Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Spring / Summer 2011 Trends and Socrates (Part 1)

I'm not really one for buying or wearing clothes simply because they're in fashion. I'm drawn to the idea of fashion as a creative outlet (for both the wearer and the designer) and like any creative outlet I think it shouldn't be allowed to stagnate. It should evolve frequently or it can quickly become a little like a gilded cage. This is one reason why I think trends are handy (that and the fact that they are possibly the biggest reason why the fashion industry is so lucrative).

I'm a fan of trends as a concept, but that doesn't mean I'll buy into every new trend and the older I get, the more sure I am of my tastes and l'll now only wear things I love. More often than not, like most people, I just take elements of what's in the magazines or on the catwalks and streets and try and make it my own but I've never really thought about why or what it is about the particular trend that appeals to me on a personal level. I've subconsciously noticed four main trends this season so, I thought I'd set myself the task of critically analysing what it is I like about each trend in four separate posts.

Why Socrates? Well, he's largely credited as the father of critical thinking and self analysis but also because I like the sound of his name :)

Trend 1: Bright colours.
Lots of contrasting Jewel / neon tones as seen on the catwalk shows of designers like Marc Jacobs, Jil Sander and Christopher Kane.

Even though this is probably the trend that I'm least likely to buy into because I don't think I suit bright colours (plus, I generally prefer to blend into the background), it is also the one that appeals to me the most on a cerebral level. I never refer to a colour wheel when I work (both as a jewellery designer and as a personal stylist). Odd as it sounds, I like to let colours tell me how they want to be combined and I find it more liberating, but also more challenging to work that way. This trend appeals to me for the same reasons. I really like that it appears to be about bending the rules and deviating from the norm, but still coming up with something that works for you and is visually pleasing to others.

If I do buy into this trend I'll do it by combining brightly coloured accessories with average clothes - a plain white tee and indigo jeans with a bright yellow bag and green shoes or an electric blue dress with an orange bag and purple shoes...

So the boys don't feel left out, Ralph Lauren has a fun take on this trend - 'Create-Your-Own' Custom Fit Polos in a range of jewel tones and Vintage Officer's Chinos in lovely (wearable) colours.