Following on from the previous three posts on the subject, here are some thoughts on the future of fashion, or fashion for the 21st Century. Closed loop or sustainable materials, and ethical sourcing and manufacturing has to be at the core of future fashion, but what about design?
The food and wine movement, where local boutique growers and artisan makers are taking over from mass grown, factory processed product of often unidentifiable origin, is a starting point.
Future fashion will shift from centralised influence at Paris, Milan, London and New York, to regional fashion. Designers will draw on local influences including art to make clothing relevant to the people. Artists and others from non traditional design backgrounds will assist.
Trend forecasters will cease to be influential in the colours and fabrics used, as fabrics are sourced locally (from used or recycled and up-cycled fabrics or locally grown yarns). Colours will be influenced by local artists, architecture, the environment and weather.
Silhouettes will be open ended. One of the most important shifts in fashion (from Westwood and the Japanese designers) is the freestyle approach to silhouettes that makes any shape possible. I think the future of fashion will be undefined silhouettes to match non-gender specific clothing.
Fashion will be driven by the individual, who mixes items from a range of sources, and the part of the body that is revealed or concealed will depend on the wearer, not the designer. Clothing will continue to be layered according to individual preferences.
With spaces and opportunities for displaying clothing becoming more affordable, local designers will have more of a voice. In the past when a shop, advertising and exposure was financially out of reach, social media, markets, collectives, and pop up spaces encouraged by local government, enable designers to bring their work to their target market.
Collectives and group run spaces allow interaction between different disciplines, encouraging new conversations in design. Lines between art, craft and design will become blurred, with artistic merit driven by the culture of the community.
Expensive, full scale parades and centralised fashion weeks will lose momentum as buyers are replaced with patrons following their favourite designers. The slow, local, artisan and organic movement in food will apply to fashion, with smaller boutique production and fresh ideas drawing on a strong underlying aesthetic.
I think this movement of fashion to a more creative, locally influenced space both physically and artistically, will benefit the makers and the wearers. People will learn the true value of clothing, and appreciate what they are wearing, so clothing becomes less disposable and allows more personal expression. The ability to swap, trade or sell items that are used will lose any stigma of second hand, and become valued for their integrity rather than newness.
This will be part of a strong reaction in the 21st Century against large corporate control over what we read, see, eat and wear.
Some places to visit in Adelaide to show this philosophy, with designer clothing a minor presence so far (come on designers!):