Having already prophecized food trends, it does indeed in retrospect seem logical that food would have a trend; eat something for a few years, get bored of it, and look for variations or something new. Consume, live life, and reconsume after a bathroom break. Fabric however, can technically have a long long shelf life (if the shelf is moth free). So, keeping the vicarious and lusty needs aside, does it require a trend? Possibly a point up for debate, but given that retailers are slowly but surely catching up to the number of restaurants worldwide, it is fair to examine what to do with your wardrobe in the upcoming time frame (recall my disdain for year overturns).
Trends are interesting, as they seldom have not been. While some view them as a free flowing river of water, where you catch a fish at a given point in time, others view them as a vicious cycle, where every fish’s distant relative returns as a pleasant memory, or for revenge. Or something metaphorical of the sort.
When you unintentionally preserve an odd scarf, a pair of sunglasses, a saree, an old pair of jeans (like Brooke Shields’ classic Calvin Klein jeans that she modeled in the 1980s, claiming that the same pair of jeans still fits), it is always exceedingly gratifying when the trend returns. And hoping that you have not severely inflated due to non-parallel food trends and explosive portion sizes, or chopped off flesh with hopes of toning and looking plastician, then voila, no extra expenditure for newness. After all, trends are cyclic – and not just denim ones. I still recall being four and aggravating mom as she glared at me through humongous Nina Ricci sunglasses, which disappeared for my entire adolescence, only to return in tact and uber haute in the late 2000s. Magic, I tell you.
So, whilst post-New Year sales are the largest of the year for fashion and accessories, purists claim that these offer only styles of the preceding year. Not always, as you will see here. Which is why the fine line (as poetic realism would have it, lines of the seconds hand on a clock) between the years is so blurry, not necessarily followed by a trend.
After covering the list of what to eat in 2011, its time to see what you can fit into after jumping on that treadmill… or even not.
Goodbye sequins. (Well, almost). You have dazzled us enough through crystal winters and gaudy summers. Admittedly I liked the pop of shine look, and the way a subtle series could accentuate an otherwise drab outfit. But it seems that flashy is going to gradually make an exit for another accentuating trend that will most certainly meet with mixed reactions: lace. Perhaps not a grandma’s lace but a more sheer and sexy one. Utilized in simple tops or skirts, extending from simply leggings and gloves to entire bodices, it gives the adequate amount of peekaboo whilst leaving enough covered for imaginations to soar. While sequins easily transitions from women’s to men’s lines (thank you Zara and Armani), being a guy, I currently cannot fathom wearing something lacy; it makes me wonder what form lace would have to take on to become unisexual. Nothing comes to mind, besides perhaps sheer shirt dressed Bollywood boys who deserve praise for braving it and catapulting the trend forward in Asia (and placing bets that it will not cross the Atlantic!). All in all, it is a creative and interesting juxtaposition to the digital age, yet having toured the lace-sewn streets of its sexy Belgian origins on the gold-dipped city of Antwerp, I can candidly validate that lace is used for more more than just renaissance umbrellas and table cloths!
Picture Courtesy: Rohit Bal ; Givenchy ; Oscar de la Renta
The one thing we have not borrowed from the inspiring 70s is the polka dot trend, which however did make its fleeting presence felt in the pre-recession era. But the overwhelming reason for this is probably that the stripe trend still bedazzles passerbys with its elongating secret. (Unless of course you wear it like a cuddly Mr Smee going horizontally). But stripes are breaking shackles of boring work pinstripes and becoming bolder, stronger, t-shirt plus hat plus swimsuit friendly. Nautical inspired, these navy and white hues are the most sexy, camouflaging their flirty philandering sailor selves in well behaved attires. Replicable onto anything and anyone from men’s cardigans to women’s bracelets to guys’ belts to girls’ dresses, the bold stripe soothes the most tired of salty sea eyes. And thankfully this time these will blend with more than just plain clothing, stressing yet again that we live in an age of faux pas and funk.
