2017, our old friend. In many ways, it was a shit show; whilst there were brief glimmers of hope and joy, we can’t say we’re sorry to be moving on. There are lessons we’ve learnt and things we’ll take with us, but there’s plenty which should really, truly be left to burn in the hellscape of 2017. Here at SLEEK HQ, we’ve gathered some of the most regrettable trends of this shambolic year, locked them in a metaphorical box, and thrown away the key. So in no particular order, these are the culture, art and fashion trends which should be left in 2017:
1. Sock Boots
To sock boot, or not to sock boot? That is the question — and it’s a matter so contentious, it’s divided the whole office. There seems to be a whole other level of hatred geared towards this footwear fusion that’s won the hearts of Balenciaga and Vetements. In the words of the Digital Editor: “They combine none of the durability of a shoe with none of the comfort of a sock”.
By the power of democracy, it’s a no from Sleek and they’re on the list. Bye bye sock boots, you weird little hybrids.
2. Entry-Level Feminist Art
There’s more to women than nipples and periods — not that you’d know it from most of the trending #feministart. We’re so over illustrations of hairy legs and armpits, and if we have to see one more citrus fruit representing genitalia, we just might scream. It’s tired and unoriginal, not to mention cisnormative. Feminist art can be so much more intelligent than this. As the incredible critics at The White Pube put it:
we cannnnnot be here as feminists in 2017 still making art about PERIODS, BODY HAIR, THE COLOUR PINK AND BEAUTY STANDARDS. Fuck with the system itself and get structural, critical, political. Activate ur aesthetics
— The White Pube (@thewhitepube) November 23, 2017
Why is it that everyone has to do everything? The “actress/model/DJ” thing has become a prerequisite of celebrity, and we’re sick and tired of it. Cara Delevingne’s a novelist, Shia LaBeouf’s a conceptual artist, don’t even get us started on Brooklyn Beckham’s photography. And now the trend is seeping into the ~real world~. We’ve got “blogger/influencer/full-time dreamer”s all over the shop. In 2018, let’s stop turning everything we love into a revenue stream. Hobbies can just be hobbies, guys.
4. Matte Nail Varnish
Like nails on a chalkboard, the matte-mani trend is horrible and unnecessary. Just looking at these is enough to send shivers down your spine. We can only imagine the sensation of accidentally scraping two of these nails together. We’ve never backed it, we’re still not backing it, we need to leave it, please and thank you.
5. Being Surprised When Terrible People Are Terrible
The widespread sexual harassment allegations of the past couple of months have exposed some beloved cultural figures as harassers, predators and abusers. They’ve also allowed celebrities who we always fucking knew were problematic to get another 5 seconds in the limelight. Lena Dunham defended the alleged rapist in her employ, after years of posting problematic shit (former employee Zinzi Clemons pointed out her racism in particular was “well-known”). Our collective jaws also dropped when Morrissey suggested the sexual harassment allegations against Kevin Spacey “weren’t very credible”, as if he hadn’t been spouting toxic nonsense for years.
Noticing a pattern here? Unrepentant, problematic celebrities continue to be unrepentant and problematic. Let’s conserve our energy in 2018, and only call in people who might actually give a damn.
6. Shaving Your Head and Bleaching It
This was cute for a whole minute, but if Katy “The Void Where Cultural Relevance Goes To Die” Perry has done it, it has to die.
7. Rich Kids Dressing Poor
Rich kids dressing poor definitely wasn’t a trend born in 2017, but it seemed to be the year it went stratospheric. The rise of streetwear and designers like Gosha Rubchinskiy has meant that it’s more common than ever to see incredibly affluent influencers drop stacks of cash to look like their council house counterparts.
The ultimate example of this was surely Rubchinskiy bringing back Burberry’s Nova Check, a print which has become an unofficial emblem of Britain’s working class. As filmmaker and photographer Glenn Kitson put it: “(the collection) is clever, and ticks all the right boxes. But the problem I have is the same as all of Gosha’s stuff. It’s ‘post-Soviet’ re-appropriation for art school kids and fashion in-crowds. Class colonialism.”
An idea: save your pennies in 2018, and put the money you would’ve spent on these clothes towards helping the communities whose style you’re ripping off.
8. The Word “Iconic”
We wrote a whole damn post on it, and yet the linguistic butchery continues. To give you an idea of just how little meaning the word “iconic” still holds: In the past 24 hours, it’s been used to describe a Christmas bell in Williamsport, Pennsylvania; Max’s murderous rampage on “Eastenders”; and an Italian bank. CEASE AND DESIST.
9. Excruciatingly Dull Instagram Posts From Art Shows Everyone Else Has Already Been To
Barbara Kruger's "FOREVER", her new installation at #SpruethMagersBerlin continues through December 22.? ? For this installation, which occupies all four walls and the floor of the Berlin gallery’s main exhibition space, the artist has created one of her immersive room-wraps and several new vinyl works. Their boldly designed textual statements on the nature of truth, power, belief, and doubt embody the distinctive visual language that Kruger has developed over the course of her forty-year career. This exhibition at Sprüth Magers, Berlin, marks exactly three decades since her first solo show at Monika Sprüth Gallery in Cologne.? ? #BarbaraKruger #FOREVER #SpruethMagers? ? Photography by @timo_ohler_fotografie
Instagram isn’t going anywhere in 2018, and it can be invaluable to artists and art communities. However: can we mere mortals commit to be more imaginative about how we represent art on Instagram in 2018? I know there are some artworks which are just begging to be Instagrammed, but if a dozen of your friends have already snapped it, please, for the love of god: give it a miss. If I see one more blurry selfie taken inside Yayoi Kusama’s “Infinity Mirrors” on my feed, I’ll fucking lose it.