Why we're all on board with twinning

Words: Modupe Oloruntoba | Photographs: Glen Montgomery | Stylist: Mandy Nash

Rising to popularity in late 2015, twinning took over the international street style scene. Obvious fans were people like bloggers (and twin sisters IRL) Cailli and Sam Beckerman and co-designers Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs. More surprising participants included a selection of powerful editors and buyers, as well as every second couple spotted outside the Spring 2016 Fashion Week shows in Seoul, South Korea. It even touched down in SA for a minute. TWoU took a stab at it and again here, here and here.  In stylist Mandy Nash's new take on the trend, she creates a visual connection between strangers on the beach Ansolet and Jaime, using fashion’s favourite accessible fabric: denim. Everyone already owns some, and even if you and your twin decide you want to be identical, new matching pieces won’t break the bank.

As someone who has both fond and not-so-fond memories of matching outfits with my sisters, I was both curious and uncomfortable with the increasing popularity of the trend. The internal conflict that followed my research was comical: Wait, aren’t we all ‘unique little snowflakes’? Don’t we spend all this time and effort developing an #aesthetic just so we don’t look like anyone else? Why are people doing this, and more importantly, why do I like it?

We’ve always idealised finding our equal, our match, whether we find them in a best friend, a partner, or in our families. When we find them we almost immediately want to share the news. It’s related to being citizens of the post-social media era, dependent on validation and masters of the overshare. When offered the twinning trend, yet another way to wear our personalities, thoughts and interests on our sleeves, of course we took to it. Now that it's socially acceptable to self-cav and be ‘a liker of things,’ we’re embracing it. It’s also rare to have our desire to belong and our desire to stand out intersect and complement each other this way, and while the twinning trend was not the origin of that idea, it definitely makes expressing it a simpler endeavour.

What we’re agreeing with when we twin-style is that with the right person you don’t have to sacrifice one bit of your identity or your right to express it through fashion to feel like you fit somewhere. Instead, you and your ‘twin’ carve out a space and a style that covers and celebrates all of what you both already are. It’s a custom fit and like a bespoke suit, it stands out - you stand out, together. It’s a somewhat romantic notion that’s perhaps not all that realistic without some compromise or manipulation, but still a nice thought.

Models: Ansolet & Jaime