The Circle of Trends

It’s inevitable, isn’t it? Things come into fashion, hang around for a while and then disappear, only to reappear a couple of decades later and suddenly they are a whole “new” trend. Except they aren’t all that new because they are on their second or even third go-aorund.

Liked flared pants. Hipster pants and the combo of flared hipster pants. In the 60s, flares were called bell-bottoms and by the 70s had also dropped from standard waist to  a version of the hipster style. In the mid to late 2000s they made a comeback and the teens of that generation thought they were “new”! Ditto multiple ear piercings and earrings on boys. Sorry kids, but it had all been done around 30 years before.

But what prompted me to write about this now is a small item I spotted in the back pages of one of the Sunday newspapers; an influencer/fashionista type (male, but I can’t remember his name) had commented on a “new” hair look where women are highlighting their faux fringes and side tendrils blonde. It was the accompanying photo that got my attention though, because this was also a major fashion trend back in the 70s.  Along with the flares and the earrings…

It was so popular that pretty much every second girl you saw was sporting this look, and it did look good. No matter what their actual hair colour, the blonde fringe and side tendrils (if you wanted them done too) looked very cool. Even curly-haired girls could get away with this one.  Then came the spray-on colour and one innovative classmate of mine turned up at school one morning with her fringe sprayed silver! it got a few frowns from the nuns, but they settled down once she revealed it would brush out.  But it was a nice variation on blonde. But even girls with blonde hair did the blond fringe thingy, they had theirs bleached to frosty white!

So, it’s not a new trend at all, despite the influencer/fashionista guy believing it is.  It’s just a look that has re-emerged after 40 years and those of us who  remember when this look first hit the streets are probably like “Oh my god! I remember that! I even did this look for at least a year!” It was really popular with teenaged girls back then.

But every time an old trend has a rebirth with a new generation, the newbies think they have done it first and that their parents wouldn’t have a clue. Oh but we do! Today’s skinny jeans were called “cigarette leg” (not to be confused with the straight leg) jeans a few decades ago and we wore them with killer heels, flashy belts (which were only for show because there was no way in hell those jeans were going to fall down) and 80s hair.  All the coolest jeans labels did a “cigarette” version in pale faded denim and they were the hottest look in cool  for a while there.

Some looks though never seem to go away completely and one that has endured through the decades is the hippy look. Called boho now, this colourful, pastel, floral array of floaty garments in natural cottons and other organic fibres has remained faithful to its alternative looks and styles and is very popular in trendy coastal locations and doesn’t appear to be age-based. Anyone can wear boho and look good in it and for many wafting around in it now, it’s a look they have carried with them from the heady days of Woodstock and The Summer of Love.  It looked really good with the blonde fringe thingy too.

Which has found its way back into fashion after all this time.





Designer? No. Crossbred.

Since when have crossbred puppies cost four figures?

Well, probably since some savvy breeder ended up with an accidental litter of crossbreeds, saw how cute they were, and opted to make a killing, financially, via a cutesy name and some clever marketing to make it look like a deliberate creation of a whole new breed.

Except they’re not. Nor are they “designer”. They are a cross between two completely different breeds and while the purebred puppies are entitled to their price tag, within reason, the crossbreds are really not.

That’s not to say they are not entitled to a loving home and a happy life. Of course they are. That should be the life of every animal, but to call these little crosses Cavoodles and Moodles and Labradoodles (just to name three) attach an exorbitant price tag, and con people into thinking they have just paid a small fortune for something unique, is plainly and simply a rip-off.

I’m not blaming the puppies here. Most of these crosses are really cute. It’s the “designer” dog breeders who are big-time snout-in-the-trough who give me the you-know-whats, turning out crossbred puppies in extraordinary numbers and charging over the top prices for them. If anything is going to encourage backyard puppy farms popping up all over the place, it would have to be the “designer” breeders. Especially if they can get away with selling the puppies off at thousands of dollars a pup.

And why am I having this conversation? Because of the recent reports of “designer” puppies being suddenly in high demand by people cooped up at home, as a result of the pandemic, suddenly deciding they want a companion. A dog would be nice. Preferably a French Bulldog (the current trendy breed) or one of those crossbred designer puppies. Either will look good in social media posts and will be a cute distraction from the four walls.

I just hope they realise they are responsible for that puppy’s health and wellbeing for the length of its life. Pet ownership is a long term commitment, not a short term distraction to keep its owner entertained for a few months while in lockdown.

Anyway, French Bulldogs can go from anywhere between $6000 to $15,000 each. A Moodle (Maltese x Poodle) is $6000 plus, ditto a Cavoodle (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel x Poodle). Thing is, if a Moodle was advertised for sale for what it really is, a Maltese/Poodle cross, that price tag would get laughed out of town because people would rightly conclude that a crossbred puppy, no matter how cute, was not worth six grand! But if it’s called a Moodle, a Designer Puppy… I know, right? Some people have far more money than sense. And probably shouldn’t be allowed to own a dog.

Once upon a time though, it was whichever purebred dog was the current status symbol that fetched a ridiculous price and unfortunately, many got dumped in pounds and shelters when they went out of fashion, to make room for the next hot breed puppy. But now it’s Designer (mix-breed) puppies that are all the rage.

But if people are really genuine about taking on a canine companion, why not visit one of the animal shelters that have many, many puppies and adult dogs just crying out for a forever home. They could have their pick of the number of purebred and crossbred (okay, maybe not the current “designer”) dogs, and there are some truly beautiful animals there who would love to be someone’s lifetime companion. And they are also a lot more affordable than the little fashion accessories mentioned above. There is nothing wrong with shelter dogs, other than they have been surrendered for whatever reason; their owner had to move away, or died, or had to move from a house to a flat. Or just lost interest in caring for a pet. And it’s sad. But equally sad are the “designer” puppies, whose status as a fashion accessory can drop as quickly as it began, when the next new “designer” cross replaces them.

Some people don’t deserve to have a pet.