So About Those Skinny Jeans…

For the generation of current teens, it’s no secret that skinny jeans are all the rave.  The recent surge of the hipster lifestyle has brought with it the resurgence of skinny jeans.  The scarves, the blazers, the fedoras, the ironic graphic tees, the v-necks, the vintage shopping, the retro cameras, the indie music etc. etc. – it’s all part of the package. And yet when one truly looks at fashion, at the trickle-down effect of the whole thing, one can begin to track specific trends like the skinny jean. Of course it starts at the top – Milan, Paris, New York, London – as world class designers send their trends down the runway.  Last season, it was the skinny jean (perhaps most notoriously Balmain’s 80’s inspired collection of distressed skinny jeans and sequined blazers).  Subsequently the style trickles down into “lesser” echelons of fashion so that soon you see the skinny jean style everywhere (Urban Outfitters etc.).  In this sense, the world’s top designers and fashion editors can very much dictate what you wear. Perhaps Meryl Streep in her role in The Devil Wears Prada explains it best:

This… ‘stuff’? Oh… ok. I see, you think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select out, oh I don’t know, that lumpy blue sweater, for instance, because you’re trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don’t know is that that sweater is not just blue, it’s not turquoise, it’s not lapis, it’s actually cerulean. You’re also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar De La Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves St Laurent, wasn’t it, who showed cerulean military jackets? I think we need a jacket here. And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of 8 different designers. Then it filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic casual corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and so it’s sort of comical how you think that you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you’re wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room. From a pile of stuff.

A piece from Chloe’s 2010 Fall Ready To Wear collection.

Now, operating under this pretense – it looks as if the skinny jean may soon have a competitor – the flare.  Not only have celebrity magazines been tracking style-savvy Hollywood starlets rocking the bohemian inspired look, but runway designers have begun to adopt the look into their shows after many seasons of skin-tight trousers. There is no doubt that skinny jeans will always have a special place in all of our hearts, and they won’t go out of style immediately (the channels of the style can move slowly), but it seems reasonable that the flare pant/jean will soon become the latest trend, and the skinny jean may drift into obscurity.  Pursue your love of fashion and design with this handy book at the library.

Patrick, 17, Teen Center Advisor

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