Often we hear from fashionistas, that they don’t follow trends they just wear what they want or rather they ‘set the trends’.
I always find it a bit puzzling… so what are trends really?
A trend is a ‘general direction in which something is developing or changing’ Although it can be applied to fashion it usually describes larger shifts and directions of the society. The society as a whole is constantly moving and evolving in various directions. The four main fields that affect us are political, economic, social and technological shifts. Ok, but what does it have to do with fashion? Well, everything..
A start of a war would be a political decision yet when women needed to enter the workforce in WWII they needed more comfortable, more masculine clothes hence it was no longer outrageous to wear pants. Resources are usually scarce during war times so both female and male clothes became simpler and they uses less fabric. Think about the bikini that was first designed in Paris in 1946. Shifts in the economy also effects the way we dress. Great depressions increase the demand for cheaper clothing while strong economic years increase the overall demand for more expensive materials and unique details. Shifts in or society also has an effect on our wardrobes. In the 1960s during the rise of the feminist movement women rebelled against restriction placed on them by not wearing bras – in some cases even burn them. That desire for freedom and free self expression also affected menswear and brought the bohemian style to life that is still in rage especially during summer festival.
Ok, that is interesting but oldschool. What are the trends that affect us now?
Well, I think nowadays the main phenomenons that are affecting the way we dress are the following:
- climate change and economic depression : minimalism -black-white-gray monochrome
- comfort : A general shift is that people dress less formal and more casual. Leisure and technical wear that was once a funcional attire for athletes have entered the runways as well as streetstyle and now called athletisure. The trend in this case is that people run around all day and prefer comfortable shoes and clothes so they wear sneakers and leggings whether they are animal print or metallic, that is a fad of the season.
- gender roles : Fashion has been reacting to the changes in traditional gender roles for some time. In the late 90s everything was ‘unisex’. Then in the early 2000s men who started to take better care of their appearance were called metro-sexual. Then skinny jeans replaced baggy styles in their closets as well and T-shirts started to become longer, more like a tunic style. Others found the balance between their inner macho and feminine side by growing a beard and taking impeccable care of it with weekly visits to a barber and regular application of nourishing oils.
People are like animals they like to be together, they have an inner urge to fit in. That is why trends can form and evolve. The fashion industry, the designers, brands and fashionistas are just good at seeing these shifts ahead of everybody else. And what we see a lot, on the runway, on the streets and in the stores becomes familiar and the human psyche likes familiar. That is why commercial works and that is why we fell in love with Birkenstock and skinny jeans. 🙂
What are the current trends in your opinion? I would love to hear your thoughts.