There's an old saying in science fiction circles that doesn't get any less true with age. It states:
"There's nothing as dated as yesterday's future."
Science fiction, especially in the movies, has a dangerous way of looking dated almost as soon as it's been released. Thirties movies like Metropolis, with their flying cars and scary-looking robots. The fifties, when it seemed that everyone would be going to work by jetpack. Gloomy 70s films like Soylent Green, that showed riot control using giant earth-moving scoops.
|First Great Western regret to announce delays to all West Coast services, due to a blimp on the line.|
Actually, that last one's not too far off the truth.
The thing is, predicting the future is a tricky business, and there's no guarantees as to what lies ahead. Sure, we don't have jetpacks and robot servants. But I'm writing this on a slab of glass and aluminium that's barely as thick as my little finger, and at the swipe of my finger, this article can be read anywhere on the planet. That's something that very few writers managed to see back in the fifties and sixties, when computers took over entire buildings.
The future of fashion is a subject that occupies a lot of my thinking time on this blog. Will we see more innovative uses for new textiles and fabric blends? Is the future locked in the past, as old methods and fibres like nettle and bark are rediscovered? Will we recycle more, shwopping our old clothes for new rather than simply throwing them away? One thing's for sure, we won't be dressing in the way that the SF writers predicted. No silver foil, visors and pointy hats for us, no sir.
Well, hang on a minute. In 1972, Geoffrey Hoyle's book "2010: Living In The Future" took a thoughtful look at our lives 38 years on. He was off the mark with a lot of his ideas, of course.
|A Pier32 marketing meeting, yesterday.|
But he believed that in 2010 we would all be wearing comfy, hard-wearing one-piece garments that would reflect our enlightened ideals regarding gender and class. Everyone would be dressing the same, in clothes that took a second to put on, looked good and required minimal care and attention.
He might have been a couple of years early, but in 2013, Pier32 is happy to agree with Hoyle that the future is onesie-shaped.