Though I mainly speak of design (specifically Graphic Design) in this post, I feel the same attitude in style, film and fashion.
How important are trends in design.
Trends are at most the least substantial element in any sort of design - be it in graphic design or film or fashion design. Trends are back-rubbers. They make people warm up to the idea/message simply by clothing them in fashions that the viewers/audiences are used to and consider cool.
You might say that the end to design is to communicate, and there isn't a right or wrong way as long as that communication is acheieved. And if trends are helping communicate the message, then it should be embraced wholeheartedly.
Probably. But again, I find trends as the lazy shortcut way. There was a time when everything was grunge. And now everything is hipster. I breathe a relief when I see something done in a non-trendy way but still look sharp and well designed - and even borrowed from past trends (atleast the designer hasn't taken the short cut way but gone a bit of an extra mile to find out what was trendy in the past to make use of it). Its not short cut. It has been thought through. The message has been respected and treated with respect. The message you have is your daughter and if you want her looking like just the other girl off the street, who wears peach when Sarah Jessica Parker does, who wears the corduroys when Alexa Chung is spotted in Soho sporting one, then you have no respect for your daughter. You should want your daughter to speak for herself, to let her choose what she wants to wear, and what she thinks best expresses who she thinks she is.
That is a highly dramatized picture of the message the designer as daughter and father, but the idea is pretty much the same to me.
Trends annoy me. And I admit sometimes I find myself buying into them, often unknowingly and some times even knowingly. Nothing wrong with being trendy in design. But what annoys me is how everyone is trying to please everyone and that is what is resulting in everything being designed in Gotham or Helvetica or in hipster triangles and so on.
Graphic design is so sold out to people buying it.
But again, isn't graphic design just that? Being sold out? Communicating. Being warm and friendly so that one and all may listen. Putting on a smiley face even in a rainy day so that your customers will feel welcomed?
Trends are to be watched. But not followed like religion. I think our religion of design should be on some things more substantial than the shifting shaky trend.
I have no respect for you if two years ago you couldn't design anything but grunge and heavy metal, and now you're all hipster and 'cool' and organic and two years down the line you become so urban disco that everything becomes metallic platinum. It shows what kind of person you are. Shifting like the sea, bent by every wind.