Casually doing a bit of window shopping a few years back in one of Italy’s ‘oh so fashionable’ little lane ways, I noticed that pointy toe stiletto’s were everywhere. Glancing down at my round toe Mary Jane’s I’d just purchased before leaving Australia, I was feeling both repulsed and anxious. Repulsed because I thought pointy toe stiletto’s were ugly, and anxious because I knew it was only a matter of time before I would be forking out the lire to purchase them. Two weeks later, I had succumbed. The trend had gotten the better of me, despite how ridiculous I looked when the heels got caught in the uneven Italian pavement every time I walked down the street (which was about every three steps).
So what was it that changed my mind? I believe the answer lies in the hands of, well, a handful of people called ‘Trend Analysts’ AKA The Fashion Police. Their job: to serve and protect the commercial interests of fashion companies across the globe. How? By dissecting the public’s psychology of what will be the next trend will be by way of extensive travel and shopping expeditions (those bastards). These ‘trend analysts’ then report back to analysis companies, who then go on to consolidate their findings in industry magazines and websites for the use of fashion companies.
I’d like to say that fashion companies use analysis companies because they’re lazy, but it’s certainly not the case. They’re just scared to make a mistake (can you imagine manufacturing 1000 pairs of high waisted skinny leg jeans only to find that everyone was going for low rise bootleg? Ebay auctioning them is NOT a solution here). There are also unbelievable time constraints between the seasons. So most designers design their range around what they are fed, and if they’re lucky they get to travel around Europe and Japan to buy garments to ‘take inspiration from’. This is why we get a slight variation of the trend theme every season; all our designers are shopping in the same store in London! If you want to see something really interesting, just observe the women with suitcases in major department stores buying size ten (when they are size 12) at the start of every season. Ask them what they do for a living.
Can you see we are at the hands of a conspiracy!? We need to take action. I urge you to burn your pleather Fendi bags! Let’s make up our own trends! I myself am going to knit and extended version of the merkin (If you don’t know what one is, I advise you Google it because I’m certainly not about to explain). Yep, it’s going to be a toasty winter for me rugged up in my black merkin cardigan…
Which brings me back to my original thought at the beginning of this piece (merkins also have the power to bring people back to what they were originally thinking). What was it that made me buy those pointy toe high heels I now so dearly cherish? I believe it comes down to one word: agreement. Agreement by trend analysts, agreement by industry magazines, agreement by designers, agreement in fashion magazines, agreement throughout the stores, and finally, agreement by you. Agreement creates our fashion reality. Not always bad, but within the safety of agreement comes a lack of innovation. And that’s why we need those quirky fashion revolutionaries; so we can steel their ideas, manufacture them times a million, and sell the homogenized version back to you. Back to square one. We again enter into a state of agreement. Weird world we’re living in ain’t it? Now where did I put my knitting needles and my merkin ‘wool’ supply..?