The trend-spotters handbook

Trends that did (and still do)

Adultescent/kidults: 20 and 30-somethings who refuse to grow up and settle down.

Bobos/fauxhemians: grown-ups with mainstream jobs getting into alternative or bourgeois bohemian culture.

Downshifting: reorganising your life for the sake of better quality of living, going from high-profile urban job to living by the beach and working part-time.

E-Commerce: some of it worked, some didn't. internet grocery shopping never took off in a big way but auctions sites such as TradeMe.co.nz are changing the way New Zealand does retail.

Faux-lesbian chic: apparently there's nothing cooler than heterosexual women having a close girlfriend and, when drunk, embracing her in public. Driven by celebrity behaviour and weekly gossip magazines, small outbreaks in New Zealand's urban centres have been noted.

Globesity: around the world, everyone's getting fatter and New Zealanders are, too.

Krumping: an energetic form of hip-hop dancing, as seen on music videos by the likes of Missy Elliott and the Black Eyed Peas. So energetic that we're unlikely to see it happening in Ponsonby Rd bars anytime soon.

Mini-preneur/home-preneur: people creating small businesses at home. If TradeMe.co.nz traders are anything to go by, this trend is here to stay.

Organic Eating: noticed that the organic food section at your local supermarket is getting bigger?

Scepticism: nobody really believes the hype anymore.

Smirting: nothing new. Office workers have always flirted over a cigarette.

Social networking: using the internet to connect networks of people. Ask any nearby youth whether they're on Friendster.com or MySpace.com and you'll see.

Urban tribes: the groups created when urban dwellers form a large social network. See shows such as Friends, Sex and the City or the Story Of Us for details. 

Trends that didn't (at least, not in New Zealand) 

Botox party: one of the most dubious trends ever reported on in this country. Botox parties only happened because someone from the telly wanted to film one.

Cocktail culture: although Wellington bartenders continue to engage in cocktail-offs, that whole swing dancing, martini-swilling thing — a la Swingers the movie — never really took off here.

Cocooning: people are still leaving their houses.

Flash mobs: where a crowd is summoned, appears suddenly, then leaves just as quickly. Maybe as a protest or just for a bit of anarchic fun. Ever seen one? Didn't think so.

Living apart together: when a couple live in separate residences. Know anyone like this? Didn't think so.

Metrosexuals and manity: Although local blokes might be convinced to use moisturiser and conditioner every now and then, they're not ready for the boyzilian (a Brazilian for males) quite yet.

Paperless office: there is still an awful lot of paper in most offices.

Pre-marriage counselling: the Family Court will send you for counselling when it all goes horribly wrong but not a lot of New Zealanders are volunteering to pay beforehand. 

Coming right up (and the jury's still out) 

Blogs: slang for a weblog, which is basically like an online diary. Often they're based around certain subjects (for instance, trend spotting). They've become an independent information source for all sorts of things, from news to music to nightclubs.

Contrasexual: a step up from the panthers and ladettes, Wordspy.com says a contrasexual is apparently a financially independent, confident woman whose aspirations defy convention and who does not make romantic relationships a priority.

Convergence: when all your gadgets — phone, camera, music, diary — become one and your handbag or briefcase gets a lot smaller.

Daddy-gap: where children relate better to their mothers than their fathers.

Gender blur: where men and women are no longer treated separately by marketing and advertising agencies because of societal changes.

Generation C: C is for creative and this is about technology-savvy young consumers either producing their own content or having a say in what is made for them — also known as mass customisation.

Individualism: it's all about you, you, you. And you can do anything you like as long as its right for you. This also ties in with Generation C and what Trendwatching.com calls the You-niverse.

Life Caching: storing your life's memories and experiences, from holiday movies to snapshots to personal soundtracks, on your computer then sharing it with others online.

Mash culture: as the trendspotters at 18 in Auckland say, this means you no longer need to stick to just one clique or cultural cliche. For instance, you can go to a hip-hop gig one night and a rock'n'roll concert the next.

Maturialism: adults, who are fed up with the dumbed-down teen or tween culture, going for grown up experiences and products.

Shop Dropping: where artists or similarly alternative types purchase a product from a store then return it to the shelves later, with a slightly customised label that may bear an altogether darker or more humorous message.

 

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