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  • Writer's pictureAlice Thomas

People's reaction to a trend (Laver's Law)

Updated: Mar 6

James Laver's Taste and Fashion, first published in 1937, explains how people's reception of fashion evolves over time.

"Thierry Mugler, COUTURISSIME" for d-fragment.it

Laver's Law is a theory that describes the perception and progression of Fashion over time. It states that when a fashion (style, trend) is first introduced, it is considered novel and may not be widely accepted.


Over time, it is gradually recognised and becomes more mainstream. However, eventually, it becomes passé and is rejected by the fashion industry and the public. It is not until after a significant amount of time has passed - roughly 150 years - that the now-gone fashion (style, trend) is once again considered beautiful and desirable.


It's an original way to think about the ever-changing nature of Fashion and the cycles of acceptance and rejection that define it.


"Thierry Mugler, COUTURISSIME", Photograph by Christiana Breier


"Thierry Mugler, COUTURISSIME" for d-fragment.it

The 12 adjectives defining Laver's law are as follow:

I. Indecent - 10 years before its time

II. Shameless - 5 years before its time

III. Outré (Daring) - 1 year before its time

IV. Smart - 'Current Fashion'

V. Dowdy - 1 year after its time

VI. Hideous - 10 years after its time

VII. Ridiculous - 20 years after its time

VIII. Amusing - 30 years after its time

IX. Quaint - 50 years after its time

X. Charming - 70 years after its time

XI. Romantic - 100 years after its time

XII. Beautiful - 150 years after its time


"Thierry Mugler, COUTURISSIME", Photograph by Christiana Breier


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