Privilege Blog

How To Ride A Trend, Or, Rough-Hewn Pumps For Worlds Of Work And Warcraft

Fashion hangs its metaphorical hat on two hooks. The Object of Desire and The Trend. Objects of Desire are whatever your hearts, well, desire. Even large pink hats in the shape of a bedroll. If enough people agree, we have a Trend. Trends are the Holy Grail of fashion. Although ornery creatures of laws of large numbers and statistics and pattern matching, they can nevertheless be wrested to the ground. If we deconstruct.

We understand that some trends are real, created by alchemy between inspired designers and a brave person getting dressed one night. One morning. These are the trends we care about. Many more are pretend. These are manufactured by mid-level marketing people saying words to each other in conference rooms until someone convinces someone else to be quiet. “Fine. You say white shirts, we’ll do white shirts. Fine.”

Even if you have figured out your Goldilocks wardrobe, as Une Femme calls it, as in, just right, you may still want to participate in trends. You may still want to feel that brush with immortality conferred by the gods of, “Am I Fabulous Or What.” It’s doable. Risky, but doable.

These Balmain jackets have been recent objects of desire amongst fashion cognoscenti.
No, I am not kidding. Not that I expect that anyone I know in real life will buy one. However, I do expect that those who might like a jacket this year will more often than not be confronted by big shoulders. Brace yourselves.

Other trends currently being touted include The White Shirt. The Boot. The One-Shouldered Something Or Other. These are ersatz. (Moderately big word of the day.) We all have white shirts. We probably all have boots. We may or may not have anything one-shouldered but, here’s the thing. One-shouldered isn’t a big enough design criteria to make a Trend. Asymmetrical is, one-shouldered is not.

A trend is big. A trend is visible. Notable trends of the past several years include the dipping of pants below America’s waistline, the wearing of many patterns all at once, and the invention of a concept called “Vintage.” We used to call it thrift stores and it still smells the same. Vintage is a generational shift I am simply unable to overcome but I laud it in others. Notable objects of desire have included expensive blue jeans in a dark wash, purses with fringe, and very very very high heels on red soles. Trends tend to affect actual clothing structures. Overall clothing surfaces. Or involve the invention of clothing that requires a new word.

Let me now go out on a limb and point to a real trend I believe I have noticed recently. It requires a new word. Or several words. Renaissance Faire meets Sex In The City. What Pump To Wear On Your Worlds Of Warcraft Quest?

Chie Mihara. John Fluevog. Prada Leather Fishing Waders. Shoes for fancy occasions that still smell of the tanner. Even the blacksmith. Etsy Bikers. Space Age Handmade. Brutal Fancy. I have never seen shoes like this before. And my secret craving meter tells me they matter, whether you like them or not. I don’t think they have to be worn with the space age jackets, either.

You heard it here first. I’m completely serious. If I could just think of the right trend nomenclature we’d be good to go. Any takers?

Woman In Pink Hat, Scott Barbour via
Balmain via Coutorture, Balmain via net-a-porter
Chie Mihara via shopstyle and Shirise, Fluevog, Prada via The Daily Mail

17 Responses

  1. I'm sorry, I could barely get through the post – I took one look at that hat and screamed out loud:

    "OMFG – it's the King of All Cosmos from Katamari Damacy!!!!"

    Is that thing for real??

    (And I apologize; I shall go back and read and make a better attempt to actually absorb this excellent post.)

  2. I SO had to Google Karamari Damacy. I am not that cool or tech savvy:). Somehow it seems fitting that video games and the Royal Ascot Race Day hats are culturally related.

  3. "What to wear on your Worlds of Warcraft Quest"!!!! HAHAHAHA!!!!! That is by far the funniest thing I have heard all week.

    Also, no matter how hard I try, I can't seem to shake my admiration for that pink hat. Call me plebian! I can't help it!!!! It's huge! It's pink! It's AWFUL! I WANT IT! HAHAHA!

    Thank you for making my morning with this post.

  4. If your analysis is correct, I will finally be out ahead of a trend! I would never have been able to articulate it as cleverly as you — Renaissance Faire/Sex and the City! — but I've long loved an obvious artisanal hand to my shoes — I like a pump that's both funky AND sexy. The Prada waders, though, I will easily eschew, finding them ersatz in comparison to my husband's fly-fishing hipwaders. . .

  5. Oh goodie…I can dust off the waders in the garage and finally get some use out of them. I sure hope they look good with my plaid leggings and miniskirt. Paired of course with my white t-shirt.

  6. She's watching a horse race wearing that thing? My God, she must take up an entire row by herself.

    I suppose it gives her a convenient place to stash all her markers…

  7. Well, one DOES need the proper head attire for a day at the races, no?
    I've never understood the appeal of over the knee boots, unless you're going fly-fishing.
    I do love the strappy, clunky shoes, especially when the strap circles the ankle.
    Trends vs Objects of Desire…I will never look at it quite the same.

  8. Excellent post! I think some "trends" never make it past the pages of the glossy mags, except to wind up in a crumpled heap in a "final sale" bin somewhere.

    May I confess that my former Renaissance Faire Dancing, SATC-loving self *adores* those Chie M. boots? I've also recently succumbed to Fluevogs and Think! shoes. Will be passing on the waders, though.

    Some trends I will be happy to see die:
    1. flip flops
    2. low-rise pants
    3. sleeveless everything

  9. more trends that should go….

    4. tee shirts with cap sleeves

    5. sleeveless everything in plus sizes. I don't want to see my arm and I KNOW you don't.

    I wonder if the Pink Lady had to do neck exercises so she could wear that thing all afternoon. hmmmm….

    I bet some enterprising soul could sell some of those to the tailgate set. just roll up a blanket tuck it into a spangly strap with a couple of shoe strings to tie it to your head. Then when the urge strikes they pull it out lay it out on the ground and presto…instant picnic blanket.

  10. We love this post Miss LPC, that photo of the pink hat is simply killer, it takes the "Ascot's Best Chapeaux" award hands down! And the 'Worlds of Warcraft Quest' is too funny, and *very* descriptive.

    Have a fab Friday!

  11. Hilarious. I want a big pink cigar hat. It seems like just the thing if you'd rather keep your distance. Literally and metaphorically.

  12. Aw, this is great. I've played Katamari Damacy but I didn't think of it when I saw the hat, I thought of the shoe hat in the movie *Brazil*. But the pink duppioni…great stuff.

    Love the Fluevogs – they are so distinctive you can tell what they are without looking them up.

    I am so with you on the trend/faux trend. I posted as much over on You Look Fab a while ago.

    But vintage? Has been around since Happy Days was a current show. That was the first time that a younger generation had an interest in the clothing styles of their parents – and thus was rockabilly born. I've been shopping vintage since at least 1983 and lovin' it (though I don't care that much for rockabilly, only have a small smattering of it meself though it suits my bombshell figure.) Vintage is a great way to add distinction to personal style because older items are so often better made for the price than current ones so they can last, even if they're old.

  13. I talked to my sister last night. A) she wants the Chie Mihara boots B) she says there are 1st graders all over the East Bay who would want said sleeping bag. And I get the value of vintage. In my day we were all hunting for bowling shirts. It just wasn't a full fashion trend at that point. My only problem is the smell. Too much a princess, I know.

  14. Trends are a post-capitalist system's way of making sure the needle is firmly in the consuming arm. I am as interested in beautiful clothes at 61 as I was at 15 or 20, but ignore trends. That's not to say I want to look dated. The trend is too close to fashion victimhood to really interest me- aside from feeling sorry for its dupes.

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