' Everything You Need to Know About the Charli XCX-Inspired Neon Green Trend? What Is 'Brat Summer

Have you heard? It’s Brat summer

Published Time: 29.06.2024 - 07:31:17 Modified Time: 29.06.2024 - 07:31:17

Have you heard? It’s Brat summer.

That’s according to English pop star Charli XCX, who recently released her sixth studio album Brat —as well as her devoted fanbase, who call themselves “Angels.”

Have you seen a proliferation of neon green? Baby tees? Sporty sunglasses, especially while out on the town? It’s Brat summer.

After Angels adopted the term following the Brat album drop on June 7, the “Boom Clap” singer, 31, helped clarify its meaning in an interview on the BBC Sounds podcast.

“It can go that way — quite like luxury,” said Charli, responding to a question about whether a recent photo of the star on a speedboat qualified as part of the trend. “But it can also be so trashy, just like a pack of cigs and a BIC lighter and a strappy white top with no bra.”

Across TikTok, fans have scoured the lyrics of the new album for indications of the kinds of accessories entailed in a Brat summer: digital cameras, cropped T-shirts, anything that falls under the coquette aesthetic.

But perhaps most fundamental to the look of a Brat summer is an iconic shade of neon green, which Charli chose to be the backdrop to her album cover in a controversial move earlier this summer. After internet blowback when she revealed the album art, she responded to criticism by questioning why fans felt so much "ownership over female artists" that they expect their likeness on an album cover.

Beyond the accessorizing, reminiscent of Y2K and indie sleaze fashion trends, Brat summer is a state of mind —being an “It” girl, but doing it effortlessly.

In the music video for the alt-pop star’s breakout single “360” from Brat, she enlisted the help of several It girls past and present, including the likes of Chloë Sevigny, Julia Fox, Gabbriette Bechtel, Rachel Sennott, Chloe Cherry and Richie Shazam. The video even features internet star Emma Chamberlain —the queen of messy buns and oversized sweatshirts while also interviewing stars as a three-time red carpet correspondent at the Met Gala.

Charli, herself, has embodied effortless It girl persona throughout her album campaign: At a Los Angeles show to promote the record, the star told the audience mid-song, “I don’t really want to sing this one. I just want you to f---ing sing this one while I drink wine, OK?”

Even the album cover — a plain green background with blurry, basic font spelling out the album name — gives a blasé feel -

to the promotion cycle of the record, as if Charli is never taking anything too seriously, and neither should you.

But Brat summer has also been defined by another key facet: unapologetic pettiness. Across the album, which she called her ​“most aggressive and confrontational record” in an interview with The Face, Charli isn’t afraid to speak on those she has qualms with.

“I think that I can be bitchy, but I don’t know that I’m a bitch,” the singer said on the Las Culturistas podcast earlier in June. “I don’t think that you become a bad feminist if you maybe don’t see eye-to-eye with every single woman. That’s just not the nature of human beings.”

Throughout her song “Mean girls,” Charli praises a little bad behavior — breaking your boyfriend’s heart and using your “razor-sharp tongue.” “I kinda miss the time where pop music was really volatile and crazy,” told The Face. “I miss the Paris Hilton days. Everybody is so worried about everything right now, how they’re perceived, if this art they’ve created is going to offend.”

On “Sympathy is a knife,” she laments, “I don't wanna share the space” because “this one girl taps my insecurities.” She later continues: “Don't wanna see her backstage at my boyfriend's show / Fingers crossed behind my back / I hope they break up quick.” (Some have speculated the song is about former tourmate Taylor Swift or actress Chloe Bennet, as both of them have been linked to men in Charli’s fiancé George Daniel's band The 1975.)

But Brat summer should also be about squashing unnecessary beef,as Charli and Lorde did when they dropped the remix to the much discussed “Girl, so confusing.” Prior to the new version of the song, fans had speculated that the Brat track —which discusses Charli’s frustration over a friend failing to follow through with plans to collaborate on music or spend time together —was about Lorde, given a line that says they have “the same hair.”

But the pair “worked it out on the remix,” where Lorde admits that she was intimidated by the English performer but has always respected her as an artist. ("I ride for you, Charli," the “Royals” singer declares at the end of her verse.)

So bring your neon green and a little bit of shade — because it’s Brat summer.

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