Saturday, 15 September 2012

Ideas and Inspirations: Fashion Trends

As a designer/maker, how important is it to follow the latest trends?

This is a question I have been pondering - because, as a designer/maker of felt accessories I have to acknowledge that my items will be worn - and in order to create a successful business, I have to ensure that those items will want to be worn by as many people as possible!

But does this mean I should blindly follow every fad, jumping on the latest fashion bandwagon no matter what direction it's heading in? With the newest fashion trends being shown at London Fashion Week, it seemed that now was as good a time as any to ponder this question!

As luck would have it, Chappell Ellison has been pondering the same thing - and her recent article on the Etsy blog has some interesting ideas to consider. As she points out, following the herd and giving the customer what 'they-think-they-want' can be very lucrative!

But I'm not sure that it's the creative path I'd like to take.

Firstly it's not really in my nature to follow the latest trends (I will stubbornly refuse to read a book or watch a film if I think it's been over-hyped!) and secondly I'm not sure that the current popular trends (which as far as I can tell from my extensive research on Pinterest are 'ombre', 'chevrons', furniture made from wooden pallets, DIY chalkboard paint and if you're from the UK, owls on just about everything!) are appropriate matches to folded felt flower accessories!

So, I have been saved from hitching my business to the fashion bandwagon, because for the moment at least, the trends do not coincide with my own ideas. But is there a way I can still use fashion to my advantage?

I have recently started to use the website Polyvore
If you're not familiar with the site the easiest way to describe it is a 'wardrobe creating tool'. It is similar to Pinterest in that users can upload pictures of items they like, but really that is where the similarity ends.

Funky Folk
The collection shown above is called 'Funky Folk' and features my Folk Art Daisy Corsage The rest of my collections can be found here

Rather than collecting individual pictures into a folder, Polyvore allows you to drag the different pictures onto a canvas to create a fashion 'set' - similar to the clothing combinations that are found in fashion magazines. It's great fun, and a really visual way to build a virtual wardrobe.

In one of my collections I have only included designer items - creating a wish list that could only be purchased following a HUGE lottery win! But then I thought that it would be useful to create a range of 'sets' to show other Polyvore users how my felt accessories can be incorporated into different outfits. (And the great thing is, once my pieces have been uploaded onto the site, other users are then able to use them in their own sets and share them with all their followers!)

I'm hoping that by using this site, I will be able to engage directly with shoppers, share my accessories with a wider audience, and show how my items can be incorporated into many different outfits regardless of whether you are a trend setter, a fashion follower or perfectly happy with your own personal style!

But what do you think?
Have any of you ever used Polyvore?
Do you think it could be a useful tool to be used by small business?
Or is it just a bit of fun?

I'd love to know your thoughts!


  1. great article - thanks for finally explaining to me what Polyvore actually is, I hadn't worked it out! I will definitely start using it myself for my products, too :)

    1. Thanks Rachel! Good luck with Polyvore - I'd love to know how you get on!

  2. Interesting stuff, and I so agree with your decision not to follow the trends. It's very tempting when you're watching certain sorts of things flying off the stalls at craft fairs but originality will always win in the end (I keep telling myself!). I'll be giving it a go myself when I manage to tear myself away from Pinterest....

    1. Well Liz, the great thing is you can post your completed sets from Polyvore onto Pinterest... In my case satisfying my two most recent obsessions in one go!

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