Social trends and fashion trends follow each other rapidly. But who is actually 'making' these trends is and how is it predicted? Where do trends come from? And who would have thought in 2020 the face mask would appear on the streets and even become a fashion accessory? Nobody right?
What is a trend?
When you talk about trends, the description quickly reveals: a trend watcher, trendsetters or trend followers. Some people live for trends and always seem to be at the forefront of trends. They have had solar panels on their roof for twenty years, did not like greetings with kisses and already walked barefoot in their shoes. So these people are the trendsetters! And then suddenly everybody seems to follow them.
Trend followers are happy to participate as soon as possible. Because they don't want to stay behind (these people are called latecomers) or they don't participate at all (loners). As soon as everybody follows a trend, the trend is a fact. And we all suddenly walk with low-waist jeans, clogs and the same haircut.
Trend followers do not want to stay behind
Trend followers are carefully watching trendsetters and 'copy' them. Is this a sign of insecurity, afraid of deviating from the norm? This will certainly play a role in the lives of younger people. They like to belong to a group and conform to the rules of conduct and codes. Whether or not formal or informal (= unwritten 'rules').
The latecomers and loners
But there are also loners and latecomers. You see this more often in people from their thirties. The loners determine their own style, deliberately no longer participate in trends or are simply not interested in (fashion-)trends at all.
The latecomers are 'against' any trend, but perhaps also because of 'laziness'; if there are no more older models of jeans available, then let's buy the low-waist jeans. Who cares? And if you receive a subsidy for solar panels or the entire neighborhood participates, than... why not ...?
To make it even more fun: the originals are people who deliberately do not participate in trends, but determine everything themselves, make or create their own trends and like to stand out because of their unique, own style. Everyone probably knows for example the one woman in the neighborhood, who has been wearing long skirts for years, who seems to have stepped out of the seventies, has her own vegetable garden, goes shopping on a scooter and is vegetarian when it suits her. She does not participate in trends, does not live by dogma's and she has her own unique lifestyle.
Unlike the loners, the originals are often people who protest against the current norm. And because of their own style and individuality, they also form a group to a certain extent.
Where do trends come from?
Trends are often predicted by trend watchers. These are people who have made their profession of picking up movements, visions and changes in society and making predictions. They are hired by all kinds of companies. These trend watchers are on top of politics, are in the middle of life and are very sensitive to details that can have major consequences. Foresight and a vision are their 'skills'. They translate them into any upcoming trends. They like to call themselves visionars or futurists. Trend watchers are well paid for their lectures and companies often cling to defined concepts which they translate into new products or services.
Are trend watchers able to predict everything?
No absolutely not. Often enough, unexpected things happen in society on a global level. This can be of short-term significance or become a major game-changer. Sometimes the whole world is shocked by an event, but a month later you don't hear about it. While other events take place that have major consequences for everyone, in every corner of society. Think of the pandemic and climate change.
What do trends mean for (DIY) fashion?
We suddenly work at home en masse and fashion is adapting. How necessary is it to wear a suit behind Zoom? Today's designers have already incorporated the new trend into their collections. Fashion is becoming more comfortable, fresher, more monotonous in color (prints are much too busy on small screens) and a combination of comfortable / business-like design is being designed. After six months, everyone is fed up with those comfortable sweatpants, and people are longing for easy but representative fashion.
Self-made fashion is often influenced by the sewing magazines and sewing patterns which are showing the new trends. Fabric stores also release fashion fabrics that come directly from the new trends on the catwalk. But seamstresses also often choose their own style and 'play' with (vintage) patterns of all times. This is mainly because the creativity of seamstresses is not limited to the trends dictated by others.
Moreover: if you can make something unique and give a personal touch to a garment, then you do it , right? And trends are also born by seamstresses, just think of the upcycling of clothing and the homemade masks, who were already created by seamstress before they were for sale in stores.
Skepticism and the sign of the times
Predicting the future and trends is magic or just the sign of the times. Especially when it turns out that the unexpected 'game changers' play such an important role in responses to trends. You may ask yourself how important it is to participate in fashion trends. (You cannot escape social trends; no one lives in a cabin in the woods or is invisible by the Tax Authorities. We all participate in the spirit of the times that determines how we behave, what we eat, how we work, spend our leisure time and we eat.)
Your own style
Apart from that ... it is more fun to discover ans create your own style! Whether you are a trendsetter, a trend follower, a latecomer or a loner; your own choice comes first and what you create and wear.
Women who are enjoying to sew their own clothes or being creative in some other way, have known this for a long time. Whether you participate in a fashion trend or not; your creativity is your own style!