When we imagine the future, how do we see it? Are there bullet trains, flying cars, and maybe even a space shuttle taking us to Mars for holidays? In the 1900s, artists drew a glamorous future for air travel, with people going on aircraft limousines to the Opera in Paris, as we can see in this fascinating illustration from Albert Robida.
Our idea of the future is closely related to mobility devices but also relates to fashion. After all, what will we be wearing to travel throughout space?
Recently, the first all-female spacewalk by NASA was stopped due to an issue with the availability of female-fit spacesuits for the mission. During a previous spacewalk, one of the female astronauts realized that the medium-size hard upper torso (the spacesuit t-shirt) fit her better, but there wasn’t enough time on the schedule to develop a new one up there on the space station.
Thinking about fashion design in the future, it is not just about how we’ll look. It’s about how we’ll feel inside our clothes and our accessories, how practical, comfortable, and safe they will be, and the different needs we’ll face. This is what good design does–like at the beginning of the century, when bicycles were invented. At that time, women revolutionized fashion by creating the athletic suit to ease riding, opening room for trousers in female’s wardrobe.
Real innovation in fashion gives function to a garment without ruining how it looks. Wearables are not just devices. They have to be, as the name says, wearable, and should respond to a practical demand, making our lives easier. One of the best examples we know of is luggage. It’s such a simple accessory today; we don’t even think about how innovative it was when Monsieur Louis Vuitton created the flat trunk, making it possible to pile and carry it easily while traveling was starting to become a thing in the nineteenth century.
Here is where Fashion meets Mobility. When designing clothes and accessories, we need to think about how people are going to use them and how they will move around in them. The same principle applies when we develop mobility ideas. Superspeed vehicles would require protective and thermal clothes, but they must be kept lightweight and fast. Smart fabrics such as ThermalTech, made of 100% stainless steel mesh with a solar selective coating, are some of the alternatives.
There are a good amount of industry solutions and new ideas to achieve the mobility level our society demands. Acclaimed fashion designers are collaborating with different technological industries to create the textiles and accessories we’ll be using in the coming decades. Stella McCartney for Adidas is testing a technology called NuCycl to liquify cotton and transform it into new material in a completely circular and sustainable fabrication process. The Dutch brand Senscommon, in partnership Uchino Japan, launched a “self-purifying” charcoal clothing collection, which eliminates excess odor, moisture, bacteria, and environmental chemicals.
There is a huge opportunity to create the future of fashion by creating smart fabrics, developing sustainable technologies, and designing ways to make us move better, faster and safer.
We are to explore the Future of Fashion and Mobility to discover what else the two disciplines have in common and how they shape what’s next. Keep an eye out for our forthcoming chapters and on the full content of The Future Fashion and Mobility Trend Report. If you would like to read the entire report now, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org
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