Now that the fast-paced explosion of Fashion Week is over, for at least another season, we can all breathe a sigh of relief. Or can we? With so many trends materialising almost daily, how are we expected to keep up? It’s time for fashion to be redesigned.
About a year or two ago I decided to start a blog and being a newbie, I thought that a fashion blogger’s job was to report on all the latest trends. It is not surprising that I was unable to keep this up. I found myself drowning in the sheer volume of trends being spouted out every week and began to run out of new ways to introduce reworked ideas. It was at this point that I started to question how long trends as we know them could last.
In an almost distant past, trends were a seasonal thing. And with only two fashion seasons a year, it was easy to enjoy them at a leisurely pace. Fast-forward to today and people are constantly fashion-hungry, impatient and addicted to the new. The focus of shopping has shifted from investments to instant gratification.
This is great news for business and the industry is booming. Retailers embraced the change and ran with it so fast that we can hardly keep up. A clever ploy. As we proudly take our purchases home, high on the buzz of all things new, the shops are already bringing in the newer-new, chucking the items you just bought onto the ‘old’ pile.
Because of this, we are often left feeling old fashioned after just one wear of our supposedly ‘latest’ items – or worse still, before we’ve even had the chance to wear them. On top of this, the preference for quantity over quality means our clothing isn’t designed to withstand much wear, enticing us to replace them quicker. Shops like Zara and H&M bring in new stock every week whilst Topshop updates daily! Designers now also release pre-collections to satisfy customers who can’t wait until the main season.
In this way, we are constantly being bombarded with what’s most current, feeding the fashion-hungry whilst bribing the rest of us to keep up. But with everyone racing to be first to produce the latest craze, there are just too many trends constantly popping up. Fashion regularly reinvents old ideas as it struggles to create something new in a short space of time.
It’s quite telling that many fashion forecasters don’t forecast anymore, they track. With the rise of social media, trends can appear seemingly overnight so that it is impossible to predict what’s coming next. They appear and disappear just as quickly. The momentum seems to be at its highest right now and it’s only a matter of time before it crashes and burns.
It’s tiring and unsustainable.
So what’s next? Like with most trends, the excess of one idea tends to lead the way for the opposite to appear. In recent years, we have seen some brands begin to focus on bringing back slow-fashion. While we’re busy obsessing over organic food and recycling our plastic bottles, we seem to have forgotten to bring that same attitude to our clothing. As well as creating huge amounts of waste, throwaway fast-fashion is fuelling cruel labour practices by outsourcing to secure low prices.
But if we’re so concerned over being able to afford the clothes, why don’t we just slow down and buy less often? Then, we could afford to pay slightly more for something that’s going to last us through seasons rather than deteriorate within a few weeks. Maybe we should be focusing on beautifully timeless fashion rather than giving in to our desire to be continually updated.
Some fear that timeless fashion would bore them but that’s just because we are stuck in one way of thinking. A shift in attitude needs to happen. We need to recognise that pieces can be stored for the next appropriate season. To bring them into the here-and-now we’d only need to pair them with one or two new purchases.
Trends are never going to go away. There will always be an appreciation for something that’s popular; we just need to stop expecting this brilliance in design to happen so often. This will give creativity room to breathe and maybe come up with something even better. Gone are the great fashion defining moments like the 50s New Look or the 60s mini skirt. We don’t stop to appreciate them anymore. If we just slow the pace, we might see what we’re missing.
I asked a few friends what their opinions on fashion trends are and I think this sums it up best: “I imagine that some guys somewhere have a computer that randomly generates words when you press a button and everybody listens to the machine and decides that this must be the fashion trends for now… And sometimes it malfunctions and we end up with crocs.”
Hopefully, the rising trend for being a conscious consumer will trickle into our attitudes towards fashion as well. Awareness is being built up slowly but surely within both consumers and brands. It is a smart lifestyle choice we should all make.
If you liked this post, check out: Menswear: What The Hell Is Going on?
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