FOURTH FLOOR WALK UP

Brooklyn based lifestyle blog by Lauren L Caron

TREND

FASHION | The Trend "Normcore" Goes Mainstream Thanks to The Gap

TRENDLauren CaronComment
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The Gap - Fifth Avenue Store Windows Photo by: Lauren Caron
The Gap - Fifth Avenue Store Windows Photo by: Lauren Caron

I was walking down Fifth Ave the other day on lunch when I passed by The Gap, only to take note of their latest campaign applied in vinyl all over their windows - "Dress Normal." My first thought, "Wow, Normcore has gone mainstream". If you're completely confused by what I'm talking about its perhaps because I am relatively caught up in the fashion world bubble. I'm not proclaiming myself as a fashionista or fashion forward gal, I am more or less only aware of trends and fashion-y things because I work in fashion. If you're not up to speed on what "Normcore" is, I went to Vogue for a definition, you can read the entire article Meet Norma Normcore [here].

Normcore is defined as, a bland anti-style. The notion of dressing in an utterly conventional, nondescript way.

Vogue goes in further to explain: 

It's actually more than a decade since science-fiction writer William Gibson first painted a picture of the look which has come to symbolize the normcore aesthetic. In his novel, Pattern Recognition, Gibson describes his logo-phobic protagonist Cayce Pollard as wearing: "A small boy's black Fruit of the Loom T-shirt, a thin gray V-neck pullover purchased by the half-dozen from a supplier to the New England prep schools, and a new and oversized pair of black 501's, every trademark carefully removed." And it was this picture, of a fastidiously functional dress, that inspired the New York trend agency K-Hole to coin the term back in October last year. "Normecore doesn't want the freedom to become someone," they announce in their Youth Mode report. "Normcore moves away from a coolness that relies on difference to a post-authenticity that opt into sameness."

Picture credit: Jason Lloyd-Evans
Picture credit: Jason Lloyd-Evans
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I for one, don't think we need to define such a thing as wearing tee-shirts, understated denim, flats or sneakers - doesn't that fit into a wealth of style genres already? All we have to do is change the silhouettes and you have grunge, punk, hip-hop, prep... the list goes on. In all of this though, the thing that makes me most confused is that the Gap is now grasping at straws with yet another campaign. This time, they're trying to make money by putting a label on something that is already them. After a little research, I realized that they are not even mentioning the obvious trend that they're trying to grab hold of. When Tom Silva of the Huffington Post reached out to The Gap CMO Seth Farbman for an explanation of their "Strange New Ad Campaign" he says,

"What I wanted, because this is Gap, was positive anxiety. When you're dressing normal, you're really your truest and most confident and authentic self. There's certainly a long tradition at Gap that people come first and that the clothes are there to make you feel like your best self, and we've been unapologetic about that for years," Farbman said in a telephone interview with BuzzFeed. "'Dress Normal' is a reinforcement of that idea."

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Unfortunately, for someone like Seth Farbman, I don't think he knows that Normcore is a thing, he doesn't bring up the concept anywhere within the article. He's more concerned with the Gap ad campaign negatively associating to the past idea of the word "normal" when used within an imperative statement ("act normal," "be normal") as he says, "With a 50s era parent hectoring their child to stop listening to the Doors or to stop reading James Baldwin." You can read the entire article [here].

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The other pieces to the campaign are the print ads, and the commercials directed by David Fincher. Like much of Fincher's work, these commercials are intriguing and well directed. They are said to have elevated the entire campaign. Advertising Age writes an article that speaks in depth about these commercials [here]. I'm curious about what everyone else thinks. Have you seen these ads? Do you understand what they mean by "Dress Normal?" Would love some insight.

Thanks for reading.

My Best
My Best

Trends: Post Labor Day Whites & Already Missing Summer

TREND, SPACESLauren Caron1 Comment

It's unbelievable the difference a week makes. Last weekend it was close to 90ºF in New York and just this weekend it was only hovering around the upper 60's and low 70's. The cold spike is already causing me to look back at our summer that was much too short. At least I have hours of NYFW slideshows to scan through, that feature trends which are already giving me hope for the seasons ahead. One apparent trend is the complete looks outfitted in layers of whites and off-whites, seen across the board, from high-end luxury labels to the contemporary designers. In my opinion, the best variations came from The Row where they experimented with wrapping textiles across the torso, and Lela Rose, who utilized luxe metallic patterned textiles, shaped into the ultra feminine, classic silhouettes - like fit and flair and A- lines. The Row / Image from Style.com / Photo courtesy of The Row

