Je Téléphone A La Fashion Police
Fashion has a lot to answer for. Crop top workouts. Your credit card bill. The reason you burned all those photos from high school. A catwalk anomaly can polarise industry opinion faster than a train ride with Tom Hanks, but a true blip has the power to unite as much as it divides. Mostly in the sense that the internet piles in to competitively slag it off.
This week’s fashion police fodder comes courtesy of Spanish style juggernaut Balenciaga. No stranger to selling ridiculous items for even more ridiculous amounts of money (see: platform Crocs and a £2k Ikea bag), their latest style creation – branded “The T-Shirt Shirt” – has baffled the internet like never before. Some* might even say it’s broken it.
Fusing two wardrobe staples – by quite literally sewing them together – the garment touts “multiple wearing options”: “Business in the front, party in the back” (wearing the shirt with the tee draped across the back like a cape) and “party in the front, business also in the front” (wearing the T-shirt with the shirt in the front). Add in a despondent-looking model, and the tweets pretty much write themselves.
The boy really asking himself tho pic.twitter.com/R58a944NsF
— overoveroverover (@dbrdbc) May 27, 2018
Now, we at MotherZine love a bandwagon as much as the next heavily listicle-based weekly newsletter, but we’re also firm believers in honouring the past. That’s why we’ve rounded up a few of our favourite fashion memebait moments from seasons past. Gone – from Net-a-Porter, at least – but never forgotten.
Many a great thinker has lauded transparency as the best policy. Not least Kendall Jenner, who kick started an unlikely denim trend back in 2017. Her “invisible jeans” (that’s denim shorts with side seams and cuffs, to the untrained eye) spawned a sea of high street lookalikes – including this Topshop plastic number – not to mention a lot of double takes. Flash forward a year and the style – true to form – has disappeared.
Zip it up and start again
They say that the eyes are the window to the soul. What you might not know is that jeans – according to Vetements – are the window to your underwear. Their “bum window” denim (working title, we assume), created in collaboration with Levis, unzip to reveal the “underside”* of the wearer. Why? No one – not even the internet – can say. Maybe we’ve all just been craving that cool breeze.
The long armed bandit
Picture the scene: it’s autumn. A slight chill is setting in. It’s time, you’ve decided, to find the perfect light jacket. Something classic, with a bit of a twist. “We’ve got just the thing”, says the shop assistant, “but first, one question – would you like extra sleeve with that?” The answer, according to Y/Project’s resort collection, should be a resounding “yes”. Roll the sleeves up and reveal the cuffs of your shirt, they advise, or just let your new arm extensions hang free.
Head, no shoulders
The style set are no stranger to a bold accessory. The right bracelet or bag can provide a dose of je ne sais quoi, and according to an episode of Trinny and Susannah we saw once, show off your “unique personality”. And what could be more uniquely you than a wax replica of your severed head? Sadly, Gucci’s FW17 accoutrements were never made available for sale, but an insider source tells us that a call to your local prop house will see you right. They’ll throw in the wig, but you’ll need to make your own wounds.
*And by “some”, we mean The Daily Mail.
** That’ll be The Mail again.
Thought For The Day
Memes For Humanity
With the release of Jurassic World 2 – AKA Jurassic Harder – almost upon us, it seems fitting to relive the sage words of Dr Grant one more time: “some of the worst things have been done with the best intentions”. Yes, Mr. Palaeontologist; from good, often comes bad. And this week, the ubiquitous meme has a starring role.
The only thing peaking and trough-ing more than a hitchhiking pig is the popularity of old school internet favourite, Pepe the Frog. Created by Matt Furie, this lovable character was once a cute and relatable meme, but thanks to the power of the internet, Pepe has now morphed into a fully-fledged symbol of the alt right. Gone are Pepe’s amphibian takes on Netflix and exam results, with the cartoon instead associated with red pills and convoluted conspiracy theories.
The final nail in the frog-shaped coffin was hammered in 2015, when Donald Trump tweeted an image of Pepe in his own likeness, forever cementing the character to his most extreme of supporters. Flash forward, then, to this week, and The Pepe Problem has spiralled so intensely that Facebook implemented a dedicated moderation policy. It really isn’t easy being green.
It’s fair to say that – looking at Pepe, at least – memes could be a force in destroying the world. However, whilst this is very much an example of how a single frog can spawn a global problem, we at MotherZine believe that – in the best cases – memes also have the power to make everything right again (no alt).
Legend would have it that “the youth” are notoriously difficult to engage. Particularly when they’re hungover and piled into a musty lecture hall. One US professor has taken a different tact in connecting with his students, recreating trending memes with nuggets of educational advice. Test scores are, apparently, rising like Reddit.
It’s not easy talking about mental health. Whilst recent PR campaigns – royal or otherwise – have been credited with strides in reducing stigma, look under the internet’s surface and there’s a growing world of relatable mental health memes helping even the most isolated feel less alone. Laughter, after all, might not be the best medicine, but it can provide a hefty dose of hope.
Not all memes are created for the masses. Some of the most cult concepts have niche appeal, beginning their ascent underground – quite literally, in the case of New Urbanist Memes for Transit Oriented Teens. A Facebook group dedicated to “mapping humour”, the community boasts over 67,000 members, mostly in their teens and twenties. Beyond luxury housing lols, the group inspired several members go on to study city planning IRL. “Lots of members say they’d never really cared about these issues until they found the group,” says its founder. “Now, they’re actually invested.
It’s no secret that teens gobble up shared online experiences like sweets. Or, more accurately, Tide Pods. The good news is, not all internet crazes are primed to create long-term intestinal damage. Some are primed to create political change. March’s #NationalSchoolWalkout saw thousands of teens leave their desks behind in protest of Trump, ditching traditional placards and instead using cut-and-paste memes to articulate their thoughts – and send a message to the online world.