(photo via createyourcosmos) Fashion is in an ever-changing flow, reimagining itself but also reinventing itself. Although you could say that trends are always repeating themselves eventually, there are designers that show us the way into the future. And despite my love for the traditional couture houses and flowy feminine dresses, I also like my fashion edgy. Because I like it to be questioning common rules and norms of society and our picture of beauty. Most of all, putting aside all that pish-posh, I like it to be cool. And looking at a designer paving the way into the future, even if he or she is just fooling around with ideas, can be pretty cool. Believe me! Here are five of those designers that have looked into the future and came back with some pretty awesome ideas.
Junya Watanabe is a Japanese fashion designer who worked as an apprentice for famous Rei Kawakobo, head designer at Comme des Garçons. After working eight years for the brand, Watanabe launched his own womenswear line, still under Comme des Garçons’ wings.
The key to his form of futurism lies in the fact that his designs show technical innovations like glow-in-the-dark fibers or waterproofing. While using synthetic and technologically advanced materials, he enhances his vision with futuristic designs interwoven with fabric manipulation. Furthermore, his collections are always radically different, he likes to experiment and create intrinsically new things. While doing this, Watanabe has created pieces that have altered the way people think about clothing, not just fashion. Which is why the media regards the designer and his works both critically and enthusiastically, and people not involved with fashion seem to be left wary. Because Watanabes’s designs do not depict the classic definition of fashion. And I think that’s what futurist fashion is about, don’t you think? Leaving people suspicious, and wondering.
Neri Oxman is an architect, designer, Sony Corporation Career Development Professor and Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at the MIT Media Lab. That’s a lot of titles! The American–Israeli designer is noted for art and architecture that combine design, biology, computing, and materials engineering. Furthermore her and her team at Mediated Matter research group explore computational design, digital fabrication, materials science and synthetic biology.
While applying their findings to design across disciplines, media and scales, they create incredible pieces. In this context Neri Oxman’s vision is to bring together the environment of Nature and man alike. This she does by using design principles inspired and engineered by Nature, and mixing them with novel design technologies. Don’t you think her artwork looks breathtaking? I think she redraws the boundaries between fashion and art and technology, and I am not sure if they belong into a museum or on a catwalk. What do you think?
Ying Gao is a Montreal-based designer and university professor, standing out through various creative projects and exhibitions in different countries. While the designer has been featured in numerous press articles from Vogue to Time, one can easily understand why. She creates high-tech fashion in form of glow-in-the-dark dresses that respond to the people who look at them. In this context she merges urban and media design with architecture, creating garments that she makes out of latex or even glass. I mean, just look at her work and tell me it’s not fascinating?! Additionally Gao uses a rather complex sensory technology to make those garments light up, move or even change their shape. This she does by the use of eye-tracking technology, which I can imagine can be a bit creepy. But also very new and exciting, I would love to see those dresses in real life.
Mashallah Design and Linda Kostowski
Mashalla Design and Linda Kostowski is a collaboration between a Berlin-based interdisciplinary design studio and the artist Linda Kastowski. So this is not referring to a single artist or designer but rather a single project, called “The T/Shirt Issue”. I find this project so fascinating!
The duo wanted to create a shirt by scanning human bodies and using the collected data to create sewing patterns. First they scanned the people to create a digital portray, producing a 3D file in the process. The file defines the shape as an array of polygons, creating a shape that fits uniquely to this one person. Then they transform the data from its 3D status to 2D sewing patterns by help of a laser cutter. Just imagine crafting a paper model which needs to be folded to make a 3D sculpture! It’s the same with those shirts. Working this way with the garments, you can create a whole new perspective and free the form of a shirt from its distinctive frame. There is no distinctive front, back or a shape of an armhole. This way, the idea of the designer stands before the shape of an ordinary shirt.
Iris van Herpen
Dutch designer Iris van Herpen creates a more modern view on Haute Couture, combining handwork techniques with digital technology. I once read that she used a 3D-printer to directly print a dress onto an actress! Van Herpen’s designs stand out through a unique treatment of materials or the creation of completely new ones, which is why she often collaborates with other artists and works interdisciplinary.
While working in fashion Van Herpen felt limited by fabric and wanted to sculpt and build with the materials at hand instead, forcing her to look out for other options and thus giving her designs a very sculptural appearance. The design is only fully realized when the body that wears it moves, and so the designs follow, complete and change the body while the body itself adapts and adopts the design. It’s like a symbiosis with astonishingly interesting outcomes! Read more about her in my post!
So, who’s your favourite?