Trends are tough to predict even for the most savvy fashion soothsayer. They can last for months and maybe sometimes years (example: torn jeans). Some have been timed out in just a few hours.
My search for the latest fashion "must haves" took me to the heart of American fashion…New York City … in January!
This time of the year is challenging to discover street fashion when everyone is layered in down, wool and fur, sometimes all together. The elite stores are transforming themselves from winter to spring with windows of big sale signage. For inspiration and frankly a warmer environment, I went to the Whitney Museum of American Art’s exhibit on Andy Warhol. Warhol defies trends and generations as proof of his work that focused on consumerism, war and pop culture. His work holds up in the final year of the second decade of the millennial.
The exhibit devoted a hallway and whole room to Warhol's series of Flowers from 1964, and 1966 Cow Wallpaper with longhorn pink cows on a yellow background. I found this intro to the rest of the collection fun and hopeful and a departure for what was to come.
The Death and Disaster series was set apart from Warhol’s other works, and considering its shift in tone, a good idea. Warhol's dark humor and sarcasm is portrayed in the images, representing tragedies of race riots, car crashes and war, covered by the news and media in the 1960s. It is a reminder of today's impact on our lives from social media and cable networks.
American Politics were well represented with the huge portrait of Chairman Mao—created to poke fun at President Nixon's visit to China—a bitter enemy at the time. The Warholian Method of repetitive use of an image was represented throughout the exhibit, including Marilyn Monroe's face repeated 50 times, with the last few images fading.
My next stop in trend discovery was to catch The Cher Show on Broadway. Based on this iconic star's life, there was plenty of fashion throughout the evening; in fact the biggest applause of the night was a mini-fashion show featuring over-the-top outfits by original Cher designer Bob Mackie, who created the costumes for the musical.
The final stop on the search for a top trend brought me to the Javits Center on the banks of the Hudson River. The MODA and Accessory Shows had taken part of the 760,000 feet of the mammoth event center. As I walked the long aisles, a reoccurring theme continued … pompoms. Wait a minute, wasn't that on the top-10 trend list for 1966?
The pompom has evolved from a cheerleader accessory or a fur ball on top a knitted hat to a sustained fashion trend. Top designers have used them the past few years to embellish shoes, collars, earrings, bracelets, handbags and clothing. The round balls made of yarn, fur, metallics and paper are also part of the home decor scene on pillows, throws, drapery, rugs and garland.
My take on the trend is that these colorful little yarn balls are girlie, make us happy and "cheer" us up. In these complicated and challenging social and economic times, we all could use a bit of fun with our clothing. So pompom away this spring, with a cool scarf or boho skirt embellished with the latest trim, or relish it with a throw, tossed over your shoulder with abandon. Your inner cheerleader will love it.