Croc-a-doodle Doo

From food to fashion, here’s what’s trending in the Year of the Rooster.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
From food to fashion, here’s what’s trending in the Year of the Rooster.
My Reading Room

They call it the zeitgeist – the ideals and beliefs that motivate society at a period in history.

Our beliefs and collective mood are reflected in the things we wear, eat, say and do. Think the collective comfort we found in Birkenstocks, the way we all drooled over the nourishing beauty of smoothie bowls and the desire we all have to take a digital detox.

To survive the constant tide of change, brands pay big bucks to forecasting agencies whose job it is to anticipate the next trends. Unlike fortune tellers, forecasters don’t sit in dark, incense-filled rooms and wave their hands around a crystal ball (OK, some might!) but they do use high-tech algorithms and trawl through history books in order to predict the next big thing. They then package these up and sell them to the biggest fashion houses, corporate marketers, policy advisors and financial institutions.

We talked to experts to ensure you’re one croc-shaped step ahead of the curve in 2017.

Crocs? Say what?

Yup. Crocs, the footwear of choice for nurses on night shift and aunties in wet markets, is expected to finally have its day this coming year. Fashion forecasters say the next ugly-cool shoe following the Birkenstock boom is likely the comfy rubber sandals. “Blame sartorial irony, blame the current demand for function over form, blame the downright sarcasm of the fashion industry, blame whoever you want – and then buy into it,” says the fashion authority.

Staff on the fashion retail forecasting team also predict floaty dresses, no shorter than mid-calf and with statement sleeves; washed-out, dishevelled and asymmetric denim; twee gingham; and boxy, shiny, ’80s statement pieces. They even predict the rise of the single earring. 

This year, prepare
to wear Gingham
dresses and eat
cake for
This year, prepare to wear Gingham dresses and eat cake for breakfast.

The celebs we follow on Instagram and Snapchat will continue to influence the way we speak (and caption our pics). 

Food fads

So what will you be eating when you seat your metallic pants and oversized boxy denim jacket down to brunch in 2017?

Sterling Rice Group, an American brand-building firm specialising in consumer insights, predicts that we’ll be eating cake for breakfast – yay! Oh, and more soy, chickpeas, legumes, and fungi than meat – yay?

Protein and omega-rich sardines are also due their year in the limelight, and the hippest joints will be serving even more international fusions – think banh mi bagels and ramen baos.

Slang thang

When you’re Insta-styling your brunch, you may find yourself losing the “100” emoji and adopt more acronyms like GOAT (“greatest of all time”). Skidmore Studio studies millennial behaviour and language on behalf of their marketing clients and thinks we’ll continue to drop unnecessary letters from words, such as “rn” (right now), or “smh” (shaking my head). We’ll also attribute new, completely different meanings to words, like how we say “zero chill” when we mean reckless behaviour, and refer to our friends/squad as “kaki” (which actually means “feet” in Malay – go figure).

The celebs we follow on Instagram and Snapchat will continue to influence the way we speak (and caption our pics). As always, social media will give rise to and feed the celebrity beast. Those who give us something to gossip about by pasting themselves all over our social media feeds will continue to grow in influence offline as well – they might not have enough time between snaps to release new films or albums, but they’ll pick up brand endorsements and guest appearances.

Peeps of note

The child performers who are now adult superstars who rule Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, such as Biebs, Tay and Selena, will continue to rule in 2017. Closer to home, we’ll continue to look up to Singapore-based social influencers who seem to live the most balanced, yet adventurous and aesthetically pleasing lives, like yogini/brand ambassador Liv Lo (@livlo) and travel- junkie/fashionista Andrea Chong (@dreachong). We’ll also be falling head over heels for the unconventionally handsome male leads of 2017’s biggest films, Andrew Garfield (Silence), Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2) and Slumdog Millionaire’s Dev Patel (Lion).

Sadly, we’ll be seeing less of @barackobama, as we’ve got a whole new family of political Instaspammers to follow in 2017. The daily musings and movements of Trump’s youngest daughter Tiffany (@tiffanytrump), an aspiring model and popstar, and his current wife Melania, will no doubt be all over our feeds, magazine covers and headline news for the next four years, whether we like it or not.

The tense mood in America following the election is likely to carry on following Trump’s inauguration in January, and greatly influence the global zeitgeist of 2017. Gender and racial equality will be a top priority in the list of millennials’ concerns and the media agenda across the world.

Oh no, so YOLO

Ernst and Young’s recent poll of 18 to 34 year olds by the Economic Innovation Group, conducted in June 2016, found we are deeply worried about the state of the future.

The high cost of living has people under 30 living at home for longer, and yet still struggling to put together a nest egg as they scramble up the career ladder.

Despite the romanticism of start-up culture, many now know that owning your own business involves a lot of blood, sweat and tears, and that risk of failure and bankruptcy is depressingly high.

It seems that when everything grown-up seems so hard and unattainable, the best way to stay sane is to order a beautifully presented plate of haloumi and a matcha latte... and maybe book a oneway ticket to the see world because #YOLO (use this while you still can – it’s not going to be around too much longer). 

Big Names in 2017

Dev Patel
Selena Gomez Tiffany Trump Justin Bieber Dev Patel
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