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19-01-2010
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Join Date: Oct 2008
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The Theory of the "20 Year Trend Cycle"
Hello all,

Can any of the experts here explain to me the theory of the "20 Year Trend Cycle"? With examples of designers works if possible?

I'm doing an assignment which mentions the subject but I'm having a hard time understanding it without physical examples of designers work that I can link to the fashion 20 years beforehand.

Thanks to any and everyone who can help.

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20-01-2010
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Join Date: Aug 2008
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Not sure. There was some work by famous fashion historian James Laver, named 'Lavers Law'. I don't know if this has anything to do with it. I wrote about on my blog a while ago

http://www.style-eyes-fashion-blog.c...d-wetlook.html

There is a Nineties revival also so Grunge etc is coming back in, is this what you meant?

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17-07-2010
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It is based on the Oedipus/Electra complex: when you are young you look up to your parents and when you are in your teens (20 years later) you copy their style. That is how the trends come back every 20 years, but these cycles are fading away as they become more and more shorter because of the rapid need for change and new stuff (the addition of cruise/resort, pre-fall collections are also a consecuence of this)

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21-07-2010
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i think that we are actually stuck on REPEAT...

the 80's came back really quickly...before the 20 year mark...
and i feel like we are still there...

...
maybe now more than ever...
all the hats and natural leather ankle strap sandals with the baby wedges...
granny boots and capezio style shoes...harachis...
leggings...chambray...
all the rolled pants and oversized tops...
even all the pastel colours like mint and peach...
and lots of plaids...
and rompers and jumpuits...
it's crazy!



i agree that the 90's grunge thing is trying to make a comeback...
but it's still being mixed with all the 80's stuff...
it seems no one wants to let go of the 80's...

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Last edited by softgrey; 21-07-2010 at 05:35 PM.
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22-07-2010
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What i meant is that the cycles will fade after becoming shorter and shorter.

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28-07-2010
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Well.. It was 60s revival in the 80s, then 70's revival in the 90's, we are all pretty much stuck in the 00' revival of the 80's (that also echoes the 60's), and I am pretty sure a full blown 90's revival is developing with a foreseeable 70's echo in the future. Think of it as ripples on a pond or something. Not very good with fishing metaphors.

Anyway... The reason behind this (I think) is that whatever was fashionable when you were a kid (0 to 10), will bring nostalgia by the time you hit the 20-30 bracket (just in time to get that fat slice off your wallet). Then, as you grow older and become a soccer mom, it will be your little sister's turn to do the same while you spend your money on dental care and a SUV. Such is Life.

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29-07-2010
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wow, i've never thought of it in a nostalgic kind of way, but the fact that the time it takes for a 'revival' is getting shorter (via 90's revival coming so soon) is really quite interesting. i wonder if it will continue getting shorter and shorter? then what'll happen!?!!

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01-08-2010
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I also think it's largerly due to a sort of boredom. The reason the 90s minimalism is starting to come back, I believe, is partly due to the nostalgica theory, but also partly due to the fact that people have become tired of the "maximalism", and when you're tired of very much the natural thing to turn to is very little. And then you're tired of simplicity and turn to "maximalism" and turn to simplicity and turn to..... Within this framework you'll see different trends and interpretations but I believe these to be the main shifts..

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01-08-2010
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But then again maybe one could tie the changes in prefrences to the current economic situations.. I might be going out on a limb here and I certainly do not know my fashion history well enough to claim this to be true, but it's late and I'm bored and it's fun to try to reason these things out..

In economics is basically a law that after a period of economic growth there will be an economical decline to a greater or lesser degree. In a good period people have lots of money and want to indulge themselves in glitter and gold and diamonds. They want a lot and they want it all at once. But then when the economy is in a decline, not only does it feel inapropriate to display such wealth, but people doesn't have that kind of money to spend either. Hence the minimalism where one rather invests in a few well-tailored pieces that can last for several years.

The two latest trend shifts towards minimalism - the 90s and today's - both coincided with shifts in global economic circumstances. They both did happen some years too late, but I suppose fashion always will lag a bit behind any cultural and/or economic change..

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