The Future Of Fashion After COVID-19
The future of fashion has a new meaning now, with the advancement of artificial intelligence and NFTs.
Even before the COVID pandemic, the world was getting closer to a point of physical and digital convergence.
We already have smart clothing that allows us to perform better and interact with the surrounding environment.
Smart clothes that change shape and color according to the type of activity you’re about to embark on.
Clothes that can initiate a safe and eco-friendly decomposing procedure, at the end of their programmed life, are only to be reused to create new textiles.
And, with the boom of Metaverse and the NFT universe, there are digital garments and layers of software projected in AR environments.
Without further ado, these are the top 10 trends reshaping the future of fashion, right now.
‘One Size Fits All’ by James Dyson
Not a new concept, Ryan Jasin’s fashion creations ‘grow’ at the same time with the wearer, up to seven sizes.
Inspired by the Japanese Origami and called adaptive clothing, Ryan is a winner of the prestigious James Dyson UK award.
The designer’s creations consist of lightweight pleated fabric patterned to make the garments ‘play proof’, machine-washable, and most important, fully recyclable.
By Angela Luna
Creations of Angela Luna, a Parsons School of Design graduate, these shape-changing garments can also be used as a shelter.
The original idea was inspired by refugees and their inability to carry around belongings or have a shelter while traveling thousands of miles.
The concept of garments with ‘modular shape and adaptive functionality’ has begun to gain traction.
It is an approach that fits the current eco-fashion narrative driven by sustainable clothing labels seeking to minimize manufacturing waste.
By Salvatore Ferragamo
The textile fiber from orange peel keeps gaining increased adoption and use amongst fashion designers from all over the world.
The material was popularised amongst luxury fashion buyers by Salvatore Ferragamo, through a dedicated capsule collection of t-shirts and scarves.
The next line aims to have a natural scent infusion, which changes according to the time of the day and the wearer’s mood.
By Blond & Bieber
Following a collection made from Algae plants, that has reached the finalists of the 2018 H&M Global Innovation Awards, the skin-feeding clothes business shows there’s massive potential.
One example is a German design studio, Blond & Bieber who’s using microalgae as a sustainable fabric dye.
The collection was made from Algae-based biodegradable fibers and eco-friendly dyes and was prised for its capability of releasing nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, onto the wearer’s body.
By Yves Béhar
Yves Béhar, the founder of ‘FuseProject’, came up with an original idea of power garments.
Initially, Yves wanted to allow people suffering from muscle dystrophia to function normally.
That is, being able to walk, stand, and be active again for extended periods of time, while also looking good.
Béhar’s concept found a lot of traction in the medical landscape.
However, there’s a new wave of innovative fashion designers showing a growing interest in augmenting the human body with cyborg-like abilities.
By Pauline van Dongen
A similar smart fashion prototype, pictured above in the shape of a cardigan, was ignited by the Dutch designer Pauline van Dongen.
Following in the footsteps of Ivan Poupyrev’s Project Jacquard at Google, Pauline has embedded her ‘Vigour Cardigan’ with flexible sensors.
Made out of conductive yarns, these sensors collect and analyze the wearer’s biometrics, aiming to identify the most efficient exercises and body postures.
Hopefully, future connected garments will ensure – through a direct-line connection with your personal doctor or assistive medical data software – that the paramedics are at your door, long before you start having stroke symptoms.
3D Printed Clothes
By Iris Van Herpen
Recent waves of innovations targeting the fashion industry have led to an influx of tech-based designers seeking to showcase a new world of techniques, materials, manufacturing methods, and creations.
3D printing has become one of the most popular ‘tools’ used by emerging fashion designers.
Iris Van Herpen is the incontestable leader of the movement, thanks to her amazing work at the edge of innovation, and creations out of this world.
The latest developments in 3D printing see a shift towards bio and eco-friendly inks, which could be the beginning of a new era of 3D printed sustainable clothes, for a cleaner industry and a better world.
