Gabrielle Thibault’s Thoughts on ‘Trend Beacons’

Watching this documentary made me wish that URI offered some sort of introductory course on fashion forecasting. If I end up working in New York City one day I would love to look into taking a course or two at a school like LIM or FIT. The documentary was really eye-opening to me, I found it extremely interesting and something I would love to spend time studying and become involved with one day. I loved seeing how each fashion forecaster each had their own way of explaining what exactly the job entails, and how they each reached conclusions on what will be a huge trend in a few years time. All of their styles and work ethics were different yet similar in some shape or form.

For me, the the first main point I heard that connected to the course material in a vague way was that you are “always connecting the right dots.” This quote stood out to me because I felt as though that in a lot of the essays and articles we have read throughout the semester, the theorists were always connecting and bringing full circle a multitude of different ideas, thoughts and attitudes. I just thought it went to show that paying attention and making precisely the right judgments and decisions is always important in all types of work, and that one should always have their eyes and ears open incase they miss out on a valid source of information. The second point I noted had to do with privacy and the rise of digital disguise. One headquarters in Japan had an absurd number of televisions in their office, one for every store to constantly keep an eye on the employees and to track the way their customers shop. Slightly fascinating on the research aspect, and slightly frightening on the whole privacy aspect. This reminded me of a few of the different readings, like Heidegger in a way, as well as Merton and unanticipated consequences. The third point I jotted down was, “creativity, design and technology are joining forces.” It seemed very optimistic to me in the context it was given. It will be interesting to see what happens down the line with technology and fashion forecasting.

There was many new things I learned while watching this documentary, specifically how interested I am in fashion forecasting, but the three new and interesting things that got my attention enough to write down were that the new books that come out every year on the latest trends were very, very pricey, that you cannot really trust the big corporations, something I should not have been shocked by, and three, that people, the consumers and clientele, are nervous and that they want, need and actively seek confirmation on what to purchase and wear next. The first fact on trend books was basically just a fact that shocked me. The second fact was something I was surprised at myself for being shocked about. I supposed I like to assume that every is looking out for each other, but of course when it comes down to business people really only look after themselves. This was during a part of the documentary when the main woman featured was talking about how you cannot tell the big companies what the new trends are/will be as they will take all the credit for the success of the trend. The third main point I thought was interesting. One of the fashion forecasters was talking about the consumers in the fashion world, and how many are too nervous to make a purchase without receiving confirmation that what they are purchasing is in style. It makes sense, I just did not think that that was the case anymore, I thought many consumers were much more confident when it came to clothing and getting dressed. I did not personally realize the need was still that strong.

The three main points I took from the documentary were, “when a trend comes, no army in the world can stop it”, “you cannot make a trend”, that it is a professional process and that inspiration is truly everywhere. My favorite was the first quote, describing how when a trend is successful, it will not go away for a very long time. It will continue to stay and thrive until those wearing it get sick of it. I really liked the comparison of a fashion trend to an army.

When speaking with a TMD student about this documentary who has not yet taken this course, I would definitely stress the fact that trends do not just “appear” overnight, that there is a whole science behind it. Networking is extremely important, one’s success does not just happen overnight either. Some may find it relatively hard to predict trends for even two months in advance, let alone two years. As previously stated, trends do not just appear overnight, and trends are rarely ‘new’. Everything repeats itself. What is popular in clothing now will be popular again someday, in some form. One just has to know where to look and why they must look there in the history of countries and cultures to accurately predict when another trend will be spotted again.




2 thoughts on “Gabrielle Thibault’s Thoughts on ‘Trend Beacons’

  1. I think thats a good point when you say that you cannot create a trend, which is very true. If you think of trends here on campus is it easy to envision them as an army, one day it is a few people and the next thing you know large masses of people are wearing it. It is hard at that point to not join the fashion army, it kind of sucks you in.

  2. i found it very interesting that the industry was this cut throat too when you wrote about them not telling the big companies about what their fashion forecasting. This brings up the issue of lack of originality in the industry due to everyone copying eachother and I think that this relates to the issue of consumers needing to seek confirmation of their fashion choices. This is why consumers need to look at big companies for fashion advice because it gives them the confirmation that everyone else is wearing it so its okay to wear now.

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