Posts tagged with "Gorpcore"

Trends: It’s going to be a ‘barefoot-boy’ summer

May 22, 2023

In recent weeks, a certain type of stylish urbanite has been spotted traipsing around town footloose and fancy free: actor Jacob Elordi shoelessly braving the L.A. streets on a coffee run, say, or the musician Mike Sabath (of Mike Sabath and the Moongirls). For spring 2023, the Italian brand Etro sent male models down its runway wearing short-shorts, caftans, and breezy blousons paired with feet as naked as the day they were born, reports The Cut.

So, The Cut is calling it now: 2023 will be Barefoot-Boy Summer™. And to be perfectly frank, all the signs are there. It aligns with the ongoing bohemian-hippie vibe coursing through the culture—Grateful Dead, the Elder Statesman, tie-dye, and all that.

A are foot is gorpcore taken to its purest, most natural conclusion. And the burgeoning movement is the only logical response to two footwear trends: (1) years of increasingly chunky, cumbersome, look-at-me designs (thanks Balenciaga!) and (2) the ridiculous hype cycle to which the men’s shoe market has been held hostage (the one in which, every week, some “new take” on an old favorite sneaker is released and yet also, inevitably, unavailable to the masses).

Finding shoes—finding the right shoes—has become a nightmare. So why not just … forgo them altogether?

“I generally don’t wear shirts or shoes, honestly,” says Sabath. “I just feel more free.” But truth be told, Sabath says that he almost never walks around barefoot in urban areas (such as Los Angeles, where he was recently photographed shoeless on a smoothy run). Still, he does admit that he’s a fan of barefoot hiking. (His No. 1 tip: Watch out for snakes.)

Recently, a photo popped up of Nick Hudson, a photographer who splits his time between Brooklyn and the Catskills, barefoot on the sidewalk in front of his Bed-Stuy (Brooklyn) townhouse. When asked about his sole survival, he replied “Barefoot is my preferred way to be.”

Hudson says that the barefoot-on-the-streets-of-Brooklyn moment was atypical, that he ran out for a photo and couldn’t be bothered with putting on shoes; he figured, hey, the sidewalk in front of his house is almost like an extension of the inside. However, when he’s upstate, you can usually find him without shoes—around the house, driving, heading to a local creek. “It’s not a conscious thing,” he says. “But if I can get my shoes off, I will.”

Hudson, who is Australian, admits that it can be a controversial subject (just look at the spirited comments on his wife’s TikTok post of the barefoot-in-Brooklyn image)—but notes that it’s culturally more acceptable back home. He recalls friends playing rugby without shoes; and his cousin going barefoot on public transportation to the beach when they were younger, explaining to Hudson that he was “getting his summer feet on.”

“You know,” he says, “getting your feet acclimated to being barefoot.”

There are certainly movements to go barefoot, the idea of “grounding” or “earthing” (putting your bare feet on the earth), which scientific studies say can have salubrious effects or engender feelings of emotional peace or well-being. Other studies say that walking around and/or exercising barefoot (or as close to barefoot as possible) is actually good for the body.

The New York Times recently profiled a man who has basically gone without shoes for the better part of two decades.

Recently, the disgraced rapper and “designer” Kanye West has been spotted wearing a socklike shoe—just a sole with a nylon topper, which he has reportedly trademarked under his Yeezy brand. Say what you will about him, but West has certainly been influential in terms of his style over the years.

And on a recent episode of HBO’s plutocrats-behaving-badly nighttime soap, Succession, as the eccentric Swedish tech billionaire Lukas Matsson makes his way from his idling private jet to the one belonging to his maybe-enemy, Shiv Roy, it becomes clear the gorpcore enthusiast is not wearing shoes.

“[Matsson] is an anti-business, anti-corporate industrial mogul,” says Michelle Matland, the show’s costume designer. “He wants to be seen as a casual hipster who’s freethinking and not tied to the business world at all. It may be an affectation, but to him it’s real. Not wearing shoes, wearing T-shirts and sweatpants, or anything that does not indulge in Madison Avenue or Wall Street, Bezos, Elon—all those new-style entrepreneurs.”

Alexander Skarsgård, who plays the tech entrepreneur, said the moment was unplanned, and Matland adds that the actor, like his character, “is a free spirit and a creative, and once he’s in the groove, that’s the kind of magic that happens.” She also notes that one could see in the bare feet a subtle cue from the character to entice the buttoned-up Shiv to loosen up.

