TREND

I’ve been thinking a lot about trends recently. Honestly, I’ve been thinking about them a lot—for a very long time. Quite some time ago, I read a plaque in a National Park about ecological succession that changed the way I looked at trends forever (more on this next Tuesday).

You see, ecological (or biological) succession is the process by which a community (or a business) slowly evolves over time. The opposite of trend.

Recently, The Business of Fashion published an article titled, “Do Fashion Trends Still Exist?” and I started thinking more.

And then, on the cover of the newest T Magazine’s Spring Women’s Fashion 2015—which was issued this past Sunday—there is a title that reads, “& the Post-Trend World of Fashion.”

On page 96, Deborah Needleman’s Editor’s Letter is titled, “The End of Trend.” She writes, “We live in what appears to be a post-trend fashion world — with no clear guidelines for our sartorial choices and an endless array of options. New shows and collections seem to be springing up constantly throughout the year, consumed hungrily and instantaneously around the world on a variety of platforms before the editors have even filed out the doors. So inundated are we with images that we’d be bored to tears with any single trend by the time it hit stores.”

She continues: “The solution is to rely on our own instincts, which is something that many of the women featured in this issue — musicians, writers, artists, Bjork! — have in common: an ability to filter myriad influences to create an unmistakable personal voice.”

“…an ability to filter myriad influences to create an unmistakable personal voice.”

The choice of style over trend.
The choice of your own voice over the voice of an authority.
The voice of the individual.

And so my thoughts on succession and how a collection—a style—should grow slowly over time emerge again.

Deborah Needham’s piece is followed on page 105 by (idol and fashion badass) Cathy Horyn’s story on titled, “The Post-Trend Universe.”

I love this last part of her piece:

“Although the term ‘trendy’ suggests speed and thoughtless consumption, the heyday of trends occurred, paradoxically, in eras when people had time to absorb change. A hemline remained in place for years, whereas today every length is on offer. In a funny way, I think we’re moving toward a more relaxed attitude about many things, if only out of necessity. We tune out the haters and the screechy TV dress pundits, and we tune out clothes that seem punishing or artificial to us. That said, we are more tolerant than ever before of the girl whose outfit and manner is intentionally gawky or who, in her wildest dreams, wants to look like an exploding Comme des Garçons flower or maybe a disciple of Gareth Pugh, with jacket sleeves falling in long streamers.

If anything, we probably need more individual expressions of style, even if they are a minimalist whisper. A couple of years ago, Simons created an eclectic Dior collection around the notion of freedom, with styles loosely inspired by a variety of global influences. You may ask: Aren’t we already free to pick and choose? But Simons was really addressing fashion insiders. Because, while we may live in a post-trend universe, there is still consensus among editors and buyers about what is cool or chic in a given season. In a way, insiders cling to the notion of clearly defined themes more than anyone else; that’s why you see the same styles repeated in stores. Simons was simply arguing for more open-mindedness, more oddball gems in the mix.

So I celebrate the trendlessness of fashion even as my head reels from all the choices and I sometimes feel a stranger among the competing style tribes, a latter-day Margaret Mead sizing up a flock of hippie suede or some Bardot-flirty gingham.”

The issue is a great read; and although it contains a few trends, I’ve decided to look at the individual pieces and concentrate on the post-trend fashion world.

P.S.: Will trends and pop culture continue to exist in a Long Tail world?

4 comments on “TREND

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Click to read 4 comments
  1. Cynthia

    As someone just venturing into the fashion world via jewelry making, I have wrestled with this conundrum in the past. Should I follow my heart or follow the trends? If I try to force my vision into something that looks “on trend,” I am usually disappointed with the results. I realized that my work tells the story of who I am and how I arrived at this particular piece. By being true to myself and creating pieces I love, I have found my “style.”

    Reply
  2. cherie duge paul

    I completely agree with you an Ms. Horyn. I think “trends” only exist as a figment of fashion insider’s writing and styling imaginations; as she wrote “Because, while we may live in a post-trend universe, there is still consensus among editors and buyers about what is cool or chic in a given season. In a way, insiders cling to the notion of clearly defined themes more than anyone else…” There would be no fashion mags (as we know them now) if the creators thereof didn’t manufacture themes, trends, whatever you want to call them, to present., no? On a day-to-day basis, most girls now dress for themselves and, hopefully, their body types irrespective of what the industry thinks is cool. To wit, the rise of “thrifting” and “high/low” and “vintage” and blogs like Sea of Shoes, Beckerman Blog, 5 inch and up, etc. where individuality trumps trend. I would even venture to say it’s now kind of embarrassing to see someone decked out head to toe in “trend” or logo-blazing style – they seem like desperate victims rather than unique people whom happen to like fashion!
    As we move forward I hope designers continue to embrace the spectrum of sizing needed so that all women can have complete fashion freedom to dress how they see fit (pun intended:-).

    Reply
  3. Pingback: Fashionable Things We Have Found 9 | Cañada College Fashion Department