We all remember our first time, we were probably slightly nervous. Didn’t had a clue what to expect or our expectations were so high out of the roof that or nerves followed them to the moon and back. Afterwards most of us thought, “was this it?”, we discovered that with more experience more pleasure came. For one reason we always establish a connection with physical pleasure when talking about first times, but there is so much more virginity to loose. Yesterday I lost my virginity to Lidewij Edelkoort and it was imposing…

I am not necessarily focused on Fashion or Design, not at all to be honest. Those who know me, know that I am more of a Consumer Trend Expert, that I am focused on value shifts and social innovation rather than anything else. I am always searching for the human in trends, for the underlying values rather than the physical outcome in colors, textiles or materials.

Nonetheless do I think having knowledge in these areas, strengthen my overall knowledge and judgement in my own areas. So that is why I lost my virginity to Lidewij Edelkoort’s seminars yesterday. Some might think I should be ashamed as a trendwriter for TrendTablet, I never saw a seminar before, but sometimes things take time.

But with a first time, the nervous and excitement come back, although I had no expectations this time, simply because I really had no clue what to expect. So that is how I entered Theater Meervaart in Amsterdam in the morning to start with a lovely brunch and a good cup of coffee, while holding my treasure of the day firm in my hand. Yes, I scored my first white canvas topper, which is known as Lidewij’s Trendbook, handed out with every seminar she gives.

A black screen with only TREND UNION accompanied the beautiful flower arrangments on the empty stage while everybody slowly found a place to sit. A visual recap of last seminar, anti-fashion, forced the audience to pay attention and focus on what was about to take place. After a short introduction by Appeltizer’s Maureen, the Guru of Fashion Trends took over the stage, the one and only Lidewij Edelkoort with the latest talk “The Labour of Love”?

The first words she said was, “you just saw a recap of last trend focus on the catwalk, with my music which makes it spectacular”, lovely immodest, just the way I like it. To be honest, the music was incredible, so she wasn’t exagerating. Li’s seminars have a standard structure, which is her vision on new season’s colors, a visual highlight with images and music, the explanation of what audience saw, and finally she zooms in on a specific part of fashion/design, this time activewear.

I won’t tell to much regarding the content of the seminar as there are some more to come and it would be quiet disrespect full to tell all the in and out’s already. What I can tell you is that “The retreat of Black” isn’t over yet, that our society is seeking for lighting and that we all focus on “Let there be light”. It can come as a surprise that White will be the new focus for upcoming season.

White as Uniformal, Ancient, Romatic, and Nomadic. White as Clinical, Pragmatic, Graphic or Explosive. Everthing will be combined with “A whiff of white”. The tone of the day was set, and while my head was processing it all, trying to find connections with trend subjects on consumer level, the visual treat of the day started. Stunning images accompanied with touching music gave me goosebumps.

Although Li does not go into the underlying society trends that support her choices and vision, she gives a sneap preview of the things that are happening that are of direct influence on the shift in perception in fashion and Design. The shift in the vision of young professionals, who are buying old factories to revive old crafts. Designers that review materials and machines to let them fit into current Zeitgeist or the fact that production labour is coming back home. Lastly the reviving the meaning of work that makes us value our passion more than ever before.

After a hard needed break Li took this vision and zoomed in on the active wear branche this time. Again stunning images, and again she told about materials, colors and texture. A few questions were asked and that is when the seminar was rounded up with drinks and bites.

It was a blast to have experienced it once myself, also to see that this trend seminar is a totally different story then how I am used to give or receive trend talks. For my liking I would have wanted to know more regarding the substantiations of the vision Lidewij developed for the new season. I dare to say that Li is a intuative trendresearcher and therefore more focussed on the outcome than the foundation of shifts. Moreover, I believe fashion is to fast to really be based on big sociatal shifts, as the new seasons follow up on eachother way too fast to really ground them.

For the main target audience Li’s story is clear enough, someone once said she is so abstract but I thought she was pretty clear, she tells what colors, what patterns, what texture. My expectation is that it is exactly that, most people in the audience want to hear. Moreover, I don’t think that they are so much worried about the why, as long as they know the what.

One big question that still arise everytime I think about Trend Union and therewith Lidewij Edelkoort. Before I pose my problem posing, let me get clear, I absolutely respect the lady. She worked very hard and still does, she made a difference in the fashion and design world and I truly believe she works from a good heart. That said, I do wonder what would happen if Li would make her prognose, put it in a safe, throw the key away till after the season and then show us what she saw would happen. People don’t realize how big of an influence she is on the industry sometimes, so who is in for that challenge?

Afb-labour-112801400_1012349322144558_40683201869200267_nPictures by Appletizer