International Lifestyle Studies – Trend Research – Concept Development

Maand: januari, 2015


I have also been busy with another project where I wrote a couple of articles for a platform named Trendpit. This was the second edition from Trendpit, which was started by (now) third year students of International Lifestyle Studies.
Our goal was to create a network around Mercedes-Benz AmsterdamFashion Week for a trend seminar that will be given April 2015.
We kept an all-over theme in mind when we went to all kinds of events. This theme is ‘’body contrasts’’ which can be divided in a couple of categories:
Organism technology
Realism surrealism
Perfection imperfection

I had a lot of fun working together with ‘team Trendpit’ and here are links to the posts I helped writing:
An adventurous dream
All colours agree in the dark
Breaking through patterns
Cultural mixtures merge as one
Scanned appearance
Colourful perspectives
Fashion feel good

What lies behind?

Sometimes the outer appearance doesn’t say anything about the inside of someone actually. Everybody has his or hers own stories and unique views on life. That’s just life.
We often can be categorized in subcultures, certain ethnic groups or population groups.
But we all have one thing in common: we are all humans. Humans have to make choices and need to live with one and another. It’s just a fact. Making the right choices is often associated with a search for our identities. In this seek for out identities is inspiration needed first. Someone who gets her inspiration from this ‘seek for our identities’ in my opinion is Marije de Haan.


Who is Marije de Haan?
Marije de Haan is a Dutch fashion designer who graduated from The Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague (Netherlands). She is a menswear designer who has a fascination for the fringes in society. She is looking for tranquillity and anonymity in her collections. Something that can be linked to the search for identity a lot of people in our society deal with. I got the opportunity to go to her fashion show at Mercedes-Benz FashionWeek Amsterdam the 24th of January this year. Besides that I was seated behind Aynouk Tan (someone who is an icon in the Dutch world of appearance and who is very forward in shifting with different identities), it was a great experience.


Why was it a great experience and what could be said about the show?
I went to MBFWA with trendpit: a group of young students from International Lifestyle Studies who want to present themselves to the world as (junior) trendwatchers. I teamed up with one of them and went to Marije de Haan’s fashion show.
During the show the music was very loud. Too loud if you ask me, and the models appeared very frustrated because of that. Marije also made a couple of the models look like they were suffocating. This made me think about what they were suffocating from. My interpretation is that the search for who we want to be can be very exhausting and difficult and maybe this is what Marije wanted to show in her new collection. When looked at the show objectively, the outfits where only masculine because of the use of different kinds of blue, nothing more or nothing less. As for the rest it appeared very feminine.
She also used not typical models, namely models that were older or had some flaws, something that could be linked to ‘age elasticity’ and ‘self-acceptance’ (see previous posts). These subthemes have a strong link with the over-all ‘shifting identities’ theme.



Why it kept me busy thinking about what would happen in the future
Fashion designers have a strong opinion on what is happening in society and this can be seen in their collections. They also have a lot of influence, so Marije de Haan probably kept her search for tranquillity and anonymity in mind during the process of creating this collection. Today’s overload in choices leads to frustrations and maybe even depressions. If we are made aware of the fact that these are no good consequences from this ‘society-pressure’, the search for our identities can lead to more happy subcultures instead of some ‘inner diseases’.


Take a look at the article I wrote on Trendpit here 🙂
More pictures


My coolhunt from last Monday about the initiative from luxury fashion brand Céline Paris made me think about why they picked Joan Didion for their campaign and what their main goal could be. I didn’t know where to look for information because the only thing I could think about was that it was some kind of collaboration between two influential individuals who saw an opportunity to do something different in the fashion industry, which had the necessary commotion and criticism after that. Also Fashion House Dolce and Gabbana used 3 ‘’grey-haired models’’ for a campaign so it is something that can be noticed in the world of fashion nowadays.
I wanted to get context into ‘’age elasticity’’ but I didn’t know how. Where does this so-called trend begin and where does it end?
So my goal was to find someone with a lot of influence like Joan Didion who isn’t just a face of a campaign but is well known for his or hers appearance and lifestyle. I did find someone, namely: Linda Rodin.



Who is Linda Rodin?
Linda Rodin is a stylist and used to be a very famous model in the sixties. She moved to New York in the seventies and began one of the first concept stores there (she liked doing different things). She has her own views on aging and how to treat your body and how someone could feel in their skin. I think she is a 66-year-old teenager who really enjoys being the woman who she has become. She is a young woman on the inside and a powerful (old) woman on the outside. She defines the things she does and has her own point of view on life. Linda is so confident that she has her own skincare line Rodin Olio Lusso, so she has made a brand out of herself. ‘’There is Beauty in Simplicity’’ is her motto.



