The Eternal Question: Is Nothing Trending, or is Everything Trending at the Same Time?
I recently stumbled upon a Tiktok suggesting that right now nothing is really trendy, because everything is trending all at once, which kind of blew my mind. But the more I sat with the thought, the more I agreed with it- I couldn’t think of one single item (or multiple items), one single aesthetic or one single style which was particularly trendy right now. Or at least more-so than something else.
@wisdm8 #stitch with @laini_ozark ♬ original sound - Wisdom Kaye
So is it a good thing, or a bad thing?
As I closed my eyes, and pictured my FYP scrolling in my imagination (yes, this is where we’re at, don’t even bring up my screen time) I started to realise how we’ve lumped so many trends into one single time period. The 70s are in, the 80s are in, the 90s are in, the 00s are in, even the 2010s are making slow and upgraded comebacks. I could see streetstyle and fairycore co-existing. Horsegirls and subversive girls attending the same fashion week runway; maximalists and minimalists too. Deep breath.
When we turn to something like Tiktok trends, particularly the How I Feel About Certain Design Choices, with Little to No Explanation sound, you start to see a pattern. Yes, there’s definitely a rejection of certain styles and a favouring of others, but in some videos, particularly this one or this one, you begin to catch some similarities. The original creators either tend to favour the style they most identify with, or simply styles which seem polished or perfected; from people who have 100% committed to their chosen style with confidence rather than ones which look… a little confused, very uncertain and drowning in trends in an in-your-face kind of way.
When we turn to something like Fashion Week, be it New York, London, Milan or Paris, you begin to see the nodes there too. Now I’m not saying that anybody expected all designers to present identical, or even similar, items on the runway, but there truly seems to be a bit of everything. From bright colours to neutrals, patterns to blocking, tailored to slouchy, and angular and subversive to flowy and feminine, it would be difficult to pinpoint any one particular thing which fast fashion merchandisers will jump to mass-produce first.
In the original video I stumbled upon, the creator names Tiktok and their addictive algorithm as the culprit who has gotten us to this point. They say something which we’ve brushed on before: that it seems like Tiktok has “accelerated the manner in which we consume trends and clothes” immensely. Constantly seeing what everyone else is doing and wearing, has made how quickly we jump to the next thing all the more abrupt.
Essentially, it feels like we’re hyper-consuming so much that we’re essentially lapping ourselves. The amount of microtrends which we've seen come (and go) has virtually made it impossible to pick one out of the bunch, as user @oldloserinbrooklyn says "imploding [the concept of] the trend cycle that we know."
So far we’re leaning towards bad.
What one can only hope for is that this cycle actually turns to good. Perhaps without having to worry about what is trending at any given moment, we might actually start consuming less and spending more time figuring out how we want to dress. Maybe we’ll turn to social media platforms like Tiktok to observe it all and mindfully decide what exactly we want to dip our toes into.
So maybe it’s a good thing after all. The purge before the calm? Is that what skin-care gurus say?