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The latest fashion trend may not be a trend, or even fashion, reports Alex Williams in The New York Times (4/3/14). It may just be a meme called normcore, "a supposed style trend where dressing like a tourist — non-ironic sweatshirts, white sneakers and Jerry Seinfeld-like dad jeans — is the ultimate fashion statement." It all apparently started with K-Hole, a "group of theoretically minded brand consultants in their 20s, as part of a recent trend-forecasting report, Youth Mode: A Report on Freedom." (link)

This was not a report prepared for presentation to a client or an industry confab, but rather "as a work of conceptual art produced for a London gallery." The premise "is that young alternative types had devoted so much energy to trying to define themselves as individuals, through ever-quirkier style flourishes … that they had lost the joy of belonging that comes with being part of a group." So, it’s okay for trendy types "to throw themselves into, without detachment, whatever subcultures or activities they stumbled into, even if they were mainstream."

As such, journalist Christopher Glazek says normcore isn’t a fashion trend. "The point of normcore is that you could dress like a Nascar mascot for a big race and then switch to raver ware for a long druggie night at the club." Nonetheless, New York magazine published a "splashy trend story" on normcore, and "online, the normcore-spotting of celebrities … became sport." Car and Driver, meanwhile, has published "The 5 Most Normcore Automobiles (they selected five Toyota Camrys)."