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Exploring Gnomecore

The Cozy and Quirky Fashion Movement Taking Over Instagram

By: Luke TaylorDate: 2023-02-23

Fashion trends are coming faster than ever, and they can be hard to categorize. Almost a decade ago, a trend called "normcore" emerged, characterized by unpretentious clothing that looks average. Since then, various “core” fashion styles have been following suit, including cottagecore (which features lacy country gowns and baking), gorpcore (which involves functional outdoor gear like Arc’teryx and Salomon, often in the city), cowboycore (self-explanatory), and now, we're entering the era of gnomecore, inspired by an increasingly popular Instagram account. @_Gnomecore was created to showcase the emergence of Gnome fashion in society. Gnomecore is now a growing trend that celebrities like Matty Matheson and Tyler, The Creator are embracing. In this time of hyper-niches, Gnomecore comes to disrupt the fashion scene and make you think, "What on earth is going on?".

We reached out to the Instagram account to learn more about this subculture. The account admin told us, "I’d say it’s playful more than ironic and feel people have a genuine connection to the aesthetic of naivety and comfort." And that is precisely the vibe. A focus on color and comfort combinations was born out of the isolation of the last couple of years. Feeling cozy in the homestead is essential, but so is looking and feeling stylish. That's where the Gnomes come in.

The Instagram account is currently run anonymously, adding another layer of intrigue and mystique, just like with Gnomes themselves. Their profile features a regularly updated feed showcasing both celebrities and ordinary people who are part of the core. Their profile avatar is Christian Bale from his recent GQ shoot, which serves as a focal point of inspiration for those pursuing a style-life in Gnomecore. As wild as these “core” trends can be, they hold a significant place in culture

When asked about the origin of the core, the admin told us that Gnomecore was a largely ignored relative of Cottagecore that hadn’t appeared to catch on as much as, its cousins. Cottagecore? It all gets a bit kookier the further you delve. Gnomecore's foundations remain from a recognition of these movements, but they persist as such. The Gnome scene adjusted course, moving in parallel with menswear and societal influences. It also has sub-cores. "Metrognome" is "a more tailored urbane style of look, using monochromatic palettes, tailored trousers and overcoats, typically worn by the chic city dwelling Gnome," the Instagram account tells us. Then you have "Techgnome," which leans more towards the Gorpcore trend with bright puffas and technical gear, adding a pointed beanie to make it more Gnome.

So what do you have to do to be a Gnome? Luckily, you don’t have to move into the foot of a tree or stand really still in a garden somewhere. The general gist of it is, but not exclusively, beanies worn off the ears and perched on top of the head, colourful and cosy knitwear and outerwear, straight or relaxed cut trousers and maybe some chunky leathers or clogs on your feet. Do note, however, that this is not some form of cult with a uniform. “I’d say hats are an important point”, the admin confirms.

“Beanies worn high on the head and to a point are a mainstay but floppy bucket hats, variations on fleece trapper hats, big berets are all an important aspect.” So, hats are crucial to Gnoming. Combine these with cord trousers or “fleeces that lean into folk design” and you’re well on your way to being a Gnome yourself. On the feet, Birkenstock sandals or Maine outdoor-style boots seem to be the go-to.

So where should aspiring Gnomes find their influence? “There is a strong outdoor-wear element to the look, akin to Ralph Lauren’s Polo Country collections from the 80s and 90s”, they say. “What ignited the look was the Christian Bale shoot for GQ which had him appearing in a very Gnomecore look and I think that was a breakthrough movement.” The shoot features Christian Bale wearing a striped tee, tan jacket and a green beanie perched on the top of his head and flowing into a point. Bale meets Gnome, for sure. Other inspiration, they say, lies in Asia. “Many of the Asian brands out of South Korea, Japan and Taiwan are really getting into traditional style knitwear with a real big and cosy vibe and they style them in a way that leans into the look.”

When it’s all said and done, style is using inspiration but adding your twists. Taking inspiration from the rejection of modern-day logo-splurging and luxury discomfort, Gnomecore remains not a traditional trend but a mindset for those looking cool, staying cozy and being a nice person.

TAGS:#Fashion,#Trends,#Le Bonnet,#Accessories,#Hats,