Watching Trend Beacons was very helpful and insightful into the manner in which trends both emerge and evolve within and throughout our society today.
A glaring connection to the course material that I saw in the film was the statement made towards the end that by 2045, we will become “transhuman,” which is the theory that human beings can evolve to surpass our physical and mental limitations by means of technology. This, to me, resembles Mcluhan’s argument that all media are extensions of man. However, transhumanism goes further to say that human beings will merge with technology on an ever deeper level as to become technology. This is truly interesting when you see how technology is beginning to be intricately woven into textiles today, quite literally. (Levi’s wants to make your jeans a touch screen)
Another connection I saw was to Becker’s theory of a reflexive and reactive world, when one of the trend forecasters expressed that she observes all factors of an environment and how they react with each other when she forecasts trends. She doesn’t really step in and dictate what a trend should and will be, she merely observes how the world is pulsating and puts her finger on certain movements within society. Finally, there were connections to Lyotard’s theory of post-modernism and loss of grand narrative idea when the Dutch forecasters expressed that it used to be that everyone had to sit around and wait for trends to emerge, but today fashion is a network, it is our movement. It is no longer a time where one person knows it all, it is not the “moment of the guru.”
One interesting thing I learned from the movie was how trend forecasters rarely look to fashion when attempting to predict trends. Rather, they observe artists, graffiti artists, architects, food trends, and so on to obtain inspiration and a feel for the spirit of our times. Another was the mention that if you are looking in a store for a trend, you are already too late, which is a statement that I feel really encapsulates the spirit of our times in general. Finally, I loved the forecaster’s idea of trends in the future shifting from focus on ego to eco. Ecosystems here not only meaning environmentally but communally in society. The trend today is figuring out how to make everything work better together, how to buy better and buy less to help our community.
A point I found difficult was when the man who works for Pantone made a comment about brands being #1, and consumers being #2. Maybe that was and is the case currently, but with social media and Internet, I feel as if that is changing fast. Consumers not only have more control over a brand, but they care less about flaunting a brand name. I also didn’t agree with the comment that nothing ever is new, and the history becomes future. With the rise of technology and its application within fashion, I don’t think thats entirely true. Finally, I was a bit surprised to see actual trend books being printed; I guess I expected to see them digitized.
For me, the three main points within the film were as follows: trends are not invented and mandated, they emerge from within society itself. Fashion has become a network; it is undergoing a shift of importance of financial capital to importance of social capital. Finally, the trend of our times is a shift from ego to ecosystems. To explain this documentary to another TMD student who hasn’t taken this class, I would say that this film gives a glimpse into how trends originate within the fashion world currently. It depicts how fashion operates within the context of our technologically advanced world.