Everyone knows how fast the fashion industry changes: today’s trends are not going to be tomorrow’s. So, let’s take a look at an overview of the whole industry of haute-couture and luxury. What’s coming next? What should we look out for?
Firstly, some creators really are pushing fashion boundaries. The first and maybe the most fun example is Dutch fashion designer: Iris Van Herpen. She is using materials other than fabric to create couture and giving a truly creative and innovative result. Her creations are ‘sculptural’, as she felt strongly limited by soft fabric and wanted to build, construct, and sculpt with the materials with which she created her design.
She was the first to introduce the Rapid Prototyping technology of 3D printing in the fashion industry. In addition to 3D prints, she developed her garments further by adding detailed handwork.
Each one of her creation are a piece of art as you can see below:
Iris Van Herpen is not the only one using new technology and techniques to revolutionize the fashion industry. Indeed, the Autumn/Winter 2015 Chanel show used it as well. Karl Lagerfeld, artistic director of Chanel haute-couture since 1983, imagined a new Chanel collection in the Grand-Palais in Paris and transformed the show into a casino. He brought in new haute-couture garments made by 3D printers.
This is not the first time that Karl Lagerfeld broke the rules and continues to innovate. As he said, “The idea is to take the most iconic jacket from the XX° century and transformed it as a XXI° century’s one, which would have been technically impossible to create at the time it was born”.
3D printing is not the only technology that creators and designers can use to create innovative garments. LED lights, new technologies, pressure censor and solar cells are other examples of what we are going to see in future collections. This revolution is, in fact, already underway. And its pioneer is definitively Anouk Wipprecht! She is a Fashion-Tech designer and innovator working in the emerging field of “FashionTech”: a unique combination of fashion design combined with engineering, robotics and science. Welcome to the future!
Anouk Wipprecht is famous worldwide especially for her “Spider Dress” (see below). She is creating garments full of sensors and cells, which can interact with people’s environment and feelings to generate a real “comfort area”. The “Spider Dress” was created in partnership with Intel and has an Edison chip. If you are interested in her creations, definitely check out the interactive clothes she created for the Black Eyed Peas for the SuperBowl in 2011 or the four smart dresses made in collaboration with Audi. These dresses include the specific elements of Audi’s new car.
This progress is extending the concept of user experience and our traditional use of clothes. She thought that materials were boring because they were not interacting or moving so she decided to turn them into robots.
The materials used to create are not the only way to innovate. More and more often, designers are looking for meaning behind their creations. Beauty is important, but it is not enough. The best example of genius at creating garments which continue to provoke introspection, discussion and a second look is John Galliano, artistic director in Martin Margiela since October 2014.
One of the most noticed garment was this white coat in bonded cotton with black tulle shaped like a face.
The future of the fashion industry is also shaped by a more diverse set of models. A lot of haute-couture Houses were reprimanded for their lack of racially diverse models. James Scully, casting director, has brought to the fore the abuse and racial discrimination in the modelling industry. However, he also noticed the recent efforts of Prada and Saint Laurent among others to use more diverse and varied set of models.
I would finally underline the importance of an increasing digital presence. We are surrounded by the internet, social media and blogs meaning that the fashion industry will have to adapt even more to this new trend. Even if digital directors do exist in companies, they will certainly face new ways of communicating in the future as well as new competitors. For example, more than half of the Internet’s sales growth came from Amazon in 2016. Getting consumers to buy luxury products on Amazon.com is just one small piece of a much wider strategy to disrupt the fashion industry like never before.
The internet also helps people to be aware about the industry: its advantages and drawbacks. Laws and regulations are made in order to help fighting anorexia and other eating disorders which are far too prevalent in the modelling industry. And even if social media has pulled back the curtain on the behind-the-scenes beauty prep process a little bit, there is still a lot that is not being shown.
Obviously, we cannot know precisely and with totally certainty what the future holds, however, thanks to innovative and creative designers, who always try to push back the limits, we can catch sight of what may happen in years to come. Have you got an idea about what’s coming next in the fashion industry?