Fashion Trends: The Death of An Era?

Vogue christens this year’s September Issue, declaring:

We now live amid a democracy of images…How we encounter style has been irrevocably changed—and has irrevocably change how we dress. It isn’t about pronouncements from on high, it’s about rhythm and speed and individuality. It’s about egalitarianism. What follows, then, is a new kind of portfolio—one that brings together the designers, models, and personalities who, through their vision and the courage of their aesthetic convictions, are defining the fashion of our era. (1)

What I particularly love about this introduction is its avoidance of trends. There’s no mention of the materialistic side of this year’s looks. Instead Wintour’s words speak to a spirit. The editor openly downplays Vogue’s power by crediting today’s “personalities” as the true makers of the fashion world.

In recent years, trends have shifted from a source of replication to mere inspiration. Logos have lost their mass appeal and the notion of personalized style has become an overused cliché. Does that mean fashion trends are being replaced by individual interpretation? In 2015, it seems that a relationship between fashion and personalities has become so interwoven that instead of trending looks today’s fashion can most accurately be characterized by trending attitudes, such as Neo-Victorian, indicating nods to both “Californian street culture” and the “nineteenth-century queen” or Eighties Redux, which translates to mean the “glam good-times look of the eighties” (4).

Apparently others are contemplating similar questions. This winter, the Business of Fashion also asked: Do Fashion Trends Still Exist? and quickly makes note that “the word ‘trend’ is a little bit like the word ‘luxury’ — nobody really knows what it is anymore, where it starts, where it ends”. Pierre-François Le Louët, president of Paris-based trend forecasting agency, NellyRodi, goes on to explain that “trends are tools that might help you convince your clients how you and your brand understand how the world changes” (2) but are not always something that’s smart to emulate. The article goes on to explain that in replacement of trends, both people and fashion houses have been seeking out more life-style focused products, which offer lasting resonance and tap into personal style over trendy “it” items.

In ode to the spirit of the season, I’ve curated a collection of looks that are albeit having a moment but more importantly reflect looks that underscore my own tastes and preferences. Hope you enjoy & cheers to NYFW kicking off September 10th!

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Key Influences:

Alessandro Michele: Gucci’s new creative director “When I started the first collection, I was thinking not in terms of fashion but in terms of attitude,” (5)

Margo Tenenbaum: the “unofficial muse of the season” (6) originally created by Wes Anderson in his 2001 film, The Royal Tenenbaums

Alicia Vikander: who played Gaby in the recent release, A Man from U.N.C.L.E

1. Vogue, September 2015, page 697

2. Kristen Unscripted: Austin Way, Issue 4, September 2015, page 80

3. Do Fashion Trends Still Exist?, The Business of Fashion, Jan 2015 (link)

4. The Top 12 Trends of Fall 2015, Vogue, March 2015 (link)

5. Inside the House of Gucci, Vogue, June 2015 (link)

6. The Royal Tenenbaums’ Style Revives on Fall Runways, WWD, April 2015 (link)

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