Thursday, December 10, 2009

Stylewatchers! Want to Know What's 'IT' for 2010?

Want to know what 2010 will bring in terms of life & style? Sarj & I made our fearless forecast, published in the Philippine Star last week. In a nutshell, we think frugality and sensitivity will be the moods pervading in the air. After we saw people lose jobs, their homes and even their lives this past year, a reality check is in order.

But take note, there's nothing depressing about going back to basics. It just brings out the fighter in us. After all, wasn't it the feisty Mademoiselle Chanel who believed that "hard times arouse an instinctive desire for authenticity"?*


There’s no denying that The Great Recession has dampened everyone’s mood consumption-wise since December 2007.

While economic data points are looking at a recovery, it seems like the dark clouds from the recession of seasons past are still hovering over us and will continue to play a major part in influencing trends for 2010.

The difficult economic climate has definitely given us a big slap of reality and forced upon us a refresher course on austerity. Simply put, spending money like it’s going out of style — is now out of style. Frugality will dictate the way we live, eat, dress, work and play. It’s not so much about spending less, but spending smarter. It’s time to go back to basics, folks.

While we don’t claim to be experts in the trade of trend, we combined our resources, did our homework and put together a list of things we can look forward to, for what we hope will be a much better year ahead.

* * *


Green Living


What started as a buzzword has now become a lifestyle. We’ve all seen how nature has turned against us due to our wanton disruption of nature’s balance. While the main goal should be to minimize one’s carbon footprint and environmental impact, more people will now be living green thanks to (peer) pressure from enlightened family members, friends or work colleagues. Being green is becoming a key factor in the way we assess our purchases and how we live our lives.

Locavores/Farmers’ Markets/Grow Your Own Food/DIY (Do It Yourself)


Still in line with the concept of green/eco/sustainable living is the Locavore movement, which encourages consumers to buy from local farmers’ markets or grow and harvest their own food. Foods that need not travel far and instead, come straight from the source, are guaranteed fresh, taste better, are much cheaper, and healthier. It also means less fuel usage to transport goods and supports the business of local farmers.



CNN calls it the alternative to pricey, stressful travel. After all, how much does one have to spend on a vacation in one’s home or town? Soaring gas prices and the financial debacle have practically obliterated the average person’s disposable income. But that doesn’t mean one cannot take time out to relax and unwind, even if that means doing it within the comfort of one’s usual surroundings. As the saying goes, “Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.”


“Careful Chic”

(Style on a Shoestring by Andy Paige from

It means living life in style, but within one’s means. For those who can still afford life’s pleasures, that translates to toned-down luxury. People with means will definitely still be spending on luxe items, but the kind that equates to real, honest-to-goodness quality — like a perfectly battered pair of bespoke brogues, cashmere blankets that you can hand down to your children, super-soft worn-in jeans, a tailored jacket that will last you a lifetime or leather bags that get better with age.

Those who have less to shell out will spend smarter and choose the best of what they can afford — wising up and picking investment pieces that will go with everything, rather than just zeroing in on what’s hot or what’s “now.”

Borrowing from the Boys

(Church's brogues from

2009’s mannish trend will spill over to 2010. The Financial Times reports that women now realize the value of men’s investment buys with stores like John Lewis seeing a spike not only in sales of brogues, but also in small-sized men’s cardigans and shirts, as women seek more authentic “boyfriend” outfits.

Of course, it also makes perfect economic sense to share a closet with one’s man.

Girls, forget Mom’s closet. Raid your Dad’s!

Dressing for Comfort

(Isabel Marant from

When stylists and editors from all over came out in droves wearing nautical stripes during the spring 2010 shows, we knew they were onto something. It must be the revived interest in Coco Chanel (“ritzycling”), or the simple fact that striped tees or sweaters paired with a jacket give off an instant effortless, cool-girl vibe.

In a season of keeping it real, easy comfort dressing — as though you never spend time obsessing on what to wear — is the name of the game.

Flannel lumberjack shirts reminiscent of ’90s grunge paired with boyfriend jeans will make a comeback. Isabel Marant and Alexander Wang will reinvent the way we look at slouchy gray sweatpants and sweatshirts after getting them all sexy. Christophe Decarnin will continue to wield influence on the high street with his distressed tees, jeans and military-inspired looks for Balmain.

You will still be able to find shapeless shirts and generously cut dresses on racks in 2010. We may be tightening our belts, but we sure are going to keep our tops loose.

Gray Goods


The perfect metaphor for the prevailing mood of uncertainty, gray — and all other neutral tones — will continue to be our color(s) of choice.

