Fashion can be defined as ‘the style of dressing that prevails among any group of persons’ (Perna, 1987). It is a distinctive trend which has the ability to last for a minimum of a year, two or possibly decades. It is no secret that in a general sense, fashion ‘is concerned with contemporary style that has traditionally been reflected through individuals’ clothing, accessories, hair styling and cosmetics’ (Wilson and de la Haye, 1999). Components which contributes towards an individuals identity and appearance. Becoming essential in mass culture and identity, fashion allows one to express themselves through their choice of garments and embellishments.
Summarising the term perfectly, an unknown writer stated ‘fashion is art and you are the canvas’. Not only is it ‘what you buy’ but mainly ‘what you do with it’. Clearly, trends come and go. However, with au courant, fresh, incomparable designs and the return of established looks repeatedly emerging every season, what should we expect next? What direction is fashion heading towards?
As the years go by, fashion is constantly being developed and reformed. What was once in trend, may no longer be witnessed on catwalks or the streets, excluding designs proving to be timeless and forever in style. In the past, garments strictly consisted of corsets, frigid and restricted materials/items, encompassing the lack of colour. Women’s fashion was constantly confined.
Nonetheless, in the 1920s, fashion finally entered the modern era. The era introduced Coco Chanel, Paul Poiret, Madeleine Vionnet et al, couturiers who immediately erupted the fashion industry with innovative, authentic and distinctive designs. The fashion industry and society was finally acquainted with; comfortability, versatility, masculine-inspired looks and advancements. That goes to say, the ‘Flapper look’, ‘Cloche hats’, pleated skirts (inspired by surrealism), two pieces and suits (later introduced down the years). Is it safe to say the following trends look familiar? Well this is just the beginning.
In the 1950s, the fashion industry changed due to the unfortunate event, World War II. This caused the society, as well as the fashion industry to take a step back. However, right before this period of time, Christian Dior made his debut as fashion designer in 1947, permanently changing fashion with ‘New Look’, which continuously influenced trends of the 1950s. It consisted of: ‘unpadded, rounded shoulders, shapely, bust lines, closely-defined waistlines, fully, billowy skirts’, blouses, and short jackets, defining an extra feminine wardrobe for women. Highly demanded, dirndl dresses with reduced puff sleeves, and billowy skirts trademarked 1950s fashion, befitting a popular style. In addition to this, luxurious fabrics were utilised. Enhancing the female physique, hourglass dresses/skirts were often worn.
Of course, as we entered the 1960s, fashion was introduced to bold, and vibrant colour schemes. Greatly inspired by pop art, women sported shift dresses, kitten heels, and tops with matching coloured mini skirts. ‘Contemporary architecture and sculpture were the most prevalent inspirations for fashion designers in 1960. There were also hints of the twenties and thirties with bloused, bias-cut clothes, long straight overblouse and sashed tunics..fitting hats and exaggerated makeup’ (Retrowaste). The decade was highly known for experimenting.
Equally important, the 1990s influenced numerous fashion designers emerging today. This particular period of time embraced the grunge, menswear inspired looks, varying from baggy bottoms, flannel shirts, crop tops, sportswear, and Dr Martens. Contributing towards the trends of this decade, musicians and artists took fashion to a whole another level, joining forces with renowned designers, and creating timeless looks, mainly influenced by popular culture. According to Huffington Post, ‘the hip-hop movement helped contribute to the baggy and bright clothes’, whereas films including Clueless ‘promoted designer schoolgirl style (babydoll dresses, tartan skirts, thigh-high stockings, Mary Jane shoes, penny loafers and slip dresses). Fashion designers: Tommy Hilfiger, Alexander McQueen, Versace, Prada et al paved the way for many modern designers and brands.
As previously shown, many trends from past decades have made a comeback in todays fashion. It is clear, the fashion industry repeatedly takes notes, taking advantage of previous looks however altering it in a manner which makes it relevant in today’s society. To answer the question, what trends should be considered now in regards to future designs? I would say, trends from past decades particularly in the 90s. We have currently witnessed chokers, boyfriend jeans, dungarees, sportswear, baggy bottoms accompanied with crop tops et al in the majority of high street stores, and designer catwalk shows, permitting one to believe there is more to be expected. That goes to say, await previous trends to make appearances at fashion shows, but manipulated and recreated in a particular manner, depending on the designer and their objectives. It all depends on the kind of theme the designer is going for, season it will be unveiled, what is currently in trend and their target audience.
“This blog post is a part of Design Blogger Competition organized by CGTrader”