Analysis of ‘Trend Beacons’- Michelle Katz

The documentary “Trend of Beacons” held considerable emphasis on what is happening in the world today and how this affects the consumer. Then the forecasters predict how the consumer is going to react to the trend and they hope that the consumer will react well due to it fulfilling their needs. There is a common misconception about forecasters; most people think they are the people who create the trends. However, they cannot create trends; they can only predict them and this prediction comes from environmental factors, art, street art, food, culture etc.

The first point that connected to our course material in TMD 424 is the rate of speed that technology has provided in our world today. This documentary discusses this era we live in as ‘highspeed times’ due to the Internet. This makes trends a difficult matter, because a trend becomes old within a very, very short time span, so forecasters have to focus on relevancy. This relates to the author McLuhan when he writes about the quickened period between action to reaction influenced by the media and how this introduces an era of being connected all the time. McLuhan’s idea of “the global village” relates to this as well, because of the Internet creating a community where everyone knows what everyone else is doing at all times. This is why it is so difficult to keep trends relevant. The second point that connects to our course material is how history helps makes trends. This is why fashion is never new, it is always influenced and linked to our history. This is directly connected to the author Lipovetsky and democratization of fashion. The third point that connects to our course material is the issue of lack of originality . Every designer copies each other, so there is no such thing as original work anymore. This relates to our author and discussion of Walter Benjamin who writes about the loss of the aura. The aura being the authentic work that hasn’t been reproduced. In fashion, designs are constantly being replicated by pictures, social media, on the runway and replicated in mainstream fashion.

I found three things to be very interesting in this film. The first interesting thing I learned was about the companies monitoring consumer on a very intimate level which is very intense. They are doing this to slice the demographics thinner and thinner to try to understand each individual shopper to ensure they are hitting all of the markets. The second interesting thing I learned was that the fashion industry determines future design decision for other industries such as cars and hotels. So technically the fashion industry is not just fashion, its design. The third interesting point that I learned was the important the forecasters place on long term and short term trends.

The three main points I would take away from it are the following. The lack of power in the industry and how they are trying to gain that back with the power of technology not on their side. Second, the fashion industry’s designs being able to influence so many other industries. And third, the importance and stress they put on shifting from egoism to ecoism driven systems. I would explain this documentary to a TMD student that hasn’t taken this class yet by explaining how we are influenced by the world around us and forecasting takes these influences, breaks them down in relevancy and creates a design based around our world. It all comes full circle.

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