Thursday 6 November 2014

The Science of Fashion

Do you remember the best experience of your life? Have you experienced it yet? Well, I think I'm living mine right now: living in the city that never sleeps, New York. Which works perfectly because I rarely sleep, only occasionally, somewhere between the hours of 'waayy past bed time' and 'oh shit its 9am!' I am learning an immense amount throughout my time here, even though I feel like I've just blinked since I arrived, jet-lagged, on the 13th of August. 

What have I learnt? How to truly live by myself. Despite living alone back in London, the truth was that my mum was about an hour away by train. Going home for a quick home cooked meal on Sunday doesn't seem so practical anymore. I've learnt how to adjust in a different country, how to go without my loved ones, and how to work in a fast paced fashion head office, to name a few. 

My main reason of coming to New York was to learn, but in college. Most of the courses I'm doing overlap with what I learn at university back home, and it's interesting to see the similarities and differences. Although, one subject is unlike any I have taken before. It is my favourite subject that I'm taking: Fashion Forecasting. On top of all the interesting classes on fashion history, culture, and of course fashion forecasting, I was lucky enough to have a lecture from the father of fashion forecasting, David Wolfe, Creative Director at the Doneger Group. 

As I rapidly jotted down notes of the lecture, Mr Wolfe gave an insightful and fascinating talk on the future of fashion (I now see where his daughter gets it from, who is my Professor for Fashion Forecasting). He began by stating that the 21st Century starts now. As I have learnt from previous Forecasting lectures, fashion is, and has been, stuck for quite some time. Lacking innovation and rebellion, mainstream fashion mainly takes inspiration from past decades, not allowing our generation to defy against previous decades, as fashion should do. 

He explained that technology was the innovative subject at the moment, and that forecasters must look to technology to understand our future, even the future of fashion. Self-driving cars, shops that drive to you and drones were among the technologies Mr Wolfe mentioned. Below are some designers that were referenced in the lecture.

                       Iris Van Herpen                                                             Issey Miyake                                                                  Gareth Pugh

I was able to purchase the book 'Physics of the Future', which Mr Wolfe suggested. It details how science will shape our future lives by 2100. The book goes into detail of the points mentioned in the lecture. This really helped me understand how fashion will adapt in the next century. It also made me realise how crazy it is that we still take most of our fashion inspiration from the icons of the past.

One thing that both Fashion Forecasting classes and David Wolfe's lecture have made me realise is that fashion will eventually evolve. The direction my lectures indicate it going to is simplicity. As Physics of the Future mentions, everything we own will be 'smart' in the future. Our walls and furniture will have computer chips in them, and our clothing will be 'smart' too. Our clothing will have the physical appearance of 'simplicity' because the garments will be so complex that they will not need 50 decretive buttons and pockets. But that's what I think. Where do you think the future of fashion will take us?

Either way, as you can see, forecasting fashion isn't a guess, it's somewhere between an art and a science. 

Until next time,


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