Meridith's 2018 Consumer Design Predictions

Meridith's 2018 Consumer Design Predictions

Posted by: Meridith Fishkin on Friday, August 11, 2017 at 12:00:00 am

Hard on the heels of Marvel’s amazing inspiration of makeup for L’Oréal, Gucci has just released a stunning campaign based on the Original Star Trek. Vogue was the first designer to admit the inspiration of Heroines to their clothing line, and while only a little of this inspiration has trickled down to mortal realm of street fashion, it is important to note the amazing accomplishments of Vogue’s designers and their very frank willingness to admit inspiration.

Fantasy has been inspiring reality for a long time; in 1926, Nicola Tesla described the Internet and cell phones with astounding accuracy.

"When wireless is perfectly applied, the whole earth will be converted into a huge brain, which in fact it is, all things being particles of a real and rhythmic whole. We shall be able to communicate with one another instantly, irrespective of distance. Not only this, but through television and telephony we shall see and hear one another as perfectly as though we were face to face, despite intervening distances of thousands of miles; and the instruments through which we shall be able to do his will be amazingly simple compared with our present telephone. A man will be able to carry one in his vest pocket." -Nikola Tesla, 1926

In 1900 Jules Verne’s Earth to Moon was the first semi-scientific description of a space shuttle. So where is my self-driving hover car? Like so many things in fiction, this one probably won’t come to pass in my lifetime, but fashion-from-fiction? That, we can have.

Resources and excess, or lack thereof, dictates the definitions of what is beautiful in society. A beautiful woman in the first world is nearly starved; her bones show through her skin and her muscles are underdeveloped everywhere but her legs. In a place where resources are limited, a heavy woman is idealized. Both features are representative of wealth and show abnormality rather than the norm. These physical attributes are something to strive towards. But, since the rise of the Gen-Xers in the retail market, a more surprising and delightful “off-color” beauty has arisen.

The rise of fantasy has taken our fashion by storm.

What’s next in women’s fashion in the U.S.? Their names are Gal Gadot, Scarlet Johansson, and Angela Merkel. Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) & Scarlett Johansson (Avengers & Ghost in the Shell) are no brainers for my futurist fantasy fashion references. Particularly Gal Gadot’s stunning interpretation of Wonder Woman and her character’s not so subtle interpretation of restrictive clothing  are inspiring new lines of movable and fashionable dress wear.

Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, is a little harder to place; her comfortable business style is all about color. Aside from hitting #1 on Forbes 100 most powerful women list, this amazing 63-year old has a wardrobe to make Dr. Who’s wife and M of James Bond consider a new clothing line. But more importantly, it’s a style to which we can all aspire and one we can afford. Tanks or Tees under nicely fitted jackets with black or white slacks. This new trend of down-to-earth casual clothing for powerful women has been reflected in the DC movies and many of the more mainstream indie films airing since Merkel’s rise to popularity in 2005.

It is important to remember that these actresses and the German Chancellor don’t set trends or move fashion on their own. Each of them has a costume designer inspired by those who came before. And the desire to fantasize ourselves into these roles is being fulfilled by companies like Hot Topic and designers like Alexander McQueen.

What’s next?

For next year's weird clothing choice in the mainstream, look for more armor on 3D printed shirts for men.

Women will get more fabric in their skirts and dresses below the knees. But don't expect to get your sleeves back just yet, ladies. Yellow will feature prominently in non-jewelry accessories as an accent color, and after hitting the haute couture carpets in 2016, blue is still replacing black as the non-couture designer color of choice.

If the Brexit holds and the US dollar continues to rise against Yuan and the Yen – and we don't have a lot of solar flares this winter – we can also expect a heavy rise in 3D printed clothing. Currently, at less than 1/3 of 1% of our imported clothing, we could see the imported 3D printed clothing figure rise to 1-2 % by fall 2018. While that may still seem like a very percentage, it’s an indication that we are approaching the tipping point mainstream (non-haute couture) 3D clothing. Better buy that new winter coat in a size or two larger than usual to accommodate. 

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