Menocore, for the uninitiated, is exactly the portmanteau you think it is. (Menopause being the operative half, if you didn’t get there by yourself.)
The style is epitomized by Diane Lane’s divorcee character in Under the Tuscan Sun or Candice Bergen in literally any role since 2010. It’s a cheeky nod to a class of women who are “of a certain age,” and their closets filled with billowy blouses, silk scarves and sensible shoes. Unlike dadcore or normcore, however, menocore is a lifestyle, one that prioritizes wellness, an appreciation of the arts and an empowered disinterest in the overtly sexy.
On day four of New York Fashion Week, the young millennial women who have adopted the menocore way of life (think: the freelance artist types who have thriving Etsy businesses and thousands of Instagram followers thanks to an exploitation of the public’s love of latte art) were treated to a range of new options at Mansur Gavriel’s see-now, buy-now spring presentation.
The second-ever ready-to-wear collection by designers Rachel Mansur and Floriana Gavriel featured plenty of wispy tunics, low-heeled sandals and ‘60s-inspired silhouettes perfect for picking up the grandkids from school, gardening or gallivanting to galleries.
Raw silk blouses buttoned to the tippy-top were shown in unoffensive shades of lilac and carnation pink and paired with matchy center-seam trousers. Gauzy trenches were layered over knee-length top and skirt sets as well as modest school girl dresses that were tied up at the waist. Each look was styled with kitschy enamel earrings and broaches in the shape of flowers which could have come across as gaudy were it not for the fact that it was the only jewelry accessorizing the crisp, minimalist ensembles.
Mansur Gavriel vibes: Chic 1960s grandma’s Palm Springs roadtrip pic.twitter.com/Qz4MyqA3Ff
— Sam Reed (@HereReedThis) February 11, 2018
What sets the brand’s collection apart from past iterations of menocore, however, is Gavriel’s signature play with bold, flat washes of color in vibrant shades of red and yellow, adding a bit of range to the typical palette of white, off-white and the occasional khaki or rusty brown.
Sheer fabrics styled with nothing underneath also helped give the collection a bit of a modern edge (your grandmother would never don a sheer shirt without a sensible camisole underneath!), as did the must-have accessories, the bread and butter of the brand. Bucket bags in gingham prints, squared-off top-handle satchels and easy, open-toe slides continued the ‘60s theme.
Far from dowdy, the collection is the embodiment of the modern Palm Springs gal who has outgrown Coachella but nonetheless taken a liking to the desert, the girl who romanticizes life as a Slim Aarons model and waxes poetic about David Hockney’s pools.
Though it has been pointed out that there are issues of class and race at play in the very heart of the menocore movement (it was inspired by the white, upper class ladies with both the money and time to afford such a leisurely lifestyle), Mansur Gavriel’s spring collection gives an in to anybody who aspires to their retiree-chic look — beehive hats for all!