As I swiped through a fashion blog’s slideshow, “The Top 7 Trends That Fashion Girls Will Be Wearing Next”, I couldn’t help but feel a tinge of cynicism. It was a well-researched piece, filled with examples from S/S 16 runways, some of which were from my favorite designers. What gives? Although the garments were beautiful and inspiring, I was reminded of two winters ago, when I felt an urge to push my usual bohemian prints to the back of the closet, replacing them with newly bought sweatshirt dresses and over-sized tee shirts. I didn’t understand why gray, stretchy-cotton material and white sneakers suddenly felt so exciting, they just did.
Less than a month later it all made sense: Normcore had been a thing for a while, and I was unknowingly riding the zeitgeist. I started to take notice of all the photos of models off-duty, impossibly high cheek bones peeking through air-dried, perfectly-bent hair. Their baggy white tees and mom jeans hung on their long, thin frames, making these young women look even more delicate in contrast. It was then that I realized that no matter how fresh this looked on a 115-pound model, it just wasn’t going to have the same effect on my strong, broad-shouldered frame. I would look more like an off-duty Croatian wrestler on her way to play D&D or a Croatian Andrew W.K. impersonator… Not that there’s anything wrong with that! It’s just… not the same.
I should clarify that I’m not implying that only certain body types should wear certain things. I believe, and want to see, people from everywhere on the spectrum wearing whatever it is that reflects them, both emotionally and creatively. BUT, I am a product of an environment that’s shoved one beauty ideal down my throat since I was a wee lass, so I hope you’ll understand why I would feel less than chic wearing a billowy poncho with cropped flares, or whatever it is that Alexa Chung’s wearing this week. So, why the pressure to try? Why the need to try and keep up with these fashion girls and the 7 things they’ll be wearing next? What do YOU want to wear or design next?
Trends are just that. They can keep things from becoming stagnant and uninspiring, but if you haven’t developed your own sense of style, they can send you down a long, and weary path of wearing or designing for a different person every few months. I realize I’m stating the obvious here, but it’s amazing how often some of us get caught up in the idea of staying… well, caught up.
Your perspective offers far more than making sure you create a buttonfront A-line skirt in alignment with the 70s trend that’s currently everywhere. Instead, I’d like to remind everyone to let trends work for you, to motivate you to evolve your own aesthetic. Do you prefer a classic, 50’s silhouette? Maybe your take on the 70’s is a fit & flare with a far-out print? Maybe you want to pair suede platforms with an understated cigarette pant. I dunno, that’s for you to decide! Point being: style is supposed to be individualistic. Celebrate your creative voice and find inspiration in yourself, before paying too much attention to what’s on trend, because the one thing you can offer potential clients, that no one else can, is your own unique voice, right?
So, if it isn’t already obvious, what trends do I think people will be wearing next? Pieces designed by one-of-a-kind people, and customized for every one-of-a-kind body. The internet has been priming us for this for a while. Looking for a panda iPhone case? Browse all 9,600,000 results on Google. Want to order a pizza with 6 toppings, light sauce, slightly crispy crust, and then track it to you door? Pizza Hut has you covered! vPersonalize, MyWear and on-demand manufacturing will give us all the ability to create and find that piece of clothing that’s juuuuust right, made to order, and fits all of our super-specific measurements. As a designer, you’ll have the ability to design the vision that’s been dancing around in your head, without having to worry about overhead, inventory, or even sewing, for that matter. We live in the future, guys! And in the future, we wear whatever we want to.