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Debate: Are fashion trends hot or not?

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We often hear and think about the latest, hottest trends to take the fashion world by storm... but at The National Student we have been considering: are fashion trends themselves hot or not?

In a fashion-focused debate, Zhenya Nikolova, Ettie Stevenson and I give our thoughts, explaining whether we are for or against trendiness and why.

Zhenya Nikolova - FOR

They say fashion is a trend, style is within a person, but finding your own style comes with a great selection of trends to choose from.

For hundreds of years, fashion has defined our culture and given every decade its most influential and iconic moments. Who would have remembered the 20s if it wasn’t for all the flash and glitter? The polka dots and stripes in the 50s and the all-leather in the 80’?

Whoever fooled you that trends prevent you from originality clearly didn’t fully understand the concept of trendiness. Following trends doesn’t make you any less capable of expressing yourself. Trends allow us to keep up with the society and stay on track with the modern world's innovations.

Sharing the same passion for fashion with others helps you build and improve your style based on what you’ve learned from others.

Do I have to remind everyone who made the 90s so edgy? We loved the Spice Girls not only because of their catchy and upbeat hits but because of the fashion impact they had on all of us 90s kids.

The fashion of celebrities has a huge influence. However, celebrities are individuals too but we don’t judge them for following the crowd. In fact, we aspire to them. We get their looks, not because we are scared of being different and not accepted by the society, but simply because we can pull it off. And we feel good about it.

Whether you are inspired by magazines, celebrities or social media, following trends can improve your self-esteem and boost your confidence. You can only make a good first impression once, so don’t hide your true Sassy Self behind boring clothes.

 

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Laura Brown - AGAINST

My issue with trends is largely related to the messages inherent in the fashion media promoting them: clothes are often sold as "on-trend" and “must-buy”, imparting an urgent fear of being out-of-fashion and out-of-touch onto consumers.

When new trends are identified and advertised, we are encouraged to buy into them and start wearing them at the drop of a hat.

We should be able to wear whatever we wish without feeling an excessive pressure to conform. Yet, labelling particular styles as more trendy than others creates a divide between what is and isn't acceptable to wear at any given time, encouraging a culture of superficial judgement.

Of course, I recognise that some trends become integral parts of the wardrobes of many people in a generation, in parts reflecting their age. Long-lasting styles such as today’s consistently on-trend skinny jean reflect the general fashions in wider society and can become fascinating social and historical references.

However, whilst long-lasting trends can subtly seep into everyday street style to define the style of a generation, the constant, everyday pressures to update a wardrobe in accordance to the current trends leads to a worrying expectation for all fashion-followers to constantly and consciously change.

The endless cycle of new, discovered and rediscovered trends discourages consistency and continuity of style. As such, I consider the notion of trendiness to feed into the fast-paced, throwaway culture of the contemporary fashion industry, contributing to a relentless pressure on consumers to look consistently fashionable and on-trend.


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Ettie Stevenson - FOR

Trends may come and go pretty quickly, but they’re a great way to discover new styles and try out clothing you might not have thought to wear before.

It’s easy to dismiss an item of clothing as something you’d not usually wear. However, by something becoming a trend you’re more likely to step out of your comfort zone and discover new clothes.

Surely, no one wants to wear the same thing day in day out for their whole lives. If you follow fashion trends, you don’t have to pick them all up either; this spring you don’t have to be a straight leg jean, loafer, statement tee and tulle-overlay-wearing girl! You can simply pick up a few of the trends to try.

They’re fun as well. I see my electric pink loafers as a form of creativity, a talking point and something that makes me feel that little bit extra put-together when I leave the house. If loafers and metallics hadn’t been a trend, I would have left them on the shelf and I would have missed out on some stand-out outfits!

A common misconception is that you’re a “sheep” by following trends. Personally, I think this just isn’t true. There are many affordable brands that offer on-trend clothing, but they all do it their own way. Take the tulle trend for instance: Topshop have big tulle dresses whereas Pretty Little Thing simply incorporate the tulle trend in details like t-shirt sleeves. Both of those items follow a trend, but look completely different.

So yes, I'm definitely all for fashion trends and trying out new styles. After all, fashion is about expression, and if by trend-watching you can find your own form of expression, then what's to hate about that?

 

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