. She makes to order, so you’ll know it’ll fit you like a glove. Her contact deets are on her wesbite, click here to browse through her Spring collection.

My friend the Queen of Hats.

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I’ve seen my friend Karen rock everything from panamas to fedoras! She’s one of those people who just knows how to turn a hat into a wardrobe essential. She’s just got that air of effortless charm. Add a little edge to your outfit yourself this winter with our favourite fall accessory and take a few style tips from Karen! Now you don’t have to go all Coco Chanel on us with a cloche hat, but try something more laid-back like this wide brimmed number that that Karen is rocking.

London Fashion Week Street Style

Photo Credit: YoungJun Koo/I'M KOO

Photo Credit: YoungJun Koo/I’M KOO

Photo Credit: YoungJun Koo/I'M KOO

Photo Credit: YoungJun Koo/I’M KOO

Photo Credit: YoungJun Koo/I'M KOO

Photo Credit: YoungJun Koo/I’M KOO

Photo Credit: YoungJun Koo/I'M KOO

Photo Credit: YoungJun Koo/I’M KOO

Photo Credit: YoungJun Koo/I'M KOO

Photo Credit: YoungJun Koo/I’M KOO

Photo Credit: YoungJun Koo/I'M KOO

Photo Credit: YoungJun Koo/I’M KOO

Photo Credit: YoungJun Koo/I'M KOO

Photo Credit: YoungJun Koo/I’M KOO

Photo Credit: YoungJun Koo/I'M KOO

Photo Credit: YoungJun Koo/I’M KOO