There’s always something new in fashion. NIKI CHARALAMBOUS looks at where it might come from

The fashion industry is dictated by trends; when a certain colour, product, silhouette, pattern, material, or style becomes popular during a specific time period. And by popular, we mean that a particular style is adopted, imitated, or replicated by most people. So, how do trends emerge, and who decides what we will wear this season or next?

The concept of trends originated in the 14th century when the upper echelons of society demonstrated their social position and wealth by changing their appearance on a regular basis.

While traditional fashion houses continue to have an impact on how fashion trends emerge, they are no longer the only sources that influence popular fashion trends. From the runway to street style, celebrities to fashion bloggers, and London – one of the oldest fashion centers in the world that has given birth to many new royal and street or common people’s designs – are all involved.

Although many of the looks that walk the runway are mass produced, Fashion Week shows also include many pieces that are considered couture – something that is made to fit on one person’s body. People look forward to these pieces because they are typically extravagant designs that appear to have come from a dream. These are often the items that viewers remember and begin to model their wardrobes after.

The term ‘street style’ relates directly to everyday fashion choices seen on the streets. These are the looks that people wear in their daily lives that have an impact on those who see them, who may be inspired by them. Overall, street style is a newer term in the world of fashion, however this demonstrates how much influence anyone can have on how fashion is perceived and trends are set.

fashion colourful fur

Colourful fur

People are easily inspired by street style for two reasons: the looks are typically easier to recreate, and people are inclined to follow ‘everyday person’ trends because they believe these are something they can pull off themselves. Colourful fur has become a popular trend among street style trend setters and designers alike, as has the hippie look, which has rolled into being very dominant and lasting season after season.

Without a doubt, celebrities are one of the most powerful forces in trend creation. Celebrities are highly influential, which is why large corporations hire them as spokespeople for their brands and products.

Celebrity-inspired trends include Manolo Blahnik stilettos, which are flawlessly designed in every way, but they did not really hit the mainstream until they made their big debut on Sex and the City and Sarah Jessica Parker incorporating them into her real-life wardrobe. It quickly became fashionable to own a pair of these shoes.

fashion manolo blahnik stilettos

Manolo Blahnik stilettos

Over the years, fashion bloggers have proven that they have great taste and are creating trends in the fashion world rather than following them. Fashion bloggers provide a fresh perspective on the fashion industry, which their readers adore and respect.

The military style, for example, was encouraged by world famous fashion blogger Chiara Ferragni, who used details such as patches and the beret hat to complete her look and help start a major global trend.

Fashion blogger Peace Love Shea inspired her large audience and designers with her daily style posts on her blog and Instagram feed. She has had such an impact on the design world that fashion accessory company Steve Madden approached her to collaborate on a shoe collection.

Designers, fashion enthusiasts, bloggers and magazine editors-in-chief frequently seek out unique newness in highly fashionable cities, particularly London.

fashion chiara ferragni military style

Chiara Ferragni military style

While many people believe that the mini skirt trend began in the United States, it actually started in London in the late 1950s, thanks to designer Mary Quant. This trend is far from over, as it is given a new spin almost every season.

Similarly, Dr Martens, also known as Doc Martens, was founded in Britain in 1960 with the intention of providing functionality to the wearer. They were quickly adopted by London’s High Street youth and became a symbol of youth culture. These shoes, popularised worldwide by Pete Townshend of The Who, made their way to the United States and became a huge part of the rebellious grunge era fashion scene.

Trends are not only created and influenced by the fashion industry. They also reflect our current situation and society. When the pandemic hit, everyone started wearing comfortable clothes all day because we were forced to stay at home due to lockdowns. As more people worked from home and meetings moved to Zoom calls, wearing a blazer with leggings became the new work uniform.

The demand for loungewear and activewear clothing increased exponentially, and this was not due to brands proposing sportswear on Fashion Week runways. Because of the new social conditions, consumers sought comfortable clothes to wear at home.

Although trends provide us with direction and a fashion guideline for a certain time period, one’s own personal style should always take precedence over current trends.