Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Why Trendsetting Can Be Old-Fashioned

Fashion trends are clothes you thought you've donated to calamity relief operations or shoved at the top of the farthest corner of the back of your wardrobe but they still keep falling off your head whenever you pull out something else to wear.

In fashion, some trends make a comeback either because fashionistas can't get enough of it, or fashion houses pull out the 'archive-inspired' excuse line. But unlike Top 40 or Top of the Pops (TOTP) hits list which we revisit for nostalgia and admiration of musical genius, there are some fashion looks that we prefer to remain one-hit wonders.

ASOS Premier magazine preview of Spring-Summer 2014 trends. The magazine is only distributed to premier account holders who pay £9.95 for unlimited next day delivery service for a year.

 Before you slag off ASOS and start being condescending about its fashion credentials not matching Vogue's, you will find as you scroll down that despite the two publications seemingly on opposite poles of the fashion market, they share the same sartorial tips, with the online retailer understanding a more urban streetwear lingo. 

ASOS has helped North London-based Fashion Enter grow from 15 to 84 staff members since 2006 by buying 85% of their garment production. The social enterprise is involved in designing, cutting and creating garments to sell to major retailers. In partnership with homegrown brands such as ASOS, Fashion Enter aims to bring back and strengthen manufacturing in the UK to give skills and job opportunities to younger people.

For the above reason alone, my purchases from ASOS are justified.

High-street trends take their cue after luxury brands, with the former adding its own take and twists. So whether you want to spend or save, you'll find something to update your look at any price point. But if you look close enough, that new trend may just be hanging or folded in your wardrobe.

Vogue trend no. 1: earth colours. If you don't own anything tan or brown, which is a basic colour, then you're just not into this shade.

ASOS and Vogue say pastel colours are back. I didn't even realise they made an exit. I've always thought they're the top picks when blacks, browns, greys, and even whites are off duty.

A sweater tied over the shoulders is so 'Trading Places', but I don't know what to make of a sweater tied around the waist. An apron?

Vogue trend no. 2: box type tops which I remember wearing in the mid to late 80s.

The 90s come crashing back emblazoned in logos. This is one trend that made head-on collision with understatement. Not my cup of tea, but I do love my shirts with Coke and Minnie Mouse on it.

Vogue trend no. 3: pleats. Don't worry if you don't have a single piece of pleated clothing; you're not missing out on anything.

I agree that too much flowers on a print can be freaky especially when it's lifted from a Science reference book. If the pattern's overly floral, your dress can look like your mother's curtains or brocade chaise lounge. I'll replace my floral print summer dresses when the garment itself has wilted.

The logic of summer is bright and bold colours, so bring out all your old yellows, pinks, blues, and reds--that is, if the colours haven't faded yet.

ASOS' take on brights is pop art. Céline renders the brushstroke prints. JC de Castelbajac's on the lower right corner is reminiscent of artist Julie Verhoeven's design for MAC's cosmetic pouches 2 years ago. 

I've been hearing about safari dress code for at least the last two years. And I've been been wearing exactly the same cut of skirt as the red one on the upper left (except it's not Hermès) since I was 10. Dungarees have crossed my mind when I was 19. And yes, I've worn a top with a jersey number on it. Except for the skirt, I won't entertain the thought of ever wearing the rest again in public.

Tommy Hilfiger in Vogue and Tommy Hilfiger in ASOS (Is that the same model?). Athletic to Vogue is So-Cal to ASOS. Who would have thought that pool slides are now considered fashionably trendy? I'm sticking to my Havaianas straight off the market in Rio where they're sold for a pittance.

What about the shoes?!

Phoebe Philo, the Céline designer, is at it again. Credited for boosting the sales of New Balance 620s and Nike Air Max to unlikely worshipers of trainers, er, sneakers, she's given the iconic Adidas Stan Smiths a catwalk debut, as seen above at the Paris Fashion Week.

via sabotagetimes.com
The first ever leather tennis shoes, Adidas Stan Smith was originally named Adidas Robert Haillet in 1965 after the French tennis professional. When Haillet retired, Adidas offered the endorsement to Stan Smith, the American tennis champion who was ranked World No. 1 in 1971. The tennis shoes became the German brand's entry to the American market. In 2011, Adidas announced that they will stop marketing Stan Smiths, but there was a buzz about reintroducing it in 2014. True enough, Phoebe Philo has been sporting a pair. And Kate Moss, of course.

