At the inaugural FashionGo Week Palm Springs, which took place in the sunny SoCal desert last week, The Daily was on hand to bring insider intel to attendees. To kick things off on the first day of the trade show, executive fashion director Freya Drohan sat down with a trio of experts whose insights were worth their weight in gold. Merle Ginsberg, journalist, TV personality, and current fashion editor at Los Angeles Magazine, explained why some trends hit the big time, while others simply don’t translate off the runway. Tabitha Sanchez, an on-the-pulse Gen Z stylist whose clients include Chloe Cherry, Maude Apatow, and many TikTok sensations, spoke about how brands can get noticed by influential talent. And Jeannine Braden, a veteran stylist and creative director who founded the LA-based label Le Superbe, dished on the importance of tuning into the zeitgeist, inclusive sizing for small businesses, and why any of it is even worth talking about anymore in these ‘fashion free for all’ tim es. Let’s discuss!
Merle Ginsberg on what is a trend, really
“If the clothes don’t change, then no one is spending any money. So obviously, there has to be a shift. There was a documentary on Diana Vreeland called The Eye Has to Travel. We have to wear different styles to reflect the times. In the ’20s. they wore fringe dresses because it was [about] women breaking out of Victorian styles and fashion. Trends very much reflect what people are thinking. It could be about volume: big puffy sleeves and tight skirts, or loose pants and tight tops. The eye has to travel, the colors have to change. Designers, and where it starts, are very much inspired by pattern makers, and new technologies, and whatever they see on the streets.”
Merle Ginsberg on whether trends every really go away
“When I was working at Women’s Wear Daily in the ’90s, trends took a long time to recycle. Tom Ford did the satin shirt with bell bottoms ’70s look in the ’90s, it took a long time to recycle but it seemed very fresh at the time. Now it’s like every other season [that things are coming back around!] Because of the Internet, because of Instagram, everyone is moving very fast. I did a story a couple of years ago called, ‘Why Fashion is Stuck in the 20th Century’ and it was all about the idea that, well, how many shapes and colors are there really?”
Jeannine Braden on why it’s still important we talk about trends
“Fashion can have its life, but then we have younger stylists and influencers that haven’t been exposed to certain trends and they interpret it in their own way. They’re growing up in a different time so they see it in a different way . It used to be that fashion came back every what, 20 years? Now I feel like it’s a free for all, anything goes. Like, you be you. I’m seeing a little bit of everything, everywhere. There are small groups of people that have their own jam, which I really like. I feel like the trend has been to see a lot of personal style—you can see mini skirts, you can see maxi skirts. And I think trends that have been around for enough time become a classic. Leopard is always the new black!”
“We always start with a mood board. I usually ask them to start it, or maybe I start it, but it’s always reference photos. I’ll ask them, ‘Who you you look up to? Whose style do you like?’ And it’s usually the models: Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Hailey Bieber—their peers. Just very cool, it girls. And then we go from there. Most people say they want to dress a certain way, but they don’t actually! It’s mostly aspirational. Then we have to go into the designers; who will loan to you, what is your budget, what’s realistic? That’s where thrifting comes into play. And there are a lot of designers on Instagram that may have 1,000 followers, so you can still just DM them and see if they would be interested in working together.
Merle Ginsberg on trends that are reflecting the moment
“Well if you look at the Oscars, which is sort of a jubilation of what’s going on right now, it was sexy, sexy, sexy. Bra tops, cutouts—I haven’t seen that much skin since the naked dresses of the Met Gala! A lot of black, very dramatic. And although we’re not necessarily post pandemic, a lot of people spent two years in sweat pants, so it makes sense to see very sexy clothing. And those [famous] women have the time and the studio backing to work out everyday for a couple of months for award season. But then you look at Fall, and it’s long pencil skirts almost to the floor, and big, oversized jackets. The world wants to protect itself, the world is a little more dangerous.”
Jeannine Braden on important industry shifts
“I’ve noticed a lot of brands going into a lot of different sizes. The more backing you have, the more sizes you can produce for. A startup brand might have a little bit of a harder time going into size inclusivity, but it’s undeniable that it’s being promoted. I see a lot of support for female businesses and of different ethnicities. Upcyling and sustainability are very important now too. I think the younger generation is a lot more interested in these topics—you see it in the thrifting
trend. It’s always on your mind now. Being in the studio with buyers, it’s very important to their clients, so that’s something they ask about now. People are noticing how things are being made, and where they’re being made.”
Tabitha Sanchez’ advise for brands who want to work with a TikTok or Instagram influencer
“If you want to go directly to a client, nowadays you can just DM them, even though they might not always see it. I think a lot of brands make the mistake of over lending their clothes, and it just ends up on the assistants or just not being worn because there is no guarantee. Now people need to have it in some sort of contract that if they’re lending the clothes there at least needs to be a story post about it.”
Merle Ginsberg on why some trends take off and others don’t
“I always go back to the ‘cerulean speech’ in The Devil Wears Prada. Things have to trickle down. If Dries Van Noten makes a beautiful floral jacket that’s embroidered, that can’t trickle down. Most people can’t afford it, most brands can’t make it because it’s too expensive to produce. So it has to start at luxury, and then trickle down to say contemporary. It’s about what can be worn easily, and replicated easily. Everyone can wear a black ruffle top or flare pants. Karl Lagerfeld used to get a lot of inspiration from street punk style. There are all these trend reporters on the streets and that’s really where it starts. And then it can go high or it can go low.”
Merle Ginsberg on whether trends need celebrity endorsement to go mainstream
“There’s so many different kinds of celebrities now. It used to be all about the red carpet. If Julia Roberts wore something, if Cate Blanchett wore something, it would affect big brands and retailers, even though it was hard to get that information back , you could get those numbers. Now, it’s about influencers and TikTok.