The Society for Barefoot Living (yes, a real thing) says that it has noticed no discernible uptick in barefoot popularity of late but that it would “welcome and celebrate” any increase in awareness and practice

“I think, in general, it’s good when something makes you think, What the fuck is happening?” Sabath says. “It kind of loosens up your perspective a bit. But it’s really healthy to notice that some other option exists. And oftentimes when people yell about something, it’s probably because they do it already or want to do it.”

He adds, “My thing is, if someone feels good about something, then they should do it.”

Research contact: @TheCut

Why ‘core’—as in Barbiecore—is the new ‘chic’

May 11, 2023

Many of us have been guilty of using the word, core, in place of style or chic—think Barbiecore for the bright pink wardrobe worn in Warner Bros.’ new summer movie, Barbie—and the word has become common parlance almost overnight, reports Vogue.

Indeed, the digital obsession with cores—used as a suffix that basically denotes a kind of style—began back in 2013, when the term, normcore, was first coined by trend forecasters K-Hole as a philosophy of fashion.

They posited that the chronically online were competing for virality and uniqueness, and as a result, both were harder to come by. Enter normcore. It was a look for people who didn’t want to stand out but saw the social power of fitting in. “Normcore moves away from a coolness that relies on difference to a post-authenticity coolness that opts into sameness,” they wrote.

Memorably, New York magazine described it as “fashion for those who realize they’re one in 7 billion.”

Normcore was followed in 2017 by gorpcore—also popularized in New York magazine. This took its name from acronym for the hiker snack “good old raisins and peanuts” and, therefore, was defined by crunchy, outdoorsy gear that could very well be Patagonia.

Then came discourse around menocore, a term coined by Harling Ross of Man Repeller that was coastal grandmother chic by another name. And so on.

The rise of micro-cores coincides with the rise of hyper-specific Internet aesthetics. There’s even an Aesthetics Wiki that chronicles all the possible cores online—including, but not limited to, bubblegumbitchcore, cottagecore, and fairycore. The ones that have penetrated the mainstream this year have been balletcore; regencycore; and our dear friend, Barbiecore. Regencycore—fueled by the return of Bridgerton and often conflated with princesscore or royaltycore—started popping up in our inboxes last year, hitting a peak in the spring when season two came out.

Balletcore shot up in searches from February 5 through February 12 and, while there is still some interest, it’s clear it had a one-week-long peak.

Of these three terms, Barbiecore has the most interest—sharply rising from June 19 until now, although the projected searches show a steep drop-off.

Kidcore, a rainbow-filled trend that leans heavily on ’90s and Y2K childhood nostalgia, and cottagecore are both vastly more popular than any of the terms listed above, showing that some of these terms have longevity for at least 12 months.

Depop—the fashion resale app beloved by Gen Z—also tells Vogue that the trends that have held strong through 2022 on the app are fairycore, gorpcore, and cottagecore. Kidcore saw an 82% search increase between the end of 2021 and Q2 in 2022.

What the earliest cores—and the most interesting ones—have in common is the understanding that the clothes represent an inner existence. Normcore is for people who believe that cool is blending in rather than standing out (a philosophy adopted by the hyper-rich like Warren Buffet and the hyper-cool like the Olsen twins); the clothes represent a way of thinking.

Similarly, the enduring power of cottagecore is likely in part because there’s a whole lifestyle to ascribe to—one that involves churning butter and making jam—or at least the fantasy of one.

Calling every trend core makes sense from some perspectives. José Criales-Unzueta wrote for i-D earlier this year that “these micro-trends are a way for writers and commentators to make new collections and designers’ ideas more digestible or understandable for a broader audience.”

A core is easily googled, whether you’re searching for clothes that fit into the look or just the definition. Also, trends exist—but not everything needs to be legitimized and elevated to the level of a core. By giving it its own name, it’s a phenomenon; not just clothes. More often than not, it overcomplicates what is, in fact, quite basic.

Taking Barbiecore as a prime example, there are a few simple reasons for why celebrities are wearing bubble-gum pink now. First, Pierpaolo Piccioli—one of the most influential designers working today—made an entire collection of gorgeous Valentino clothing in the same shade of Pantone-approved pink. Second, big Hollywood director Greta Gerwig is behind a movie about Barbie starring big Hollywood stars Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, and the costume design is intriguing. Third, pink is an eye-catching, summery color that people like. Yes, pink is trending—but for reasons much more easily explained than why people turned to dressing like Jerry Seinfeld in 2014. It’s not running against the grain; it is the grain.

Attempting to elevate something as simple as a color into the trend of the summer by calling it a core is a lazy way of thinking about fashion.

Research contact: @voguemagazine