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Social Trends, Theory

The changing landscape. Are your products coping?

As a woman who has just got engaged, planning to marry next summer and a trained fashion designer, dress pressure is high! But being a laid back kind of girl, as is my partner, we wanted to get married outside, in the great outdoors. We’re great lovers of Tolkien and wanted to replicate an event similar to that of the hobbit’s ”Party Tree” feel. Why am I telling you this in a trend situation? Well it dawned on me that actually, this is really important.

As we had very little time to plan, I was working google to it’s maximum. We found a great venue, a marquee we liked, and all of the other bits and pieces. I did notice that when I was looking for the outside venue, a huge amount of places popped up and it took hours to sort through them. There were a huge amount of blogs, adverts, general field sites and even National Trust venues. Our dream was not a unique one and was never intended to outdo anyone else. No, no, the venue and idea just simply needed to be us. I was surprised however at how many there were. Being new to the whole ‘bride’ thing, I’d never checked out the information and generally assumed most people would be more traditional. Nope completely wrong. Loads of people are choosing to go outdoors these days. A new outdoor wedding trend has emerged, and by the looks of things, will be here to stay.

So what has this to do with products and trends? Well you’ll understand when I talk about the dress and accessories. Firstly, yes I am a designer and secondly yes I can make my own dress, but I wanted to get some idea, so again off on google I went. Now considering that this huge outdoor trend seems to have exploded everywhere, it seems that bridal shops have not caught up. I don’t need to buy one as I know what I want, but as I was looking for some ideas and reading tons of blogs, where most brides were saying how they had the dress adapted, made by friends or had gone for something so unconventional that they didn’t need a traditional wedding dress. The problem is people that if you are choosing to get married outside, you probably don’t want a train of 6 metres long or a really heavy hem that picks up every leaf and you certainly don’t want high healed shoes. Into the mud you’ll go! Field equals mud, grass, flowers, and trees. Generally stuff that you will get a little dirty rounds the edges. So why has no one adapted the function of the garments?

How is it, that people in the industry are not keeping up with these things? Just because I get married outside, doesn’t mean I want some 1960’s psychedelic print, or that I want to dress up like a fairy. I still want a beautiful dress, but the FUNCTION has to be more considered. In the same way, I’m quite short and I want to wear heals, but there is mud, s wedges make sense. Still flat soled so I don’t sink, but height that I need is still there. How are we not looking at the changing landscape in our own areas of fashion and changing with the trends. Trends for any type of fashion product has to look great yes, but the FUNCTION has to be there too, otherwise, what is the point.

If you have a line, take a step back for a minute and explore the wider trends that are going on around you. How are people using your product? Where? Is there better functionality I can design? The trends around us change the way people use products, and you need to know what they are.

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