i always find it fascinating how the dictates from the powers that be can make us turn on once favorite pants/skirt lengths/hair styles/colors/shoes and regard them with disdain. "pleats? how could i have ever worn pants with pleats" "cuffs? i'd sooner die" "bangs? what was i thinking!" only to eventually have the pendulum swing back in that direction, raising the rejected back to revered. as i described runway reviews to my friend the other day, it’s an exercise in mood swings: "berry lips are huge!" "pale lips are sexy!" "retro red is a must!" "muted lips are so now!" "we love red lips!" "we hate red lips!" unfortunately i expose myself to this lunacy constantly but at least i do laugh at the transparent lack of ideas. it's just a game of back and forth and i fall for it myself every time. suddenly, gloss does look wildly more fresh than matte. suddenly, i am sure that matte is more appealing, etc. let's face it, they do know what they're doing, those powers that be.
a recent and steady big trend is the bigger than big bag. chanel crossed a line when they sent garbage bag style totes down the fall’06 runway. whenever things get too extreme, it means we’re heading for a backlash. lowrise got so low that now high waists are returning because there was nowhere else to go. as it was, things were already dangerously flirting with crossing the NC-17 line. unless next season’s handbag is so big we can actually get in it and zip it up, it’s going to have to come down, back to actually being a “hand” bag.
the truth is that while large bags have been de rigeur and smaller bags looked out of proportion, smaller bags never looked any different. what i mean is, the bag never changed, just our perspective. it's sort of key to survival, mental that is, to block out some of the stimulation we get, some of the exposure to trends etc. so that we can see for ourselves what really works on us, what really appeals to us as thinking human beings, individual human beings, so that we do not shop as the herd they count on us functioning as (no store would order a huge pile of x style if they did not rely on our predictable collective thirst for x, which would be reliably instilled by the powers).
it's not that a new trend is necessarily wrong, but i need to approach it as an option i can accept or reject. i used to think the word "trend" was a bad bad thing, but someone shared this with me last week and i think it’s a very smart way to look at them: trends are good though, trends give you broad selection, and then you can choose the best. when many designers/labels are taking a shot at the same target, there's a greater likelihood that one will do it in a way you really like. and when you really really like the piece, there's no reason to stop wearing it when the trend is no longer red hot.
are you easily swayed by editorial influences? are you in touch with your gut instinct for what you like or what works on you?