Retail Revolution


Shopping becomes fresher and more exciting with pop-up shops and time-limited sales. The pop-up concept is a boon to landlords looking to lease vacant retail sites and labels not ready to commit to a brick-and-mortar existence. Time-limited sales have made online “outlets” or sample sale sites like RueLaLa, Gilt Groupe, HauteLook, Editor’s Closet, and Ideeli the latest venture-capital favorites.


A portmanteau of the words “mass” and “prestige.”

Wikipedia says that masstige products are defined as “premium but attainable,” and that there are two key tenets: (1) They are considered luxury or premium products and (2) They have price points that fill in the gap between mid-market and super-premium.

This is why designer collaborations have been (and will continue to be) so popular.

Diffusion lines allow us to be avant-garde on a budget, or luxe without having to pay top dollar. And don’t we all just love that?


Celebrity DJs

Jessica Stam, Agyness Deyn and Matt Creed are all doing it, with some of them getting paid thousands of dollars (for drawing in the right crowd), by simply bringing their iPods to the club scene.

Looks like the recession has made celebrities realize the value of having a sideline. Although seriously, it may be the voyeuristic appeal of knowing what these folks listen to that makes them a hot commodity these days. So hot, in fact, that Madonna’s current flame, Jesus Luz, is getting into the game (with Mama Madonna reportedly paying for his lessons).



TV’s latest feel-good smash hit is kitschy, kooky and (dare we say it?) downright cheesy. Times like these, it’s the perfect pick-me-up because it takes you back to “the good ol’ days” of high school — when we were all young, impressionable and carefree. It’s the guilty pleasure you just have to indulge, because watching Glee makes us all feel warm and fuzzy. Admit it, you’re a Gleek, too.

Flash mobs

It’s a harmless way to experiment with a new form of technology-enabled collective action. Mobbers like Improv Everywhere continue to amuse and bewilder people all over the world, and the debate continues whether the mass of people that stands out from the crowd is a form of performance art or a new social movement.

For some people, it’s all for fun. For others, it’s a means to socialize. For a few, it’s a political act. Whatever it means to various folks, it’s a silly stunt that’s meant to showcase what technology and a large group of people in sync can do.

It’s People Power, 21st-century version.

Twitter (a.k.a. microblogging)

Though not exactly addressing the Twitter phenomenon, famed trend forecaster Li Edelkoort’s words best describe our fascination with having 140 character-long exchanges: “We live apart and want to be together. We want to come together and meet. We want real relations.”

Friends are made, alliances formed and enemies encountered — all via Twitter. And you can make all those relationships “real” via what has come to be known as a “Tweetup.”

Utilized by all for every single bit of information imaginable — from drivel and gossip to real-time store announcements, promos, political issues, disaster relief efforts, contests, NASA missions, etc. — users are simply addicted because of everyone’s inherent desire to be connected and share information instantly. Everyone wants to be in the loop, and no one wants to be left out.

For breaking news, many turn to Twitter, as opposed to traditional news sites, to get the most real-time information. According to New York-based consumer research firm Zandl Group, "Everyone’s thinking in headlines these days. There’s less up-front emphasis on content or details."

Girl Power

(from Vogue US)

With a fashionably fierce First Lady in the White House, a fearless first-ever Hispanic justice in the US Supreme Court and an indefatigable Secretary of State representing the Free World (and by extension, us all), we hope for more well-intentioned women to ascend into positions of authority. It’s about time.

* * *

At a 2007 trend conference in London, Timo Veikkola, the senior future strategist for Nokia’s consumer trends team, predicted that as we enter 2010, we will be heading into a decade of optimism — how very apropos.

Here’s hoping things do take a turn for the better next year. So that decades from now, we can all look back, feel good and say to ourselves, “Those were good times.”

*From Karen Karbo's The Gospel According to Coco Chanel


Unknown said...

but of course, glee. =)

Anonymous said...

hi there,
i love your blog but didn't these things already happen in 2008-2009? :)

cd_mfo said...

So, you're a Gleek too Betz! Yay!

Hi Anon, yup! In fact, for my mom, she has been practicing green living since the late 80s/early 90s. But back in 2008-2009, these were mere buzzwords, not really lifestyle changes. It takes a while for an idea to really catch on, just as actors/actresses deemed overnight successes really happen to be working for years before achieving critical acclaim and getting recognized. You may be an early adapter, but for most people out there, this is what's going to be IT. It's a reaction to the recession/forces of nature that happened in previous years, as such, there is plenty of spillover to expect, the results of which will probably linger for years.

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