Thoughts on “Trend Beacons”: Casey McGarvey

I found this documentary to be intriguing as it opened my mind to a different perspective and new appreciation for fashion trends and their complexities. I thought several concepts and ideas discussed in this documentary could be connected to a lot of the course material we have been studying throughout the semester.  A major connection could me be with various elements of this documentary and the Zeitgeist. The documentary discusses how the Zeitgeist is illustrated by designers art in it’s early state. In class we discussed Clifford Geertz’s metaphor of “the web” as a means of storytelling about a particular culture and what behaviors, attitudes, events and values matter. Fashion is characterized by trends that mirror the Zeitgeist and reveal shifts in fashion. Fashion change is a response to, and, sign of, Zeitgeist. This documentary shows us how trends are a reflection of the Zeitgeist during a particular context. Another major discussion throughout this documentary is how design and technology are joining forces and beginning to work together as one. This can be connected to Marshall McLuhan’s idea of “the medium is the message.” In class we discussed how because the extensions of self are changing, the global village is changing and the medium of our messages is constantly changing, what is “in fashion” today cannot and will not be the same as it was 30 years ago.  In today’s society,  our new technologies are reshaping our human experiences, our human interactions, and our perceptions in the world of fashion. Thus fashion and technology are coming together and shaping trends in our society. This documentary discusses several concepts that we can relate back to Neissen and her idea that fashion is a passage of time. We can have fashionable traditions and traditional fashions.  Our course material suggests that our idea of fashion and our perspective of trends may be a subset of traditional customs.

I learned a lot of new and interesting things from this blog however their were a few that stood out to me. One of the most interesting things to me was the comparison of trends to the ocean in that at its early state we can predict a wave and when consumers come, the wave gets bigger. This was interesting to me because this metaphor helped better explain to me how trends emerge and cannot be stopped. It was also interesting to learn that trends in shops were most likely predicted 2 years prior in a quiet place that eventually got blown up. I also found it interesting to here the documentary discuss various peoples perceptions on the word, “new”. The documentary states that the word new is no longer interesting and should be replaced with the word relevant. This is so because “nothing is new, but history can help you in understanding the future.” I also thought it was interesting to hear the documentary’s emphasis on that it is brands and marketers that are responsible for putting value on the products.

There was also a few concepts discussed in this documentary that confused me.I was confused a lot by the documentary’s discussion on how me must learn from nature and our ecosystem. It discussed I we should move from ego- eco so their can be hope for a better future. This concept confused me and I was lost by the connection to trends here. It was also mentioned in this documentary that “to be a trend person, you have to have a network.” I had a difficult time understanding what exactly is meant by a “trend person”. Is this the same as a trend setter? If so, how does one become a trend setter? One last concept discussed in this documentary that confused me was the topic on the essence of transition. Our society today was described as decentralized and organized as well as a financial and social capital. However the documentary said that our society is shifting towards state and progression. It confused to me as to what this discussion was referring to and how it tied into the major discussion.

Although their were several interesting and significant topics discussed throughout this documentary, I narrowed it down to 3 ideas that I found to be main overall points. One major point that was a theme throughout this documentary is that creativity, design and technology are joining forces. Another major theme is that in order to forecast and predict trends you have to know a lot about people and their culture, context, values, attitudes and beliefs in order to see them properly. One last major theme of this documentary is that long term trends are always there and give important guidelines for the future.

In order to explain this to a TMD student, who has yet to take this class, what I learned from this documentary I would start by explaining to them in general, a “World of fashion” and to look at things from a bigger picture. I would explain to them how their are so many elements of fashion and fashion is constantly changing. I would tell them that fashion is a reflection of culture, society, traditions, attitudes, beliefs, etc.; today’s Zeitgeist. I would explain to them that trends come and go and our a product of our Zeitgeist. I would also explain how trends are constantly recycling and coming back more relevant and reformed and we could notice this if we examined historical, social and political shifts throughout history. Overall, I would hope the TMD student would understand that fashion is a complex concept and we must consider it from various perspectives.

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One thought on “Thoughts on “Trend Beacons”: Casey McGarvey

  1. Awesome job, Casey! I think you covered the documentary perfectly and went very in-depth. It was very interesting and almost refreshing to watch. I especially like the three main points you chose, as mine were very similar. I think any TMD student who has not yet enrolled in this course will perfectly understand what it is all about with your explanation, as well.

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