Monday, January 9, 2017

Linked Tile - Where Did This Come From?

"Moroccan", "Linked Tile", or "Lattice" - this pattern has suddenly sprung up all over the place.
I am always amused and suspicious when I see a new trend suddenly pop up without fanfare or warning.   And usually, since I shop at Wal-Mart, I don't see these trends until they trickle down to that level.   A friend of ours gives us old "home" type magazines with odd titles like Ostentatious Bathroom, or Veranda, or Traditional House - the latter being anything but traditional.  Often the rooms are decorated with complicated clutter and look very cold, sterile, and unlivable - which they often are, as their stock-broker owners are rarely there, since they own six other homes.

But in these magazines (which are a year old) you see the trend starting at the upper-end segment - interior decorators who buy from stores that sell "only to the trade" and not to the general public.   Five years ago, I am sure, Linked Tile was a big deal, now it is on sale at Wal-Mart.

It is like how today everyone wants their walls and even outside of their houses painted grey.  Ten years ago it was oatmeal.  A decade before that, a yellowish off-white, and before that, god-knows-what.  We follow these trends like Lemmings off a cliff (which is supposedly an urban legend, but still a good metaphor).

Like the scene in Devil Wears Prada, someone somewhere decides for us what the next trend will be in colors, patterns, and styles.   Over the months and years, it trickles down to us plebes who find it in the bargain basement bins.   Remember the brief trend for metallic orange cars a few years ago?  That came and went.  I thought I was original buying not one, but two slate blue cars - but they are everywhere nowadays.

Meryl Streep explains very cleverly how fashion affects our lives, even if we are not fashionistas!

What we think are original choices of our own are really just selections we make from limited menus prepared by others.  As I noted before, one reason I left Facebook was that I felt it was like playing a piano with only four keys.   You may think you are being terribly clever and creative with your Facebook pages, but odds are, what you post is basically one of a limited number of selections - trends - on the menu.  Very little of what we do is original.

So it makes me chuckle when I see these pillows, shower curtains, upholstery fabrics, sweaters, rugs, blankets, and whatnot, all seeming to appear, magically, overnight, at every store I go to, every online shop I visit, and every tattered worn copy of a home fashion magazine I see.  Somewhere, at some point in time, there was a meeting in a room somewhere (likely New York City) where "Linked Tile" was anointed as the "Next Big Thing!"

Of course, by now, it is yesterday's news as plebes like me are starting to notice it.   No doubt it was the hit of fashion week several years ago and was in all the "collections".   You and I, of course, never noticed it, like we don't notice any trend, until one day we see it at the store and think we are being original by purchasing it.

Of course one problem with this model, is that while it brings us new and exciting (we hope) designs that make our dreary lives more livable, today's trend is tomorrow's has-been.  So we spend all this money to be trendy, when in fact, by the time we buy it, it is already its way out.   So we throw away perfectly good things for being out of style.

I was in Atlanta the other day - what passes in Georgia for the Big City - sort of an oversized Syracuse.   A trendy city friend mocked my shorts, saying, "No one wears pleats anymore!"   And oddly enough, I had never even noticed or thought of, the fact these shorts had pleats in them - or really cared, for that matter.

It has become, since then, a standing joke with us, "No one wears pleats anymore!"

Oh, but they will, just you wait and see.   All this shit goes out of style and them comes right back in, just about the time you sent your pleated shorts off to St. Vincent DePaul!