In the beginning it was normcore. In 2014, the research firm K-Hole used the term to identify the bizarre and casual dressing style bordering anomaly (high-waisted jeans, tracksuit pants, Hawaiian design shirts, etc) but deeper down says something about Millennials and their identity. Stating their personality they do not need clothing.
Last year Vetements and Balenciaga based their collection and promotion on intentionally “ugly” clothing and accessories, normal people on the catwalk and presented their production directly on the street. Meanwhile, this trend changed name to Dadcore, literally following the original K-Hole research that described it as “what your dad would wear on holiday in Disneyworld, in 1995”.
The latest shows by Gucci and Sain Laurent (the first with Virgil Abloh as creative direction) featured a lot of dadcore clothing, often bordering fugly.
Social media play a huge role int all this. Esquire fashion editor Nick Sullivan wrote on the NYTimes «“Designer brands have become beacons of fugly precisely because people have replaced shopping for things with posting them and then regramming them. Old-fashioned taste at the moment is out of taste.». Traditional elegance, sober and taylored, brings no likes and seems unsharable, therefore (!) less interesting. Funny and catchy posts with ugly clothing do work better on Instagram and Pinterest.
Nextatlas has been monitoring this trend for some time, first featuring it in 2013 with Pretty Ugly and more recently with Branded “Ugliness”.
Sharing some shamelessly ugly content is met both with reprovation, a general negative sentiment, but at the same time is accompanied by a vocabulary (truth, personality) that points towards positive aspects in connection with authenticity, the presentation of one’s inner self.
If still in doubt, just have a look at the color palette that Nextatlas brings up for the topic. Ugly, for sure but it sums it all up.