The Row /Image from Style.com / Photo courtesy of The Row

The Row /Image from Style.com / Photo courtesy of The Row

The Row / Image from Style.com / Photo courtesy of The Row

Steven Alan / Image from Style.com / Photo Courtesy of Steven Allen

Ralph Rucci / Image from Style.com / Photo: Livio Valerio / Indigitalimages.com

3.1 Phillip Lim / Image from Style.com / Photo: Fabio Ionà / Indigitalimages.com

Lela Rose / Image from Style.com / Photo: Livio Valerio / Indigitalimages.com

Lela Rose / Image from Style.com / Photo: Livio Valerio / Indigitalimages.com

Lela Rose / Image from Style.com / Photo: Livio Valerio / Indigitalimages.com

 

Lela Rose / Image from Style.com / Photo: Livio Valerio / Indigitalimages.com

Zac Posen / Photo from Style.com / Photo: Fabio Ionà / Indigitalimages.com

Zac Posen / Photo from Style.com / Photo: Fabio Ionà / Indigitalimages.com

Zac Posen / Photo from Style.com / Photo: Fabio Ionà / Indigitalimages.com

Zac Posen / Photo from Style.com / Photo: Fabio Ionà / Indigitalimages.com

Victoria Beckham / Image from Style.com / Photo: Gianni Pucci / Indigitalimages.com

Erin Featherston / Image from Style.com / Photo: Kim Weston Arnold / Indigitalimages.com

Of course I find myself relating these fashion looks back to my favorite genre of interiors. Where else have I seen a similar trend even on a much smaller scale, but in the Vogue Living Australia May/June issue that features the Danish family home of CEO and president of Fritz Hansen, Jacob Holm and his wife Fabara Bendix Becker. The palette is light, pale and cool with the blush tones of the swan chair standing out.

Raul Candales

Photo from Vogue Living Australia | PhotographerL Raul Candales | Stylist: Susan Ocana

Here's to hoping this upcoming winter isn't too long or brutal this year. If it is I will surely need an extra beach vacation.

My Best

Interiors of Now: A Conceptual Trend

TREND, SPACESLauren CaronComment

Have you noticed recently that certain materials are at the height of trend in interiors? Such finishes like brass, marble, white walls, and natural woods are at the forefront. Many times I read blogs and magazines that comment and write features on how these are so 'of the moment', which is true.  However, stepping back I believe it's something else much larger that's driving the trends. It's conceptual, not material. It's a mood. World of Interiors

All these materials and finishes have in common, a birthplace imbedded with historical and classical references.  Think about how brass resonates with the warmth and look of gold finishes. At this time using gold on furniture and hardware or plumbing is economically inappropriate, but using it's visual close cousin is not. The white walls reference the natural state of plaster. Marble, Greco Roman architecture. And naturally finished woods span across many cultures, as wood is such a huge natural resource.

In this era of super fast evolving technology we're creating living and work spaces that ground us. I personally appreciate these materials and am probably jumping deep into the bandwagon, but I really hope whatever comes next still respects classical references. It's an age old theory that history repeats itself and why wouldn't we repeat historical decorative and architectural elements that work!

Design by Abby Wolf Weiss Interiors, Photography by Jessica Claire

Caitlin Wilson's Kitchen | Rue.com

Brass & Gold Details | jhirschinteriors.com

Marble & Brass Bath | World of Interiors

Marble & Brass Bath | World of Interiors

Marble Bath | Interiorsdigital.com

Marble  & notes of Brass | jonesdesigncompany.com

Marble Surfboard by: Craig Turkankijan

Saint Laurent Boutique | retaildesignblog.net

Alexander McQueen Boutique designed by: David Collins

Marble Bust | Kay O' Toole

Venetian Plaster Walls | underspanishmoss.com

Venetian Plaster Walls | Joseph Dirand

Venetian Plaster Walls | Habitually Chic

Off White Walls, touches of Gold | Susan Salk

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Off White Walls | Kitsune

Hotel du Marc | Lonny Mag

Alexander McQueen Boutique | Refinery29.com

Alexander McQueen Boutique designed by: David Collins

Alexander McQueen plaster work by Chisel and Vice

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Chevron Oack Floors | Houzz.com

My Best

A Guide on What to Wear in NYC: Summer Addition!

