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In Her Own Fashion

By Karen Moller

Have you ever wondered how it must have felt--I mean to have touched, smelled, sensed the impressionist implosions in the mind--to have lived and taken part in the last cultural revolution of the Twentieth century? I mean of course the Swinging Sixties and Seventies, particularly in London, the heart of hippie fashion, poetry, pop music, sexual and feminist movements--then this memoir of a highly successful fashion designer and consultant will interest you.

It is first-person gallop through London, Paris, New York, San Francisco, with plenty of insider hanging out and anecdotes with the artists and fashion people she met along the way. It is also the story of her incredible achievement within the fashion world, both as a textile design and trend forecaster for her Paris styling office Trend Union that was named by Time Magazine as the best fashion forecaster.


Fashion is so subject to, well, fashion that the idea of setting up a think-tank to predict what will be happening to it in the future might seem a doomed enterprise.

However, unknown to the vast majority of clothes buyers, such soothsayers do exist. One of the leading players in this inexact art is Trend Union, a Paris-based team of fashion industry professionals who get together twice a year to publish a score of limited-edition books that aim to identify major trends and to guide couturiers, designers and producers of accessories and cosmetics as to what will be in and out two or more years' hence.

The series of books, each volume of which covers a specific area of fashion, such as general trends, fabrics, colors, patterns, textures, newly available fabrics from Japan and, most recently, sportswear, contain a wide range of images and samples of textiles, and cost around 10,000 French francs ($1,800) each.

One of the founder members of Trend Union, which was launched in 1984, is Canadian-born Karen Moller. Having studied dress design, she opened her own boutique in Hampstead in London in 1964 as an outlet for her own creations. Faced with a dearth of interesting fabrics, she took to designing her own, and went into this full time in 1969. She now divides her time between her house in Paris, her apartment in Venice and travel further afield.

Trend Union's books circulate in the upper echelons of the industry, did Moller think that they actually influenced the way that fashion went?

"No, I don't believe we're really setting trends, but more trying to reflect the direction of public taste, and indicate to designers emerging trends and what is available for them to work with," said Moller.

While believing that keeping a close watch on the public pulse is usually the best way to predict which way fashion will be going in the near future, Moller said that, from time to time, designers do come up with wacky innovations whose appeal is difficult to anticipate."At the moment we are in a dull moment, with a lot of blacks, grays, beiges. There's virtually no color. But I think this austerity, these pale Zen colors are going to be with us a long time, even in summer when you would expect a bit more color.

Herald Tribune--by Roderick Conway Morris


Where are the design superstars now?

“Karen Moller looks like a girl movies are made of. Underneath her fashionable curls is a highly disciplined print designer with a strong entrepreneurial streak. It is impossible to pin her down or define her style but it has all the wit and exuberance of the London look without the exaggerated eccentricities.”

-The Ambassador London

 

cultural revolution of the Twentieth century? I mean of course the Swinging Sixties and Seventies, particularly in London, the heart of hippie fashion, poetry, pop music, sexual and feminist movements--then this memoir of a highly successful fashion designer and consultant will interest you. It is first-person gallop through London, Paris, New York, San Francisco, with plenty of insider hanging out and anecdotes with the artists and fashion people she that she met along the way.