When I was about fifteen I owned a pair of jeans that could best be described as overzealous flares. Of course, to go along with their overzealous nature they also featured a very distinctive floral embroidery from the hem to just under the knee - on both sides. Yeah, I know ridiculously rad. I bought them from Westco (anyone remember Westco?) and I was so convinced of their (warning: mum word approaching) trendiness that I wore them repeatedly. So many times that I’m sure friends, family and random people I passed on the street were convinced that my legs actually were made from blue denim and floral embroidery and not the actual ghostly white skin they are.
I had convinced myself they were so on trend that nobody could dissuade me if they tried. Not that they did. I’m talking very late nineties/early noughts, combined with a small town that I’m quite certain was notably absent of any copies of Vogue. Despite my convictions the jeans eventually found their way to the bottom of a drawer. Trend(y) or not, they fell by the wayside and lost whatever magic they previously held over me. I like to say it was magic, because admitting that I actually found them appealing does induce just a little sartorial shame. Ah, the past - so full of fashion wrongs and choices we just can’t undo.
My discourse on said denim is leading somewhere, I promise. As you may be aware (or hey maybe you’re not - no judgement) New York, London, Milan and Paris are presently staging a multi-city fashion month of sorts; with a plethora of shows and presentations all featuring ‘trends’. As is the natural course of events, what has followed is an inexplicable amount of articles, blog posts and various social media manifestations recording, documenting, listing - and in some respects demanding - the trends we should all expect to be wearing shortly.
A decade or so ago when I was wearing those jeans, I gave no thought to trends. I cared not for news from New York, Paris, Milan or London. The concept of a fashion show was so far removed from the life I lived in Small Town, Nowhere that had it been suggested to my young, overzealous flares clad self the only response would have been a cocked head and a furrowed and confused bushy brow - say wwhhhaaattt??
The idea that we could make a sartorial choice not influenced by trends today seems impossible. Immerse yourself in the fashion world, even the one ruled by bloggers online, and trends, what’s in, what we want to be wearing and what we will be wearing next season are conversation de jour. However, like most things, over saturation often leads to fatigue and the kind of familiarity that breeds contempt - remember? And, I’m not really sure how to say this but, I’m really fucking over trends.
I’ve been avoiding the shows, skipping (for the most part) blogposts discussing their merits, scrolling past link bait and just generally attempting to ignore the trend machine the appears to be steamrolling the (fashion) world right now. This doesn’t mean I’ve lost any of my appreciation for fashion and it’s associated accessories - namely shoes. Oh no, I still fervently worship at the altar that is my wardrobe and shoe-robe. I’m just over trends.
Perhaps it’s a subconscious desire to revert to the days of old when I fell in love with those overzealous floral embroidered jeans and simply had to have them, regardless of whether they were actually in or not. Maybe I’m yearning for some sort of sartorial satisfaction that comes from choosing what you clothe yourself in based on whatever twisted ideas are floating around your grey matter, as opposed to the ‘ten trends you must invest in this winter’ lists that seem to circle the internet endlessly.
Despite my newfound aversion to trends, despite my desire to not be overtly influenced, I’m under no illusions that the ability to avoid trends is tightly held by those that live outside the realm of the internet and far away from a high street fashion chain. Of which I am neither. And as per that famous scene in The Devil Wears Prada, even when we think we’re making an independent choice - we are not. So even though I thought I was being all individual and me when I wore those flares, the truth is I wasn’t. I was being influenced, even when I didn’t know it. Fashion you subversive little beast.
Alas, my avoidance of trends is no doubt in vain; and will, I’m sure, be short lived. You will find me, sometime soon, poring over style.com searching for inspiration and trends(!!!). For now though, I’ll pretend for just a little longer that I don’t know what a trend is. I’ll make sartorial choices based on questions like is it raining outside, and do I have to leave the house today. I’ll make believe that Small Town, Nowhere still exists and those overzealous flares really are the greatest thing I own.