Monday, January 03, 2005

Mel's Fashion Predictions for 2005. This series of sage observations began at the start of 2003, when I should have been preparing my woeful thesis for its eventual evisceration by a pair of fucking cunts (for this, read 'examiners'). It continued at the start of 2004, when I should have been implementing the two fucking cunts' snide advice. (Bitter - moi?)

Basically, I'm fascinated by street style and would really like to be a) one of those innovators who starts street trends; or b) a trendspotter who can at least identify the trends before or as they develop.

I am neither of these.

So, let's see how last year's fashion predictions panned out, and we'll swiftly move on to this year's predictions.

1. Capes. I predicted that glamorous capes would make a comeback. I'm talking about the sort of satin capes with stand-up collars that Elvis wore in Vegas, or that wrestlers wear as they enter the ring. I was so convinced by the imminence of this trend that I bought the materials to make one of these capes. It was going to be white satin with a red satin lining, and spell out "The Incredible Melk" in rhinestones on the back. I would have worn it with jeans and a t-shirt, or perhaps with a little black dress on dates, that, like April 25, are neither too hot nor too cold, and all you need is a light jacket. But I never made the cape.

Verdict: Capes were in, but not the right capes. Due to the 1920s and 1950s styles of 2004, some designers tried to foist on us dainty little evening capes, which were more like structured shawls, or little fake-fur capes, which were more like stoles and didn't even reach the elbows. I actually saw one of these recently in an Asian shop in Perth. It was pink fake fur. It totally kicked arse. But I couldn't justify spending $75 on such a foolish accessory.

2. Ludic Jewellery. I predicted that accessories with a gaming theme would be popular in 2004. As examples I cited dice-themed jewellery, brooches made from Scrabble pieces and charm bracelets made from Monopoly pieces. When I was in Sydney in February, I invested in a $2 packet of plastic farm animals, which I planned to turn into brooches, but never did because I lost them. Can you see a pattern in my attempts to implement these predictions?

Verdict: I was totally right! Dice-inspired jewellery was huge among the Dangerfield set, while playing cards and dominoes were other popular motifs. Charm bracelets, curiously, are everywhere now, so I could still do the Monopoly bracelet ... if I could be fucked.

3. The Winter Ra-Ra Skirt. I had observed that tiered miniskirts were everywhere, and also that tailored 1950s-style suits in prim fabrics and prints, like Chanel boucle tweeds and houndstooth, were a major theme in the European collections. I reasoned that a logical collision of these trends would produce the winter ra-ra skirt, which would be worn with opaque tights and boots. Sort of like a return to the 80s preppie look.

Verdict: I was right about the 50s thing, but not about the ra-ra thing. Tailored tweed jackets duly became hugely popular, but strangely the matching skirts, which were mainly bias-cut and knee-length, weren't nearly as popular. My dream of the winter ra-ra skirt remains unfulfilled. If I could tailor clothes, I'd make it live, but my sewing skills are rudimentary and extremely time-consuming.

Okay, so now to Mel's Fashion Predictions 2005.

1. Fluoro colours. I'm not thinking of the 1980s fluoros here, even though I still think the 80s still have legs as a fashion inspiration. Instead, I'm picturing a 50s and 60s modernist sort of fluoro: tailored garments from a time when new synthetic fabrics like nylon, orlon and crimplene promised new colours and textures and new ways of wearing and caring for clothes. Maybe reading The Crying of Lot 49 has influenced my thinking. But anyway. I'm thinking pink, yellow, red (that really bright red that's almost orange) and green will be the main fluoro colours. Especially pink.

2. Neckerchiefs. I saw a chick on the tram the other day who was just so effortlessly stylish. She had on a red Bonds singlet (that bright red I was talking about) and blue jeans, and was wearing a cream-coloured silk scarf with red and blue pinstripes, rolled like a scout scarf, tied slightly to one side and pinned to the singlet with an old-fashioned brooch. I think this look really ties into the 50s aesthetic that's still about at the moment. I also predict men will be wearing bandannas and other light fabric scarves with t-shirts or protruding from the collars of their polo shirts like cravats. Sort of like stereotypical English workmen. But men are generally not as adventurous with their style as women, so this one might not catch on, except with Will and Shane, the most directional male fashionistas I know.

3. Backwards stuff. I'm not talking Kriss Kross here. The other day I was wearing a polo shirt with a tie: a look that the Vice crowd would no doubt describe as "totally played". But according to Tash, some staff at Hairy Canary have been spotted wearing ties backwards. Please also note that long dangling necklaces with backless garments might come in, a la Nicole Kidman in that ridiculous Chanel No. 5 ad.

Further to this, I would like to add that I predict the popularity of very long, single-stranded necklaces, perhaps with jewelled pendants at the end or nestling in the cleavage. (In an attempt to spearhead this trend, I wore such a necklace on New Year's Eve. It got a thumbs-up from the manslave, which was enough for me.)

I know I had more of these (I was regaling the Torta staff with them the other day), but it's traditional to have three main predictions. If you, dear reader, have any, please feel free to add them in the comments.

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