In 2014, at an unassuming intersection that was once defined by the separation of hardcore and softcore, a new progeny of “cores” was born. These cores fell under one unified umbrella that facilitated a conversation that was deeply influenced by fashion but on the brink of exhaustion.
Where women once relied on the matriarch of umbrella words like “chic” to describe, frankly, everything (as in, “that is everything; it’s everything-chic”), “core” provided new hope. And you know what they say about hope, right? If you could bottle and sell it, the drug industry would fold in 140 characters or less.
The movement was heralded by the mother hen of cores — “normcore” — a term largely popularized due to a story that was published in New York Magazine to depict “normal style” so unaware of itself that it seems like an assault to even commodify it with “style.” And under its establishment, offshoots began sprouting like chia seeds in health food shops scattered across New York City.
Imagine the scenario: you come across a girl looking a lot like one of the models Thom Browne sent down his Fall runway. Do you call it “all-black chic”? No. You go for #funeralcore. You add a hashtag, too, because it’s 2015 and that’s how we communicate.
You’re wearing a pair of light wash vintage Levi’s, right? And you think to yourself, self, I wish I had a straw top to pair this with. And! A matching hat. Lo and behold, both items become available and upon first glance at your reflection, you see an elevated agriculturist. Now you’re confronted with the issue of self-description. Do you identify yourself as farmer-chic or farmcore? Given the novelty tethered to the latter item, I’m putting my hay on #farmcore.
That the ancillary word is swooping in and superseding “chic” seems like quite a coup. Here, after all, we’ve spent the greater half of existence watching the humdrum of our lives become poised by “chic.” (What is an Altuzarra pencil skirt if not office-chic?) So, the question really might be: does core have staying power? Is the embryonic phenomenon better described as on the brink of phenomena actually on a brink, or is it simply falling victim to a similar ilk of celebrity death-match? Will chic come out on top the way it has historically, or will core, like Jay Z, demand that it watch its throne?
Personally, I think that’s up to us. All in favor of core, say, “Today I’m dressed [insert theme here]-core.” And those on the side of chic?
Not to be an asshole, but go home and eat an apple.