TRENDLauren CaronComment

Neutral Options

Blazer / Hat / Sunglasses / Nail Polish / Heels / Asymmetrical Tank / Handbag / Denim Shorts

I can't tell you how many of you love the winter addition post [here], but its enough that I have to create a new addition for summer! I find New York summer attire to range across the board from really well put together, crisp and tailored, to some gals that look down right inappropriate. The one thing that is so interesting though, is that even with everyone's different style or look, you can always tell a tourist from a true New Yorker in what they're wearing. Here are the key details, and if you're visiting the city they should help you to camouflage into the crowds of New Yorkers.  First tip for every season though, try to walk at the same pace!

  •  New Yorkers always wear layers. Even in the hottest heat. When its really hot, they opt for sheer layers. Something that I don't entirely find appropriate but for some reason it goes and no one really cares. That's because it's New York, and 'anything goes'.  The on trend items this season, white denim, sheer blouses, the well tailored oversized blazer in blush or neutral tones.
  •  A New Yorker will always have a carry on. What do I mean? Whether you're a lady or gentleman chances are 9 times out of 10, you will be carrying a handbag, duffle bag, messenger, backpack or a man purse. In New York, bags are our vehicles, they tote our necessities like wallets and phones but they also hold our books for the train commute, our makeup bag for touch ups, our sunglasses, umbrella for maybe rainy days, our lunch if we're trying to spend less and often times, our change of shoes. Even on the most simple days, ladies will not leave home without a small cross-body or clutch.
  • New Yorkers accessorize. You'll often see people with a scarf, a pin on their jacket, oversized jewelry or a hat. In New York, fashion is upfront and much of fashion is about expressing yourself. An easy way to do that, is through accessories. These accessories can also be apparent because of my first two points. What sets New Yorkers from out-of-towners though, is that these accessories are also often investment pieces. Women sometimes own handbags that cost more than cars. Many man wear Rolex watches. In the summer, this is no different. The most common accessories that are pulled out in the summertime are the latest hats on trend and the latest sunglasses. Right now, large, colorful polarized lenses are in but if you'd like to always be in style, get yourself a pair of Rayban aviators or Wayfarers.
  • Real Shoes. New Yorkers wear real shoes, they do NOT wear flip flops or Crocs on the street unless they're on their way out of the nail salon or work in the medical profession. Instead, opt for a nice pair of sandals or ballet flats. The streets of New York are dirty and you would not believe how filthy your feet can get when you wear flip flops. It's truly disgusting.
  • New Yorkers are well groomed (for the most part). It is a common expectation in the work place to have manicured nails and hair. Right now, bold colors like tomato red, neon brights and orange tones are the hottest trend in nail colors, however the new neutral is any shade of gray.

Easy Brights

Jacket /  Dress / NecklaceRay-Ban Sunglasses / Nail Polish - Tart Deco / Sandals / Clutch 

Sheer layers paired with tailored separates to keep you looking classy.  White Denim, blazers in blush, or neutral tones that keep it all fresh.

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 Never leave home without your carry-on.

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Accessorize: Scarves, hats and statement lenses are a must.

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Leave your flip flops at the beach. . . Artful sandals, stripy heels, classic pumps or even loafers and slip on sneakers are a better choice.

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 Don't forget your nails! Red is classic but neutral whites, grays and blacks are always chic or bring in a pop of color with a blue or purple.

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Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the rest of your summer!

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Houzz Ideabook: Pink Crush

TREND, SPACESLauren Caron1 Comment

My Bedroom Vanity Lately I’ve been smitten with adding elements of pink into interiors. I know many often associate pink with little girl’s bedrooms or midcentury kitchens, but pink has been reinvented. Now it’s making appearances in the finest homes and the most mature spaces, energizing rooms with its warmth and brightness. To bring joy to your home, add the unexpected pink pillow to your couch, rug to your living room or taper candles to your next dinner party. For my latest Ideabook on Houzz and further commentary on my picks, click [here] or on the sidebar link to the right.

Crushing On PinkProducts: 1. Double Diamond Rug | 2. Gold Trim Agate Coasters | 3. Pink File Cabinet | 4. Robert Abbey Delta Schiaparelli Table Lamp | 5. Taper Candles | 6. Gratz Bench

 

Thanks for reading.

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