Vv Magazine’s fashion editor Philip Mak weighs in on this season’s camel trend!
It’s not beige, it’s not tan; it’s camel. Or maybe it is technically a shade of beige, who knows? Does anyone care? It’s camel. The colour is decidedly bland, named for the humpbacked, sassy dromedary that has become known more as the darling of Youtube videos internationally than for any relationship with fashion. That said, as noted in my men’s fashion predictions for fall/winter 2013, the hue has become huge in certain circles. But really, what does the popularity of camel actually mean?
As noted in the Dictionary of Color, camel only popped up in the popular English vernacular in 1916. Prior to this, people likely referred to it as “bland” or “sunkissed potato sack.” Either way, it has made dalliances with the mainstream ever since. Most frequently, it is associated with camouflage, safari gear, trench coats, and general Indiana Jones-esque adventure-wear. So where does this so-called camel trend come?
It appears that our current subculture trickle-up fashion sense may have appropriated camel from the street style scene. In particular, the ever-infamous normcore movement. #Normcore, according to Urban Dictionary, can be defined as, “A subculture based on conscious, artificial adoption of things that are in widespread use, proven to be acceptable, or otherwise inoffensive. Ultra-conformists.”
As noted by Leah Bourne on Stylecaster, normcore is “essentially a word to describe the non-descript style made popular by suburban dads, ’90s-era Jerry Seinfeld, and stereotypical tourists. The New York Times questioned whether it was a ‘fashion movement or massive in-joke’ while over at Elle, a writer called the trend a ‘fraud.’” With fashion industry mainstays and bloggers gravitating towards the trend, as illustrated in the awkward white New Balances, boyfriend jeans, Birkenstocks, and camel car coats abounding on street style snaps, one has to agree with Bourne that we may no longer be pushing boundaries with the trends we set. Or maybe we simply went too far and now the pendulum is swinging the other way, as is typical in the cyclical nature of fashion.
To make this relevant to camel, the colour is so basic that the normcore trend has taken to it like a girl wearing Uggs talking about how much she loves Lululemon. Dare we say, it’s a bit of a basic b*tch colour?
My opinions aside, it’s caught on with a variety of fashion houses and designers, from Zara to A.P.C. In camel’s defence, it is a neutral of the most neutral order, which flows interchangeably with other simple saturations. You’ll never stand out from the herd wearing it but it does look… nice? It looks classic — ironically, what normcore aims to replicate but fails at so miserably.
Either way, if you’re convinced that camel is the colour for you, here are some ways you can rock it for winter 2014.
How will you be wearing the camel trend this season? Let Vv Magazine know your thoughts on “Everything You Need To Know About The Camel Trend” in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.