The bohemian brands behind Chris Pine’s Hippy Vibe Shift
The world of menswear now resembles the hierarchy of a traditional American high school. There are the jocks, represented by those who appear to be wearing Cole Buxton, Aimé Leon Dore, Sporty & Rich and now Slazenger. There are the nerds – the sneakerheads – who are perhaps more concerned with the function of retail (drops, reselling, collaborations, etc.) than with the actual style concept itself. And don’t forget the faculty, or more specifically, the inspirational and unnecessarily handsome English teacher whose literal vibe is emulated by students from Drake’s, Beams Plus, Rowing Blazers, etc. It goes without saying that the artsy kids have always been represented by the leather and denim boredom of Parisian high fashion, but now a groovy subdivision has sprung up and finally the pothead has a place at the top of the class.
This isn’t the first time wavy, Woodstock-esque clothing has been cool. In the ’90s there were grunge elements of hippieism—long hair, tattered jeans, cropped t-shirts—but it was much more about rawness and anger than peace and/or love. And then, in the noughties, the boho trend in womenswear saw girls wear oversized studded belts over low-hanging jeans, floaty dresses with ruffles, and big Indiana Jones hats. People soon moved on (except for those in Clapham or Bali), but the hippie has made a triumphant comeback, and this time it’s Boujier.
A few weeks ago you might have seen Chris Pine – perhaps the most stylish of the Hollywood Chrises, but admittedly it’s a low bar – on The Jimmy Kimmel Show I’m wearing a very nice embroidered shirt and striped trousers from the American brand Bode. Combined with a shaggy beard and a mop of hair, he looked like he’d just emerged from the peyote zone at a Mama Cass pool party. But take a closer look at the fit and you’ll see Gucci loafers, Jacques Marie Mage sunglasses and a gold Rolex. Cass may not approve of such accessories, but that’s the vibe. Pine is the high priest of a key trend for 2022: the blue-chip hippie.
The sixties style has been on the rise for some time. Much of the focus has been on Bode, American designer Emily Bode’s Pine-favorite brand, which uses (or takes inspiration from) vintage haberdashery, mid-century American ephemera, and traditional construction techniques like crochet and embroidery. Bode has a youthful temper, an aesthetic antidote to the boldness of modern fashion. However, it is not the only brand that took inspiration from the youth movements of the 1960s. Take the older statesmen; Based in LA and influenced by the art of the founder’s grandmother in the ’60s, the company offers tie-dye and hombre knitwear, loungewear and homeware. Or Kapital, a Japanese brand with a cult following that takes quintessential Americana and makes it kinda Americana-ier, which in recent seasons has delved even further into ’60s pastiche.
Aesthetically, these brands are mega. Weird stuff, well done, with a disrespectful look and (little) middle finger, all the way to the mainstream. But they are also incredibly expensive. Kapital’s Hippie Insane Remake patchwork jeans are £1,860 at Mr Porter’s and Elder Statesman’s Love N Stripes cashmere bathrobe is $3,695. Clothing at exorbitant prices is nothing new – and luxury goods sales have been booming since the pandemic – but surely the charming hippie of a tie-dye bathrobe is ruled out by the fact that you have to be on the Waystar Roco board to buy one?
There are young men on social media right now wearing old football shirts, straight blue jeans and adidas sambas campaigning for bloke-core, but I doubt any of them have ever seen the inside of a regional football stadium. Or even one picture a pukka cake. And the same probably goes for the blue-chip hippy. It’s more about vibes than substance. Followers of the trend will likely still wash, pay taxes, use WiFi, and eat meat, and remain enslaved to the corporate machinery.
But that doesn’t mean it’s not cool. Harry Styles is putting up some serious legwork for the BCH movement, and heck, when it comes to seizures, this kid just doesn’t miss a thing. Even Jay-Z got in on the action, recently sporting a baggy tie-dye bucket hat with an off-white shirt and Audemars Piguet watch. And of course Pine was at it again, this time looking not dissimilar to a brave divorcee at a Sussex art fair in a floppy hat, cravat and Breton striped top. He also wore *two* sunglasses. And yet it worked. I’m not sure if I respect it or understand it, but damn it I like it.