By Modern Meadow
So far it has been impossible to eradicate the use of leather and fur in fashion by using vegan leather alternatives, such as mushroom leather or kelp leather.
Leather is deeply embedded in our DNA as a symbol of status since the times of living in caves and wearing our catches as trophies.
Then, ‘thanks’ to the luxury segment, by creating this high quality-leather association in consumers’ minds.
However, the use of leather in fashion is tainted not only by the blood of the animals killed for their skins but also by the significant emissions of greenhouse gases and toxic chemicals involved in mass farming animals, tanning, and industrial manufacturing processes.
Finally, there are innovative brands such as Modern Meadow, Bolt Threads, and Furoid TM, creating lab-grown leather, allowing fashion startups to create faster and easier vegan clothing and accessories.
Augmented Reality Clothing
Initially, the use of augmented reality in fashion has found a lot of traction in the retail side of the landscape.
Gucci’s demo version of a shop for luxury garments remains one of the best examples.
Styled as a dark garden filled with diamonds, attractive models, and pictures on the walls, the platform was designed to showcase the power of experiential e-commerce.
A similar AR experience project was launched by Zara across 120 stores.
The project allowed buyers to hold up their smartphones to the stores’ windows and see AR models come to life, walking around, and wearing the latest fashion trends.
However, while it seems that the adoption of AR in fashion retail is not quite there, the concept of AR has a big role to play in the future of fashion.
Top 22 Technologies Shaping The Fashion Industry
In fact, driven by the endeavors of Mathew Drinkwater, Head of Fashion Innovation Agency at London College of Fashion, a new realm of augmented reality garments gains traction fast.
In some ways, it makes a lot of sense as the whole point of fashion in general and luxury fashion, in particular, is to make shoppers dream.
The elusive aspirations of unique attires, ceremonious runway shows, and photoshopped models in glossy magazines, are all meant to design an unattainable world compared to the one they live in.
For that, AR has the most fitting in the world of fashion, especially now when we are becoming increasingly ‘digitized’.
AR garments have the potential of pushing the boundaries of what we understand fashion to be, by re-computing the nature of who we are and by affecting one’s idea of the self.
AR couture could also give birth to a new concept of self-identity that could bridge the gap between the actual and ideal selves.
However, with unknown and potentially disastrous consequences for both, the self and the fashion industry as we know it.
Artificial Intelligence Stylists
There can’t be an article about the future of fashion, without tackling the emergence of AI.
The use of AI in the fashion industry has already found a home in customer service, demand forecasting, planning, buying, operations automation, supply chain, and inventory management.
More recently, we see AI taking over trend spotting, product design, and high-level customization.
However, YOOX’s latest endeavor – 8 an AI-designed fashion label – is beyond the traditional areas of machine tasks.
AI as a fashion designer is a new role that touches the creative realm, blurring the line between technology, human, and creativity.
The first question that comes to mind is, will consumers prefer AI-made or human-made fashion?
Traditionally, a human-made garment encapsulates craftsmanship, heritage, and history.
It comprises the experiences, memories, life choices, and even the emotions of its creator.
However, in the case of an omnipotent and salient AI, the ‘designer’ has access to the history of the entire humanity.
It can draw inspiration from humanity’s history, from our ‘evolutionary struggles’, as depicted in science, to music and art.
It has access to all materials in the world, able to compare and select the most suitable elements for its intended creations.
It can also decide on the most efficient manufacturing technologies…
And, to complicate things a bit further, who owns the rights of its, his, or her creations?
This takes me to the question, is personhood the next step for AI?
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Now it’s your turn…
Which one of these trends signaling the future of fashion is your favorite and why?
Are there any other trends and innovations shaping the future of fashion that you’re aware of and want to add to this list?
Comments below, please!
Growing up in western PEI, Bruce Knox blends his extensive public health, non-profit, and public sector background with a deep love for innovative technologies to bring people together in healthier communities and environments.