Where to next [fashion, Part four]

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!):

Stirling Market

Plant 4 – Third Street Bowden

Gilles Street Market

Bowerbird Design Market

T’Arts Collective

Bamfurlong Fine Crafts

JamFactory Craft and Design



The Walking Dead in Washington

In this fascinating article, Paul Gilding, the author of one of my favourite books, The Great Disruption, writes about the USA Presidency of Donald Trump and where we are today in regard to Gilding’s predictions in 2009 of the global effects of climate change.

Paul Gilding

We’re all focused on the drama and entertainment of Trump’s takeover of the world’s centre of military, security and economic power. For some it’s exciting and entertaining, for others terrifying and apocalyptic. I too have been glued to the news – at various times having each of those responses! But now I’ve come back to earth, recognising it all for what it is. Important, but a sideshow to a much bigger and more important game. And on reflection, I’m glad he got elected.

How can a Trump Presidency be positive? Surely this is a major setback – to action on climate change, to addressing inequality, to human rights and global security. Doesn’t it make the world a scarier and less stable place?  In isolation, all true, but in context, not so much. The context is the key.

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The Great Australian Lie

Black Mark

brun-flags-not-snags unknown, stencil, Brunswick

“Australian history does not read like history, but the most beautiful lies.” Mark Twain wrote and he knew how to stretch the truth.

There are so many lies; Australians aren’t racist but yet have managed to commit genocide and have racism in it constitution. The bullshit piles up so fast you’d be buried alive if you only listened to Australians.

Remembering that the The Commonwealth of Australia exists as nothing but words. The country that calls itself The Commonwealth of Australia is built on the lie of terra nullius; everyone knows that the Aboriginals were the true owners of the land. The only things that is definitely Australian is the word ‘Australian’; everything else is disputed territory.

“Indeed, what we think of as Australia is a species of fiction – as, in essence, is any nation. Hoaxes lie at the foundation of the European discovery and settlement…

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Happy Christmas Island Detention Centre II

Part II of this post centres on an article written by Jonathon Holmes in the Sydney Morning Herald in May 2016:

The Pacific Solution’s brutal fact: we need it.
We risk social disruption if we take more than a tiny fraction of asylum seekers.

Or, “I’ve got no ideas, so why am I bothering to write about this?”

In the article, Holmes says most people he knows deplore the Pacific Solution policy on moral grounds, but “I don’t believe one should pontificate about a policy unless one has some vaguely practical alternative to propose.”

The first hole in Holmes’ argument is that the boats have been stopped.  They haven’t been stopped, they are turned around.  The boats are still arriving.

The second is the “flood of reaction” from viewers unsympathetic to the situation of the Tampa when it was aired.  At the time, the Government, assisted by some sections of the media, worked hard to demonise the asylum seekers claiming falsely they threw children overboard, and so won an election based on a fabricated situation.

The article continues to say we can’t accept more than a trickle of refugees without social disruption, and Holmes can’t think of a better solution so champions what we have.  In other words, to maintain the status quo, we can only accept a small number of refugees who come through the “proper” channels.

To come to an end point on any problem, you have to discount what isn’t tenable:

We are signatories to the Refugee Convention, so we can’t do anything that contravenes it.  This instantly removes the option of returning refugees to the country they were fleeing.  It also removes the option of detention, once they are found to be genuine refugees.  It also removes the option of settling refugees overseas.

As long as we accept our status as signatories, we must accept our responsibilities.  If that “opens the floodgates”, then so be it.  We can stop a lot of people drowning at sea by intercepting their boats as soon as they reach Australian waters and bring them on board.  Is this a “practical” solution?  Yes, in that the money we waste on off-shore detention could be funneled into saving lives.

We may have to change our views about inclusion, accept that the era of a small Australia has ended, and realise that the global issues of over-population, climate change and food shortages will involve massive change regardless of what we do.

This sticking our head in the sand approach gives me the shits.  As a country, we are as great as how we treat our most vulnerable people.  It would take little effort on our part to settle the refugees on Manus Island and Nauru in Australia.

The number of displaced people world-wide was around 65 million in 2015 and will no doubt get higher.  By ignoring it we aren’t going to improve the lives of millions of people.  The question is, are we prepared to share what we have in return for helping more, and if not, then what are we?  As always, it comes down to the sheep and the goats.