TikTok fast fashion trends: why are they moving so fast?

Is anybody else tired of how fast fashion trends move? According to TikTok, you’re not alone

One week it’s 70s, the next is 90s. Then it’s the return of the 00s, then it’s the 10s. How is *anybody* keeping up? 

“Does anybody else find it concerning that 2010 trends have already made a resurgence?” TikTok creator @grrlbossbabe wrote on the app recently. “There’s Bella Swan/Elena Core/Parisian girl/ballerina aesthetic/indy sleaze and 2014 Tumblr. People are cycling through trends every few weeks, how is anyone going to keep up with this?”

Since it was uploaded four days ago, the video has amassed just shy of 18,000 likes. @grrlbossbabe, otherwise known as New York-based content creator Ari, has clearly hit a nerve with fashion conscious users on the app.

“I’ve been thinking about trends a lot recently and how alarming [the] acceleration is.” she tells Stylist. “Fashion trends used to cycle every 20 years, and now, due to social media, influencers and fast fashion, we see new aesthetics every month.” 

Her point is valid: high-fashion brands, who have dictated the cycle of trends for years, used to release new collections twice a year. One collection was designed for winter, one was designed for summer. But now there are pre-fall collections, resort collections and a slew of collaborations. For many who love fashion, it’s overwhelming.

“It’s exhausting, both emotionally and financially, to keep on top of the latest or newest trends, and I say that as somebody who loves fashion a lot,” says Bella Gold, an executive assistant from London.

Ari agrees that it’s exhausting, but is conscious that people have lost all sense of their actual style. “The main difference between fashion now and 10 years ago is that people have lost the concept of personal style and instead focus on what aesthetic they should be, rather than what suits them or what they like,” she explains. 

It’s a problem that brands have increasingly latched onto, as well. When Alessandro Michele revealed that Gucci would “abandon the worn-out ritual of seasonalities and shows”, he took to social media to announce that there would also be no more pre-collections; instead, only two lines a year, and they wouldn’t be labelled “cruise, pre-fall, spring-summer [or] fall-winter”, as he believed those to be “stale and underfed words”.

Bottega Veneta followed suit, ditching the traditional model in favour of showing off-schedule shows in locations outside of the trifecta of major fashion weeks (it traditionally showed at Milan Fashion Week). The heritage label unveiled its spring/summer 2022 collection in a theatre in Detroit in October last year. 

While progress is clear, albeit incremental, Gold is clear that the mental health ramifications of trying to keep up appearances are draining. “Mentally, trying to keep on top of what’s hot, what’s not, has had a negative impact on my mental health. I’ve become depressed and drained by thinking about trends that are out of my usual ‘style’.”

Ari shares her sentiment. “I have definitely fallen victim to a lot of micro-trends in the past and have felt pressured to dress and look like what is currently popular but have realised the importance of personal style over the years,” she adds.

The cultivation of personal style is, in Ari’s opinion, the key to avoiding the pressure of fast fashion trends. Find out what you like, what you don’t like; what suits you, what doesn’t suit you, and work from there.

“My hope is that, since overconsumption and short trend cycles are at an all-time high currently, things will change and people will start dressing how they want to, rather than how they think they should,” Ari concedes. 

Images: courtesy of @moxeb and Lisa Says Gah.