A Fond Farewell To 2014


2014 is coming to an end; there is no denying it, no hiding from it and certainly no repeating it. Whilst a part of me wants to hibernate under my covers and pretend it is still May, another part of me looks forward to the New Year and whether good or bad, all the adventures to be had. As we reach December then, naturally we are inclined to look back on the year, to review the stories, the trends and the people that have shaped us for the past twelve months.

What women and students like us want is always changing and this was more than evident when the results of a survey taken by Very.co.uk were published recently. For starters, this insight into the mind of a 18-21 year old women in 2014 suggested that fashion needs to change a little in the next year to keep women interested.

In fact, only 18% of the demographic believed Fashion Week trends to be realistic inspirations. Whilst I agree many designers are simply looking for much needed press attention and recognition at Fashion Week, I can’t help but feel maybe this statistic simply highlights the public’s detachment with Fashion Week.

As Miranda Priestly so harshly puts it in the Devil Wears Prada, fashion filters “down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic casual corner where you…fished it out of some clearance bin”.  Disregard the rudeness of this and instead consider that, whether you realize it or not, our high street is made up of stores which take their own inspiration from the runway, recreating simpler, softer versions that we can actually wear on a day to day basis.

Rather than Fashion Week then, Very’s survey found that almost half (47%) of 18-21 year old women were influenced instead by bloggers and vloggers and 37% of women got the majority of their style advice from blogs and vlogs. Both these stats suggest that perhaps it is the personal, friendly nature of blogs and vloggers that has been enticing and influencing us this year which, with the world of fashion blogging so rapidly increasing, isn’t a surprise. Sites such as Tumblr, Blogger, WordPress and Youtube are so easy to use now and accessible across the globe that perhaps the immediacy and openness of the Internet is simply trumping the exclusivity of Fashion Week.

As well as bloggers, 32% of women said they found celebrities’ style influenced their own. Asked exactly whom they would choose as their personal stylist, the top three results were Cheryl Cole, Victoria Beckham and Kim Kardashian. A reflection of the events of the year perhaps; the Kim’s wedding, Victoria’s new line and Cheryl’s secret French husband!

The most revealing statistic of the survey though is the shocking revelation that 30% of women have worn and then returned an item of clothing! Clever trick for when you’re pinching pennies but need a new party dress, or a little too cheeky and deceptive? I’ll leave that for you to decide!

If the guilt would eat you up, then perhaps you’re one of the 68% of women that said they get more satisfaction from bagging a bargain than emptying the bank account for a designer item. I for one am and cannot resist the temptation of a sixty-pound dress reduced to twenty! If only I could stop there and prevent myself using it as an excuse to buy another three…

If Very’s survey has told us anything about fashion trends in 2014 then, it is that the Internet is a very much alive and growing as a platform for sharing inspiration and shopping hauls, so much so it might possibly be the very cause of the decline of Fashion Week’s influence on the masses. Not only that but celebrity culture is still going strong as the year’s biggest stories continue to influence us too.

With the New Year dawning on us swiftly, it is only with time that we will see if these trends continue or if new modes and figures of influence and inspiration will indeed come about. Either way, with growing Internet competition, I am sure it will be an interesting year for printed magazines.

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