Image via Free People
I won’t lie folks, it’s been a tough summer for us fashion people. Most of you won’t be aware, hell, most of us aren’t even aware, but something evil has been upon us all summer long. It’s lurked in the shadows, trying not to be found out, all the while quietly and unassumingly claiming some of our most stylish to it’s dark depths. Celebrities and normal’s alike, both here and across the pond have admitted defeat. The fashion blogging community is almost all but lost and it has spread beyond any recognition. Things are serious, critical even, and something must be done.
I can’t pinpoint exactly when it happened, or who was the first to say yes. But somewhere, somehow it was allowed into our lives, ruining years of hard work from those before us to keep it at bay, and now we all must act to contain it. Yes that’s right… UGLY FASHION is upon us. It’s been gaining momentum for quite some time now but we’re reaching the point of no return and I speak out not for my own sake, but for the sake of fashionable people everywhere – we must come together and say NO to ugly.
If you’re reading this now and aren’t sure whether you’ve been taken yet, just ask yourself this – do you own a pair of Birkenstocks? Have you noticed an abundance of black, white and grey in your wardrobe lately? Do you suddenly feel as if you value comfort over style? If the answer is yes to any of these things, then I’m sorry to tell you but you have indeed been engulfed by the ugly fashion trend. You probably didn’t even know it but the important thing now is not to panic.
Yes things are bleak, many many good fashion souls have already been lost this summer, first through the Birkenstock and then further with Normcore. It never gets any easier. One day a style hero, the next day gone, taken, snatched and pulled to the dark side only to be brainwashed and spat back into society none the wiser, spouting un-recognisable words such as comfort and durability.
For those of us who have remained, it’s been very hard to watch. You think you’re no different… but we know. We try to save you of course but we can see that glazed look on your eyes, that lack of interest in things you previously loved such as the high heel and the pink coat. But no matter how we much we push those things upon you it doesn’t work, you’re lost. We pray for you of course, and hope that one day you will return to our realm but lately it hasn’t been looking good.
With every stylish soul that is taken, it gets a little harder. Numbers are fast dwindling and fear amongst those who are left is growing. Who will be next? When will it happen? How will it happen? And worst of all, will we even know it’s happened or will we be so brainwashed we will believe we made the right decision? I shudder to think..
Back at the beginning of the year when Miranda Kerr famously admitted her defeat by wearing a pair of Birkenstocks in an issue of Vogue, I was worried, certainly, but I never could have predicted the epidemic that we find ourselves in now. It’s as if we just opened the fashion doors and let ugly waltz right in and have dinner with us, without even an ounce of protest.
Of course, I should have seen it coming, ugly has been trying to find a way in to the fashion industry for years. There have been a few minor cases in the past which were rather hairy to say the least, but for the most part we’ve all managed to resist and hold our resolve. The Tourism industry was the first to fall of course, and they’ve been lost to a plague of bum bags, socks and sandals and backpacks for longer than I care to remember. Granted, they seem happy, but we all know it’s not really them. The fashion side of their brain has sadly been turned off, they’ve been brainwashed to believe that such things don’t matter and it’s incredibly harrowing to watch, so much so that most of us who still have a fashion brain intact have had to completely disassociate ourselves with them.
I witnessed a pretty severe case of ugly fashion a few years back when I spent a summer in America, working with other, seemingly normal, fashion conscious individuals. Until one day, out of the blue they all turned on me and were overly obsessed with some footwear which can only be described as completely hideous. Large colourful, rubber boat shoes with holes in them – I believe they were called Crocs – but if I’m honest I’ve tried very hard to forget the whole experience as it’s quite painful to think about. I was very nearly engulfed myself when at the end of my trip I was given a pair as a present and for a fleeting second thought, maybe, just maybe, they’d be OK worn in the house as slippers. Thankfully I returned to the UK at just the right time and was able to be cured of my brainwashing before it was too late. It was only then that I saw ugly fashion for what it really is – a plague on society fueled by a web of lies and expensive marketing campaigns. Not to mention the worst of all – celebrity endorsement.
Since my close shave back then I’ve been even more vigilant, and every day I’m thankful for that, as I’ve watched so many of my fashion friends and peers fall victim to the wide fitting, calf enlarging item that is the Birkenstock this summer, and in another life I may have been tempted.
Some of you went willingly at the beginning of course, others hung back weighing up the options but fell as soon as the number of celebrities and fashion bloggers showing support increased. Only a small number of us have stayed strong, and although I’m grateful to know the truth it’s been a scary world to live in. We’ve had to keep quiet, hold our tongues, smile and pretend it doesn’t bother us when you turn up to a sophisticated dinner in a pair of wide fitting, double strap, leather and cork sandals. The worst part about it all is that you don’t even know. You don’t know what has happened to you and you maybe never will.
For now, those of us who haven’t fallen must stay strong and remain vigilant. Sales are upon us and sales do bad things to good people. If you feel the lure of a half price sandal that has wide leather straps and a cork base – resist! Close your eyes and take yourself to your virtual Pinterest board full of pretty and high, high heels that are impossible to walk in and remind yourself that that is who you are. Look to our icons – Carrie Bradshaw who was never seen in flats – and from the blogosphere take inspiration from the likes of Briony from A Girl a Style who has openly admitted she doesn’t own a pair of trainers. These people are our hero’s now.
For everyone else, if reading this has opened your eyes even slightly to what is going on then don’t ignore it. This isn’t a joke, the struggle is real. Find the high heels you used to love and put those Birkenstocks down. Weave through the celebrity endorsement and ignore the endless promotions. SEEK OUT THE TRUTH! When you do, there’s no denying it will be a tough road for you to walk down but eventually you’ll be grateful that you came out the other side. The fashion world will accept you back of course, but you’ll have to prove yourself. You’ll have to destroy all signs of Birka-core from your wardrobe and promise us you’ll never be fooled again. Some of you will mourn your loss, some of you will be too embarrassed to even attempt a style return, but at least you’ll know the truth. You’ll know that it was all one big marketing stunt and those shoes were never ever supposed to be deemed fashionable.
It hasn’t been easy to be the person to stand up against this evil, but someone had to. If this article brings even one fashion soul back to life then I’ll have done my job.
Fellow lovers of all things pretty, please be assured that things are getting better. Summer is almost at a close and ugly sandals have no place during rain or snow. Fashion weeks are upon us once again and peacocking will triumph over normcore. But just remember, ugly fashion could be lurking around any corner so if you feel it coming, shut your wardrobe doors and find solace in Pinterest’s sea of pink and metallic. Whatever you do, don’t let the Birkenstock in.
Disclaimer – clearly this post was written to be extremely tongue in cheek. If you do own a pair of Birkenstocks that’s ok (sort of)!