Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Fashion & Trend

by Kelly Brett

The first thing on the fashion calendar each year is Paris couture, above Dior SS 2010. See all the Paris SS couture shows here.

“Do Clothes Speak? What Makes Them Fashion,” Fred Davis
The main purpose of this article is to shed light on a perceived gap in the sociological analysis of fashion. The key question that the author addresses throughout the article is whether or not clothing has an implied language that makes clothes fashion. Davis argues “clothing styles and the fashions that influence them over time constitute something approximating a code.” In turn, Davis refers to this code as a “clothing-fashion code.” The main inference and conclusion that Davis explains is that there are distinguishing features of the “clothing-fashion code;” that it is ambiguous, heavily context-dependent, and that there is considerable variability in how its symbols are understood and appreciated by different social strata, given “undercoding” to precision and explicitness. Davis’ passage is primarily concerned with what we wear, including cosmetics, jewelry, etc, and how it may be considered a code. He further explores what is defined as fashion and if it should be differentiated from that code.

Martin Margiela, SS 2010 couture

Fashion can be defined as an element of change or a modification in the code that is generally accepted amongst the middle class. If Davis’ line of reason is not taken seriously, then no further investigation or decoding should be done to further understand the many conclusions of fashions. But, if we take this line of reason seriously, the implications are that the sociological analysis should investigate further understanding of fashion as a language and the implications and presence of the clothing-fashion codes. Furthermore, understanding the contributing factors that create language, the construction and where such codes were derived, and the implications amongst different types of people in different “social strata.”

The man makes the clothes, Chanel SS 2010 couture

Lagerfeld at his desk, V blog

Who determines fashion codes? Some people may image that fashion is invented by powerful people behind big desks. But while it is true that fashion has a number of tastemakers, trend also has a life of its own. Wearers, spectators, journalists, celebrities, publicists and many other people influence the course of fashion.

“Prophets: Forecasting, Scouting and Shaping Trend” Stylemakers
This article was a collection of profiles of successful trend forecasters, trend spotters.

Li Edelkoort is one of the worlds most famous trend researchers and owns a company called Trend Union. Edelkoort stresses that “the gist of her job is strategy and brand positioning” and believes that “Fashion is driven now much more by the way we want to live”.

Edelkoort produces seasonal guidebooks like Bloom while other forecasters produce charts and graphs like the one below that explain the contemporary consciousness du jour.

Haysun Hahn is a trend forecaster who has consulted with a diverse list of companies worldwide, including Gap, Escada, Adidas, Samsung, and L’Oreal. Hahn success can be attributed to her diverse international background; she says, “She does not see the world in “segmented orders.” Hahn believes she can predict how tastes will shift as much as five years in advance. She now works for Promostyl below.

Sebastian de Diesbach is classified as an industrial trend prognosticator, and heads the company Promostyl. Diesbach believes that his clients don’t need him to design a specific product but rather give new ideas about new markets. Diesbach believes that fashion forges the way for other consumer products by saying “Garments will always be in the avant-garde of the trends because they are easier to make.

David Wolfe is the head of the trend-forecasting division of the Doneger Group. Wolff has predicted many major trends including, the platform shoe and the rumpled denim revival. Wolfe predicts a “future amalgamation” of apparel and technology. Wolfe predicts that in less than a century fashion will be driven more by innovation provided by technology, for example heat-sensitive fabrics, holographic prints, and computer generated designs, than by traditional artistry. Wolfe predicted the Mad Men style revival and suggests that people need more than stores, they want fashion with a connection to media.

David Wolfe is an advocate of the MIT Media Lab, a source for testing the validity of trends and style shifts.

Lisa Herbert is the executive vice president of Pantone. Pantone is universally known for the Pantone color numbering system that enabled/ enables everyone to speak the same language which was developed by Herbert’s father, Larry Herbert, Sr. This color by number system cuts across all vendor and product lines. They create seasonal color guides for the fashion industry and consumers.

Pantone & Gap collaboration pop up in New York

The "Fashion Almanac" is an online magazine that observes the color palette by designers rather than seasonal.

Kevin Knaus is the creative director of Material World, a textile and trade show, which debuted in Miami in 2000. Material World has been described as “not a conventional trade show”. Most notably, at Material World, audiovisual presentations explain the exhibit so that designers can “experience the fabric."

The best known fabric show is Premiere Vision which takes place in Paris.

Corrina Sellinger is a stylist of unique and antique items that can be found in many different interesting places such as flea markets. With fashion stylists from the top magazines, she “goes out to find lost pieces of treasure. Notably, treasures that inspired Fendi’s “baguette” bag and resulted in ultimate of sales of approximately $200 million.

Ruben Toledo is a fine artist, sculptor, illustrator and jack of all fashionable trades. He has designed mannequins, store windows, award statuettes, scarves, fabrics, dishes and carpets. He has painted murals, portraits, album covers and barns. Toledo is most known for the mannequins he created for the Pucci Company. Toledo has said that ‘the thinking that fashion must change every six months is itself so old-fashioned.”

The museum is the place that can makea fashion trend into history. Harold Koda is a renowned fashion scholar and the head of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute. He interned for former Vogue editor and early Costume Institute director Diana Vreeland. Vreeland taught Koda how to make shows that would be “expressive and compelling to the public." He is most recently known for the "Model as Muse" show.

Bridget Foley is the executive editor and Dennis Freedman is the creative director of trade publication WWD and consumer magazine W. W and WWD are large publications with tremendous reach. Both editors are passionate about fashion, stating, “ There are so many levels on which fashion can be enjoyed and deliberated, debated and dissected.

The profile on PageMaker’s focuses on key people in magazine market. For example, Ellyn Chestnut, Elle Magazine, has made her make on fashion by combining elements from a range of categories to depict a particular look. Where as Allures, Sasha Charnin Morrison will draw readership in with a page on high and low styles. The role of accessories and trend is very important and makes up a considerabke part of the market and fashion journalist trendhunting.

Chanel Iman inside Teen Vogue's accessories closet

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