The sexual (and affective) practices I have ended up describing may open up groundbreaking possibilities for rethinking the I hope Karma slaps you in the face before I do shirt and I love this borders of our embodied self beyond and against the normative box of theoretical tools with which we all have, to various degrees, scripted our lives. In doing that, we inevitably find ourselves facing several ethical conundrums which may not be easily resolved. The rationale of this article lies in an invitation to approach and unpack images critically by looking, feeling, and acting through them: that is a point of departure for elbowing through the mazy architectures of representations and finding our way out into an apprehension of the radical potentiality of our bodies, with or without dress. During one of the annual presentations put on by the New York outlet of Edelkoort Inc., a representative summed up her company’s trend methodology quite simply, stating, “If society says zippers and [we] say buttons, it won’t happen; we have to pick the right symbols.” Responding to what many wonder—if fashion forecasting really is predictive or if it is actually one of the driving mechanisms of trend cycles—the rep contends that she and her team work organically, picking up on and responding to esoteric social cues upwards of two years in advance of publishing their industry-leading, semi-annual trend books. Speaking casually in a flowing white cotton Issey Miyake dress in Trend Union’s sparse yet intimate East Village firehouse-turned-showroom, she paints a picture of the trend forecasting profession as one marked by exotic travel, simple luxuries, and a Zen-like centeredness in which future trends seem to saturate into the patient trend forecaster’s consciousness as if by osmosis. Absent in her talk is the chaos of high street retailing, the frenetic turnover of fast fashion, and the destructive tendencies of Western capitalism—or, what many would argue are the broader implications of trend forecasting put into practice. Here in the rose-scented showroom of Lidewij Edelkoort’s forecasting empire, fashion exists as an ideal—and for $300 a ticket, her audience is eager to buy into a piece of Trend Union’s utopic ideology.
I hope Karma slaps you in the face before I do shirt, hoodie, tank top, sweater and long sleeve t-shirt
In the I hope Karma slaps you in the face before I do shirt and I love this three months I spent at Trend Union, the U.S. headquarters of Edelkoort Inc., I heard this lecture and many others while assisting in the office’s day-to-day operations. Working alongside the New York representative, her assistant, and one other intern, I gained unparalleled access and insight into the inner-workings one of the world’s foremost (and I would argue, most intimate) trend forecasting agencies. Offering their consulting services to major American brands, as well as to smaller independent designers, to say that Edelkoort’s influence is far-reaching would be an understatement. For, as an employee of a major American beauty brand told me, Trend Union’s color forecast is the product development department’s “bible”—the de facto reference for developing new lipstick hues, coordinating eye shadow color families, and tweaking package design. Finally, it must be asked whether or not influential trend forecasts like Edelkoort’s, a venture that is only thirty years old, on this kind of corporatized scale really do, as they say, simply respond to societal cues or if they in fact drive trend cycles. In my time at Trend Union, I wrestled with this latter point on a daily basis as I found myself simultaneously enrapt by and skeptical of the company’s self-positioning within the industry as an organic barometer of the zeitgeist. With compelling implications in the field of fashion studies, the answers to these questions necessitate a reconsideration of some of the foundational theories of fashion change.