Monogram Mania – From Its Meretricious Descent to Cool Girl Mastery
When monogram fashion reached its peak in the early 2000s, the heavily used aesthetic that branded those of a different class was quickly shunned – the pack tiring of the ubiquitous look. Worn offhandedly, it was a flashy nod that signalled to others of their ilk, ‘we belong in the same caste system’. But things went sideways, when across the pond, China’s luxury boom created a similar Daniella Westbrook effect. Decked from head to toe flashing a LV here and a CD Saddle Bag there, the monogram had fallen to quick ‘chav’ status.
The heavy branding had become diluted. In China’s epic economic boom, new money had become a domestic phenomenon. Where luxury seemed to once be inaccessible, almost overnight it had become as easy as 1,2,3. For those jumping financial hurdles, the prospect of owning aspirational goods became extremely exciting and there was seemingly no better way to show off newfound wealth than to be as showy as possible. Ultimately, the end goal was to buy an affiliation with the brand. A luxury label also gave the impression that you belonged to a certain class and had an understanding for all the highbrow oddities that went along with it. The monogram became a visible signifier of wealth although not necessarily prestige. It had crossed over into tacky territory and the symbol once associated with luxury was no more.
But Russian influences on fashion breathed new life into maximalist fashion and all were once again in favour of the ‘wear it loud and wear it proud’ slogan. Designers not only embraced the return of logos but took to giving it a 2017 refresh. Sans serif became the new way to go. But now after a series of logo-ed debuts, it seems that designers are ready to bring out the big guns. Blazing a trail straight through to 2018, the monogram has gained new momentum in a vivifying reincarnation.
By following the 90s and ironic sartorial trend, the monogram has resumed their place in fashion. Taking their place with its ostentatious designs, monograms have muscled their way well into the digital dialogue, embracing full frontal exposure, a marketing practice to stand out from the heavy bout of imagery and influencers. For 2018, monogramming has quickly resurfaced with a rampant attitude.