Fashion statement: Live-streamed shows, blogs, Posh Spice: a lot has changed in five years

 

Things change quickly in fashion. Recurring trends come round without warning; they are a way of telling the time. (Like florals for spring: don't forget to look yours out now the sun is shining.) Faddish fixes stage fly-by-night coups – witness this season's neon beanie, which burnt so bright at fashion week it practically set itself on fire.

But there are also styles that we never, ever want to stop wearing, such as the safe and sensible minimalism that has ebbed around the catwalks for nigh on the past five years. It was there at Jil Sander last month, slit and banded with gold, and at Céline last week, where affectionate coats hugged the wearer with their empty sleeves. But fashion is always changing. When I came to The Independent five years ago, no one live-streamed their shows – they were the domain of the fashion editor and the buyer; masques for the Royal Household. But now, they are global spectacles, ever since Nick Knight broadcast Alexander McQueen's spring 2010 collection and the internet broke under the weight of popular interest.

Five years ago, bloggers wrote contraband commentary from behind enemy lines, rather than taking pictures of themselves for a living. Five years ago, Posh Spice was taking LA by storm in a sexy bandage dress – now she designs chic clothes on sale in Harvey Nics. A lot can happen in five years.

Just before I started at The Independent, Burberry launched its Warrior bag: £13,000 worth of metallic livery, exotic skins, studs and bling. Three months later, Lehman Brothers went bust during London Fashion Week and the swimming pools of empty subprime properties turned stagnant in the American Dust Bowl. Things have picked up since then – at least, we hope they have. Life, like fashion, needs detoxing and rewiring, freshening up and calming down. Every season in fashion is optimistic and exciting – it is a metonymy for new beginnings. And this spring, five years on, I'm embarking on mine. Thank you for reading.

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