I stayed up late Wednesday evening reading Elizabeth Cline's Overdressed from cover to cover. Much of it covers territory similar to topics I've previously blogged about, but she made two points that were new to me. One, that the cycle of fast fashion is such that if you don't grab an item when you first see it, it is not likely to be available if you return to the same store several weeks later. And, that given this speed trend forecasting is essentially meaningless. And two, that the impact of fast fashion on quality middle-of-the-line (bridge?) clothing once available in department stores is that it too is shoddily made and less expensive than it once was. She argues that there is a bifurcation--99% of us wear some version of fast fashion, while 1% may be able to afford couture.
If I asked you what YOU want to wear this fall, how closely would it match what was shown in the Fall/Winter shows last February? How closely would it match what the magazines are telling you is "in" this fall? I'm pretty hit and miss about watching video replays of the fashion week shows, but I do know that I began to hunt for a pair of white wool slacks and to buy up garments of gold, as I came across them in the thrifts last winter. I suspect that I was influenced by the Gucci show, but Tom Ford has a gold belt that I highly admire as well.
In preparation for writing this post, I went through 10 pages of Google search results on "Fall Fashion Trends" and tallied the results. I looked at 15 different periodicals ranging from Style.com to Elle to Glamour, Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, O., Cosmopolitan, the New York Magazine, Seventeen, The Chicago Tribune, Essence, and the Boston Globe. Five of these sites found that Brocade, Matched prints (in suits and pantsuits), Black Leather and Military were trends. Four of them touted fur in bold colors. oversized coats, winter whites, and "oxblood" as trends. Just three thought that this gold I focused on was a big deal. Two mentioned knee high boots, velvet, peplums, and oversized hats as a trend. A wide variety of other things received single mentions--pink, black and white, pale grey, reptile prints, jumpsuits, slouchy pants, turtlenecks, harnesses, and tiny shiny bags.
I'm curious how the public translates what they are told are trends into the things they actually wear. The first week or two of school is always interesting because I pay close attention to what students are wearing. The Toms go without mention, but ombre hairstyles and lots of bright neons have been catching my eye. In a class discussion on Thursday exploring baby boomers nostalgia for the 50s, my students told me the decade they'd most like to return to was the 1980s! THEY told me that leg warmers are IN, though I've not seen them on anyone and not a single magazine mentioned them! How many of their choices are dictated by the fashion industry whether by magazines, social media, and what's available in stores? How many of their choices are dictated by the local mores of their socioeconomic group? And how many are independently chosen?
If you could MAKE something trend, what would it be?