Ideology of Innocence, Kidult 고상함을 향한 천진난만한 일격, 키덜트

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Texts by Lee Seung Min

Most of us love to think about the childhood. That’s not just because the remembrance of childhood makes us feel good, but also because of the pureness that can be only existed in ‘that’ time. While the reality moves too fast and gloomy, we our frenetically cling to our invariable happy memories.

Interestingly, this human tendency is receiving the most attention in the fashion market these days. So I want to talk about this ridiculous but profound sight called “kidult”.

As expected, the word “Kidult” is a new compound word of ‘Kid’ and ‘Adult’ which means the adult who has a taste and emotion like a kid. To be honest, this funny neologism was used in the IT industry at the first time in 80’s but it wasn’t so influential like today it does in the fashion industry. Moreover, lately this funny kidult look to be loved by not only some famous celebrities but also high-end fashion houses which have glorious history. And this is also a bit ridiculous scene from an esthetic point of view of high fashion.

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These days fashion people’s love to wear items that look like a kid’s

Then at this point, we are beginning to wonder. ‘What is the exact charm of it? What makes a lot of thirties buy an old Mickey Mouse T-shirt and yellow Sponge Bob accessories?’ ‘Why Bart Simpson’s big yellow face is on the people’s chest instead of Hermes’ coach or Louis Vuitton’s monogram?’

Some pessimists who furiously blame the reality start to prod the public with thousands of bleak Analyzation. But the real reason is not just some unconscious and unconditional ‘idealistic delusion’ of our childhood isn’t it?

Maybe, it might be simpler. Just like a sort of expression of jolliness, or a rational technique to show their cool attitude. Or maybe, they really love it!

Sometimes I even feel headache because of many psychological discourses to this simple word ‘Kidult’, yet the implication that it makes is quite clear. When you continually find some creative items with chine color blockings, cartoon prints that look like 3D and even real 3D details in Anne Dello Russo’s wardrobe or in the collection of Givenchy, you will definitely realise that some familiar cartoon characters such as Mickey Mouse and Hello Kitty are never treated like an outdated doll or children’s pajamas in the fashion market anymore.

But at the same time, imagine like this. There was a perfect female writer who is admiring for a tiny little infant girl wearing a colorful princess dress of Disney and Mickey Mouse cap. She said: “How cute she is!” But suddenly, next day, you will see the same woman talking about Edmund Husserl in the Starbucks with wearing a big Bambie jumper and carrying a childish yellow Sponge Bob backpack!(The bag which was made by Jeremy Scott for Moschino collection!) Definitely, to some people, this situation can be still very ‘strange’. However interestingly, as time goes on, more and more people are entering to this apotheosis of progress.

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2014 F/W Moschino collection collaborated with Jeremy Scott

I asked myself like this. ‘Is it possible that 13 year-old girl fights with her benevolent mother because of their sharing wardrobe full of cute cartoon characters in the future?’

I couldn’t answer this easily. But while I think about it with a perspective of my generation(20’s), I recognized that I am looking at this ridiculous situation with funny but positive eyes. Because first, though their already exist a lot of noble things in the fashion world, the impression that they had before never inspires us anymore, so it might be necessary to show people something new. And second, regardless of the age, we all actually have expected the period to show our own pureness without any shame, so we have a right to welcome this little counteraction.

Well now, we have to admit it. Grandeur of the Baroque does not impress us anymore. Instead, we will necessarily throw ourselves to the character shop to be motivated and only simple-hearted fashion will lift up us.

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Men have no exception

“Nevertheless, I am not confident about this ridiculous trend!” unfortunately, a lot of followers of ‘French chic’ still react against like this. Then, I want to suggest some compromises for them.Make use of a theory that the collaboration of high fashion and Barbie doll can make an unexpected fresh esthetic result just like many other attractive things that two different ingredients make. For example, Givenchy has already used this brilliant strategy for a long time.
And I’m sure that it will be an interesting challenge to you too. So, if you wore a gorgeous bar suit of Dior to go to work, How about adding some immatureness with a pinky Minnie Mouse before leaving the house?

 

345 Contributor, Lee Seung Min

A freelance fashion columnist, Lee Seung Min tells about fashion, art, culture by his own unique view point more in-depth and make interesting.

프리랜서 패션 칼럼니스트인 이승민은 패션과 예술, 그리고 문화 전반에 대한 심층적이고 솔직한 이야기들을 독특한 시각으로 전해준다.

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