Thursday, February 26, 2009

Gray hounds

Fluted resin bead necklace by TheBrassHussy @ etsy

Vintage 70's skirt from estatesale @ etsy

Felt cloche by RetroReproHandmade @ Etsy

Wanaka necklace by Muntedkowhai @ etsy

Oxidized matte finish fine silver headpins by RockisSupplies @ etsy

Vintage buttons by secondglance @ etsy

Monsters v-neck t-shirt by luchaworkshop @ etsy

Bill Cunningham recently discussed the preponderance of gray clothing among attendees at New York Fashion Week, which I thought was interesting because I've been into gray lately myself. I wrote earlier that it is because I think gray as utilitarian and flattering as black, but this particular non-color shows off details better in clothing (and if you are wearing something loose, keeps you from looking like a big, black blob).

In his slideshow, Cunningham attributes the current gray trend to the "hocus pocus" of "all the designers go to the same fabrics shows and if the fabric makers have decided on gray, that's what it is and that's how these things happen." This made me wonder how much trends have to do with the fashion zeitgeist and how much it has to do with industry groupthink. By fashion zeitgeist, I mean people responding in roughly similar ways to world events or political-social waves and dressing accordingly. I attribute my own love of gray in part to my response to the economic crisis. It's practical, it's comforting and while it reflects a little of the gloom a lot of people feel right now, it's not as severe as black. I wonder if other people have picked up on gray for the same reason. When I saw industry groupthink, however, I don't mean it disparagingly. Obviously, trendmakers are human beings, too.

Jessica of What I Wore recently linked to the Pantone Color Report for fall and, as you can see, Iron (Pantone 18-306 is one of the top colors). I think grays would look really nice paired with rich golden yellows, amethyst purples and warm, bright corals. I've seen some pastel/gray couplings, but I don't think those look as nice -- the result usually just look too washed out.


  1. I've been thinking about how the collective conscience affects fashion lately as well. It's a subject that can make your mind spin in little concentric circles. I think that mostly, fashion trends are created by the industry. There is huge money at stake and design houses research like mad to know exactly what the public will want before we even know we want it. That's the crux; they tell us that we want it and in a few seasons we are ready for it and we buy up those 40s inspired dresses, or those platform patent leather wedge heels like mad! BUT it will only really and truly catch on if there's some other pop culture phenomenon to back it up. You know, like product placement for your life! Show off your dress on an it girl or outfit a popular movie, and you're set!

    The industry is taking their cues from somewhere, though. Someone started the grey trend. It would be really interesting to pinpoint the exact moment!

    The world is getting smaller and smaller, as we're all involved with little online communities, and we're all in touch with trends from all over the globe... and we're all wearing grey! It's the tribe's colour lately. I suppose that some people took a cue from the economy where others just view it as another neutral, and others are just buying grey to fit in, or because that's what the industry is giving us.

    I guess it's that age old question of what came first; the chicken or the egg? It's in the ether and maybe we wouldn't be as enamored with fashion if we knew the formulae behind it. The magic would be gone.

    I wonder if people are actually conscious of any of this when their choosing what to wear. I'm not sure I am. Maybe that's why it hurts my brain to think about it now!

  2. I've been thinking about this, too, because lately I've noticed that my clothing choices have become a little bit "girlier," with more lace, pintuck detailing, prints, etc. I used to stay away from anything that's outright girly, because I was afraid that I wouldn't be taken seriously, but now that I live in Asia, it's more normal for grown women to like kawaii things, and it's definitely the norm to pick up dresses with ruffles and bows here. At the same time, I think it also reflects what's been going on on fashion runways. And I think it might be a reaction to the political/economic climate... maybe we're more nostalgic for "simpler" times right now and it reflects in our clothing.