I have a lot of opinions about trends. This has been underscored by the vast number of stories we have published on what they can be. I’ve called them one hit wonders and tried to explain their lifespan through the art of the hand-drawn illustration. We spoke about trend inception and this condition called “High School Trend Regression Disorder.” I have even attempted to renounce them all together but I have one more opinion to share before we expound upon that.
Trends are like a good mobile plan in that they offer rollover minutes. I’m not sure what your experience was like growing up, but I was only allowed to get a cellphone once the notion of rollover minutes were introduced to T-Mobile’s billing plan, ensuring that if I didn’t use the dedicated minutes I was allotted one month, I’d be able to use them the following month. Where these minutes failed, however, was that there was no real sense of evolution within the rollover. Maybe one month I wanted my text messages as opposed to my talking-on-phone minutes to roll over, but did I get that? No. And so it seems, once again, fashion prevails.
Why? Because the rollover plan present in fashion is smart. It advances, it evolves, it knows what you’re thinking.
But maybe you’re still confused. If I’m being really honest, I’m confused too. So allow me to illustrate this point using the pervasive choker as a model for explanation.
How long has the choker — a trend with roots that date back to ancient Egypt — been back on the table? Three years? Let’s say three years. This makes perfect sense — it was, after all, right around then that the 90s (with their velvet ribbons and tattoo-style plastic band chokers) began seeping into the fashion zeitgeist. Within high fashion, a differet interpretation on the neck garnishment was stricken. As opposed to the highly 90s-inspired chokers of yore, brands like Givenchy and Delfina Delettrez were favoring thick, metal bands to wrap around the female neck. Céline’s Phoebe Philo simultaneously gave a try to the thick, gold chain choker, building a dual-pronged layer within the trend.
Of course, with their respective levels of popularity among the grand participators of runway trends came rejection, too.
They were, after all, quite rigid. But the trend didn’t end there. Like any good unused minute, the choker trend shimmied into the next season — sometimes looking like a double-wrapped belt, other times like a thin slice of suede fabric. Then there were the bandanas; these were a partial-nod to the 90s, partial-nod to Céline.
And with the resusication of the 70s, we’ve entered phase three. Long strands of skinny gold chain are appearing crossed around the female neck. As recently as last season, designers like Saint Laurent took this a step further with thin slivers of fabric, as though men’s ties, worn as once-wrapped scarves with the ends hanging from either side of a woman’s chest. The resort season is starting to share a new tale for the fabric choker, too, installing it in dresses as a sort of 60’s style neckline but–
Sorry, I’m out of minutes.
Want more trends? Check out these babies on $ale. And if you’re feelin’ style, read our Round Table with Gary Pepper Girl’s Nicole Warne. Sometimes trends are just plain abusive–if that doesn’t make sense to you, read about Esther’s experience with the Apple Watch.