Finally… the moment I’ve been waiting my entire life for!!
I’m on trend!!
In fact, we’re all on trend.
You see… once upon a time in a land not yet populated by Facebook posts, Instagram images and YouTube clips, each season fashion forecasting houses would release hefty books decreeing what they felt would be “in” in future seasons. Designers and brands would snaffle up these books, much like a fashion bible and bring to life these predictions… thus the clothes in stores (a few years later – because these things take time) would eventually replicate what was predicted.
All that was fine. Produce a book in hard copy, predict trends in advance and keep the turnover of styles and fashions to a nice seasonally steady pace. Easy!!
BUT… then along came a strange and unlikely hero. Social Media. Now rather than waiting to be told, trends are occurring globally. In the blink of an eye trends are gaining momentum, and then just as fast as they arrived they then disappear. In this digital realm new fashion trends are appearing all day, every day. In 2014 / 2015 trends come to fruition and expire faster and more spectacularly than before. In this increasingly digital world brands, celebrities, magazines, bloggers, the joe blogs consumer and even retailers are battling it out for influence or even just to keep pace with what’s ‘in‘ and ‘out‘ of fashion.
Many brands and retailer are moving away from stringent seasonal drops of stock and are instead working on a constant feed of new stock (think Topshop, Zara and even Farmers and Kmart in NZ). In order to maintain this system of regular newness, many retailers are getting in smaller quantities for faster turnover… so if you see it, and like it be sure to snap it up quickly.
Now it’s not even a trend … it’s a lifestyle!
Anne Lise Kjaer, founder of trend management consultancy Kjaer Global (with clients Gap and Swarovski) believes “a trend is a tipping point, from when a few people are doing it to when many people are doing it. “Trendy’ trends“ she says “are unsustainable and short-lived”. A lot like the athletic apparel trend, going hand in hand with all this fitspiration (fitness inspiration) craze… it’s no longer a trend, it’s a lifestyle.
A trend is “more than going to a shop and having a look” nowadays it’s following someone on Instagram or a blog. We’ve morphed from being trend-focused into lifestyle-focused beings. Anne continues to say “some trends turn out to be short-lived, whereas others continue to evolve as they are more about lifestyle choices and style, rather than conspicuous consumption.”
Almost everybody is now contributing towards this trend or lifestyle content, and with a huge number of bloggers and well over a million Instagram users, there is no longer a single authoritative source on what is or will be … “on trend“. Those with the biggest following are nowadays the ones who have taken ownership of their own style, and are wearing and creating their own lifestyle with pride.
All of this explains why I’ve never quite got the “on trend” thing right. If you look long enough you’ll see it’s all “in” fashion.
SPOTS. STRIPES. FLOATY. STRUCTURED.
ATHLETIC. ELEGANT. PUNK. 70’S. VINTAGE. RETRO. MODERN. ECLECTIC.
BOLD. PASTEL. MONOCHROME. STUDS. CHECKERED. LONG. SHORT. HIGH WAISTED. LOW SLUNG.
What does appear to be “on trend” and “in fashion” in a HUGE way is… you! It’s hip to be yourself, which is handy as being someone else can be uncomfortable, expensive and at times a little chilly if we’re talking about fashion.
So this newly discovered fashionista (me) is going to go forth and conquer in the big “trend” or “lifestyle” this season… my own wonderful style.