Why is she cool?
I think the contrast she shows in her skincare line by approaching her target group in a very youthful and playful way is cool because she is, as said in the article about Joan Didion, also not part of the grey mass. She accepts the process of getting older in all its aspects and shows that it has also a lot of elegance. It can be said she is being a true icon at ‘’self-acceptance’’ and elegance. She is also a realist.

Self-acceptance is a whole covering theme where my posts about dudeoir, Viktoria Modesta and age elasticity all can be linked. I think self-acceptance is one of the most important things in our society because it provides someone’s quality of life and besides he or she could accomplish more in a professional manner. A lot of people with some kind of reputation or status (like celebrities) want to diverge themselves from what’s seen as ‘’normal’’. The one thing they all have in common is a form of self-acceptance. If there is some kind of plastic surgery needed yes or no, they are doing these certain things so they can feel great in their skin.



Future influence
A conclusion I can think of is that some well-known people from a certain decade in the 20th century have had such an impact on society that it defines them as a person. It somehow ‘’haunts’’ them in a good way. This is where this so-called trend ‘’age elasticity’’ could come from if you ask me because it is a fact that these people used to be (or still are) models, famous authors, designers or stylists.

I think older woman, but also men, could use people like Linda Rodin and Joan Didion as role models so they can feel more comfortable about themselves in the way they are. Role models are getting more and more important in today’s society because they form some kind of basis for also youngsters who are exploring their identities. I hope people will choose inspirational role models as Joan or Linda instead of some shallow ones like Kendall and Kylie Jenner (but that’s my opinion).

Her website
An article I found about her

Age elasticity

The way someone feels on the inside is more important than the way someone appears on the outside if you ask me.
For example there are a lot of young people who don’t do anything with their lives and as a result their state of health and quality of life isn’t developed very well. An opposite is that some elderly people keep themselves busy with certain hobbies, which are conducive for their quality of life. Some of these older people in our society want to remove themselves from the age stereotypes and want to put themselves out there.

Well, long story short, why am I mentioning stereotypes?
Last week I thought about the so-called brand ‘Céline Paris’ and the fact that I’m absolutely not familiar with where the brand stands for and what it wants to project into the world.


Céline is a French fashion brand (founded in 1945) and also one of the first luxury brands in the fashion industry founded by Céline Vapiana. With a lot of leather and a sportswear approach it can carefully be concluded that Céline is a multidimensional fashion brand, which fulfills the needs of its target groups.

A recent article I found about the new face of Céline immediately piqued my attention: Vogue


Meet Joan Didion
Joan Didion is the new face of Céline but who is Joan Didion? I’m not that well known in the world of famous authors so I didn’t hear about her before. She is an American novelist, memoirist and essayist. She is born December 5th, 1934 (age 80) and a true icon in her ambit. She is well known for her studies about cultural chaos with as a main subject individual and social fragmentation so it can be said she has had a lot of influence during her career.
Now she is starring in Céline’s latest ad campaign, which caused a lot of sensation around the brand.


What makes Céline different and Joan Didion worth mentioning?
The fact that French fashion house Céline had chosen Joan for their latest campaign is different and breaks through the stereotypes patterns of choosing young and still active influential people to use as the new face of a Fashion House. Céline’s point of view is that Joan has a faultless sense of style and a lot of class (still after quite some years). She represents a cross-over between different creative professions. I think she is totally ‘cool’ for appearing as such an important commercial item for their brand and being absolutely not part of the ‘’grey mass’’. Also, Joan Didion has seen all the developments in fashion during the years, so Céline is creating a new kind of development in the industry by their initiative of engaging her into their brand.


Future growth potential
The traditional roles that can be linked to a certain age are fading away. It is not that recent that using stereotypes happens way too often in our society and that it is an easy way to form an opinion. My opinion is that stereotypes will be used less because of the fact some types of people overlap each other and therefore getting more difficult to categorize. Maybe we finally start doing the things that we like and make us happy instead of the things that society thinks we are supposed to do.

Source: Vogue


Schermafbeelding 2015-01-01 om 17.06.58

Celebrities are often beautiful, perfect, plastic-like and fit and strong looking human beings. Always in the spotlights and liked for being liked if you ask me. And oh, that’s right, they have some kind of talent too. The way our society worships celebrities is really crazy considering the way someone looks at himself or her self is often affected for the negative. Or in other words: celebrities are not that great for our self-worth. I found a celebrity who shows her imperfect side as a way of self-acceptance and therefore I think she is different.


Meet Viktoria Modesta
Probably everybody who hunts for ‘’cool stuff’’ has noticed her. Because, in fact, she is really cool. Her name is Viktoria Modesta Moskalova (born February 1987, Daugavpils Latvia) and she is a British singer-songwriter and a model. She is not only well known for her talent but also for the way she appears with her prosthetic leg and how she uses it as an accessory. She is a non-conformist woman in the European music industry who definitely stays devoted to her own identity. Once, I met a boy from Lietuva through an exchange programme and we kept in touch ever since. He sent me the video of Viktoria Modesta.
The genre in which she makes music is not really my kind of music but the way the creative director (Saam Farahmand) has made the video is definitely worth noting.


