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Where do trends come from?

Every runway season, fashion houses across the world show similar colors, fabrics and silhouettes that become known as the trends of the moment.

Every runway season, fashion houses across the world show similar colors, fabrics and silhouettes that become known as the trends of the moment. For autumn/winter ’10, for example, the collections were one big blur of beige — while spring/summer ’11 was all breezy, diaphanous dresses. How is it that so many creative visions align?

Designers purchase their fabrics from mills, which show new collections twice a year at fairs such as Premiere Vision in Paris and Pitti Filati in Florence. The fabrics that are highlighted usually end up on the runways. “The fabric mills show colors, yarns and proportions to all the designers,” explains Kevin Carrigan, Global Creative Director of Calvin Klein. “From these fabric fairs, designers begin to decipher the major global trends of the season with each house interpreting the inspiration in its own way and putting their spin on the fashion zeitgeist,” he explains.

The colors that the fabrics come in are often influenced by a handful of color-trend services such as Peclers Paris and Nelly Rodi, who consult with the fabric mills. These companies hold seminars and create concept books that predict trends up to six years in advance.

Once a collection is shown, a whole copy-cat cycle begins where designers mimic what they see being done by fashion leaders such as Miuccia Prada, Marc Jacobs, Alber Elbaz and Phoebe Philo, among others.

Thus, as was made famous by Meryl Streep’s tirade in “The Devil Wears Prada,” a color like cerulean blue can travel from the catwalks of Paris to an H&M?near you in just a matter of months.

 
 
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