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fashion cycles and the Chambres Syndicale

blackplatano

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I saw a post regarding the Chambres Syndicale and the Tobe report and was interested about what exactly determines future fashion cycles. I googled the topic and found minimal information so I figured I might as well make a post about it.

So what determines the future trends?
 

jkennett

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There are basically two theories to my understanding. One is the old trickle-down effect where fashion starts at the top (like the 1950's French couture houses) and the lower designers merely imitate these ideas for the regular people. Then there's the whole scenario where designers find inspiration in the streets and among active subcultures. Those looks are then put into the fashion industry, which acts as an enormous marketing tool.

As far as predicting which way actual cycles are going.... that's a bit more difficult. There are theories, such as the hemline theory where women's skirts get longer in rough times economically, and the skirts get shorter as the economy booms. There are people that just sit and trend forecast as a career so there is some science to it all, but that's all I can think of at this hour of the night.

http://fashionworlds.blogspot.com/20...s_archive.html
 

Spintherism

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I can't give you an answer, but I can bullshit on the subject for a while. The details of individual trends are difficult to predict and generalize, but how they work as socio-cultural markers probably follows some consistent patterns. When somebody wears a certain kind of clothes, he or she wants to send a credible message. This message could be anything, e.g. "I'm rich," "I have discerning taste," "I'm tough," "I'm in with such-and-such a group," etc. Whatever the message is, it's more effective if it's harder to fake. Any kid can put on some baggy clothes if he wants to look tough and urban, and maybe it will work to some extent, but not many fakers are going to have prison tattoos, so the latter is a more credible marker than the former. It's essentially the same with any fashion. Somebody who wants to look like he's got money to burn on jeans can throw down on some fake TR or 7s or whatever, but fakes are only going to convince some people. This means that these brands will serve their role better if they're harder to counterfeit. It's a bit more complex when you're concerned about factors other than price, but essentially the same deal. If it was easy for everybody to be fashionable, those fashions would cease to be effective markers. Thus, for the fashion industry to continue to function, there has to be a continual production of new styles and trends that will mark certain characteristics of those to whom they are most readily available. If anything can be said generalized about these trends, it often relates to the interactions of the socio-economic traits to which they relate. Jeans would be a very interesting case study. I don't know all the historical details of the rise of denim, but it could be traced from its role as work-clothes to youth in the 50's who identified with the working class etc. I would imagine that the difference in fits would correlate strongly to different socio-economic positions (though you'd have control for rich suburb gangsta kids). No matter where these trends originate, they continue because they differentiate between groups.

That's all I got. Probably doesn't tell you anything you don't know.
 

jkennett

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Originally Posted by Halifamous
You have your hemline theory inverted.
I don't think that I do. "Short skirts in the 1920s and 1960s were considered bullish signs that stock prices would rise, whereas longer dresses in the 1930s and 1940s were considered bearish (falling) indicators."
 

tiecollector

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I've wondered this too. However, most puzzling to me is how do all the designers seem to be pretty uniform in their seasons. If super slim ties are in one season, how is it that all the designers are privvy to this? You'd think only 20% or so would choose the right direction that people are going to latch onto.

Aren't the fashion lines from season to season supposed to be a surprise? Shouldn't whats "in" be decided after people start buying?

I have a friend whose sister designed clothes for Target. He said what they'd do is hold some sort of expo for youngsters in LA, and other big cities and just watch what they are wearing. Then they'd use this to determine the current trends.
 

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