Thought Catalog
August 15, 2014

6 Ways Fashion Insiders Learn About New Trends Before You Do

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What is the issue?

I can tell you guys are really enjoying my fashion beat.

from "The Style Trend You Should Be Obsessing Over: Cat Eye Sunglasses."
from “The Style Trend You Should Be Obsessing Over: Cat Eye Sunglasses.”

In all seriousness though, I know Thought Catalog is not a site one typically visits for fashion news and coverage. But surely we can find a compromise, can’t we? Surely the fashion coverage here on Thought Catalog doesn’t have to be so wholly one-sided.

Fashion, like all other topics covered here, can and do start profound discussions and debates — and not only on vapid, frill-y topics either. WE can have our own debates, is what I’m trying to say. All you have to do is become a little more informed.

There’s a human tendency for one to forthrightly and aggressively oppose something that he or she isn’t comfortable with and I see it happen all the time in fashion — people mocking and belittling a piece of clothing or a style because they’re threatened by it and can’t offer any insight on it. Well the next time you find yourself quickly dismissing a pair of shoes for no good reason at all, know that you also have the option to learn a little bit more. Whether it’s the history of fashion or contemporary and relevant news, the answers are right at your fingertips. You just need to know where to find them:

1. Instagram.

It’s not just you who’s addicted to Instagram. It’s everyone, and that includes some of the biggest names in fashion. Instagram has morphed into a medium that pumps out eerily-timed news — sometimes within seconds of something happening. If you want to be the first to find out about the new Prada campaign or who the CFDA finalists are, Instagram is where you go. And the top contenders are as follows:

  • @Artpartner, @fashionairy, @elinklingdotcom, and @fashionography for general fashion news.
  • For the best editors to follow: @bat_gio, or Giovanna Battaglia, the editor of Vogue Japan and contributing editor to W. And @kegrand, or Katie Grand, who heads up LOVE and is BFFs with Cara and Kendall.
  • And the best photographers to follow: @mertalas, or photographer duo Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott’s instagram. And @inezvinoodh, the Instagram behind photographer duo Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin.

2. Obscure(-ish) fashion magazines.

While everyone seems to be concerned with the “death of print,” the fashion world’s attitude seems to go a little something like this: if we can pretend print isn’t dying, it won’t. Just perusing through some of the best ones, one can see how treasured these fashion magazines are. They’ll cost you, but think of them as investments; unless it’s Vogue, Marie Claire or something like that, I usually never throw mine away.

Some of my favorites:

  1. LOVE.
    A bi-annual based in the UK (as all the top fashion magazines are) and edited by Katie Grand.
  2. The Gentlewoman.Which, to the touch, just feels more legitimate than any magazine out there. The articles are unique and intelligent. And as the title suggests, the bi-annual highlights some of the strongest, most influential women in fashion.
  3. Acne Paper.
    Acne Paper is made by the same people behind Acne Studios — and, aside for usually featuring some Acne clothes in the magazine, that’s really its only connection to the label. The magazine is bi-annual, with each issue based around one theme. The last issue I read was the “New York” issue, which featured a very long interview with Fran Lebowitz, excerpts from literature’s most finest New York moments.

3. Websites.

But spending money isn’t always a necessary evil to gain access to some of the best fashion cult magazines. Some, like i-D and Dazed and Confused (the digital version of which is Dazed Digital) have full-fledged and fully-functioning websites, complete with online journalism separate from their print magazine and access to their archives. Some more classic fashion sites include Fashionista, The Cut, T Magazine, WSJ Magazine, The Wall/Elin Kling, and Fashion Gone Rogue.

4. WWD.

If WWD feels exclusive, that’s because it is. You can join, but it will cost you — namely, $179 per year (or $895 if you want full access to archives). And so, seeing as we have other free websites we can go to for the same information, editor-in-cheifs and stylists alike will continue to read their WWD with their morning coffees, learning about the fashion news that matters, five hours before any of us peasants have access to it.

5. Fashion forums.

These dodgy-looking online forums are where fashion students and followers go to discuss their latest nerdy obsession — “McQueen’s ’97 couture line,” and obscure moments like that. The best part is that people tend to upload pictures to these, often scanning their personal magazine collections directly onto the forum.

6. Eavesdrop.

I can’t speak for other cities, but in New York I recommend moseying on over to 13th street for maximum effect. 13th being where Parsons School Of Design is located, you’ll inevitably find yourself among rolls of portfolio paper and measuring tape. Wade through these scraps and tools until you find a bench where you can comfortably sit for 8+ hours and just listen. TC mark