The accessibility and usage of the internet and online educational resources over the past century has resulted in a nation-wide inflammation in knowledge.In coincidence with this inflammation, finding answers via search engines social media sites also became popularized. In fact, the word "Google" soon became a legitimized dictionary term. These were clear signs that the general population was beginning to distrust the government and large industries, that worked either in coincidence and/or functioned similarly to how the government may function. This distrust, however, came at no surprise, especially after the events of September 11, the war in Afghanistan and the release of the food industry's darkest secrets, especially in films such as "Super Size Me".
These cultural elements played a large role in consumer demands over the past century, and thus resulted in the popularization of DIY, hand-made and customized products. Consumer reports also showed a demand for simple and clean design in which information was easy to understand and clearly available. As consumers became smarter, they relied less on the design and more on information.
This was reflected in the fashion industry, as well, which shifted from extravagant, renaissance inspired designs earlier this year to simple, minimalistic approaches (such as simple, black and white contrast and color blocking) more recently. Last year, during Fashion Week in Milan classicist pieces became the centerfolds of design. Dolce and Gabbana was a renassiance idol, with their jumbo-sized earrings, risque chiffon, laced undergarments, leopard capes and florals. The renaissance was a time of fun experimentation in fashion design, as new colors, textures and styles were applied to classicist pieces, which produced neon and leather peplum ascents, glittered and studded oxford shoes, blouses with goddess draping or deep frilled necklines, trench coats with exotic skins and the craze for renowned bra-lets and corset and crop tops, that were now worn to be seen. This was a bold, progressive movement in design in respect to culture, as lines of privacy were clearly broken, now even amongst individuals. The popularity of these pieces may be representative of the general public's idea that lines were meant to be broken and/or that perhaps it was the public stating their surrender to their individual secrets, in hopes and in rebellion of the government's and large corporation's transcrepencies. This idea can also be backed by the popularity of keyhole and cut-out dresses, which later, may have made the same, bold statement.
The increased accessibility to the internet gave the American youth the opportunity to create and start their own companies. Thus, last year, designers adapted to the complex lifestyles of the hardworking young adult and/or young entrepreneur. Designers focused on designs that could be worn throughout the day and then at bars during the night. These included silk and/or tuxedo-like blouses, vintage-inspired bold-shoulders, high-waisted trousers, blazers, and even loungewear inspired looks. Since these designs were made to be worn for long periods of time, fashion was sometimes sacrificed for comfort.
The increased accessibility of the internet, especially social media, also blurred geographical and cultural lines. An individual's style was, therefore, was not directly representative of their native-country, socioeconomic status or other predetermined factors. Similar to the increased accessibility to the internet, the general public was also given an opportunity to experience faux, yet realistic, designer fashion at an affordable price. Furthermore, stores like Forever 21, Foreign Exchange and 2020 Ave allowed people to buy fashion at affordable prices, especially for--yes-- the young entrepreneur. Geographical lines were blurred when fashion designers in different and new areas around the world began to have a voice in the fashion industry. Shanghai, for example, was recently reconstructed to become China's centerfold for creative enterprise. As Shanghai became recognized as the "Paris of the East", many Shanghai products demanded that their labels read "Created in China" as opposed to the "Made in China" labels which hold stigmas of standardization and mass production in many areas around the world, including America. This year, Shanghai and other Asian-inspired designs are expected to be recreations of the traditional Kimono (similar to the simple modification of 'Made' to 'Created' on their labels).
However, after a year of neon, brights, bold prints and lavish designs, 2013 is expected to be a year of basics, even to the point of transparency. For example, sheer materials (such as silk chifton) are expected to create translucence. Design this trend in basics, bold statements in the workplace are projected; including belted floral dresses, which will replace the tuxedo-like blouses seen last year. This year will be one of minimalist design. This is likely a movement toward classification and away from the more affordable fashion finds. The minor, important details will be the reason why a blouse is 100 or 10 dollars, however, this year, those minor details will matter more.