For every Gigi Hadid and Karlie Kloss on the runway these days (aka chicks so hot they’re probably contributing to global warming in some abstract and unprovable way–sorry, polar bears), there are 200 other models who rank on the lower end of the babe-o-meter. Don’t get me wrong, these girls are still absolutely stunning, but they’re far from your typical beauties. They’re the women you see in today’s Gucci campagins and the Chloé ads. They’re the faces of the crème de la crème of high fashion houses. They’re here, they’re strange, and they’re impossibly now. All hail the reign of the anti-babe.
Perhaps the rise of social media and the ubiquitousness of the “Hey, you can make yourself your own micro celebrity!” trend has had a hand in it, but fashion has embraced a weirder kind of everywoman hot. In other words: the days of Gisele Bundchens are over–at least for now. Today, what’s good is what’s interesting. Those who might have won beauty pageants in their hometowns need not apply. (Unless of course you’re applying to star in a Victoria’s Secret catalogue, a company which will always embrace the Candice Swanepoels of the world.) But I’m not talking about boobs and bikinis; I’m talking about Saint Laurent and Céline. You know, brands that will matter fifty years from now when we’re trying to digest what this era valued in terms of beauty and aesthetics.
The clothing and its accoutrement have jumped on the less-than-pretty bandwagon. The coolest haircuts are the ones you’re probably too scared to get. (Think ‘70s secretary and a can of hairspray.) The clothing is rough around the edges, imperfect: the slip dress, logo tee-shirts, ‘90s crop-tops, nerdy glasses. None of it takes itself too seriously and it’s meant to have wide-reaching appeal. For the first time in awhile, it feels like fashion is saying: You don’t have to be perfect to wear this–in fact, be outrageous, be different, be you. Sounds pretty perfect to me.