The arrival of Generation Z in the world of work has been the subject of heated debate for years. While most researchers and studies to date have focused on the work ethic of this strong-willed generation, little attention has been paid to their fashionable affinities for the office. And yet, it’s hard to imagine that the highly expressive generation, breaking away from classic corporate structures and conformity, won’t express it so visually.
Through social media in particular, where “silent stopping” – the idea of not exceeding one’s own limits as a worker – is already touted and TikTok videos with converted corporate language such as “N ‘feel free to contact me’ are going viral every Today, experts at trend research institute FashionSnoops are currently observing a shift in fashion and predicting a new (un)suitable office microtrend, Office Punk.
Generation Z is breaking away from workwear and reinventing it
The office punk trend, as the trend researchers at Fashion Snoops dubbed it, still has no official “internet name” and therefore no corresponding hashtag on social media. But this is precisely where the style is already spreading. Even though the trend was born on the catwalks, the younger generation – driven by the deep and seemingly unstoppable ecological, economic and social crises of this world – allows the trend to flourish.
“Generation Z is under the influence of the ‘poly crisis’, which fosters an attitude of collective fear,” said trend analyst Péter Kecskés. “As a result, elements of rebellious subcultures like punk and grunge are reappearing in mainstream culture.” of these feelings and aesthetic currents, Office Punk, a trend which, as its name suggests, rebels against stereotypical work clothes and diverts them, so it is not surprising that the trend has also taken over the catwalks of the bachelor collection of the Institut Français de la Mode (IfM), but designers such as the Berlin duo behind Richert Beil or Namesake, a brand founded by three brothers in homage to their father, are also following the trend.
Even without being interested in a classic “9 to 5 job”, Generation Z does not completely forego the characteristics of the classic office look, but rather puts its own stamp on it. Oxford shirts and ties are no longer a must, but they are still popular due to their looks and the connotations that go with them. “The office punk aesthetic is characterized by a mix of allusions to office attire and punk style,” says the FashionSnoops trend expert.
Office Punk not only rejects convention, as the namesake punk movement of the 1970s did, but also borrows elements and the do-it-yourself mentality of the style that had flourished in reaction to the political and social ills of the time. “Among young people, DIY design still dominates, but amidst all the chaos and catharsis, we’re moving away from pretty crochet knits and grannys and towards a harder, more punky deconstruction that popularizes hemming. rough, rips and nails,” Kecskés continued.
The best examples of this are provided by designers Dilara Findikoglu and David Koma at London Fashion Week. While Koma’s combination of vinyl pants with a tie and high-necked shirt is just neat enough to maybe even score in the office, Findikoglu’s subversive school uniform underlines the “punk” in the name of the tendency.
Office elements meet punk attitude
Optically, Office Punk builds on familiar old tricks and combines classic pieces with unconventional, unexpected and sometimes contrary elements. “It’s a pinstripe pencil skirt with a leather fetish bra or a leather button-down shirt with tailored dress pants,” summarized Kecskés as the trend staples. The combination determined by “the highs and lows of style” is harmonious, he added, especially when it comes to pieces in a coordinated color palette.
The key elements of style are the clothes that are worn daily in many offices. Ties, shirts, blazers, pencil skirts or pleated pants are also part of the good school of the punk office, but these pieces are rediscovered both by the choice of materials and thanks to the associated punk attitude. The trend analyst points out that interest in office punk looks is driven by conflicting combinations of materials and garments.
“With Office Punk, we dare to do the unexpected with tailored pants in high-shine leather or exciting tops in pinstripe fabrics that are usually only seen in traditional tailoring,” he explained. . “It’s about throwing the rules out the window and being rebellious with our design choices – an attitude that’s very much in the spirit of Gen Z.”
In its softest form, office punk is a youthful approach to tailoring, while in its most extreme the styling is almost a fashionable critique of the system. Some creators also venture into the subject, but deliberately take it slow. In particular, combinations of shirts with ties and hoodies, as in the case of French designer and ANDAM LGN award winner Louis Gabriel Nouchi, or tousled pencil skirts, exposed tights and cardigans in the case from Miu Miu, are simple introductory jumpsuits for the trend that could perhaps even be seen in the office already – at least on a “Casual Friday”.
This article originally appeared on FashionUnited.DE. Translation and editing by: Rachel Douglass.