Local TikTok influencers and independent designers are looking for trends that last: Bushwick Daily
Fashion trends used to last. But now micro-trends seem to be taking over. But many of these wardrobe changes aren’t environmentally or economically sustainable.
A new generation of fashion consumers wants to see more sustainable practices and yearns to leave fast fashion in the past. They strive to buy exclusively from second-hand stores or from small designers and to buy clothes that are unique and adapted to their tastes.
Seen on TikTok, Clara Perlmutter (@tinyjewishgirl) and Myra Madeleine (@myramadalen) are pioneers of a personal style movement defined by an eclectic taste that mixes vintage pieces with new maximalist designers and incorporates non-traditional elements, like rubber lizards and TV remotes. The pandemic has dramatically changed the number of people seeing and participating in the fashion industry, and for many who were stuck at home, it has given them time to develop a more personal style.
Perlmutter often mixes conflicting patterns, works with interesting silhouettes, and likes to over-accessorize with colorful childish jewelry and the “useless” headband associated with her bald head. “It’s been an incredibly isolating time, and turning inward feels natural under these circumstances,” Perlmutter said. “For me, putting on something shiny relieves the boredom of days spent indoors.”
Recent isolation spurts have given us time to reflect on how fashion can be both damaging to the planet and overwhelming to follow. Trend cycles that once lasted 5-10 years now only last a year or two, a rapid rate of rotation that is becoming increasingly difficult to track.
“I’m alarmed by the rate of trending turnover, but this is a generation that’s used to instant gratification on our phones,” says Perlmutter. “It’s no wonder fast fashion sites are having such a moment. It makes little sense financially to spend a lot of money on something that’s trendy, when trendy means fleeting. People opt for counterfeits instead. It’s sad to see people I know getting scammed over and over again. That’s why I’m all for owning bold pieces regardless of trends, things that are timeless.
In order for fast-fashion brands to constantly produce new models, they are often accused of theft small creators. The resulting products are less expensive, but often fall apart easily.
“You should look back to your childhood,” recommends Perlmutter. “Think critically of the times that, early in your life, made you fall in love with fashion. It could be something you saw a cool girl wear at the mall, or a movie character, or anything another a-ha moment for you… Great. Now distill this down to its essence. What aspects of [the] did the style appeal to you? Were you drawn to the color palettes? Were you attracted by certain silhouettes or certain patterns? »
Myra Magdalen is fearless in her personal tastes, often opting for items people wouldn’t typically think of wearing, such as using a cylinder lock as a fastener or reading lamps as hair clips. Incorporating things that aren’t considered clothing shows that fashion can be incredibly experimental and an ethical way to include new elements in your wardrobe.
“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with fashion trends in general or wanting to participate in them. I do think, however, that micro-trends are there to encourage people to constantly buy new things. and throwing things away. I think this led to the rise of fast fashion and highlighted the issues of waste and sustainability in the fashion industry. I also think it’s harder to cultivate your own personal style,” she says.
Madeleine’s approach to fashion can help us rethink how we dress. Instead of shopping for the latest trends to make your outfit more interesting, her work asks: what non-traditional item could you include instead?
“My best advice for finding your personal style is to wear what you love and go from there. Don’t worry so much about fitting an aesthetic or following fashion ‘rules’ or trends,” said Magdalene.
Shopping at boutiques and thrift stores can also help you create a unique wardrobe. There are plenty of stores that fit these criteria around Brooklyn, but Megan O’Cain and Olivia Rienertson do something special: design clothes according to their personal styles and offer a unique experience.
In Bushwick, you can find O’Cain’s designs at GG Social Club, which also sells second-hand clothes. GG’s Social Club has an intimate atmosphere, decorated with books; a deconstructed set of Funk & Wagnalls encyclopedias here, a 1970s tape recorder there. O’Cain creates clothes that promise to unleash your inner child with colorful knits, chunky silhouettes and an assortment of hand-painted designs.
O’Cain says, “I started customizing and repairing vintage when I was a kid and it quickly evolved from there. In the end, when I design, I always design for myself, I saw a gap in what I wanted to wear and started designing to fill that. I always try to keep my personal style in mind when designing and this has given me a lot of confidence in my work as it feels really true to myself. Finding my personal style required me to stay true to my inner child and to draw inspiration from things other than fashion to avoid falling into trends.
You can find the creations of Olivia Rienertson in Williamsburg on By Liv Handmade. The showcase offers homemade knitwear, prairie-style dresses and vintage sewing patterns. Rienertson loves cottagecore clothing with lace and ruffles galore that sometimes include a 70s bohemian twist.
“When I started making clothes, it was out of necessity. I was a pre-school teacher earning a less than ideal salary and couldn’t afford ‘nice teacher clothes’ , Rienertson said, She wanted “something durable, comfortable, stylish and functional.”
“I started buying sheets at the Salvation Army on 25th Street and [began] transforming them into smocked dresses to wear to work. It wasn’t until a few months later that I started making clothes for anyone other than myself, so a lot of my original designs were made especially for me. There is definitely still a strong connection between the pieces I create today and the pieces I created at the start of By Liv, so an element of personal style will always be there.
Featured Image: Courtesy of Megan O’Cain’s instagram account.
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