The world of menswear has come to resemble the hierarchy of a traditional American high school. There are the jocks, represented by those who wear Cole Buxton, Aimé Leon Dore, Sporty & Rich and now Slazenger, apparently. There are the nerds – the sneakerheads – perhaps more concerned with the retail function (drops, resale, collaborations, etc.) than the very concept of style itself. And don’t forget the faculty, or more accurately, the inspirational and unnecessarily handsome English professor, whose bookish vibe is emulated by followers of Drake’s, Beams Plus and Rowing Blazers, and the like. It goes without saying that arty kids have always been represented by the leather and denim boredom of Parisian haute couture, but now a groovy sub-division has emerged, and finally, the stoner has a seat at the front of the class.
It’s not the first time the ripples, Woodstock-ish clothes are cool. In the 90s, grunge selected elements of hippydom – long hair, ragged jeans, cropped t-shirts – but it was much more about brutality and rage, rather than peace and/or love. And then, in the 2000s, the bohemian trend in women’s fashion saw girls wear oversized studded belts over low cut jeans, floaty ruffled dresses and tall Indiana Jones hats. People quickly moved on (except those in Clapham or Bali), but the hippie has made a triumphant return, and this time it’s boujier.
A few weeks ago you might have seen Chris Pine – perhaps the most stylish Chris in Hollywood, but that’s admittedly a low bar – on The Jimmy Kimmel Show wearing a very nice embroidered shirt and striped pants from the American brand Bode. Combined with a shaggy beard and a mop of hair, he looked like he stepped right out of the peyote zone of a Mama Cass pool party. But inspect the fit more closely and you’ll see Gucci loafers, Jacques Marie-Mage sunglasses and a gold Rolex. Cass may not approve of these accessories, but that’s the vibe. Pine is the high priest of a key trend for 2022: the Blue-Chip Hippy.
The 60s style has been on the rise for some time now. Much of the focus has been on Bode, American designer Emily Bode’s Pine-prived brand that uses (or draws inspiration from) vintage haberdashery, mid-century American ephemera, and traditional building techniques. such as crochet and embroidery. There’s a youthful whimsy to Bode, an aesthetic antidote to the boldness of modern fashion. However, it is not the only brand to take inspiration from the youth movements of the 60s. Take the old statesmen; Based in Los Angeles and influenced by the founder’s grandmother’s ’60s artwork, it offers tie-dye and ombre knitwear, loungewear and homeware. Or Kapital, a cult Japanese brand that takes the quintessential Americana and somehow makes it Americana-ier, which has dipped even deeper into ’60s pastiche in recent seasons.
Aesthetically, these marks are mega. Weird stuff, well done, with an irreverent eye and a (small) middle finger to match the mainstream. But they are also incredibly expensive. A pair of ‘Hippie Insane Remake’ patchwork jeans from Kapital cost £1,860 at Mr Porter and a ‘Love N Stripes’ cashmere dress from The Elder Statesman will set you back $3,695. Sky-high priced clothes are nothing new – and sales of luxury goods have skyrocketed since the pandemic – but the hip-hop charm of a tie-dye dress is surely ruled out by the fact that you have to be on the Waystar Roco board to buy one?
There are young men on social media right now wearing old football shirts, straight jeans and adidas Sambas marrying the “bloke-core”, but I doubt any of them have ever seen the inside of this. a regional football stadium. Or even a image of a Pukka pie. And the same can probably be said for the Blue-Chip Hippy. It’s more about atmosphere than substance. Trend adherents will likely continue to wash, pay taxes, use wifi and eat meat and continue to be enslaved to the corporate machine.
But that doesn’t mean it’s not cool. Harry Styles is making serious moves for the BCH movement, and heck, when it comes to adjustments, this boy just doesn’t miss out. Even Jay-Z got in on the action, recently rocking a baggy tie-dye bucket hat with an Off-White shirt and Audemars Piguet watch. And, of course, Pine got back at it, this time looking like a spunky divorcee at a Sussex art fair in a slouchy bucket hat, scarf and Breton striped top. He also wore *two* pairs of sunglasses. And yet, it worked. I’m not sure I respect it or understand it, but damn I like it.