Thursday, 18 October 2007

Fashion Journalism Week 4: "A Trend"

Over the past few weeks my mind has been set on discovering independent boutiques in Notting Hill and Carnaby Street. But before I move onwards with my search in other areas around London, the report I wrote on "trends" week 3 has been lingering in my mind. As I relax back in the leather chair in the Soho Hotel Bar, drinking complimentary cocktails from the bar-tender with my friends, we begin to discuss the rising of "trends" between designer brands, independent stores and the high street stores. Are designers failing? "It depends in what context you’re talking about." – Robert Sabet. As I asked my friend Robert this question, he seemed to be on his third glass of Rosé and eager to get his opinion across on this topic. In terms of failing, I am looking at the trends. As we know, high street stores are constantly generating new trends every 6-12 weeks, and some stores even faster. Now we all know that the high street stores get their inspiration from the catwalk, magazines, street fashion and around the world. But they base their concepts for a new trend idea within the store around what the designers are doing for their concept this season. But between the high street stores and the designer labels who is better at putting the trend of the season across? Last week when I was reading an article in the Guardian which focused on trends, it made me think about what the actual definition of a trend now is; and every week when I walk into a new fashion boutique I have discovered, I am amazed to see that there is nothing new, but everything is old. And by my research, a trend is meant to rely on a new piece – a new trend means something we have not yet encountered before. This article also talked about mainstream designers and how they are developing trends, but it also made me think about whether they are creating less innovative pieces than they used to. Which is also why I used the term "Are designers failing"? As a fashion journalism student at Epsom University of Creative Arts, debates arise all the time with the students and lecturers arguing their different points across about various topics. But an issue I want to put across is the concept of designers. Are they really successful when putting these ‘new’ ‘trends’ across? To be honest I don’t think they are. I mean when you think about it, can you actually think about a new inspirational trend now on the high streets which we have never come across before; can you think of a trend which looks into the future rather than the past? The only designers which I believe look more into the future when putting together their collections are Hussein Chalayan, Alexander McQueen and John Galliano; and other than what these designers are creating, I have pretty much seen everything else before. I mean look at Christopher Kane for instance; don’t get me wrong, his work is brilliant, but this whole new rave theme; didn’t we see this before in the 80s? And by no means am I saying that designers are crap, because that is not the case; all I am saying is where are all the new futuristic trends? Technology is moving on, so why can’t fashion? I believe that some independent stores are picking up on this, which is why many designer-related independent boutiques are selling more upcoming designer and contemporary labels. Maybe the word ‘designer’ does not have as much power as it used to. I mean the high street stores seem to be taking over. And just to mention; why are not more designers taking on organic fashion. I mean I feel that organic clothing is becoming the new "trend"that we have all been missing.