Wednesday, October 28, 2009

#65 - Ashcan Chic

It was the decade when...

Rich skinny ass bitches dressed like bag ladies.

Ashcan Chic. Bobo chic. Bobo Style. Boho Grunge. Hobo-Grunge. Heroin chic. Luxe-grunge. It goes by many titles but all refer to the same fashion disaster: wealthy, beautiful young women dressing like Brenda Fricker in Home Alone 2. A rose by any other name...

Oversized skirts, knappy wool sweaters, large boots, oversized sunglasses. These were the ingredients of a fashion trend that defied the very notion of fashion at all. More than just mix and matching, Ashcan Chic was a sartorial potluck. Or rummage sale. A dumpster dive for glamour. It grew in popularity through the early years of the Aughts, reaching a terminal velocity in 2005, when even the Times took notice.

Though many celebrities were guilty of the crime, Ashcan Chic had as its biggest endorsement a pair of celebrities who almost single handedly brought the style into the consciousness of fashion forward women everywhere: Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. Yes, it was Michelle Tanner herself(ves) who, galumphing around Manhattan while Freshmen at NYU, acted as a walking billboard for the boho-grunge aesthetic, never shying away from a paparazzi's camera. Of course, for the twins the look has utilitarian value too; it works wonders at hiding eating disorders. The Olsens were the epicenter of this fashion outbreak; rarely has a major style trend so had its locus around one personality. (Okay, two personalities, but they might as well be one person, don't you think?)

Thankfully, like most silly fashion trends, the flame that once burned bright has dimmed to near darkness. Maybe people realized that an ensemble inspired by toothless, penniless, drug addicted women wasn't the most sexy or chic way to present oneself. Or maybe we just are all so over the Olsen twins. Whatever the cause, Ashcan Chic is now in the dustbin of fashion history. Will the look ever see a revival? If I may quote from my favorite childhood sitcom, "Oh, PUH-LEASE!"

You AUGHT to remember...

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