Monday, 27 February 2017

Trends Aren't Dead

Some fashion insiders have recently started to argue that trends are dead, or at least outdated, within the modern fashion cycle. They say we're increasingly guided by personal style and that, in the face of shifting show and buying calendars, the trend as we know it is becoming irrelevant as a concept. This is utter shit and here's why: Crocs. 

Pre-SS17 show season, Crocs were the footwear of choice for hospital staff, tired parents and unfortunate children with no choice in the matter. Enter: Christopher Kane. Kane was successful in getting dresses embroidered with dicks, nips and vulvas onto the red carpet so maybe it makes sense that he zeroed in on the ugliest shoes the world has ever seen. He swapped the primary colours for muted marbling and the dinosaur decals for chunky stones and, lo, one of the most contentious trends of our time was born.

Image: Harper's Bazaar

Of course, not everyone loved them. Most couldn't believe those perforated monstrosities had made it onto the runway. The Independent went as far as to call them 'fashion's biggest punchline'. But, slowly, the fashion community began to open their arms to the molded vinyl clogs. Why? Because now they came with a designer label attached, they had crossed the line from ugly and embarrassing to 'out there', daring, directional even (insert very, very strenuous eye roll here, please). Editors and bloggers took them for test drives in the name of fashion journalism and declared them comfortable, as if that wasn't the appeal all along. It's kind of like when Justin Bieber came out with 'Sorry'. Even hardened music journalists found themselves admitting it was a solid pop song and so it was OK to sing along and maybe try and do that wide legged dance move in the kitchen. But this song was actually good so, like, you know, people who liked Bieber for the first time were way cooler than the original fans who still listened to 'Baby'.

When asked about the collaboration, Kane said, "I always work with unexpected items and combinations, transforming the everyday into desirable luxury." And that's the crux of this whole thing; elevating something to desirable status. What is it that plants that seed in our minds and makes us want something?

Crocs haven't quite got me but if I was to sit here and tell you that I'm immune to trends that would be an enormous lie. I mean, look at this image:

I'm wearing a blue striped shirt with the sleeves poking out and Adidas originals trackies. And I'm carrying a basket. As I said in the Instagram post of this particular outfit, it's full 'fashion dick'. Only a pair of Gucci fur lined loafers could take it to the next level. Maybe I wear a bit more colour than some other people, but this outfit still has all the elements of belonging to someone whose brain is an involuntarily open door for the next suddenly desirable thing

Do you know what I really want at the moment? A pair of red boots. Why do I want a pair of red boots? First, I saw Leandra Medine wearing an exquisite star-embellished pair by Ivy Kirzhner, then she started popping up in my Instagram feed in a knee high, cone-heeled pair by Isabel Marant that make my heart actually hurt with longing. Since then, red boots have cropped up in approximately one million fashion month shows including Fendi, Vivetta, CO-TE, Emporio Armani, Missoni and Jil Sander. It's a sneaky process that is designed to prize open our purses as we sate our consumer desires, however savvy and individual we like to think we are.

Now, I'd like to play a game of street style bingo. Head over to Street Peeper or Collage Vintage or literally any fashion website and take a look through their latest street style posts. Here's your list, shout me when you have a full house:

  • A blue pinstriped shirt (free drink if they're wearing it off-the-shoulder)
  • Vintage Levi's 501s
  • A puffer coat
  • A hoodie
  • White boots
  • The J.W.Anderson Pierce Bag
  • Kitten heels
  • An oversized trench coat
  • Fishnets
  • Heritage checks
  • A corset
  • Gingham
  • Blouson sleeves
  • A shearling coat
  • 80s wire frame glasses

All images: Collage Vintage

Bingo! And the £5 prize goes to the lady in the back row. The point of that game wasn't to peg anyone as unoriginal or as a mindless follower of fashion, it was simply an indication of just how prevalent trends clearly still are. How would the fashion industry keep us coming back for more otherwise? If we weren't hungry for the new and the next, we'd be satisfied with what we already have and we wouldn't spend our hard earned cash tapping into the next season's trends. It's unhealthy and it's unsustainable but it's the reality of the fashion landscape. Sure, there's more scope to interpret them in your own way and they're faster moving than ever before, but trends certainly aren't dead.