A "trend" I've noticed lately, is the popularity and value of trend forecasting services. I would imagine that the people doing the real work of developing a line and keeping it going don't have much time to waste doing their own research, and rely on these proven resources to navigate the fashion jungle.
Now, if you create for private clients, yourself, or a small business, this information may not top your priority list, since it your job to "zag', when everyone else "zigs". Magazines and websites an be very useful, while predicting the next big thing in fashion may not be...
*Even if everyone "zags", you still need to recognize your "zig"...
For the early adopters among you, the garment district offers a treasure trove of supplies to make things inspired by the forecasted trends that aren't big YET.
Wanna see where fashion is going? Make sure you visit Elliott Berman, and Paron Fabrics specifically (among others), because they have what the designers have actually USED to create what isn't yet in the stores, or high-quality remaining fabric from recent seasons. Not only that, the collaged image displays the trend forecasting agencies will show you as simple snapshots will remind me of specific fabrics I've seen recently in those very stores. You will also note that when you visit the ample selection of beautifully displayed goods in Fabrics and Fabrics, photos from recent fashion images are displayed next to the relevant fabrics, giving inspiration for the fabrics' application for your own creative endeavors.
While the big industry events can be overwhelming and offer far more information than the independent designer, custom creative or passionate sewing enthusiast may need or want, there are apps, small bites of free information from trend forecasting agencies (who often offer a more scholarly approach to the who, how and why of trends), along with color trend analysis services to help you along.
For example, look at this trend tidbit, and then... check out this Missoni knit from Eliott Berman, or these perfectly on-trend alternatives they also offer from Chanel. Or, make sure you notice the wild textures suggested here, then check out Leather, Suede, Skins for beautifully similar fashion forward ideas.
Ideas abound! Just, once you learn, explore, dream and shop, make sure you actually find the time to create and sew!