NormCore fashion has seized the collective imagination as an expression of ironic-post homogeneity, where art school pretense collides with the desire to efface difference and individualize one’s self AS the crowd. Does it concern the wearer that this expression might allude to the bourgious trope of assuming the visage of poverty? With respect to NormCore, nostalgia is an important contradiction to consider when donning that ivory Polo cap and dropping stacks in the club and embracing the banality of the 90’s. However, embracing this un-trend does enable a de-gendered relationship with clothing, as name brands become the essence of the connection between signifier and the signified, thus effacing the need for male or female specific “style”. NormCore is ultimately a signifier for itself, as a hyper referential jest on the singular active-wear ergonomic Self of the multi-tasked, debt-addled millenial. The notion of an anti-trend is a self-fulfilling paradoxism, with cultural capital ultimately declaring that there is actually is a wholesome side to the maligned iconography of toesocks and Sketchers which were derided in our formative years, dusted off in 2014 as a reward for narcissistic affiliation.
Health Goth relies on an anti-nostalgic dystopian present, refracting the Other by means of an exaggerated profile and tribal-aesthetics. It may be hyper-masculine on the surface, betraying a distinctively sus interior of body-mechanized cyborgian humanity within. Health Goth speaks to an intrinsic psychic connection with the elements, be they fire, water or fauna and the ability to incorporate ambient nature into the corporeal realm. Unlike the tailored Self-less facade of NormCore, Health Goth projects a completely un-reflexive subjugation of the individual in the urban ecosystem, reimagining the present future by mocking self-awareness as a Humanist project of little efficacy. Industrial by nature, Health Goth creates a proto-narrative of returning to paradise lost by embracing mortality as a One-World consciousness and devotion as means to deliver us from late Capitalism. Unlike NormCore which engages the myopic gaze, Health Goth requires clinical sterility from pervasive human contact or identifiable brands in its performance, leaving little room for trends or fetishes outside of the obligatory Nike Air Maxes or Oakleys. When this imagery is embodied, Health Goth becomes an ethos of mythologizing our technological present with recombinant cultural artifacts to manifest a virtual altruism of difference. ~ by Wyatt Schaffner