Future Perfect – Visions of Fashion’s Future
Fashion design is a discipline constantly moving forward, striving to push the cultural zeitgeist and define new aesthetic paradigms. In 2014 a host of cutting edge designers looked to near future and science fiction to create vital and visceral imaginings of our fashion futures.
One of the most visually futuristic collections of the year came from flamboyant provocateur, French designer Jean Paul Gaultier. No stranger to depictions of an imagined future, Jean Paul Gaultier is known for his classic costuming work for Luc Besson's science fiction film The Fifth Element. In his 2014 fall/winter collection the designer took inspiration from taut space drama Gravity in a collection that fused functional, futurist design with a chic punk aesthetic cast in a rigorously synthetic grey-green color palette.
German designer Philipp Plein's spring/summer 2014 collection in Milan boldly used cutting edge projection mapping technology. A moving projected backdrop of an underwater landscape created the environment of the show, which also featured a dramatic sequence where projections flawlessly mapped the contours and dimensions of his dresses depicting a sibilant aquatic world in stunning motion.
Dutch designer Iris Van Herpen is defined by her groundbreaking use of 3D printing and futuristic textiles created with MIT University’s materials department. Iris Van Herpen envisioned a powerful mediation of genetic research and the mapping of the human genome with her collection 'Biopiracy'. In a presentation that pushed at the boundaries of contemporary fashion design, her avant garde, architectural inspired use of silks and plastics, form defying shapes and dynamic juxtapositions of solid and transparent states went beyond superficial visions of the future to suggest how radically technology could reshape our contemporary aesthetics if we embrace its heady potential.