Tartan and Plaid
Tartan has swung like a pendulum, sometimes severely replicated by all living mortals, and other times outright banished. Leaping out of a banished phase and back into a seemingly shallow peak, tartan is slowly making its way back, particularly with trousers. Worn by men and women alike, the bold colors are rather alarming at the onset, but grow easily on the eyes over time. With it’s twin design plaid which is much more popular due to its minimized and easily replicable look, the transfer of the design into the home setting, onto anything from drapes to linens, is somewhat refreshing. I used to gag at Dad’s old pics sporting the look, only to realize that the same look is rather tasteful when sported by mannequins and yours truly. Starting off as gutsy street wear and transitioning into catwalk, brunch, and club wear, I can envision its paler version infiltrating the suit trend briefly, too. Thanks to Topshop/Topman and Club Monaco, we can surely anticipate a few more patterned legs before the nostalgic look dies out again, given that its hype begun as early as pre-recession 2008.
Motorcycle and Biker Looks
Bad girls and bad boys ooze attraction and vicarious appeal. Leather for more than just winter weather has become a swooning fad. Windswept hair strands and bicep slithering tatoos and wrist tickling accessories break the monotony of perfection very effectively. Indeed, the biker look is back, motorcycleless or not. It is most certainly a more rebellious break from the wartime inspired military fashion that has inspired nostalgic coats and more coats for eons. The street glam look, upscaled with designer sensibilities, is the new bling with style. From belts to wrist-huggers to boots, all crawling with zippers scrambling for direction, busy is the operative word to describe the family of new accessories. And if the classic Burberry can transform from plain to wickedly cool,we know that this is going to rock.
Swaying and Hypnotic Compliments
Ever caught sight of a dancing bag, a wobbling tunic, or a tassel at the end of a scarf that catches your attention and does not let go until it disappears around the corner? A combination of trends that target accessories and clothing alike are back. Namely the use of crochet and related kin in creating bags and dresses with enough texture, yet shape friendly and creative to induce shaky possibilities of all sorts. A bohemian hip look if paired with humongous glares, it is still quite festive and borderline tribal depending on the colors utilized. Combine this with the funky trend of attaching tassels to more than just table runners, and you have a swaying, hypnotic, pendulum-bouncing-off of backs, bags, shoes, necks, and every body part that you want to draw attention to. Tassels symbolize fun and frolic, but retain a sense of luxurious opulence that makes them a notch smarter than the perky punk trend.
Summer in the Front, Winter in the Back
I find this look strange. It seems as though this damsel is to distressed to decide whether she wanted to show off those legs or adorn that gown. Its almost as if the legs need a backup, or a backdrop. Its as if the designer ran out of fabric to complete the design. And so we have the tailed look, inspired from wedding gowns, but tailored to everyday dresses and even simpler tops. Friendlily called summer in the front winter in the back (or vice versa, depending on whether you constitute flawless backs or reveal-worthy legs). While some modelicious ladies may be able to pull it off by evoking a playful appeal, others may find it lopsided, not flattering to the figure, with folds where they should not be and revealing peaks in areas that should be intentionally hidden. Topshop seems to blend the odd look well with its collection, however. Yet, like the world’s penchant for paradoxical things that come in pairs, this will be a trend that may take a while to settle. While ladies may like it, I honestly feel us guys will not. The only good thing is, when the trend does finally disappear, all you need is a pair of scissors to debut a revamped summer dress.
Flared Jeans (with Splotches of Skinny)
This is not a boring bootcut, but outright flared. As analyzed in an ode to denim fashion over the years, highlighting the wow glam of the 70s, I am semi delighted and minorly apprehensive about the return of tripping hazard flares. Sexy to look at for sure, and indeed slimming to the abominably growing waistlines of men and women alike. This trend is a stark cry from the skinny, and instead of defining legs, makes them more pillar like, longer, and hides the shoes. So different from what is currently in vogue, the sheer contrast will ensure this becomes the next big thing. And flared will dissolve more easily with the men’s market quickly too, much more quickly than the skinny trend, which while lapped up by teens, has left some men in a literally discomforting spot. Yet the first hurdle to overcome is the skinny loving market. Which explains Topman’s venture into the likes of Skinny Flare, while Levi’s fluctuates between its Clings Fits and loose regulars. Burberry, as we see againon this list, goes paradoxically bizarre, unlike its origins, and with very positive reception!