We've seen collaborations between fashion designers and sportswear brands (Stella McCartney, Raf Simons, and Yohji Yamamoto for Adidas; and Givenchy's Riccardo Tisci for Nike). Are a creative director's face and signature next on the tongue? 

ASOS has other things in mind. I think they're ugly.

See where the arrows are pointing? These are the ring leaders and rule breakers.

There they are again. If you lose them, remember that I warned you.

I say stick to your own natural brows rather than trying to achieve a trendy cray-pas oil pastel-drawn variety.

Pinks and nudes according to Vogue

ASOS beauty pundits say otherwise. I refuse to accept the suggestion as I just bought a Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow Stick in violet plum. As for the new Dora the Explorer super haircut, see below.

I nailed the bowl cut when I was about 4, and I'm not revisiting this along with shoulder pads!

Now, off you go to raid your wardrobe! 

For the next season's trends, have a look at what you haven't worn for awhile. 

Or it could be what you're wearing now.


  1. It's sometimes difficult to keep up with trends... I'm glad that pastels are in (again). Normally I just have my style (fairly classic) and just add a few fashionable items here and there. I have never purchased anything from Asos as I like to try on before buying. But I may consider them for bags or accessories in the future.

    1. Yes, that's why I stopped keeping up with it. It's so cyclical anyway. Like yourself, I buy classic pieces then purchase something fashionable that catch my eye. But I just try my best not to shop all the time. ASOS is great for pieces such as swimwear, accessories, and sometimes they have high-street clothes, too. They also have their version of ebay which is called ASOS market. Individual sellers can market their items there. I'm very happy with their customer service. The company has really gone big since I started shopping with them in 2007. Give it a try :)

  2. Just clicked on your link to Fashion Enter and I'm impressed. Manufacturing in the UK and training young people too. Well done to ASOS for supporting them. As for the spring trends, I agree that pastels never really go away and often make an appearance at this time of year! As for the footwear this year, there are so many heavy looking styles and even the sandals are not particularly pretty looking.

    1. I'm also very impressed with Fashion Enter's work. I wish that their stitching program is open to mature students, but I understand that currently it's only for those under 24 years old. It's a good idea to encourage manual expertise in a certain trade. All the interns I've worked with in their 20s always want to be at the front row of fashion shows already when they can't even sew clothes! It's similar to wanting to be the editor when you haven't been published ever yet.

      Yes, the shoes arn't particularly enticing. They're quite chunky.

  3. Wow you've definitely done your research for this post - very comprehensive and an eye opener. It was good for you to draw our attention to Fashion Enter's work, hadn't heard of them before, but I certainly think more and more companies will be jumping on the bandwagon with this. I have no shame in saying I follow trends, but only trends that suit me of course. I've had my eye on those Stan Smiths for a couple of weeks but have just bought some Converse aaaah!!!
    Enjoy the weekend xx

    1. Thanks Colleen! I was very much impressed with Fashion Enter's work, I had to mention them in my post in relation to ASOS. The last time I wore white leather trainers was when I was 13. They were those K-Swiss ones. Adidas is releasing Stan Smiths with snakeskin detailing. Might consider. I'd love some Nike AirMax too. Hope you're feeling better. Have a good start to the week xx

  4. Nice piece! The way I see it, every trend comes back in rotation eventually, so if you love something and don't want to part with it, just keep because it'll likely be trendy again in a few years!

    I do enjoy the comeback of trainers/sneakers/athletic shoes. For once, women are clamoring for shoes more comfortable than 5-inch stilettos! And the trend I dislike the most?? (Drumroll here..) MOM JEANS.

    1. Thanks Rhona! Agree with your point 100%! I was in a charity shop the other day and saw an original St Michael (the old label Made in England) pleated skirt. It was midi, navy blue with tiny polka dots on it. Quite mumsy for some, but it's a classic for me. Shame it wasn't my size. I think this whole idea about fashion being cyclical gave birth to the allure of vintage.

      I always have trainers/sneakers in my wardrobe, and I find that I'm purchasing them more now than heels. Guess it's my job also, very casual so I'm not required to wear heels.

      Thanks for your comment and for dropping by :)

  5. I agree with Rhona. Fashion never stays, it keeps on changing and people should follow the latest trend so that to prevent any embarrassment which can be yours as you wear some "outdated" garments in a party.

    1. Good to see you here again Eton. It's good to be in the know, but not too much that you end up being a fashion victim. I admire those whose fashion sense is very individual, and not particulary following a certain trend because they're just comfortable with their own style. I find it amusing to see everyone wearing exactly the same things. Don't you? :)


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