Trend Anticipation

by Phoebe Maltz Bovy
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Minty Monday Mani

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Rachel Hodin at Into The Gloss declares delicate jewelry so last season:

As someone who’s skilled in the art of falling (and then breaking those falls with her hands), a change from the popular dainty ring scenario feels in order. However, it wasn’t until I stumbled on Erin Wasson’s Instagram (“stumbled” being an exalted term for my stalking habits these days) that I could finally visualize it: thick gold rings. Paired with nothing more than plain pants and a basic white tee, Erin’s ring game looks fresh in comparison to ‘gram upon ‘gram of dainty finger stacks (though it’s probably mostly vintage).

This is a real shame, because the dainty rings Hodin finds insufficiently “fresh” are much prettier than the clunky ones that barely manage to work on Erin Wasson, the model-about-town wearing them. While I’m not super into rings myself, and only wear the ones that may cause others to question my feminist principles, for other jewelry, or jewelry on other people, I suppose I’m Team Dainty. But that is not our principle concern.

So, back to Hodin: The ‘grams in question refer not (just) to the weight of a really tiny ring, but to Instagram. As every last Dish reader surely knows, for some time now, all the fashion-blogger-types were posting pictures of themselves with dainty rings, sometimes stacked, often worn in addition to wedding and engagement rings. Sometimes worn, bafflingly, at the knuckle. (How do those stay on? Answer, from the infinitely stylish Garance Doré: They don’t.) This was the look of 2013, which explains why, in 2014, the NYT style pages have announced that dainty is so very now. As has Forbes.

A cynic would consider the possibility that someone trying to sell clunky rings has PR’d said jewelry onto Wasson, hoping that enough shots of this edgy-gorgeous woman glaring, smoking, and giving the finger in a certain sort of ring would convince us plebs to go out and buy the same kind of ring. (Learned the hard way: Just because a look works on Alexa Chung, it may not work on you. Presumably this principle carries over to models and it-girls more generally.) But of course something along those lines must have been what brought us delicate rings as a thing. Still, that something is being marketed to us doesn’t mean it’s not appealing in its own right.

What was so brilliant about this ITG post was its timing. “Delicate” has been the thing for quite some time, which explains why the notoriously late-to-the-game NYT style pates only just now took notice. The NYT pieces suggest a knuckle-ringed finger to the pulse, but for whatever reason (a stodgy editorial process?), they’ve arrived once the moment’s over. That, or their arrival means that the moment’s over.

All of which gets us to the secret formula of trend anticipation. It involves identifying current trends once they’ve reached their peak and declaring the opposite look the hot new thing. Has the NYT discovered skinny jeans? Mom jeans are the thing. They just feel fresh.

While trend anticipation skills probably do have some financial use I have yet to harness, they don’t by any means need to determine our own sartorial choices. I will leave mom jeans and enormous gold rings to those at the cutting edge, and will stick with daintier denim and accessory options for my own trips to such glamorous places as the Wegmans parking lot.