Slim Trim Suits and Threesomes
Mens suits. What guys often complain of wearing but admirably feel confident in. What women adore seeing well fitted on their dudes. Love it or hate it, its here to stay, and has a trend. While the buttons moved from shirt-like to none at all and even a measly singularity, the upcoming suit trends will bring back the classic number of two buttons, pairing it with the current trend of slimming everything down. Fitting shirts lend their way to fitted suits, and the trend prevails and is better adapted to mainstream to make an average boring banker look somewhat more like he belongs in the metropolitan city that he works in. The main catch will be full blown lapels. The desire for outlined lapels, sheer ones, or simply bird-wing cut ones is definitely in demand, bringing zing to an otherwise flat look.
Plus, the sharp vengeance of waistcoats that have been in for some years as a standalone accessory or with jeans is now carving as comeback in the form of three piece suits, catapulting these out of the days of yore and dad’s dusty wardrobes. The distinguished, gift-like bundled and wrapped look adds a sheen and confidence to the entire look, allowing us guys to breathe while unbuttoning the jacket, but still allowing the posture to not drop to sloppy. For cooler days or more drama, add a double breasted suit, which designers and mainstreamers are lapping up as they try to cover guys up a little more again (beware of the fit as it could de-flatter, as Ask Men aptly points out). So, time to shop buddies.
The first thing that comes to mind is Dutch cheese. Perhaps with a voluptuous cow and a smiley lady in a china blue frock selling dairy. Indeed, the image evoke by clogs is not one that immediately aligns with a runway. Yet, a few Chanels and Nine Wests later, it seems that the clog trend is actually doable for fashionistas around the world. And whilst men happily wear these cute shoes in Hollandia, sometimes even biking in them, I highly doubt the clogs for guys will take off quickly outside the vibrant little Western European country. Yet, if the not-so-pretty crocs can cross the gender barrier across the oceans, why not clogs?
Honeysuckle: Color of the Year
Color of the year trends bother me. How can one shade infiltrate its way into every type of outfit on every type of person? I am in love with astrology, which to a certain degree generalizes, but at least it is not as sweeping of a stereotype as a color of the year. Gripe aside, it makes for a fitting culmination to the trends of the year for those who believe this is the holy grail.
Pantone names honeysuckle color of the year. I am unsure how unisexual this will be, and the creatives have definitely shunned men from sharing the limelight in any of Pantone’s promotionals, but admittedly the ladies of all skin tones and shapes can look astoundingly gorgeous in the reddish pink too-deep-for-blushing hue. From a guy’s perspective, when we see a girl in the hot tone, it immediately spells feminine without being girly, radiant without being flowery, sexy without being racy, and packs a punch without a pow. Speaking to the significant others in my life, these ladies have felt it to be most complimentary and universal. And whats more, theres more than just clothing that can be honeysuckled – read as accessories, decorations, crockery, lamps and even bedsheets (so long as you are not sharing them with us, ladies!). So, time to shop again!
Food and fashion; lovers of one loathe the other, and addicts of the latter usually shy away from the former. And yet, yours truly has a blog that desperately tries to unite these passions like blended waves. And to a certain degree, as noticed in elements of chocolate and faux pas, a friendly unison is made possible. And now, having foretold the potential overviews of content in the realms of food and fashion that will envelope you in the upcoming months, I wonder; is this water and oil, or sugar and water?
For now, enjoy the trends, check your wardrobe to see what you may already own from yesteryears, and select trends that you are most passionate about.
Be a smart shopper. It will make you a happy shopper eventually.