The Future of Fashion Design is Code… Not Couture

The fashion industry has significantly evolved over decades. A big proportion of that, has been implicated by the changes in creativity and trends by designers. There is always an element of surprise within fashion, differing from season to season (well you know that), so we never know what’s next. Talking of change, look at the huge rise in technology in the last 10 years. Our society has and is still becoming overloaded with the constant growing and evolution of incredible forms of gadgets to enhance and entertain our lives. Now let’s apply the thriving changes in fashion and technology together… could this be where our future of fashion design lies?

With ‘wearable computing’ now an extremely popular trend, we can already see fashion and technology intersect. From Apple watches and Fitbit’s to our smartphones, electronics have become our accessories. Forget your Gucci necklace! So with technology always evolving, what’s next, I hear you say…

For fashion designers, one of the most challenging aspects of the business is the manufacturing process, so what could help? Meet the future of design… 3D printing! With 3D printing the opportunities are endless, not only does it provide designers with an easier method but also a chance for more one-off, unique designs.

But what about consumers? It’s even better for us, we could have the potential to create and design exactly what we want. Let’s be honest, no one knows better than you, what you would like out of a garment (not even that big computer data.) As creative director, Georginna Stout expresses “if you have 3D printing in a retail store, customers could customise their products to whatever size they want.” This could question the future of design. However, will that see us all becoming fashion designers?

Francis Bitonti has already tested this innovative idea in his collections. The designer used 3D printing in his ‘Cloud’ collection, to create extra accessories to accompany his dress designs and they really work! “Technology redefines material as information, as data,” Bitonti says. With 3D printers in homes, “consumers are becoming producers.” Reebok are amongst some of the brands who have branched out into using this 3D technology. They are set to use 3D printing, the mixture of 3D drawing and robot technology, to create their next collection of shoes. Could we see even more of this in the future?

On the contrary, another approach we may see in the future of design… Sustainable fashion. We’ve seen the signs already, hot on the recycling, like mums are, except I’m not talking cardboard. H&M, you may have heard, display boxes in their store, which allow you to donate any old clothes or fabric you have. In return, you receive £5 to use on your next shop there. Sounds like a good deal to me. The clothing then gets recycled and made into completely new items. The future of this, hopefully, we will keep trying to become Green. But maybe we will see more of the unique designs such as Hilary Roberts’ dress made from straws, or perhaps just dresses made from paper, cups or wine corks. (It’s been done!)

Unfortunately, we can’t see into the future like Doc and Marty, (‘Back to the Future’ film reference for you) so we will have to wait and see.

(This post is part of a design blogger competition organised by CGTrader)

Words by Emily Bone