Fashion Observed

Trend observations with a sociological eye from afar...

by Darryl S. Warren  

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Spelling Out Inclusion

Slowly the 2016 Pre-fall collections stop coming while  fashion keeps itself busy reporting the Fall Winter 2016/17 men's wear collections. As it does, the slowing pace allows for closer examination of lesser points that float amidst the grand messages that will become the essential take-aways fashion publications will amass to make it easier for consumers to digest.

These main trends are the guidelines that arm the consumer with the knowledge so they can be confident in remaining current, and that aspect will never change because we are a species where hierarchy is too deeply embedded in our psyche.This is the fuel for competition at its most Darwinian best, pushing us in wherever we feel we have abilities. The elevation of our appearance and translation of our selves as readable messages is a skill our first world deems necessary as a component of fit and a tool for social elevation.

Sometimes the messages are too oblique for the average consumer to fully enjoy. The high-minded intellectualization of concept can work against the creator when the message requires one to think too much, alienating the very audience member it seeks to impress. Our society has been participating in more introspection of clarity of message. Part of this is in examining the performance of institutions such as our political landscapes and how these affect policies versus our expectations in the face of rational thought. We see messages well-spun and grow tired of having intellectual obscurity prevent getting to the point.

it's not that we don't appreciate being challenged but sometimes, with all the complications that life has to offer, we need a little directness in the messages we're asked to digest. Should we make consumers work that hard to get what is being said?

So the themes and inspirations in some collections are rendered obvious; the messages are spelled out in pattern and print so you can get what the designer feels and is communicating to you. In collections from Akris, Dennis Basso, Each x Other, Moschino, Mugler, Tsumori Chisato, Valentino and Veronique Branquinho the clarity of message is rendered direct. it seeks to include, to let you in easily. 

The inclusion is strategic; while there is good economic statistics in parts of the world, the overall public sentiment is one of distrust and this causes purse strings to pull tight. Fashion is pulling out all stops to entice while politicians meeting in Davos recently have been proclaiming a rather retro approach reminded of the 80s: the Reaganomics spirit of spending our way out of our economic slumps. We could talk more about that, but we'll save this for next week when this blog explores more about that decade's presence in current trends and what else has been causing us to look there again.

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