'Clowncore' is an in-your-face aesthetic that brings a carefree feel to fashion


The "clowncore" aesthetic already has millions of followers on TikTok. Photo: AFP

Forget timeless elegance. Gone is sophisticated and refined fashion, at least for now, in favour of a more fun, vibrant style that gives rise to a patchwork of colours of all kinds.

This trend goes by the name of "clowncore" and already has millions of followers on social media.

Gloomy times can make people look for ways to brighten up their daily lives. And this is (often) achieved through the wardrobe, as with the post-lockdown wave of "dopamine dressing".

Social network users are now going even further with an unexpected and surprising aesthetic called "clowncore".

As its name suggests, it involves adopting the codes of the circus world's most comical characters, with an emphasis on bright, even neon colours, as well as patchwork motifs, and improbable combinations of patterns and shades.

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Evidently, this trend is not about taking yourself seriously. And nor is it about showing up at the office in one of these ultra-colourful outfits.

However, users of social networks – TikTok in the lead – have already tried and adopted the look, and are clamouring for more with inspiring looks, tutorials and even tips on how to mix colourful clothes with more casual pieces, in order to be able to pull off this look every day – or almost.

The scale is such that the #clowncore hashtag already has nearly 500 million views on the Chinese social network, even if the trend is still in its infancy.

From Harlequin to Pierrot to Columbine, the most famous characters of the Commedia Dell'arte seem to be all the rage on TikTok, where they are proving to be inexhaustible sources of inspiration.

That said, social media users tend to be more readily embracing the codes of the circus, with multicoloured hair, patchworks of all kinds, childish prints, two-tone tights, ruff collars and a ton of equally vibrant accessories.

And that's not to mention the beauty looks, which all have a similar vibe, almost worthy of a costume party.

Contrary to what you might think, social network users are not the only ones to have adopted this new trend.

At the last Grammy Awards ceremony in February, male artistes did not hesitate to embrace these colourful outfits, starting with Harry Styles, who made a very noticeable red carpet entrance.

The multi-award-winning British singer opted for a jumpsuit with a plunging neckline, revealing torso and tattoos, and covered entirely with sequins in a Harlequin-style diamond motif.

Read more: From Astro Boy to Minnie Mouse and more, fashion is infatuated with cartoons

A look that obviously did not go unnoticed.

And he was not the only one channeling the vibe, since Sam Smith also opted, not for a clownish, but a highly dramatic outfit, nodding to the performing arts.

As incredible as it may seem, the "clowncore" trend is already proving popular, and even seems to be bringing bright, or neon and other vibrant hues back into fashion.

And this is an unexpected return to the spotlight, since recent fashion shows have given pride of place to the most neutral of shades.

All that remains is to be bold enough to dare to rock this eye-catching aesthetic, which is sure to brighten up your day. – AFP Relaxnews

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