There’s nothing quite so entertaining at looking at the past and seeing how they thought we would dress in the future. Some thought we’d be wearing silver jump suits, others thought we’d all be wearing ripped denim, leather and futuristic looking bondage gear, and everything in between thought we’d dress like it was the 70s. That’s really the only three camps people fall into.
Yet the reality is far more amazing than the sci-fi writers of yesteryear could have guessed (you might not know it to look at them, but not many sci-fi writers are keen followers of fashion).
For instance, before long you can expect to see:
Clothes designed by computer
CADD or Computer Aided Design and Drafting isn’t new. For years it’s been used by engineers and architects for everything from building a new house to designing oil rigs. It’s a great tool because it allows you to simulate things you would only be able to work out otherwise through trial and error, and when the thing you’re trial and erroring with is several tonnes of expensive machinery, you want to get it right first time!
Likewise, fashion designers are often using incredibly expensive fabrics which they’re cutting and stitching and other things that you don’t want to get wrong. Yet until now clothes have rarely been designed with CADD.
However one French fashion designer, Julien Fournie, is working to change that. He’s been something of a lab rat for Dassault Systemes, a software company that has started working in the fashion industry after a history of creating designs for the car and aerospace industries.
They worked by talking to Fournie and videoing his working habits. When he wanted to make clothes from the rubbery material neoprene Fournier faced the problem that stitching it was near impossible, it looked like he’d have to glue. But using CADD software he was able to work out the exact pressure a needle would have to enter the fabric so that it wouldn’t break the material. Now Fournie is doing his sketches directly into 3D.
Clothes you can grow
Of course, soon even stitching may become a thing of the past. Suzanne Lee is a fashion designer who has been looking into actually growing clothes. She’s come up with a recipe of (get this down) green tea, sugar, yeast and bacteria which has allowed her to grow what she calls “a kind of vegetable leather”.
This veggie leather takes a couple of weeks to grow and can then be folded around a mould to make an outfit. The material doesn’t last however- within five years it’ll begin to rot. At that point you can compost it with your other rotting vegetables.
Clothes you can try on over the Internet
Buying clothes online just hasn’t really taken off the same way that buying books, food, holidays, cinema tickets, tools, electronics etc. etc. has. This is mainly because unlike most other purchases, you don’t really want to buy clothes without trying the on first, seeing not just how they fit but also how they look on you before you cough up the cash. Very few of us look like models, and so seeing an outfit on a model isn’t a great way to estimate what it will look like on you.
Well with the advent of Augmented Reality, you may soon be able to do just that. It’s already started with De Beers jewellery. Using a web cam and some printable pieces of paper the computer can create a real-time image of what you look like wearing any of their jewellery in a seemingly 3D environment. Called “My Forevermark Fitting” this could be the future of fashion shopping online.
Meanwhile Fournie is working with FashionLab on a “magic mirror” that will allow people to see themselves virtually dressed in an outfit usng similar technology. With this fashion pr jobs are going to become so much easier as webcams can take people’s measurements and show them how they’d look in an outfit from the comfort of their own homes!
Chris Farnell is a freelance writer who works with Designer Jobs.
If you enjoyed reading this post, then please remember to post a comment, Subscribe to my RSS feed.