Why do I like Viktoria (and her new music video)?
Viktoria appears to be a very strong and focused person. She knows what she wants. Being a bionic woman, she shows her fans the difference between what is real and what is idealistic. She accepts her prosthetic leg and makes some good use of it. I think she uses it as a bridge between her inside and her outside appearance. Despite of her disability she has made a big career in an ambit where people are not used being confronted with (in this case) a prosthetic leg, or in different words: a form of imperfection. Also born in a country where the roles of men and women, and even from citizens as a whole, are different from the west-European culture, she has already achieved a lot for her age. She made this happen by liberating herself from the culture she lives in and becoming a pop star. Latvia is a country with a history full of political difficulties, state reconstructions and minority policies from Russia due to colonization. But now it’s a country with more independence, which leads to inhabitants putting the country on a better spot. Well, this is what Viktoria does if you ask me by showing a very clear contrast between perfection and imperfection.


Future growth potential
Considering that Viktoria probably will become more and more famous in the years to come, I think her impact on society is more important to mention. The music video starts with ‘’forget what you know about disability’’ – but what is it that we already know about disability? It is nothing more or less than a form of imperfection. Our views on what is perfect and what is not will become more realistic due to her new music video. Maybe we will stop with classifying one and another in a particular manner and will we become more aware of the fact that everybody is unique and has potential. Perfect or imperfect, real or surreal, we are all strong and independent human beings with our own identities.

Watch her new music video here:



Facebook is a platform where no news is really new and no article is as interesting as it seems on first sight. But as curious I am, one article always makes me click further to another, and another, and so on. The article I found about dudeoir was already out-dated (august 2013) but I had never heard about the concept before. It made me thinks about what has happened last year considering this so-called ‘’trend’’. With the input about ‘’shifting identities’’ I can definitely see a link with dudeoir.

Shifting identities is an all-embracing name of a trend/theme, which describes where a person derives his or her identity from in general and the search he or she has by finding their true image (like the way someone expresses himself by the way he dresses or the culture someone prefers to live in). The traditional roles of males and females are changed throughout the years.

What is dudeoir?
The word ‘’dude’’ is definitely in it but as feminine the word dudeoir, sounds, as feminine it is. The word boudoir is also in it so perhaps you already can predict what dudeoir is: dudes posing as if they are sexy models modelling in a boudoir-like setting. But it’s rather funny than sexy if you ask me because of an anti-reaction at the trend.
(The black and white pictures are some of the original dudeoir themed images and the coloured ones are from the men reacting ironically at these poses).
If you search for the word dudeoir on pinterest, there are a lot of pictures with sexy male models posing as sensual sex objects, so nothing different from all the female models in the fashion industry.
If you ‘’google image’’ the word dudeoir, a lot of chubby, not-sexy-at-all dudes are posing like if they are sex objects who put themselves out there. With as a result, sometimes a funny and not commercial anti-serious loaded meaning to it.


Why do I think it’s cool and can it be linked with the shifting identities trend?
The man had always the control of a household, from the first half of the 20th century and also all the years before, also called a patriarchal household. Always when I think about these hundreds or even a couple of thousand years, I think about emotionless, harsh times full of etiquettes for the wealthy citizens and a lot of hard work for the poor (but that’s my opinion). Dudes would probably never portray themselves as vulnerable as they do in the dudeoir trend. The roles of men and women were always established in a certain way. From the second half of the 20th century (maybe some years before or after) these roles definitely have changed because, I think, the economy also has changed from time to time throughout these years and women and men are both able to adapt themselves in the same professional way with the same qualities than ever before.

The fact that the posing men seem not serious at all made me think about the intension they have by portraying themselves in a dudeoir setting. Maybe they are just done with all the commotion around how females need to feel comfortable in their skin although they don’t look like the girls in fashion magazines. So what about men? Men can also be insecure… I know I am.
My conclusion is that dudeoir gives men the opportunity to remove themselves from the masculine lifestyle what’s often being advertised.


Future growth potential
The fact that the article I found about dudeoir is from a year ago, I think this ‘’trend’’ does not have a lot of potential because it didn’t break through last year. It was funny and interesting for a couple of magazines and despite of this there wasn’t that much attention given at dudeoir from the biggest part of men. The commercial value of the men posing apparently is not that much so in the years to come it could only break through if there is more publicity around it or if the pictures go viral. The one thing I can say after all is that maybe the male species will be more sensitive and vulnerable than before. An emotional development is already happening here but it still is marked as ‘’funny’’ or ‘’different’’ – if this changes there could be some kind of role switch between the way men and women act and our gender roles will fade away even more.

Google Image: dudeoir
Pinterest: dudeoir