In 2020, Vogue posed the question: What Is the Future of the Fashion Show? Whilst this editorial directly addressed the purpose and relevance of fashion shows, it ended up highlighting an underlying concern for all fashion houses. What is the future of fashion, and how will designers evolve.
The answer is murky and not clear cut, but it seems that the world of fashion is moving away from ‘just selling clothes’, and towards creating an immersive experience within the fashion space. The editorial goes on to state that, “those with the most lasting impact are often the ones in service of a greater message.” This emphasizes a particular point: design is transitioning into operating with conscious purpose and intention. As a result, designers with concepts are ranking high above those without.
DEMOBAZA is a fashion brand that was founded in 2007. The brand uses concepts as a foundation to their designs.
Design with Concept
Fashion houses rooting their garments in concept is not a new thought, however, it is frequently being reimagined. Designers are testing the limits of concept design, and are curating the way that viewers are experiencing their clothes. Fashion enthusiasts can expect a rise in conceptual design, as fashion houses are encouraged to explore the creative realm of their imagination.
Rei Kawakubo, the designer and founder of Comme des Garçons, has continued to revolutionize the world of fashion through her avant garde styles, and reimagination of the consumer experience. In fact, Kawakubo has staged many installations for the brand, where she has had a hand in every detail of the experience. This has been a way of ensuring that any representation of Comme des Garçons is true to concept, and reflective of the brand’s own ethos.
Kawakubo is not the only designer to permeate the importance of concept in their designs. Rick Owens is another conceptual designer to watch. In 2015, Owens debuted his spring 2016 collection, with models walking down the runway with ‘human backpacks.’ Whilst this sounds bizarre, Owens had a conceptual vision, stating that the collection was, “about nourishment, sisterhood/motherhood and regeneration; women raising women, women becoming women, and women supporting women.”
DEMOBAZA is yet another fashion house pursuing concepts within their designs. The brand, whilst starting off as an online store selling deconstructed jeans, has evolved into a design house with purpose and vision for a new future in fashion, and with fashion. The brand looks to the future for inspiration, but roots their concept in the natural world. Inspired by beautiful desertscapes, the brand aims to design for a world where humans are one with nature, and where consciousness meets spirituality.
What Will the Future Look Like?
This question is somewhat confounding, as designers cannot say for sure what aspects of fashion will be relevant, or necessary, in the future. However, designers are looking to the past and present to predict what the future of fashion could look like, and are using conceptual elements to radically design for purpose.
Looking to the future no longer means designing garments with an undertone of sci-fi characteristics. Gone are tinfoil, chrome headpieces and faux technology. Designing for the future, through futurism, can now mean designing for a future purpose.
Some designers are using the natural environment as a conceptual framework to work within. This can take the form of representing nature through fashion, or using current research in ecology and the environment to solve future climate problems through their designs.
DEMOBAZA states that their design is, “a project beyond fashion, that works for the creation of the next dimension.” This dimension is one that incorporates technology and minimalism, with the natural world, in order to create a new ‘deconstructivist uniform.’
Like DEMOBAZA, Neri Oxman has also attempted to solve global problems of the future through her designs. In 2014, the designer created a series of imaginative pieces that would, “blur the boundary between the environment and ourselves.” To do this, Oxman utilized 3D printing to reveal designs that would theoretically allow for interplanetary travel, air-purification and breathing on other planets.
The conscious future of fashion is different for many design houses. However, the relevance of designers is becoming dependent on what their designs say, and what purposes they have. Whilst this can sound purely functional, conscious design is an artistic expression of concepts and ideals. Designers like Rei Kawakubo and Rick Owens are using their concepts to revitalize the creative process, and create pieces that are inspired and articulate.
Other designers are aiming to solve problems, and design for the future of the world, and other worlds. DEMOBAZA underpins nature as their conceptual backbone, but creates for a future where nature, technology and spirituality are cohesive.