About Leigh Rudd, Diary of a Fashion Forecaster, Swinging Sixties

Wanna be a Fashion Forecaster?

March 17, 2017, by Leigh Rudd

Wanna’ be a Fashion Forecaster? OK – listen up……… ready to have some fun? I just want to say I am not a fashion blogger. I am not a reporter of fashion from the collections. No… I’m a forecaster of fashion… a predictor of fashion, always have been. I just cannot help it. I was born that way. I automatically connect fashion trends with cultural changes and what is going on in the world around me.

Some History…

I was a prominent worldwide fashion forecaster from 1968-1988, and I was actually a leader in starting the industry now known as “fashion forecasting”.  It all began when I was living in London during the “swinging 60’s” right in the center of the whole thing. Down the street was Twiggy, Mary Quant, Mick Jagger… and everyone was having a good time.

At the time I was actually living between Paris and London (lucky me) and I commuted between the two cities. In Paris I was a summer intern for the world renowned couture designer Andre Courreges, a brilliant designer and a gentle soul. I learned so much from him and had a good time doing it. I was responsible for getting the new collection to and from the French magazines. It was pretty funny. I was decent in French but not perfect – but I had to learn to fight over the phone in French about all aspects of the particular fashion shoot. And you would not believe how many aspects there were.

But when I was in London I was living in a small mews house just off the King’s Road. So when I ran out to go to the cleaners or to Boots the chemist I was surrounded by fashion trends. And it was there and then that I realized I wanted to bring the “Swinging 60’s” to America. And I did!!

In this new column – DIARY OF A FASHION FORECASTER – I am going to write about being a fashion forecaster… even if it is only for yourself. Even if you just want to be ahead of your crowd … listen up for some hints. OK Number One is get all your stuff together so you can go out and about and do some “research”.

From the Coloring Book by Leigh Rudd: Fashion Trends: the London Look of the 60’s


  1. You will need a huge catch-all bag to hold your supplies… a color wheel, fabric swatches that inspire, a notepad, colored pencils… and a comfortable pair of sneakers. You will keep this bag packed and ready to go at a moment’s notice.
  2. I’ll tell you why you will want a color wheel or paint chips. Let’s say you go to a museum for an exhibition on “Victoriana”. And you want to remember all those dusty, mysterious colors. Right? There is no better way than to carry your chips so you can get a perfect match.
  3. Needless to say a notebook is essential for little doodles, notes and references.


  1. Connect the dots about the cultural changes you notice. I’m going to talk about this in detail over the next few months. But when I think about this it means being “tuned in” like never before. It could be meditating, it could be walking in the woods, it could mean day-dreaming. But it does mean taking time for yourself.
  2. Now, if you’re like me, you are a natural muse… and that, of course, leads to being a fashion forecaster. What does that mean? What I mean is musing about culture, cultural changes – and how they impact upcoming fashion. But again, it means taking time for yourself. Carve it out and make notes.

To be continued…

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