The season’s fashion looks ahead, portraying a futuristic charm of clean shapes, technical fabrics, laser cuts and iridescent touches that evoke space exploration. The looks are also inspired by the digital world and gaming. Is it to help get us ready for a not so brilliant future?
Us want to look like heroines evolving in a universe of pixels and dreams because of digital esthetics.
Bored with always looking back and the perpetual visits to the 1970s or the 2000s (not so far away, after all …), this fall, fashion seems to want to definitely turn to the future. Is it because we’re worried about the present, which already looks a lot like a dystopia with no need to put our imaginations to work? War, nuclear threats, climate warming, inflation and epidemics make up a stress-filled horizon that weighs on our spirits and pervades our creative output. Is it also because of the endless publicity for the much awaited movie “Dune: Part Two”, set in a Mad Max desert with carefully crafted esthetics? Or because Christmas will also be futuristic and ablaze with “Rebel Moon”, the new Netflix film already being promoted as the next “Star Wars”? Whatever the reasons, it’s a good bet that our fall wardrobes will be ruled by a mood that leans towards fall-winter 3023.
But what could this future chic look like? Like sharp, architectural silhouettes made with technical textiles and created for facing a sometimes hostile environment, or even references to the conquest of space or to fantasy? At Fête Impériale, the blouses are in prints of landscapes that look like the moon or at least deserts. Indress shows bomber jackets and pants with silver metallic reflections, as if they just escaped from a space ship. Roseanna delivers the ultimate dress with an iridescent hood, perfect for trudging under a fiery moon with Timothée Chalamet. And From Future goes for color with a round-neck sweater marked with an explicit “future”.
Bring on tomorrow … really? According to Eric Miternique, trend specialist and head of the Pulse trend agency, it’s sure that well-known, sometimes ultra-literal references from past decades can seem repetitive and déjà vu to consumers. So the future functions as a rupture and a new proposition. That was already the idea behind retrofuturism, championed by Pierre Cardin and Paco Rabanne in the 1960s: invent a future that lets us break with a present that’s too heavy. Furthermore, today we’re inundated with artificial images and digital esthetics. Artificial intelligence, the metaverse and gaming are all worlds arguably influencing reality and making us want to look like heroines evolving in a universe of pixels and dreams. And since the coming world doesn’t seem particularly welcoming, clothes are also here to take back up their primary function: protect us. They help us survive climate dangers or nomadic lifestyles – some of the many themes which already resonate deeply with the here and now.
What if the future started today?
Trend specialist Eric Miternique is head of the Pulse trends agency. He explains.
“There’s no doubt, the digital world has infiltrated fashion. The metaverse, gaming and the growth of esports influence designers who find a more colorful and futuristic digital esthetic in those realms. AIs like ChatGPT and Midjourney also play important roles, and they can now create artwork and scenarios as well as clothing. Intelistyle, AiDA, Amazon and Levi Strauss have all developed products “designed” by AIs. For the moment, these designs are still limited in scope, and happily nothing can replace human sensitivity or our designers’ creativity. Fabrics are also incredibly innovative, and in recent seasons we’ve seen iridescent and metallic effects that give products a futuristic feeling. Technical materials are evolving and making it possible to create the smart clothing of the future. All of this leads us, step by step, to tomorrow’s wardrobe, which will be more functional, protective, breathable, water resistant, sturdy and … connected.”