Future World

When thinking about the future of fashion there are two things that spring to mind. 3D – printing and BioCouture. Both might not look exactly like clothes but more like a glimpse of the future.

Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen is one of the most adventurous designers around today who combines 3D – printing and hand stitching to create garments, creating her own style of Hi-Tech Couture. She draws her inspiration from the natural sciences to create unique garments, many of which employ unforeseen materials and 3-D printing which make her clothes look more like modern sculpture. Her creations using 3D – printing and laser cutting technology are more about a prefect union of form and function or a mash-up of fashion and technology. As the architect Louis Sullivan once said

It is the pervading law of all things … that form ever follows function.

Suzanne Lee is a fashion designer bringing the burgeoning field of BioCouture to the forefront. BioCouture brings the skills of couturiers and tailors with cutting edge biotechnology. The aim is a future of environmentally-friendly biological materials that reduce or replace a reliance on animals, chemicals, and land for our clothing but more importantly the possibility of a sustainable fashion industry. This technology could certainly influence the fashion industry but she believes that it’s more about how can the fashion industry influence, inform and collaborate with new technologies.

Skeleton Dress
Iris van Herpen’s 3-D Printed skeleton dress.

Iris van Herpen using digital technology

Suzanne Lee's BioCouture prokaryote-grown garment on pennzer blog
Suzanne Lee’s BioCouture prokaryote-grown garment.

3D – printing and BioCouture could well be the future of fashion but each fashion season transforms itself, sometimes into something new. The future of fashion might rest with designers who lead rather than follow or make bold moves and ignore the what is right and what is wrong code of fashion that designers are supposed to follow. It’s the freedom from the traditional rules that will create the future of fashion and create innovators in fashion, those determined to push beyond the fashion boundaries. Those designers that dare to rip apart fashion’s etiquette book and demand serious change.

Besides 3D – printing and BioCouture, there are innovators in fashion that are skillfully concealing smartphones and GPS systems in garments and sleekly designed, sculptural accessories in wearable tech, helping to shape today’s fashion world. It shouldn’t be a surprise that the next generation of designers won’t be influenced by technology as they would have been brought up in the digital age.

Fashion and technology are not strange bedfellows, as there is a whole spectrum of wearable technologies on offer right now – mainly watches such as the Apple Watch, FitBit, Garmin and they are more associated with fitness activities or Fitness tech. It is also predominately about the wrist rather than incorporating tech into clothing which looks to have a much smaller impact in terms of predicted wearables in the short term.

Growth of Wearable Devices

Growth of Wearable Devices.

Jacquard by Google is a conductive fabric or smart fabric embedded into a Levi’s smart jacket – as mentioned in a previous article  Fashion for the Digital Age this jacket enables you to “connect to your digital life instantly and effortlessly. With a literal brush of your cuff, you can navigate your life while living it.” A jacket that is a perfect fit for the wearer and for the technology that you can interact with. The idea of embedding technology in clothes is mixing it with current technologies with future-forward updates in mind. Then there is still the idea of Fashion and AI or Artificial Intelligence and what impact that might have on the fashion industry. Just like there is no area of life or business that hasn’t been touched by the Internet, the same is going to happen with AI where our lives won’t be insulated from it. AI is already used within the fashion industry not just to get information on what’s selling but to forecast fashion trends. It’s not clear how much technology or what kind of technologies will shape the future of fashion but fashion and technology have already collided.

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