Monday, 16 June 2008

A trend for all seasons

Fashion has a reputation for being ‘fast’. For swallowing up trends and spitting them out. We’re constantly being reminded that frivolous fashion-orientated consumer spending is destroying the world. Yet in spite of this, the seasons ‘looks’ have become oddly predictable. While some trends become fads destined only for revival every few years, others have longevity and become fail-safe wardrobe staples.

This is great news, because in these such uncertain times when no-one can decide whether we're in recession or not, this offers some hope of spending a little and wearing a lot. So, as the title of this post suggests, lets take a look at the guaranteed trends, one for every season of the year:

  • Spring = Nautical
  • Summer = Safari
  • Autumn = English country
  • Winter = Sequins
If these only seem vaguely familiar, it's probably because every year meedja fashionistas' love to give these 'classics' a different name. It's an attempt to trick you into thinking you are wearing something completely different to last year. For example, nautical has had various incarnations over the years, riviera style, sailor chic, regatta promenades and naval style. Safari also answers to military or utility. English country translates to heritage, tweed, weekend retreat, highland fling and (my personal favourite used in 2004) good wool hunting. Finally, sequins are also known under the aliases shimmer, metallic or glitzy glamour. Trueeeeeee fact.

While the fashion message may stay the same over the years, the way we deliver it does not though. Yes, we wear the same four looks annually, but each time we style them in a way that makes them fresh, timely and contemporary. For example, in spring we wore our nautical stripes and sailor trousers with simple, bright clashing coloured accessories (preferably yellow, orange and purple). This season's safari is all about soft layering using chiffon and silks to offset the traditional heavy cotton fabrics. When the leaves fall from the trees and the autumn arrives this year we will be wearing our tweed and tartan at calf length and contrasting it with lace. And when winter eventually draws in and the sequins come out, we'll be layering them with a variety of different fabrics to create interesting textures.

So, if history teaches us anything, it's that for the foreseeable future these four looks will still be dominating the catwalks and our wardrobes. Do you ever wonder why this is though? I think that Jess Cartner-Morley may have hit the nail on the head when she said this about the safari trend:
"The longevity of safari as a look is due to the fact that it has nothing whatsoever to do with dust tracks or looking at animals through binoculars, and absolutely everything to do with looking as if you are on a very posh holiday".

YEAAAAHHHHH! Money talks, baby. All of these trends represent cash. And, well while grunge is transient, wealth is enduring. Fashion, being the caring, considerate industry it is has (perhaps) surprisingly become the modern day Robin Hood. Taking from the rich and giving to the poor! Obviously in the form of achievable trends that represent an aspirational lifestyle rather than chests of gold of course. But still, I applaud the effort. Are you managing to follow my mad rambling train of thought? You see, if I wear nautical inspired apparel it means I have my own yacht. Yah! If I clothe myself safari style this means I take exotic expensive holidays. Tally ho! Wearing tweed means I have a country manor retreat for weekends away shooting clays and entertaining aristocracy. Rah! And well, sequins mean I can afford to buy all that glitters! Gold, diamonds, rubies, emeralds. Jolly well spiffing chaps!

So, while Vogue may be trying to confuse me with their talk of pale denim, painterly prints, and Americano this season, I ain’t buying it. It will become redundant so very quickly. And in these financially worrying times, that won’t do at all. I’m going to stick to what I know will serve me well; money. And for summer fashion that translates to 'big game'. Sure, I can’t afford to go on an actual African Safari, but I can don a safari jacket and stalk the streets of London. The national park of Kruger actually has more in common with the UK than you might think. Both have thousands of wildebeest loitering at watering holes. Sly hyenas on the look out for an opportunity to snatch a prize, groups of baboons making arses of themselves. And of course, both have shed loads of 4 x 4s driven by the rich.



Anonymous said...

Nice blog, funny, witty, unpretentious, well written. At last a blog thats not self obsessed! (unlike some others). Can't wait for you girls to cover fashion week...keep it up! (Get this blog a bit more PR).....Later...

Some Like It Fashion said...

Awww shucks, you're making me blush, anonymous!

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