Runway fashion trends definitely had their time. It passed. They are dead. Or maybe not? What if fashion trends still exist? It’s a question we all ask these days with so many fashion seasons overlapping and the lines between the trends blurring. Do we still have fashion trends or have they all died out? Are having fashion trends even trendy anymore? It appears that there is too much in terms of “newness” and yet not really that many at all. A single Instagram photo can go viral in a matter of minutes, creating a whole new trend like wearing a Kenzo tiger sweatshirt, which many It girls sported.
In 1937, a very smart man named James Laver presented the lifetime of a trend in meticulous detail, so much so that it’s quite laughable. Right now, a trend is smart. A year from now, it will be considered daring. In about 20 years, those wearing today’s trends will be called ridiculous. And then in about 50 years we’ll see it all recycled again. Sometimes less, sometimes more. The truth of the matter is that what was totally trendy in the ‘60s and ‘70s is now coming back into style, morphing to suit the modern times but still as ridiculously similar to those ancient trends as ever.
It didn’t make sense for years and perhaps it still doesn’t today, but Laver’s Law is certainly in effect, give or take a few decades. For years, the fashion houses published huge books depicting their predictions in terms of fabrics and styles, which would then be used as a holy book for designers and brands who would work diligently for years using these assessments. The books, with the trends and advanced printing in hard copy kept the turnover of new styles at a steady pace for a very long time. Those days have ended though it seems. People see the idea of a group of “specialists” sitting around and choosing the colors and fabrics for the next two to three years as pure nonsense, while the Worth Global Style Network has certainly dominated the industry with its trend forecasting services until this past year when it was bought by eMap and launched Stylus’ fashion division, offering not prediction but creative research and the advice fashion businesses require to stay afloat in the competitive race to the finish line. Today, it’s social media that dictates which trends come and which ones go. It gives birth to and kills trends almost without care, without even allowing it a decent amount of time to live!
In 2014 alone we saw the death of multiple trends; these included:
• Janties: The jean short that was more in the style of panties. They were certainly not as comfortable as the mini shorts worn today and were less than appropriate to wear in public.
• Crowns: Coachella made you buy them and now they are gathering dust because… who wears crowns? It’s the asymmetric earrings that are hot now, so let’s see how long those last.
• Short and flimsy rompers: Some people looked great in them, but too many just shouldn’t have gone near, no matter their size. Those things were unflattering, giving the buttocks no shape at all and either allowing them to hang out or just covering them as if nothing’s there. Plus, it’s not fun to have to get naked every time you have to use the bathroom.
• Culottes: They didn’t last long at all, falling out of fashion as soon as they got in again. For many, it’s just preferable to wear either pants or skirts. For us, we rather liked the culottes and will be missing them.
• Poufy midi skirts: We love the midi skirts, but the extra pouf was too 1950s for us and the trend died down rather quickly. Without the tulle and the unflattering box-pleats, midi skirts can be simply gorgeous and it’s good to see they are still in. If anything, they seem to dominate!
• Metallic temporary tattoos: Everyone was doing it, from the greatest stars in Hollywood to the youngest tweens on the street. And now they are dead. They have been replaced with an equally strange temporary adhesive face makeup trend. It’s easier to just put on some jewellery and walk out. Then again, that wouldn’t be half as cool.
• Side cutouts: It’s a good thing to see these go in a way, but we will miss them. It’s just that some labels liked cutting out in strange places that were not flattering at all. It’s amazing to see the high side split skirts though! The center splits are intriguing though they inspire much in terms of paranoia concerning decency, but the side ones that go up high on the thigh? Marvelous! It’s a sexy comeback and we are loving it.
All these fashion trends were born and died rather quickly. All the new ones that have begun will probably see their end come by the coming years. They do not last long. Sometimes they barely last a season. The crop tops made it to the new season, though so that’s an interesting option to keep up. Social media makes all the difference though. Instagram has become a fashion platform for many a fan. The problem here is overexposure as well. You have a great trend that suddenly is everywhere you look. Every image sports it. Every person wears it. And then it cools off because it took off at such a momentum it was bound to burn out.
Sometimes, however, trends surpass expectations, like the Valentino rock stud making it through 8 seasons when it was just forecasted for one. Fashion bloggers actually make much in terms of a difference concerning trends; which is probably why the word “trend” brings up so much confusion. Does a trend actually exist anymore or is it just a luxury we try to pretend is part of our reality. No one knows where it starts or where it ends anymore. There is no guidebook to help put things into perspective. There’s just a digital age and an industry that wholly catered to the masses.
The times have changed. Fashion trends are no longer as trendy as we might think. Indeed, they are but an illusion of the truth: since the season’s products do not sell so well, it’s important that proper work is done to differentiate a brand from all others, thus appealing to the masses. Brands should show that they too evolve with the rest of the world, instead of staying put in a bubble of the past. Trendy trends are not exactly sustainable and will be short-lived. The modern world dictates that. The attention span of the Millennials and all the generations to come afterwards demands it. Since there is no filter for trends, it’s the people who decide what they like and what they don’t and the brands that must cater to the people’s desires instead of the people adapting to the fashion industry’s latest elusive designs. Now, ZARA has over 10,000 designs a year and Topshop produces new products every day. Behemoths in the fashion industry are made to struggle because of these changes though, hurting favourites like Marks & Spencer. It’s the haute couture that’s paid the highest price but it continues to persevere through the winter, trying to adapt to the latest trends while keeping the brand looking fresh and modern.
Fashion trends may die out and it may not be trendy to have so many trends, but at the end of the day, it’s what drives the fashion industry and what allows new businesses to grow if they can keep up with modern technology and manipulate the powers of social media.
Photos courtesy of JouJouVilleroy
Don’t miss: 20 Fashion Mistakes That It Girls Never Make