Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Dating Yourself With Trends

Before I touch on this, watch this horrifically awesome video. I have to say that I love John Waite and I love this song, but the video itself is pure...something. But it makes a point...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXx19Gy03a4

(Okay, I just watched the whole thing. Wow. And can someone please explain who the person is who shows up for two seconds at 3:27 and isn't in the video at all the rest of the time? A "dancer" who got fired, maybe?)

My point with that video is that some things are so totally, completely, thoroughly identifiable as coming from a certain era that there's no mistaking them for anything else.

This had everything that I identify as 1980's rock in it...The checkerboard (which shouldn't be used by anybody other than Cheap Trick since they used it way before 1980, but that's another story), leather, big-haired guitar players, sleazy chicks in bustiers, leather, nausea-inducing jerky camera movements, leather, random shots of "regular" people wishing for the rock and roll life, slow motion and freeze frame shots, big-screen rear projections, and leather.

(In an aside, I still have my leather pants from that era. However, I tried them on a couple of years ago and they really didn't fit the same way. My kids made me promise never to wear them in public.)

Now...When we look at this stuck-in-one-era phenomena as it relates to cakes, we will see that we cake decorators suffer from the same trend malaise. When you see a wedding cake from the 1950's, you know that it was from the 1950's. Same for the fountain and staircase cakes that the 1970's produced.

Not every era has a specific look to it, though. If I had to decide, I'd say that the cakes of the 1980's were probably the big flower-covered extravaganzas, but I don't immediately think of that year when I see one.

What's happening now is that trends spread so fast with the internet, they burn out faster. Instead of having one decorating style hang around for 5 or 6 years we get it for 1 or 2.

I guess this might make it more difficult to date certain styles of wedding cakes, but not always. In twenty years we'll all be looking at wedding photos of cakes with one big flower on the side of a plain cake, and we'll all know right away that the wedding took place in the early 2010's. Although I do wish they would stick around longer, because I like making gumpaste peonies!

What style do you think will forever be identified with this time period? Is there a style of cake that you wish would go away because it's been overdone? And is leather involved with any of them? (Just checking to see if you're paying attention.)


Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, custom wedding cakes in Richmond VA

8 comments:

sweetelement said...

I think we'll see ombre cakes and definitely know the wedding was in 2011-2012!

I always tell my brides that white on white cakes are classic and (mostly!) timeless :D

BrynnCody said...

There are so many things in right now that are wedding related that I try hard to find ways to still incorporate them without it being too overdone. The one that comes to mind most is bold colors and statement colors. I'll reference your teal paisley cake - would that have been appropriate a few decades ago?

Kara Buntin said...

@BrynnCody, it probably wouldn't even have been on the radar back then. The teal color is definitely coming in strong this year, and you're right about the bright colors in general. That wouldn't have been common thirty years ago. I get brides who come in for appointments with their mothers. The brides say they want bright color on their cake, and their mothers make a face like they smelled something bad! You can tell they're thinking "you can't do that on a wedding cake!"

Kristin said...

If fountains and staircases make a comeback, I quit.

City View said...

I was actually asked this year to make a cake with both the fountain and the stairs, yikes! 1970's called and they want their wedding cake back.

They luckily sent their photo ahead of time so I could say that I didn't have the time on the day to set-up something so elaborate. I am not too sure what I would do if they came for a consultation with that in mind....

Eva Farragher said...

I'd like to see topsy turvy wedding cakes die a hasty death already.

Ultimate Cake said...

Oh boy.

One word: mudflaphairdo.

Kara Buntin said...

Hahaha! I have no idea what a mud flap hairdo is but I can guess what it looks like just from the name. Maybe a relative of the mullet?