In the Classroom: Trend Analysis & Forecasting

Most college students struggle with getting out of bed each morning to attend class. However, going to class is quite fun when learning about the various types of trends on a daily basis. This semester, I am enrolled in TXMI 5230: Trend Analysis & Forecasting at the University of Georgia. According to the University, this course provides “an overview of forecasting in the apparel, textiles, and home interiors industries at the design and merchandising level. Students critically analyze color, fabric, and trend forecasting, and design and research concepts using multi-media and observational primary research.”

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Mary Kate Donahue, 2017.

Throughout the semester, I will be tasked with various homework that will help me analyze trends. For example, last week I looked at the Resort 2018 collections for Etro, Giambattista Valli and Hermes and came to conclusions about today’s zeitgeist—spirit of the times—based on the garments. Also, most recently, I created a trend board outlining my predictions for a trend this fall, based off a certain theme or motif. With the tendency to look toward nature for inspiration, I believe many consumers will look toward garments that reflect the characteristics of the bird, with a special focus on garments that incorporate feather detail.

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Other assignments this semester will involved “Group Forecasts,” where I will work with a group of my peers to outline a collection for a particular designer or fashion house, based on our predictions for trends in the coming seasons. Be on the look out to see what my group members and I create!

One of the coolest aspects of this course so far has been the virtual tour of Trend Council that my professor scheduled for our class. As a subscription-based trend tool, Trend Council delivers expert analysis and design inspiration within the industry. Dividing the industry into three categories, the service reports on Women & Juniors, Mens & Young Mens and Streetstyle for up to two years in advance. One anecdote I found particularly intriguing is the cross-over of industries, as the Trend Council representative explained how Porsche uses there service to stay abreast on trends for the interior of their cars— from types of leather to unique stitching.

Although I still have a little more than three months left of TXMI 5230, I am starting to think that trend forecasting may be a very viable career path for me. I love the notion of being “in-the-know” of what trends are around the corner, even if those predictions may end up inaccurate. As Alexander McQueen says, “you’ve always got to push yourself forward; you’ve always got to keep up with the trends or make your own trends.”

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Trend Alert: Ruffles

Designers are often looking for unique details to diversify their garments, as a way to set them selves apart. One detail—ruffles—have become a staple on many pieces of clothing recently. From a tiered ruffle sleeve to a single row of ruffles edging a skirt, ruffles are a fun and flirty wear to add flare to an ensemble! In the outfit below, I adore the ruffle detail on the sleeves and the hem of the crop top, and they complement the slight ruffle on the edging of the shorts.

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Mary Kate Donahue, 2017.

Often, when people think of the word “ruffle” images of young girls, bright pink and overly “girly” styles flood their minds. However, ruffles have infiltrated the fashion industry and can be seen in multiple different styles of dressing, from classic to edgy. Take a look at some of my favorite ruffled garments to get inspiration for your next shopping trip!

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Where to Shop This Trend?

Forever 21

Tiered Ruffle Blouse

Ruffle Sleeve Mini Dress

Scuba Knit Ruffle-Hem Pants

Chambray Ruffle Wrap Dress

Boohoo

Aurora Wrap Ruffle Hem Mini Skirt (I own it in pink!)

Evie Ruffle Detail Wrap Over Blouse

Martha Striped Cold Shoulder Ruffle Top 

Nordstrom

Chelsea28 Ruffle Scuba Dress

Charles Hem Ruffle Shift Dress 

Topshop Ruffle Eyelet Lace Sweatshirt 

H&M

Jersey Top with Ruffles

Short Ruffles Top 

Ruffled Dress

Ruffle-Sleeved Cotton Blouse

Zara

Poplin Dress with Contrasting Ruffle

Jumpsuit Dress with Ruffled Sleeves

Ruffled Wrap Skirt

Revolve

Lovers + Friends Liv Dress

Endless Rose Asymmetrical Ruffle Mini Skirt

J.O.A Ruffle Neck Lace Mix Top

Cynthia Rowley Lace Cold Shoulder Mini Dress

Bloomingdale’s

Lucy Paris Stripe Cold-Shoulder Ruffle Top

Sandro Mystery Ruffle Trimmed Shorts

Rebecca Taylor Sleeveless Ruffle Dress

Trend Alert: Tassel Earrings

From beads and pom-poms to leather and fringe, tassel earrings are this season’s hottest accessory! Whether the baubles add a pop of color or fun element to an outfit, these earrings are certainly a necessity in your jewelry box.

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Mary Kate Donahue, 2017.

Celebrities and fashion icons, such as Julianne Moore, Rose Huntington-Whiteley and Julianne Hough, as well as royals like Kate Middleton, have adopted the tassel earring trend. Truly, these bold accessories have infiltrated  he fashion industry and become a staple for many women’s outfits. In fact, there is a vast range of retailers that now offer this trend in their jewelry lines.

Anyone and everyone know and love Lisi Lerch’s Tassel Earring; some say she was one of the first to design a tassel earring. BaubleBar offers several affordable options such as their Piñata Tassel Earrings, Crispin Drops and Gabriela Fringe Drops.  Additionally, Vanessa Mooney created a variety of tassel earrings, ranging from The Astrid Knotted Tassel Earring to The Dynasty Earring. If you are looking to splurge on this trend, turn to Ranjana Khan’s Chandelier Earring, Oscar de la Renta’s Long Beaded Tassel Drop Earrings or Auden’s Topanga Suede Fringe Earring.  On the other hand, if you are looking for a steal on this trend, Target’s SUGARFIX by BaubleBar is a fabulous collaboration, with styles such as The Beaded Tassel Earring and The String Tassel Drop Earrings with Embellished Top. Also, Bluumoon Collection offers their unique Four Layer Tassel Earring and Topshop stocks The Sequin and Tassel Earring.

Whether pairing with a simple off-the shoulder gown to a cocktail party or a white t-shirt to have brunch with the girls, tassel earrings can add that needed element of fun!