When I wrote this paper, the ideas beneath the surface of fashion were compelling to me. I realized fashion was not just clothing. Fashion's petticoats concealed the mindset, current events, and history of society. The style one chooses to wear might be a costume, a time capsule, a revelation, a pronouncement of beliefs, or an exposition - among many other things.
Two decades ago, I was immersed in learning about the world of fashion - which was a wonderful escape from the gamut of quotidian events. Until that time, I had only sketched designs but Professor Baldwin, with a watchful eye and generous encouragement, taught me to bring ideas to life and to produce garments of good quality.
Coming from a family that places great value on education and the mentors who impart that knowledge, I appreciated Professor Skinner's Textiles and Fibers class and enjoyed conducting research for another course she taught - Dynamics of the Fashion Industry. Professor Skinner required a paper - entitled "Fashion: A Mirror of the Times (1990-2000),and specified the research should include past evidence of style influence and predictions for future trends. I'll reprint the paper here - with its bibliography and only minor changes in terminology. Do remember you are reading the research in its original form. Though I'd like to rework some of the thoughts, the paper is more genuine and representative of my 1992 thoughts - with minimal edits.
I don't think this "nature" trend will be boring. I can imagine beautiful cottons and washed silks printed in realistic, lush-green foliage patterns, and shades of blue like the ocean tides. Coming across some jewelry made from "ocean glass" - bits of broken glass bottles left to litter the beach, but tumbled to smooth perfection by waves against sand - I caught a glimpse of what "recycled fashion" could be.
I welcome your thoughts here. At the very bottom of the post - click on "comments" next to the pencil icon. I will receive an email with your comment, which I'll certainly read - and maybe publish. All comments interest me - particularly positive ones, but even if you disagree with something I've written and your comment is relevant and thought-provoking - you'll soon see it under the post.
3/1/2012 Postscript: Consider the trend-shifts to organic and upcycled clothing. Note the influence of James Cameron's "Avatar" and how it reflected cultural trends and even paralleled the American Indian experience. Observe the shift of influence from cinema and music to the impact of social media in cultural and fashion trends of the twenty-first century. Also,notice the reemergence of trends which are direct results of world events and the economy.
Note: Before writing this report, I sketched fashion designs and collected fashion tear-sheets for more than a decade. To see some of these entries from my 80's fashion sketchbooks and scrapbook, search the Toile La La archive for posts from late September and early October of 2012.