Pop Art Opulence
LOL-core employs near overdoses of silly excess – Peanuts cartoons decorating Coach bags, FKA Twig’s “love” bangs and Drake’s emoji tattoo, with Barbies on Moschino runways and t-shirt odes to pizza everywhere. Did Cara Delevingne’s playful attitude influence this sudden flip? Was it our slow build to only wearing sneakers, an accessory most had left in childhood? What began with clean black Nikes matured into flashy New Balance kicks, runners in bright colors, and neon-patterned Reeboks. Meanwhile, emojis became a creative way to communicate more efficiently and vibrant faux furs created the ultimate accessory. It’s as if we discovered comfort for the first time and really liked it.
Cheeky trends like these, paired with their striking opposition to trends past, are an invitation into pop culture expressions we’ve collectively missed along with those we remember. In one sense, a fashion that uses things like cartoon characters, experimental nail art, and comfort relies on nostalgia – for when our childhood pop culture choices had no bearing on what was mainstream, underground, and which was ultimately cooler. In this world of commercial references, everything is accessible and easy. The mainstream is okay.
Left: photo from Style.com, street style during Moscow Fashion Week. Right: Petra Collin's computer.
On the grand stage of the Internet, this accessibility is a shared comfort, too. In it we’ve discovered a mutual appreciation for viral cat videos, spectacle, Spongebob Squarepants, and fun faces that illustrate our emotions. Through the same methods of communication and identification – Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest – we collect references, funny moments, and ideas. When minimalism curated itself in these spaces, it was hard to mimic such a clean existence in a world rife with color. Exclusivity ruled.
With LOL-core, exclusivity is laughable. The connective tissue of social media and a shared love for mainstream pop culture has offered a moment where fashion is fun again and knows how to point and giggle at its own excess.
Left: Katy Perry in a pizza onesie. Right: Bluemarine Fall 2012 Ready-to-Wear.