Trend Report: Geek Squad

Embrace your weirdness.
How geek culture became chic culture.

I'm going to be honest with you - when I think of a "geek," three things come to my mind right away: 1) The legendary TV-sitcom character in thick frames and high-waters, the one and only Steve Urkel of Family Matters, 2) The hilariously awkward 80s Michigan nerds in the cult classic show Freaks and Geeks, and 3) Me since the age of twelve.

What do all of these have in common (aside from the overwhelming amounts of incurable awkwardness)? We all found ourselves in our "most formative years" clad in orthodontics, unwantedly prescribed spectacles, and frumpy ensembles (example: I frequently left the house in my favorite Jonas Brothers tee over a long-sleeve shirt with a patterned skirt over tights, all candy colored, with my go-to Nintendo DS and Gameboy in hand.) Never once did my twelve year-old self think that my, erm, sense of style would ever become an object of high fashion affection.

However, when Alessandro Michele completely reinvented Gucci with his debut Fall 2015 collection last year, I sensed that a dramatic changed was near. I mean, let's be real, fashion was a little shook by this quirky new girl that the brand had sent down the runway. In a world of the Balmain army, Wang's gang, and Tom Ford's Hollywood, the idea of "ugly pretty" or "grandma chic" had all but fallen off the fashion deep end. This girl - the new Gucci girl (and guy too, can't leave them out!) - flaunts specs like a badge of honor, rocks berets, broaches, and loafers like they were made for her, walks through life as though it were a Wes Anderson film, and basically makes what should NOT be cool and sexy incredibly so.

I think this says a lot about the vast majority of young millennial and Gen-Z women today, who are in love with the dorky or geeky, and aren't afraid to proclaim it. We see critically acclaimed actresses like Kate Winslet, Amanda Peet, and Lupita Nyong'o rock thick framed glasses with red carpet gowns on film and TV's biggest nights and make them look totally effortless. We are in a time when sci-fi and comic book blockbuster films hold a majority female audience, and where ComicCon - which gets more hype than all of the major fashion weeks combined - has seen the female attendance rate on parr with men in the last few years. Television shows like Game Of Thrones and The Walking Dead don't just have bad ass women at the helm of their all-star casts, but an increasingly large percentage of their proudly 'nerdy' viewers are women. Then there's Harry Potter - our generation's Dungeons and Dragons phenomenon - millennial nerd mecca, a.k.a. the franchise that made it acceptable for everyone our age to be a proud wizard-loving bookworm and also introduced us to the coolest, smartest, nerdiest literary female heroine of our time - Hermione Granger (and her on-screen face, the equally cool, intelligent, and iconic Emma Watson).

We were, thankfully, the generation of children told to embrace our weirdness, though like most things, the peer pressure to be "cool" in school often forced the weird to hide. But that's the beauty of fashion; it lets us retreat back to our inner nerd, no matter how long we've abandoned it, to reach for those Ellery cropped trousers, oversized spectacles, hand-me-down costume jewelry, and Star Wars tee, and to run wild.

A photo posted by Kendall (@kendalljenner) on

But it's not just Gucci serving up the geek vibes. Prada has sent ah-may-zing thick frame glasses down the runway that would make anyone's heart skip a few beats. Rodarte took a big dive into the geek side when their fall 2014 collection featured exquisite gowns adorned with Star Wars characters R2-D2 and C-3P0. And just a blink ago at Paris Fashion Week, Karl Lagerfeld took his Spring/Summer 2017 collection into the future with Chanel-bots, a giant mainframe set, and high-fashion side ponytails.

For those whose style doesn't completely aline with that of the dork (even though I am pretty sure there is a little nerd in everyone), simply adding the accessory of the moment - spectacles - makes anything you wear look 100x more studious. Just look at Gucci's spring/summer 2017 collection; deep in the 1970s Elton John disco-vibe, yet also serving major 70s receptionist à la Jane Fonda in 9 to 5. It was all in the frames. Or just go follow Dutch Glamour editor Stephanie Broek on Instagram - every single outfit is paired with an equally explosive pair of frames. Topshop is even jumping on the nerd look with Napoleon Dynamite (my spirit animal)-style specs expected to hit stores soon.

A photo posted by Stephanie Broek (@stephaniebroek) on

It's all about embracing the ultra-nerd in all of us and expressing it through our style.  Whether that's giving those glasses a second chance or adopting the loafers and socks combo, the geek trend is all about embracing the mentality of that new Gucci girl (and our twelve year old selves, frankly). Who cares if the outfit doesn't please other people? What does it matter if we look like total weirdos? Today's nerd style is about satisfying no one but yourself - dressing only for you. Now what's better than that?

Main Image via @kendalljenner

Read more: Meet 10 of fashion's most interesting female photographers, and then read an essay about how Gen-Z is making the world of style more inclusive.

Autumn Breeze is our Fashion Market Editor.  In her spare time, she is a writer and artist who enjoys 35mm film photography, bingeing on Game Of Thrones, James Dean films, obnoxiously over-using the dog filter, and long walks on the beach.

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I founded Couturesque Magazine when I was 15 years old because like many of my peers, I felt ignored and talked down to by all of the other teen fashion publications out there. I figured that at the end of the day, the people who knew the most about my generation, were the people who belonged to it. The fashion industry is becoming increasingly dependent on the creativity of younger voices who challenge the status quo and make us rethink what we wear and why we wear it. And that is exactly what Couturesque set out to celebrate - authenticity, intelligence, originality, and diversity... in other words, what makes Gen-Z tick. Fast-forward to 2016 and we now have a staff of more than a dozen fashion distruptors contributing to our daily content from all around the globe, 100K+ readers following us from Toronto to New York, to London, Copenhagen, Berlin, Tokyo, and Tel Aviv, and a plethora of big-wig industry fans and collaborators. But what matters to us the most is the responsibility that our publication has to make a positive impact in the lives of those who come across it - we stand against retouching our photoshoots and we stand for sharing the beautiful, individual, complex voices of everyone, especially those who feel marginalized by mainstream fashion media. We hope that you love our site as much as we do and that you take the time to follow us (Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest / Tumblr / Snapchat / YouTube) throughout our journey to make fashion accessible to the powerful young adults of today.

Tia Elisabeth Glista
Editor in Chief