Trend is Dead, Long Live Trend

Trends are a funny thing. One second you’re living your life, minding your own business… and the next second, you realize you can’t live another second without a pair of suede knee-high boots in eggplant purple. Print magazines depend on trends, because what would there be to report otherwise? “This season, wear whatever you want… Here are 5 new things you can’t live without (maybe)”. No, it just doesn’t work. My beloved magazines don’t make sense without trends to drive them.

But the UK is always ahead of the States as far as trend reporting goes, and the Guardian is reporting an end to trend.

    Paris fashion week: eight days, 90 shows, a cast of thousands, a budget of millions. And how many trends? Er, none, actually. Nada, zero, zilch. At a push, you could count florals as a trend, but predicting that people may wear floral prints in summer is a bit like forecasting that they will wear sunglasses or eat ice cream. When something happens every summer, it’s not a trend.

With a global climate that has a bad case of manic depression (what do Spring and Fall even mean anymore?), and high-end designers who have realized they need to push the envelope if they want to make any money (otherwise, H&M rips off their designs and their profit), the trend-creation system is collapsing. But trend can’t just disappear. Most of the fashion industry simply wouldn’t exist without it!

So let’s all vote, who are the new trendsetters? Is it the design departments at mega-chains like H&M and Forever21? Are the Gaps and J.Crews going to coat us all in “basics”? Or are we going to take our style cues from the internet non-celebs (think Cory Kennedy) and celebrity super stylists (think Rachel Zoe)?


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  1. Avatar
    Amy 10/24/2007 at 4:28 pm #

    The cycles of fashion, much like the gears in a clock — turn and intersect at different points bringing together unique combinations of previous ideas to create the styles of the day. Colors ebb and flow bringing popular combinations into and out of fashion over time.

    I expect, that like myself, most visitors here gather input from the ambient wave of fashion information from a multitude of sources and add a splash of unique rebellion to hone a unique style.

  2. Avatar
    Erica 10/24/2007 at 9:55 pm #

    As an employee of H&M, it is obvious to me that the styles we stock in our stores do have great influence from high-end designers. Although, in the United States, most people who shop at department stores in the mini-malls in St. Anywhere town, do not have the time nor patience to pull together a “ambient unique rebellion” to form a unique style. These people go to stores, look at what is put on the mannequins, realize that the people who work in these stores probably have better taste than them, and they end up buying every article of clothing displayed.

    I believe that this “buying exactly what is displayed” phenomena is exactly what is creating the trends. Therefore, I do not see trends just fading away…at least not in the US, because there is going to continue to be a mass consumerism of millions of people with all the same MTV influenced style.

  3. Avatar
    shahrzad 10/26/2007 at 2:05 pm #

    Amy, I only wish everyone in the country paid as much attention to style as you!

    Erica, you raise an excellent point with the “buying what’s displayed” phenomena. People will continue going to the stores they feel most comfortable in, be it H&M or Macy’s, and there they’ll find the trends they need in what the employees have chosen to display. It’s a shame that most people don’t take their personal presentation more seriously, and spend a little more time putting together a look.

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