Proprioception, also referred to as kinaesthesia, is the sense of self-movement and body position. It is sometimes described as the “sixth sense”. Without proprioception, you wouldn’t be able to move without thinking about your next step. With an almost Cassandra-like level of foresight, Carsten Bonnemann, a geneticist at the National institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, gave it this example back in 2016: “The most beautiful demonstration of proprioception in action is Simone Biles when she is spinning and somersaulting through the air.” And as we witnessed, when the gymnast lost her sense of place in the world, she withdrew – to protect her very life. Right now, we are all spinning. We all feel unsure of our place in a world that seems to have radically altered its magnetic poles. The pandemic, along with so many other shifts, has created a collective time warp, shadow-playing our hours and days through a foggy scrim. This altered state has led to a global questioning of core elements once as fixed as time and place. But perhaps, our sight has actually sharpened. Perhaps those stone carved markers are – were – potentially false gods, fencing us in from millions, if not billions of unique and tantalizing experiences existing right outside those lines. Perhaps this moment in time is a new Romantic Era, one that encourages us to lean into the sweet mystery that life has always been, one that is deeply personal, and endlessly universal. For while we may have lost this sixth sense, our original five are throbbing with a hunger and an aliveness that has been dormant for decades. Fear always brings us to life. To quote Alessandro Michele, design director of Gucci, as he opened his candy-colored SS2022 show this week: “The pandemic has changed me. All of us look like we are the same people, but we are not,” Michele said. “I felt the danger that I might die. I felt the connection between life and death.” We are balancing on that very slackline right now, gently bobbing and weaving, shaking and scared – but breathtakingly alive. I can think of no better place to be.
This week, the Scoutlook shares a look at a cross-category shift. Far from the bleak dystopian visions predicted months ago, we are seeing instead a soft and colorful time out from it all. From buses for napping, to kindergarten-kitsch as therapy, NFT penguins and no-place-like-home homages, maybe all we need is a bit of circle time.
We are happy to hold hands and sing.
Is Napping the new Sleep?
two years, it seems we are still very, very tired. Sleep – the media darling of 2019 (thanks, Arianna!) is something still eminently craveable, and now we seem to want it in snack sizes too! Enter the nap. From napping dresses to napping buses, it we can’t get enough of these pocket size snatches of repose. Perhaps in a world grown weary of oh so much, we stand ready to swoon at a moment’s notice. For your dreaming pleasure: check out some mini napping noshes here: Hill House (the brand that birthed #napdressnation) hits the bricks, while bus tours to nowhere coddle the sleep deprived in Hong Kong. (Let’s keep an eye on animal cracker stock too, shall we?)
Club Penguin 3.0
Club Penguin was one of the first online games for kids… so perhaps it’s no surprise that Gen Z has adopted the logo’ed golf shirt brand, Original Penguin, as insider club apparel. The clothing line is following the now established trajectory of Gen Z to embrace legacy brands as their own. And to make the relationship quasi Insta-official, Original Penguin will be the first fashion brand to use TikTok content as an NFT, working directly with TikTokers to create and drop their own penguin (as in the bird) designs. The limited edition statuettes will be auctioned off for charity via a special app. For a generation raised inside the first online playground, it makes for an easy, understandable circle of virtual life.
Bring it Home
As home became our safe place, our haven, our sanctuary over these past long months, one specific cohort became unmoored. With little need for any style game (remember #OOTD?) fashion bloggers are playing the pivot. In line with the advent of Zillow porn and DIY home remodels, vlogs showcasing room tours hosted by these stylistas are exploding. And get ready for more. If cocooning was how we stayed safe in the ‘80s, fortressing is the newest expression of shelter in place. Our homes have fostered new found hobbies and adapted to new found needs. We have invested in them. Marry this shift with the long awaited movement of Millennials moving into home spaces, and you have a trend with legs. (Brass ones, no doubt.) In line with this shift, shelter TikTok has also emerged as a powerful social movement, with thousands of accounts sharing covetable items and alluring design notes, inspiring and motivating viewers around the globe. What is interesting is the desire for discovery – not of the item, really, but of some recognition of who we are when our pulses jump. Just as a pair of Doc Martens once confirmed our bad-assery, perhaps a cheeky lamp shade confirms a piece of someone we want to be now. The next gen hunt for identity is on… Godspeed!
From naptime to playing house, this new era has soft, child-like feel to it. Far from the dystopian fever dreams of Rick Owen, the new emerging fashions pull us backward, to soft spaces and nostalgic places. Disney saw an almost fetish like cult form around Disney+, with younger Millennials and Gen Z looping old favorites for weeks on end. Lanyards of candy-like beads are flying out of stores, and charm-laden Crocs are on every teenager’s feet. Kindergarten kitsch is being adopted globally by a generation that has seen adulthood and has decided to take a pass. Manga-style is resurfacing in China, Kawaii in Japan, and ‘big-kid’ styles are in full bloom in the US. Users claim that the clothes help them stay ‘happy-oriented’ and feel they are both protective against negative emotions, and restorative after a hard day. It’s an interesting shift from shopping as therapy, to dressing for mental health. For a generation highly aware of life’s stress, heading into the closet suddenly makes a lot of sense.