Trends and Portland

By: Samantha

The film, “Merchants of Cool” sparked an interest in me. It made me think of just how different Portland is, when it comes to trends and culture. I facilitated the discussion last Monday with Morgan. We asked our mentor session how many trends they participated in that they can recall in their entire life. Many were very firm in the fact that they don’t like to follow trends. Some also said that they acted in the opposite manner; that when a trend comes around, they do the exact opposite of what the trend says is “cool”.

That seems to be a complete 180 degrees from what the majority does.  My classmates seemed almost adamant that they were not mindless trend followers. I got to thinking about it, and that is how most of Portland is: being adamant about not succumbing to trends – but when it really boils down to it, they’re creating and are part of a trend themselves.  I find that ironic, how so many people can be so fiercely against trends, but while doing so, form a trend of non-conformity. It can get complicated when one thinks about the meaning of words, because people who don’t want to conform end up conforming to a non-conformist trend. To me, that just seems like too much trouble.

Many Portlanders seem to go against the grain even if they like a certain trend. It seems to me that in Portland especially it is frowned upon to follow fashion, unlike the majority of the rest of the United States. It appears that even though people claim to not be a follower of the trends, they are just trying to fit in with their surroundings. In this case, it’s the hipster view of “trends are for conformists and unoriginal people”. So really, it defeats the point.

Here are some of the trends (leggings, plaid, skinny jeans) my mentor class claimed to not follow:

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