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When we talk about a fashion trend, what is it exactly?
Vasárnap a stílusról és az életről esik szó. Life/Style.
Mei Mei
Mei Mei
Stylist

When we talk about a fashion trend, what is it exactly?

 
Mei Mei Ding

Mei Mei Ding

Interestingly, after running ALTER & KISS for more than 2 years, this is the first time I am writing about fashion from a personal angle.  Truly- I have been doing it, i.e., fashion, full-time now for more than 2 years, and have written a lot about everything in and related to this subject.  But now that I am supposed to sit down and share a few things on a personal level, I find myself as blank as when you choose FILE > NEW BLANK DOCUMENT in Word.

I find this feeling quite interesting. Since I was a child I was always interested in fashion and styling, and how and what to dress.  So why am I all of a sudden without an opinion? Have I lost an interest in fashion because I work in it?  No, I don’t think so.  Have I been tainted by all the industry and business aspects that I have stopped enjoying fashion all together?  I certainly hope not.  But my experiences do bring upon a different scope nowadays when I think of fashion.  For example, I no longer can do the following:

Pay X EUR for a top
Pay X EUR for a coat
Pay X EUR for a pair of trousers
Pay X EUR for a skirt
Pay X EUR for a dress

The list goes on… Well, actually I wouldn’t pay X EUR for any fashion item.  Wait, shoes, yes, since a lot of cheapies just end up giving your feet blisters.
(I wouldn’t want to haunt readers about these “X”s, just as I believe you, dear reader, while reading this, are quietly thinking about your secret list of “X”s). :)

I look at people who still can pay incredible amounts of money for a fashion item and love the experience, and I envy them.  I envy their sheer joy and excitement about owning a new fashion item, as I rarely have such a romantic attachment to a piece of garment anymore.These days, I do just fine with H&M, MANGO, and ZARA, brands I hardly took a second look at before I began this business.  Is that shameful?

Why? You can say that because I have seen too much. Yes, maybe. But also because I understand production, retail and the costs built into what you see on the price tag. I also understand the design aspect, and how much copying there is going around versus creating something truly unique. Honoring your trade?  Forget it. AND, if you asked me, prices at H&M, MANGO, and ZARA are very fair, even though their designs have gotten them into endless copyright lawsuits.

Yes, working in fashion has maybe brought about a shred of cynicism. But then I turn around and look at brands that are no longer “the” brands.  Helmut Lang, Alexander McQueen, Martin Margiela… to name a few. Whose designs are you really buying when you buy these labels? A team of designers trying to re-create the genius ideas once birthed by these great icons. In short, a design factory without a creative leader.

So wherein lies the originality if everything is market driven?! Everything market-driven is also trend-driven.  The market is the trend, or the market reflects the trend.  No wonder when you visit professional tradeshows, you can usually find a trend research section filled with books, colors, silhouettes, and textures for the coming season. I used to think, “How is it possible that all of the designers know for next season magenta and orange are the IT colors?”  Well, there’s your answer.

Do trends not interest me anymore? Quite the contrary. At the end of a day of staring at spreadsheets and excel charts, trend is the only thing left that still interests me.  How cultural, economic, sociological tendencies affect and shape new fashion trends are amazing to me.  The colors, fabrics, and silhouettes that reflect these trends, hence our current identity and self image, are abstract representations that help us precisely describe who we are, and what we believe in, simply by that garment we choose to put on when the day begins. In this light, my heroes are many- YSL, Lanvin, Marni, The Row, Isabel Marant.  And I believe they enjoy and make great fashion because of their love for studying how women (and men) truly see themselves.

Yes, perhaps with the loss in many aspects of fashion, I have gained greater insight into, and passion for the cultural and personal.

Csapat

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