Fashion Observed

Trend observations with a sociological eye from afar...

by Darryl S. Warren  

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Measured Cacophany

As 2016 Pre-fall collections run against Fall Winter 2016/17 men's wear, this blog focuses on what is traditionally the leader of the trend curve. Menswear has been aiming to push boundaries in the face of increasing gender blurring that is fashions repeat experiment that we last saw in the 80s and, as the Financial Times recently reported, women are buying menswear so it should command more attention. However, in the end it is the women's market that has allowed for more experimental room regarding shapes and cuts that, in the end, menswear cannot yet support. The experimentation has a way to go before it gets approval in the rural areas where cultural limits are set. It is because this sector provides the most room for creativity that trends more often than not initiate and that is what this blog looks towards. Should, in the coming years, the genderless direction truly become the new norm then the scope of Fashion Observed will broaden. But what has consistently been observed is that ideas find root in the women's collections first so let us continue with observations from 2016 Pre-fall.

The quest to keep fashion exciting is not an easy task, especially as we struggle with invention versus familiarity. The stability factor is crucial in the face of an ever-changing world where our tech has evolved in leaps and bounds in a pace stressing our environment as much as our climate has done for the natural world. So we find familiar components that draw on our past designed by those who have lived it before. yet a designer is equally drawn to look forward and our dominating integration of tech as the new aspect of existence is a curt reminder that we are in a new century; our fashion seeks to reflect that.

The old and the new, the mashing of all we have come to know all at once just a click away, this is what our world is now. It is for everyone everywhere and personally our own, so it has our individual sentiments and meanings. that is one hard story to tailor, but fashion gets it right.

Gone are the days of standard easy-to-peg or easy-to-categorize trends. We can no longer compartmentalize in the manner of our past. Our trends are now more sophisticated as are we. The eclectic mixing of elements seek new forms and combinations as part of the energizing of fashion to continue interest that is relevant to our lives. So while fashion before was a uniform to take us to different roles, now we have mixtures to encapsulate the paragraph of how we feel and who we want others to see. Collections from Acne Studios, Delpozo, J. W. Anderson, MSGM, Opening Ceremony and Thom Browne toy with this experimentation that reflects the style exploration we find on the streets as people play to find their own style outside of what is tried and true without abandoning existing elements that, alone, are reliable foundations; we play yet play safely. 

The experimentation also goes towards form, such as from Delpozo, J. W. Anderson, Issey Miyake, Mary Katrantzou and Zero + Maria Cornejo, tweaking the traditions of familiar silhouettes as we now embrace latitudes for the new, looking to belong to what is coming.

These incremental steps to ownership of our place in our future are measured ones. They retain what we have as we ease as into our new world, a place too deep to turn back from. Our future, accompanied by smart technology and textile innovation, collectively tells us that the border is now being crossed. Not fully, and not without continued glances, but we are slowly starting to let go as we go forward.

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