Usually it’s hard to predict what fashion trends might come up in a year or two. We might predict little things, like different colors making summer comebacks, or various fabrics getting trendy for the upcoming winter. But until we start to see magazines and online lookbooks the predictions are mostly random.
But when we consider broader changes that go beyond individual trends we can sometimes do better to predict the future of fashion. This is particularly true these days because of the larger role that technology is beginning to play in what we wear. There’s still no telling what we’ll be wearing in two, five, or ten years. That doesn’t mean that we can’t start predicting the ways that clothing will change in general, and from there begin to speculate about how things will look.
These are a few of the changes to be ready for.
Image Recognition Will Popularize Imitation
Okay, so maybe imitation doesn’t really need popularizing. In some ways, the entire fashion industry comes down to imitation. But right now we primarily wear what we’re told is stylish in magazines, in advertisements, in store windows and on fashion blogs. In the future, we might do more to recognize what we like and find it on our own. A fascinating article on companies bringing tech to fashion kicked off by singling out Wide Eyes Technology, which is an image recognition program aimed at outfits. With this program we’ll be able to pick out images of what we like—presumably from videos, films, TV commercials, social networks, or wherever else—and input them to get an idea of where the clothing and accessories came from.
We’ll Create Our Own Looks
Right now customization options are fairly limited when we shop for clothing. Sure, you can design your own T-shirt or customize a pair of sunglasses, and sometimes you’ll have a say in certain design elements as you approach checkout online. But for the most part we sift through existing options to make our choices. That might be changing largely as a result of 3D printing. This was another innovation pointed out in the article mentioned above, and while it isn’t widely available yet it’s a tantalizing idea. It may not be long before we’re designing our own accessories and outfits and having them “printed” exactly as we imagined.
We’ll Try Clothes On Virtually
This is one of the most definite changes, and one that’s already starting to arrive. Virtual and augmented reality are already changing things in a lot of ways, especially when it comes to entertainment and video games. Even before devices like the Oculus Rift, VR concepts were put to use through the implementation of live dealers in online casino games. And before AR goggles got big, Pokémon GO brought augmented reality to smartphones. These technologies already exist in poker, gaming, and other places, and there’s a lot of talk of also using them in retail. In the near future we might be able to project ourselves in clothing we’re not actually wearing, or even “try on” garments in augmented reality.
Smart Clothing Will Go Beyond Sports
We think about “smart” clothing as having to do with athletic performance. For instance, cooling and moisture-wicking fabrics have been around for a while and are primarily used in athletic clothing. Soon be seeing expansions of these ideas that go beyond sportswear. The arrival of e-textiles is just around the corner, and it could mean everything from clothes that keep us at controlled temperatures to Bluetooth-integrated fabrics that share data with our smartphones. It may not necessarily change how we look, but it could shift our priorities when we shop.
Fashion illustration of Daily Routine Fashion Show during Stockholm Fashion Week AW17 by creative art director Madeleine Lithvall.
Love & cheers//Merih