Designers get their inspiration from all sorts of places—including the everyday street! Perhaps you have that friend that has been blessed with innate fashion know-how and seems always ahead of the catwalk and the store racks with her savvy style that hints at upcoming trends. New fashion trends don’t necessarily begin on the catwalk; they often reveal themselves in clubs, on buses, or jet-setting through a hotel lobby inspiring the designers who transform what they see on the streets into the new clothes we’re destined to adore.
Those Harajuku Girls
Those hip and edgy Tokyo Fashionistas who put Harajuku on the international fashion map are known for their trend-setting styles. The youth of the city seemed to converge around the Harajuku station to reveal their individual styles—sometimes a blend of goth and decora or cyber-punk looks. Clothing designers like Gwen Stefani have transformed the Harajuku inspiration into their own styles. Now, even large chain stores like Target have racks of Harajuku-inspired clothing lines. Youth often drives new fashion movements just as it has done in Japan.
Sometimes the fashion world becomes inspired by the ladies who are in office or married to famous politicians like presidents. Royals like Princess Diana influenced the fashion scene and even Barbara Bush, wife of President George Bush, inspired women everywhere to wear pearls—even imitation pearls. First Lady Jackie Kennedy was famous for her fashion sense that is still marveled at today and regarded as modern classic. These women may not intend to set trends, but their style often influences everyday people and, therefore, the designers who try to capitalize on these popular trends.
The clubs of Miami and the streets of New York City have launched many a new fashion design. Ordinary people with extraordinary fashion sense have spawned new trends simply by having the courage and the élan to flaunt their creativity and wear it well. From pants that dip low off the waist to metallic muffin tops, the clubs and the streets often influence designers who continually scout for new ideas to translate into their runway styles.
Exotic cultures have sometimes influenced the fashion scene. Recently, many Bollywood stars have put Indian style on the fashion map. Native American influences have been felt in trends that employ turquoise and suede while Eastern European peoples inspired designers with their peasant garb and embroidered accents. The people of these countries may not realize it, but designers watch them with both inspiration and admiration for their cultures and collective style.
During the 1980s, women sought to break glass ceilings everywhere vying for top jobs with men. Designers tapped into the mood of the times and fashions began to boast shoulder pads and suits. Sometimes it isn’t the clothing a person wears that inspires a fashion designer, but their attitude to the times, their work, or their lives. New styles today also pay homage to women’s power and strength while still highlighting their feminine sensuality. Fashion attitude is a provocative inspiration that has been influencing designers for centuries.
Savvy designers will soon be checking out Pinterest and the multitude of virtual closets that exist on the site. Women everywhere are pinning images of their favorite styles from history and today. Designers are likely to tap into this fashion stream to find out what various types of women love about fashion and style. Shoes, handbags, clothes, and other accessories are pinned and repinned to abandon on this popular new social media site. Don’t be surprised to see these virtual styles translated into real trends down the road.
The catwalk may often reveal impractical clothes that few people would wear to work or even for a night on the town, but often the spark for these and other practical styles come from anonymous fashionistas who have a flair for style.