Friday, January 22, 2010

Jean-Paul Gaultianna?

Oh boy. Not awk at all.

I didn't intend on posting today, but when I saw this picture I was inspired...that sounds awful, but you know what I mean.

I woke up at 5:50am this morning, which I don't think I have done since some stressful high school morning where I had a million things due, anyway I woke up at this godawful hour because I had my driving test today. Yes, I am a 19 year-old in suburbia and didn't have my license (I passed!!) until now, but I have managed to get by these past 3 years by much mooching. To the point, I was reading yesterdays Wall Street Journal which published a fantastic article by one of my favorite fashion writers, their fashion columnist, Christina Binkley, about the death of the trend. Considering Trend Forecaster is a dream job of mine, I found this article not only interesting, but also frightening.

In brief, the article discusses how the modern structure of the fashion industry (i.e. H&M and Zara producing runway ripoffs months before the actual designs hit the stores) leaves little room for trends. Unlike decades before, where hemlines and silhouettes were strict, we live in time where everything is okay. In the past two decades, designers have exhausted every trend and style from years past to the point where its a diluted market where nothing is out. Binkley makes the good point that we live in a time where people don't dress the same way, in the sense people now dress for themselves rather than following rigid style guidelines set by store buyers and trend forecasters. I think its a great change, but also it leaves little room for excitement and new ideas. 

I love that fashion is completely accessible to every socioeconomic group, but I think it needs to slow down. Look at mens fashion, it's the slowest moving part of the fashion industry trend-wise. The staples have stayed the same, but its the details that change. For example with men's suiting it takes a while for the pleat to either go in and out of style or the type of lapel to change. I like this. That is what makes things fresh, small details, not overproduction and decoration. What I think would be good and could happen to the womens fashion industry is their version of the slow food movement; a cleanse.

I'm not saying to make every design look like Jil Sander or Calvin Klein, but get fashion focused again. We need to look back at what made this industry so successful to begin with and bring that into the future. Maybe take away the celebrities and glamor, and keep the shows to fashion educated and industry people, people who actually know what they are doing. People need to learn to be patient again, especially in a time where we tire so quickly over everything due to constant exposure. Fashion and design are elements we can't avoid in our everyday lives, so why not start there?


  1. Great post Maddie. The best thing to do is try to ignore those people. I know, I know why are they talking about 'what not to wear' or 'how to look good naked'? How did they get those jobs? I've narrowed it down to marketing themselves somehow along with a couple gallons of Red Bull.

    Christian Dior has some wonderful quotes on style as opposed to fashion. I've got some good ones up on my blog. I recommend reading Dior by Dior and The Little Book of Fashion - they'll give you hope again.

  2. Thank you! We are in a weird fashion funk right now, I hope it will iron itself out.

    I will definitely look into those books, thanks for the comments!