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Prediction: The top trends in 2012

What is going to be hot in 2012? We’ve scoured the world – OK, the internet – and our minds to figure out what’s going to be hot next year. Buckle your seatbelts!

WHAT WILL YOU be doing, seeing, watching, eating and wearing in 2012?

Every year people love to guess what will be the trends to watch in the coming 12 months – and here at TheJournal.ie, we’re no different.

We can’t say our approach is scientific, but what the heck.

If one thing is clear, it’s that in many countries, 2012 will be a year of rebuilding.  This comes following events – natural and man-made – that took place worldwide, from the London riots to the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, to the game-changing Arab Spring revolts and Occupy protests.

With the Eurozone under serious financial pressure and the future of the Euro hanging in the balance, politicians are concerned about their country’s spending.

But so too are the people themselves, so we predict we’ll see a further move from big spending to furtive living.

Instead of depending on others to do or make things for us, it’s likely more of us will be turning to our own skills – from baking to sewing, DIY to crafting – or learning new skills.

As the digital age becomes even more all-encompassing, more gadgets and products will spring up – but we’ll also see people returning to the analogue way of life, buying film cameras instead of DSLRs.

So here’s our predictions for what trends we think will mark 2012 – after you’ve read them, let us know what you think.

Social Networking

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Who remembers a world without social networking? This year will see some sites fall away in popularity, but others will end up rivalling Facebook:

  • Pinterest is for those who love photographs, pictures, art and all visual media. You can ‘pin’ your favourite pics and share with followers.
  • Social media logins – expect to see more sites using Facebook/Twitter and other platforms to log in with in 2012.
  • There is bound to be more integration between television and social media, so expect the show’s hashtag to be shown at the beginning of every mainstream TV show.
  • Want to tell the story of your life using one site? Try Facebook’s Timeline, or Storyvite for your professional story. And then there’s about.me which will help you create your own space on the net.
  • Remember chat rooms? Here they are in version 2.0: Tokkster.com, where you can chat to people who are browsing the same webpage as you. Could this take off?

Fashion

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There will be a move away from the high street as people start to save money and either make their own clothes or raid their wardrobes. Saving money and wearing something that no one else has? Perfect, darling!

  • Photoshopping could be on its last legs in advertising land – a CoverGirl ad featuring Taylor Swift was the latest one to be pulled for being misleading – we will see a return to more natural ads. Blogs like Ireland’s Beaut.ie will lead the pack with their ‘real girl’ make-up tutorials.
  • Ethical fashion is more firmly on the radar than ever – even Oprah magazine has taken a stance against using fur and strives to feature fake leather. Expect to see more publications following suit.
  • With more and more vintage shops opening around Ireland, expect everyone to be wearing a mix of vintage and high street – it’s the new haute couture.
  • The past year has seen fashion bloggers step out of their home closets and into fashion magazines. 2012 will be the year they start to replace the traditional fashion icons – like supermodels – and their blogs may end up replacing the likes of Vogue and Elle for younger fashion fans.
  • Wet-look hair. The jury’s out on this one for us – who wants to look like they didn’t wash their hair on purpose!? – but glistening, sleek hair has been seen on many a catwalk this year. Lazy hair-washers will love this one.

Gadgets

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There will be no end to the joy that tablets and pads will bring to people’s lives – especially as magazines are now bring out interactive versions that are better than the printed copy. Expect more special tablet-only features on websites, magazines and newspapers.

  • Want to chat with all your friends at the same time, using your smart phone? Here’s a new trend we might see taking off in 2012: groupme.com
  • We’ve already seen voice control with Apple’s Siri on the iPhone and Microsoft Kinect, so expect to see even more in 2012. Voice control TVs, radios, and websites, anyone?
  • Many a non-US person has envied Netflix, and now it is on its way to Ireland. The movie streaming service will launch in UK and Irish markets in early 2012 and will mean that you will have no excuse for leaving the house.
  • Smart TVs are set to become even more popular – this way you can take advantage of internet TV, new game consoles, Blu-Ray players and other devices to totally enhance your TV-watching experience in 2012.
  • Compact digital cameras are a must – but the new range of compacts from the likes of Pentax, Nikon, Canon and Olympus offer more for those who want a high-quality camera in a small size. Some even have a range of lenses and other extras, bringing them head and shoulders above your average point-and-shoot.

Economy

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Economist Ronan Lyons told TheJournal.ie what his economic predictions are for 2012:

  • There will be very little in the way of economic growth, but I do think we’ll see unemployment starting to fall a little bit – not anything dramatic but the number of people at work increasing a little
  • Closer to the home territory, and the property market: rents will fall because the government will change the rent supplement. Outside of Dublin and other cities, rent will fall.
  • We may see house prices in Dublin stabilise, dependent on how the banks act and whether they can get credit.
  • It will be another year of uncertainty about the Euro. I don’t think there will be the political will to take decisions on it. It will be another year of worry to people.
  • We have had so many extreme events this year – 2011’s been a crazy year. If that continues, all the predictions in the world could come to nothing once something unknown happens!

Cool Stuff

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What other trends can we expect in 2012?

  • Locally-produced food: We love our food in Ireland, but we often forget about where it comes from. 2011 saw a huge change in how people viewed their food, and 2012 can only build on that. There may even be another Eat Only Irish For A Week event, which aims to showcase the great food Ireland produces.
  • Social networking and business: We know how important social networking is, and this year has proved that the company that takes to Twitter and Facebook, no matter how small it is, is the company that does well. Just look at the Limerick Italian restaurant La Cucina for inspiration. Expect to see more businesses following suit.
  • Alcohol free events: Dublin’s Accents Café hosts Ireland’s first alternative alcohol-free comedy club, which was started by broadcaster Dil Wickremasinghe. We suspect more people will take inspiration from this popular initiative.
  • DIY music: It’s easier than ever to make music yourself, and Irish musical collectives like the Richter Collective label and Popical Island are proving that Irish alternative music is better than ever. We anticipate more DIY labels and events to spring up in 2012.
  • Two food trends that are huge in the USA and Australia, and making their way here, are the paleo and vegan diets. They couldn’t be more different – paleo emphasises a grain-free diet, heavy on the meat, inspired by our foraging ancestors, while vegan diets eschew all animal-based products and are plant-based. Will restaurants around the country cotton on to these trends?
  • Who needs digital when you can go analogue? Expect even more people to fall in love with film photography – particularly Lomography - and although the music industry is swimming against the tide, vinyl sales were up in 2011.

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