What if I just made up a trend but didn't tell you I was making it up?
Wouldn't it be HILARIOUS??
I mean, you'd all look so stupid and mindless and I'd look so awesome and powerful and we'd all live happily ever after in our own little faux-trend fantasy worlds.
Honestly, guys. I so often find myself thinking about the idea that every "trend" I've ever heard of is a lie (or at least a very well-fabricated reframing of the truth).
Example: Have you ever successfully BS-ed your way through a tough situation? You know how it usually consists of you haphazardly drawing together totally unrelated items and making them out to be something that, in sum, makes "perfect sense"?
This is how I feel about trends.
In fact, I'm fairly certain that if you showed me a series of random runway images spanning from '95 until now, and told me they were all from the same season, I'd find umpteen "trends to watch for" from that make-believe "season".
This makes me think that it's not the designers so much as the editors, the style curators, that decide what's "a thing". I honestly don't think the designers are poaching each others' ideas or even really coming from the same place of inspiration. I think the spectators are making lump generalizations about a few minor cross-brand correlations and proponing their ubiquity to prove their worth (✋ guilty)
Here's my long-winded example:
Yesterday, compatriate in over-thought, The Man Repeller, published a post entitled "Three's A trend: Patchwork Denim Like It's 92 Again". In it, she cited that the "patchwork" denim trend began with the S/S '13 collections from Phillip Lim & Isabel Marant and progressed to Dries & Junya Watanabe. If I'm not mistaken (usually am) here are some examples to which she was referring:
Quite a range. Which is fine- that's what a trend is.
And her current accumulation of 10-year-old-esque street style photos featuring childish patchwork does more than adequately justify her trend observation. It's 100% convincing.
I wonder, though, could I have found an equal number of photos proving the same thing 5 years ago? Is this style feature really exclusive to the last year and a half? And if it is, how much of it had to do with the aftereffects of similarly broad assertions by influential tastemakers? Can 'trends" evolve on their own, or do they have to be given legitimacy early-on hold weight?
Interestingly enough, a couple of months ago (exact date 12/31/13), I received the images of me you see featured in this post.
The outfit was 1. courtesy of a major Free People sale, 2. meant to be about converting a dress into.. not a dress, and 3. definitely not about the fact that patchwork denim was 'in'.
In fact, I didn't even think that patchwork denim was in.
Actually, I don't know what the heck I thought. SHOCKING.
Anyhoot. I (metaphorically) sat on the images, couldn't come up with a cool post idea, hated the way I looked, got lazy, etc, etc -- and I didn't post the pics. Then I read The Man Repeller's post yesterday and started questioning everything.
What if I was super influential?
Would patchwork denim have officially been a thing on 12/31/13 versus 3/06/14.
|Honestly not sure why this photo alone wouldn't convince you|
Is trendspotting essentially identical to that process of rigorously outlining the "Theme" to a novel you totally didn't get and then scratching all of your work immediately after your teacher tells you what he/she 'knows' to be the true moral of the story?
Is this post way too long?
Are repeated question marks annoying?
Photos by Matt Engelhart