Saturday, 11 August 2012

neo industrialism s/s13

I've been blogging so sporadically over the past few months but I'm starting a new chapter in several ways and this is one of them.

I feel like it's a confusing time for us as consumers to respond to the fashion trends recently as we've been too busy mourning for our non-existent summer (again) in a confusing mix of leather jackets and vest tops that we've barely had time to wear the vintage Americana, mix-matched prints and pastel trends that emerged for Spring/Summer 2012. With country classics and winter blooms, and a palette of strong paintbox colours (purple, red, army green, cobalt) with a dash of metallics presented for Autumn/Winter, it feels a little as though we're being rushed along when we're still clinging onto hope for just one more beach day. Next month, fashion week returns to present Spring/Summer 2013's trends, and I'd like to share my prediction for next season with you (forecasted Winter 2011).

Neo Industrialism S/S13:

 Illustrations and text by Lara Spiller (illustrations created using origami and original photographs)

During the past five years, there has been an irrefutable rise in the use of technology within the fashion industry. Companies are using social networks for promotion and market analysis, as well as creating mobile-optimised websites, shopping apps and installing computer tablets in-store. Even 3D body scanners have been developed to measure a person’s vital statistics, creating a virtual image of them which will allow them to pick clothes from the shop’s database, ‘try’ them on by transferring the image to their virtual body, and go home confident that their purchases will fit perfectly. The latest development in 3D technology are 3D printers, which allow the user to print a design for home decor, medical implants, fashion accessories, art, etc. Online companies are already selling 3D printed objects and allowing users to design their own. This new technology will revolutionise manufacturing.

This is part of a series of technological advances in the recent 3D phenomenon, which has seen a resurgence of 3D film since the unprecedented success of Avatar in December 2009, and the development of 3D game consoles and televisions. The latest, and most exciting, is the development of 3-dimensional printing, otherwise known as additive manufacturing, which uses a 3D computer design to create a ‘print’ in metal, plastic or even chocolate, by layering the material a few microns at a time. The core appeal of this revolutionary technology is bespoke manufacturing: medical implants can be precisely tailored for each patient; we can be our own fashion designers, creating accessories to suit our individual tastes and needs; we will be able to print spare car parts, personalised phone covers and even another 3D printer.

According to Lisa Harouni, of company Digital Forming, ‘it is going to affect every facet of life’. This technology has been in existence for almost two decades, initially being used for product prototyping, but decreased costs now means that it is now a viable method of mass manufacturing. Online companies such as Shapeways and Ponoko are already selling a variety of printed objects including musical instruments, jewellery, home decor and art, as well as allowing consumers to design and buy their own piece, and ‘part fashion label, part experimental design lab’ Continuum are selling a 3D printed bikini.

From this rise in technology emerges the trend Neo Industrialism: a fashion movement that looks to a realistic future, a future where 3D printing will infiltrate our everyday lives. This trend will appeal to confident, young, tech-savvy professionals who have a clean-cut, sophisticated style, with emphasis on cut, shape and structure rather than colour and pattern. They like to be individual, often customising clothes and making their own jewellery. The garments are not yet products of 3D printing (as the technology is not currently able to print in fabric) but influenced by it, creating structure and volume using boning, folds and pleats. 3D printed accessories will be worn to complete the look.

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