Fashion trends can grab our attention inspiring us to get in on the action. We want to be recognized as stylish. What better way to be recognized as stylish then to take those much talked about trends to the next level?
My Instagram and Pinterest feed are awash with photos of ripped jeans in various stages of deterioration. Some are just a simple slash at the knee and others that look as though they were caught in a paper shredder. But no matter the level of disintegration they are “in”! The ripped jean is the attribute that labels the wearer as hip. It is the trend of trends right this very minute. Like all trends they have a beginning and an end and then sometimes a revival.
In fashion parlance, more is more when something is regarded as the “it” trend. For example, shoulder pads of the 80s and 90s were regarded as a must if you were to be taken seriously as someone with style. Tee shirts, jackets, dresses and sweaters all had shoulder pads and none were restrained. They were large and kept getting larger! It was considered avant garde to double up on pads by wearing a shirt and jacket with oversized pads to exaggerate the shoulder.The result of which only camouflaged the neck. Designers have tried to resurrect the shoulder pad but they have yet to become mainstream again.
The platform shoe, which has really been in and out of fashion circles for some time, was another one of those famous trends. However, the platform has been around since the beginning of 220 BC. More recently, they came back again as stylish in the 70s. We loved them so much that a 1 inch platform and 3 inches of chunky heel no longer sufficed. We wanted something bigger, thicker and taller. Then they were no longer relevant until the 90s when all self-respecting fashion plates craved them.
Vivienne Westwood designed a 9 inch platform that Naomi Cambell wore on the catwalk. Not suprisingly, she fell and face planted while remarkably not breaking any bones. Then, 10 years later the platforms were out of fashion. They came back again in a big way as recently as 2000 only this time on a stiletto heel. But as soon as you could say, “damn, my feet hurt,” the next big trend in shoes was here. And that is the athletic shoe–our “it” shoe of the moment.
In the 60s the hip huggers were king but soon fell out of favor. However, they returned with huge applause in the late 90s. The low rise pant was so uber popular that it was even wittingly referred to as the crack epidemic in an article in Slate in 2003. In her article, Hello Moon, Amanda Fortini writes, “I glanced up to see a fleshy forest of crevices and multiple folds of skin and G-strings that three women in their late 20s were displaying for the world. It was then that I knew: This low-rider style has gone too far.” The low rise pant trend began innocently enough by first sitting a modest 2 inches below the belly button but quickly became ubiquitous at a thumbs distance above the butt line. And now we just laugh at our folly.
But back to the ripped jeans trend. Are we, once again, pushing the envelope on this trend and still calling it style? A few subtle rips at the knees has morphed into a pant that looks literally like it is hanging from a thread. Most certainly this trend will go the way of oversized pads, super high platforms and crack revealing pants. They will go out of style because like an evening of too much drinking we wake up the next day with a hangover the size of a Vivienne Westwood platform shoe and say,”never again!” But if we have learned anything it’s to never say never.