Friday, 25 July 2008

A history lesson in trends

History has taught me so many things about fashion. Black is a constant, nautical and safari are always ‘key’ in spring summer, and hems rise and fall with the economy (this last revelation is particularly apt this autumn as austere calf-length garments that chime with the current talk of recession dominated the season’s catwalks).

One of the most annoying things I have learnt about 'fashion' though, only occurred to me recently. It was while I was in Faith last weekend trying to spend a £50 gift voucher. What I realised is that I am not only a terrible judge of people, but I am also an appalling judge of trends.

Let me break it down for you. Many a time I have met someone that I thought was absolutely fabulous. I spent every moment I could with them. They made me laugh, I made them laugh - I was a funnier, more intelligent, more attractive person when I was around them. However, it too quickly dawned on me that these people were actually crazy, high maintenance, exhausting and self obsessed. My infatuation quickly diminished.

On the opposite end of the scale, I have often met people who seem nice, kind, and genuine but kinda meh. They seem pleasant enough but my sheer laziness and rude nature meant I made little or no effort to develop a relationship. Embarrassingly these people have turned out to be amazing, interesting, beautiful and over time they eventually become some of my best friends (who now mock me endlessly for my initial cold and bitchy demeanour).

These examples quite accurately describe my relationship with fashion trends.

For instance, I find myself acknowledging what turns out to be the 'winner' of the trend bunch. It looks terribly nice and sturdy and classy I think. But I will dismiss it for reasons that are beyond fathoming right now and then proceed to back the donkey of the herd. The best example of this is skinny jeans.

When skinny jeans first arrived on the scene in 2002 I thought to myself "Oh my, aren't they pretty? Wouldn't they look great with this? Oh, and that! And those! They will fit right into my existing wardrobe. I must purrr-chase immediately!".

I was grabbing my coat and purse and running out the door when an evil fashion monkey appeared from no-where and whispered into my ear "No! Wait! Hang fire! Edith - don't spend your money on those! It will be a waste, a one-season 'flash in the pan' fad. Skinny jeans will never go the distance. This is not the 80s. You'll HATE yourself next season if you buy them. Step away. Skinny jeans are DEAD to you!"

And so with sadness I did step away. And now it is 2008 and the fucking skinny jean refuses to die. Kate Moss is STILL wearing them. And of course I had to concede eventually and start wearing them because for a while they were the only style of jean that was available to buy ANYWHERE. And now I am bitter because I could have invested in a pair from the outset and been a 'style leader' or 'early adopter' at the very least. But instead I ended up as a damn sheep! Baaaaaaaaa!

Erm, aaaaanyway. So. I'm in Faith with this £50 gift voucher; I've tried on 8 pairs of shoes and dismissed every pair for being too big, too small, too cold, too hot, blah blah blah. Finally I settle on these:

And yes, you guessed it. That is when I had my 'epiphany'. *Boof*

Way back in 2005 when the gladiator sandal made its first appearance on the spring catwalks, I was worryingly obsessed with having a pair. I scoured the globe (read London) trying to find some, but alas it was not to be. When they eventually dripped down to the high street in 2006 they were being described as 'ugly' by the meedja. Clearly this meant that they were never going to be a must-have! I should NOT invest. I bid them a fond goodbye and wished them well on their journey to fashion oblivion.


Oh, that was me mashing my head into the keyboard by the way. Because once again I completely mis-judged a trend, and lost out on years of good fashion time as a consequence.

I am determined that this will NOT happen again.

And so I got to thinking about Autumn 2008. I thought I'd make a list of potential trends that I don't think will capture the public imagination. That will just not take off! Nuh-huh. Then I will take this list and I will BUY EVERY DAMN THING ON IT. Here is the typed up version of the list...

Trends to ignor
e (errrr, I mean run out and buy into immediately):

Lace: My immediate reaction is that this is going to be sooooo huge in this one season that is can't possibly go the distance. It's the 'new' ballet pump (which as we know did NOT take off). Clearly a 100-meter sprinter rather than a marathon runner. In a few months time it will look dated.

Peek-a-boo: In winter? People will be cold! Transparent fabrics and revealing garments just won't cut the mustard in the wind and rain. Practicality is a paramount concern to any fashionista so this is doomed to fail.

Heritage and Military: Two words. Over exposed. There is a limit to how many brass buttons I can stand the sight of. And over the knee boots - I don't even need to make a snide comment about pantomimes for you to see why they are destined for the sale rack.

So, race you to the shops?



Style Syrup said...

I really enjoyed reading this post. Your frustration over missed purchases was very familiar.

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Some Like It Fashion said...

*slips Kara £20*

emily said...

lol, i'm terrible at trends too. i think lace might last, though. it's kind of classic.

Anonymous said...

omg I am the same way with my friends, shy at first (which might come across as cold, I hope not) and then bubbly and outgoing once I get to know them!
I never realized how controversial those sandals were in real life...I remember this Betty and Veronica comic that I read in second grade, and at the end the verdict was that Betty was wasting her money saving up for these shoes which everyone else thought were really ugly. Personally agree with you, I like certain types of gladiator sandals!

Sister Wolf said...

Lace, military: Just say no. I hate gladiators more than I can say.

Edith Purdy said...

I LOVE gladiators. But Alas, I have missed that boat, Sister Wolf.

I bought some silver 'strictly come dancing' heels with my voucher instead.

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