Thursday, 16 October 2008

Trend consumption

It's official I'm so pooooorly with the most hideous cough that makes me sound like I have consumption! Not to mention my voice which is barely there, all though the girls in Jospeh said it sounded sexy and Spanish.

I'm going to write this blog, comment on as many blogs as I can muster and then join oblivion for a few days to regain my good health.....So I'm continuing with a bit of a discourse on trends in relation to fashion. Now there were a few comment on trends and how you need a trend fix which I completely agree with. I think I should have put 'multiple trends' in the sentence 'only buy things you love rather than get caught up in trend fever'.

The trouble with trend fever is you sort of get sold a trend or feel compelled to adopt a trend to conform. I've been a sponge to cultural studies as part of my MA. I have to attend a unit called 'Approaches to Contemporary Fashion' and this week we study Barthes and semiotics. I won't go into it in great detail but distill the relevant points with regard to my advocacy of slow fashion.

The bit we all forget about fashion (garments, furniture, art) in society is that it is all about marketing. Because in fairness if you produce something you want it to sell. Trends in fashion get constructed, visual pictures of fashion garments and editorial with descriptive words sells us fashion. For example you might see a picture of a dress and think it is nice but an editorial piece might refer to it as a dress for dinner and you then contextualise that image in reference to wearing it for only a dinner date. Same with clothes labelled for summer, holiday, winter, skiing etc.

Barthes would argue that signs, have significance that becomes constructed by society and his argument extends to mass culture as manipulating people. He later revisited his work on Mythologies and gave more credit to the reader of signs choosing how they engage with text/image.

Where is all this going .....well when it comes to making do, you have to be quite brave, quite an individual to step out of mass consumption and the creation of trends which have a short shelf life. It is particularly hard when if you love fashion, adopting a trend gives you a reference for the now. But it is important not to get caught up in trends too easily as you will consume more than you need, so do fall for and enjoy a trend that captures your imagination but don't let trends consume your individuality.

And on that note, I'm ignoring marketing ploys to remedy my cold, all those over priced sachets and reverting to a make do hot toddy. Well I can boil the kettle, squeeze a lemon in and add a wee dram of whiskey from the bottle that sits in the cupboard gathering dust. I'll save my pennies to indulge a fashion trend thank you very much!

23 comments:

  1. Oh, how I wish I could come to this class with you. Post modern theory combined with clothing sounds like heaven on a stick. Thanks so much for writing this post even as you have the croup. Please feel free to go on and on about Barthes. I for one, will read every word and be enormously grateful for your sharing all you are learning.

    I avoid the mythologies, to some degree, by avoiding all fashion magazines. But, there are certainly mythologies in catalogs, web stores and even in stores.

    Great post!! And, I hope the hot toddy does its magic and that you feel better and lose that cough.

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  2. Hi there-oh poor you, I do wish you better!! A great post my dear, as usual and I think as you get older, it is easier not to fall in the trap of buying 'one hit wonders' that come into trend for a season. I love quality basics and if I've got a great pair of jeans and a stylish jacket, I'm happy enough!!

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  3. All I can say is: Amen, sister. Very eloquently put.

    Now take care of you!

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  4. I love your "make-do" philosophy. The only problem (for me) is that in order to make do with a limited wardrobe, make up, etc., it all must be "just right." Therein lies the rub. I'm still searching for that elusive perfect red lipstick, black skirt, flat, heel, handbag, you name it.

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  5. I hope you get your voice back and the hot toddy does the trick quick smart!

    Just seeing the words "Barthes" and "signs" is giving me first year flashbacks - I'm starting to get an anxious feeling that I have an essay due!

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  6. "enjoy a trend that captures your imagination but don't let trends consume your individuality." Yes! Well said.
    Take care, and the toddy is a great remedy. But in my house the whiskey bottles don't collect much dust.

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  7. Ahh, where do you go to school!? I want to take that class, too!

    Nice write-up. I was interested enough to put the ADD on the back burner and read straight through.

    Feel better :)

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  8. I liked this post a lot. I think it does take bravery to buck trends and stay true to who we are, despite what the magazines tell us about how and who we should be.

    I love trends, because they do help me refer to "now," but really, I dress in the past. Shh, don't tell anyone.

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  9. Love this post! I always stay true to my style, even though it might to be on trend right now. I say never buy something that you dont love and its not you. Trends come and go, but the classics will always stay in style.

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  10. Loved the post! i used to be a trend victim, but now, i try and wait and see what i really like, now what i should like... i'm not sure i'm being very clear... get better soon!!!

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  11. oh you poor thing, hope you feel better.

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  12. Honey and lemon in hot water always works for me. But only if my Mum makes it.
    I hope you feel better soon.

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  13. Excellent post! (Ps, ooh what's your Burberry story? And no, I don't *think* I'm responsible for your Absolut invite but I hope if you're feeling better you will come. Seems like lots of bloggers are going!)

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  14. Ahhh, Irish Panadol. don't forget the Capilano australian honey to sweeten the toddy. Honey is naturally antiseptic and will sooth your throat, the lemon will give you vitamin c and the whiskey will calm your chest and make it easier to sleep.
    xx

    Excellent fashion post too. I really like it. I find in these straitened times that the mass market pile em high and sell em for 200 % more than they cost to make philosphy even harder to take. I will weight for the market to re-balance and find it's natural level before investing in "trend" peices this year.
    Either that or I will do without until I can go to London again and buy up the early adopters mistakes in Charity shops!

    xx

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  15. ...Hmmm hope that you feel better soon. I have a wicked cold too, not suprising seeing how chilly it is up North! I can confirm that there is nothing nicer than a hot water bottle and a nice lemon/honey/brown sugar drink :)

    See you!

    M.

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  16. Good post, Barthes is always an enjoyable topic.

    I've now decided no more shopping for the rest of the year [if I buy anything it will be a simple, GREAT black pencil skirt - NOTHING else]. If I wish to create a fresh look I will have recourse to my existing wardrobe and I shall use what I have, not buy into more. It's so easy to see something you think you like because it ticks a box, fits into a visual idea you have which has likely come from the fashion press or from someone influenced by the fashion press [be it mainstream, avant-garde or DIY].. and buy it before realising you like it less than you thought.

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  17. What a great post.
    I hope you're feeling better.
    Get well soon!!!!

    xoxo

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  18. I just want to give up fashion altogether. Why can't 15 pairs of jeans and six leather jackets be enough for me?!?

    HElp me out, when you feel better. xo

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  19. I'm with sister wolf, I'm ready to give up on fashion - only my go to outfit would be a muu muu. I cannot remember the last time I bought a trend item (on purpose).

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  20. I like trends when they are presented as opportunities.... they aren't rules or laws.... they are there to play around with and for people to control....
    Hope you feel better!

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  21. I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed

    reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



    Sarah

    http://www.thetreadmillguide.com

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