Analyzing fashion trends, one must wear many hats – so to speak. Pinpointing the birth of fashion trend phenomena requires the keen observation skills of the anthropologist, the historian, and the detective – the keen eye of an artist – a finely-honed memory – and an aptitude for research.
Tracing fashion trend footprints back to their origin often leads to not just one, but many sources.
Today’s world, with its media archives, museums, vast libraries, and digital sources – presents infinite design inspiration. Compare this to fashion design of the distant past – which referenced and mimicked dress of the nobility, for instance, or new developments in textiles, or architectural silhouettes.
Now, we frequently see the reemergence of fashion trends and of style silhouettes – sometimes with no divergence from the original – if it is at all possible to pinpoint “the” original.
One might be justified in saying the trends resulting from certain social climates and cultural conditions will likely reoccur when similar social climates and cultural condition exist. However, even keen observation of these conditions may overlook “trend pockets” or fashion subcultures (goth, steampunk, or cosplay enthusiasts for example).
Whether it is possible to accurately forecast fashion trends years ahead of time – is a question that arises. It is possible to assess social conditions, popular culture, market analyses, textile, technological, and production innovations… (to name a few determinant factors), and then make an informed prediction.
Ultimately, without literally seeing into the future – without knowing the events, iconic personalities, or innovations of the future – we cannot give a definitive forecast.
However, here are three ways we can view the evolution of fashion trends:
- We can view the development of fashion trends of the recent past.
- We can see the development of fashion trends in the near future.
- We can observe the often prescient view of the future through the eyes of film visionaries, and we can expect to see at least a few trends occur as a direct result of these films.
How Fashion Reflects The Times: The Origin of Trends – an Art Fashion Creation link to a scholarly paper analyzing the development of fashion trends in the recent past. Written in the ’90s – viewing the development of trends to that point and predicting trends for the year 2000.
Predicting Future Fashion Trends: Costume Design in Futuristic Films, an August 27 2012 article by Katarina Gligorijevic – published at Toronto Film Scene.
Predicting Future Fashion, Doe Deere Blogazine December 15 interview with fashion trend forecaster Glendy Del Cid.