"The weather bureau will tell you what next Tuesday will be like, and the Rand Corporation will tell you what the twenty-first century will be like," notes the influential, award-winning author and poet Ursula K. Le Guin. Artists, however, present a different take on the future: one based on what they've seen and heard. "All they’re trying to do is tell you what they’re like, and what you ‘re like—what’s going on—what the weather is like now, today, this moment, the rain, the sunlight, look," she adds. "They don’t tell you what you will see and hear."
Rather, predictions - or thought experiments - are actually just self portraits, bells-and-whistle-accessorized descriptions of present reality which get the tricked-out label of prediction. "Predictions are uttered by prophets (free of charge), by clairvoyants (who usually charge a fee, and are therefore more honored in their day than prophets), and by futurologists (salaried)," continues Le Guin. "Prediction is the business of prophets, clairvoyants, and futurologists. It is not the business of novelists." Or, for that matter, artists including fashion stylists, photographers and magazine art directors.
What I found so interesting about this "futuristic" shoot in i-D magazine, this is your world shape it or someone else will, photographer Willy Vanderperre and stylist Benjamin Bruno seem to share a vision of fashion in "the future" as androgynous bag-lady - right down to the uncomfortable and mirror-shiny survivalist mylar bedsheets and pillowcases. However, if you look at the actual future - which tends to creep stealthily in on cats' paws - 3D-printing and experiments in growing clothes in places like the bathtub actually point to clothing that is both protective and cozy. And customized. If anything, our ways of accessorizing and adorning ourselves will become ever more elaborate and hyper-masculine and - feminine, rather than too androgynous.
Robotic and cyborg, yes, but in a hyper-sexualized kind of way.
Nonetheless, it was also interesting to see which current designers' aesthetic lends itself to a hyperfuturistic shoot: apparenlty J.W. Anderson (both his eponymous line & his work for Loewe), McQueen, Margiela, Sonia Rykiel, Marques'Almeida & Celine by Phoebe Philo.
However, when speculating on "the future," it is worth keeping in mind that these out-there thought experiments are often just as uncannily on point. As NASA scientist and cosmologist Robert Jastrow observed in God and the Astronomers:
For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance, he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.
- Lesley Scott
Actively embracing the future - from technology to traditional gender roles - with a desire to make it fashionable and timely is a signature of the Futurenetic Fashion Tribe. For more of my posts about this tribe, CLICK HERE. To learn more about each of fashion's four mega-tribes that I track, START HERE.