Following on from the news that Cher’s computerised wardrobe from Clueless is now a real thing, here are a few more visions of fashion future that I’d like to see become a reality in my lifetime (or from my cryogenic freezer, at least)…
In the future, every garment will come with an exact copy, virtually stored on a database, that you can activate and re-order a year later if your original purchase was such a success that you’ve worn it to death.
In the future, online stores will have a special feature to tell us EXACTLY what the fabric of a garment is like. Because nobody knows what ‘73% polyester and 27& elastane’ means, but everyone knows what ‘this will ride up your bum quicker than a highwayman on horseback,’ means. They’ll tell you if you’ll need to wear a slip (or if you’ll need to first buy and then wear a slip), whether it has enough stretch to wear to an all-you-can-eat brunch and how likely it is to show your nipples in the cold. If such a feature existed, I wouldn’t have wasted £30 on a pair of printed Topshop trousers so stiff and unyielding that they split down each seam the moment I sat down. You owe me £30, The Future.
In the future, there will be no bare leg or tights-shaming during unpredictable British summers, because we’ll be able to give our legs a special treatment to make them act like those Reactions lenses from Specsavers. They’ll turn opaque black when the sun goes in and fade away back to flesh the moment it comes out again.
In the future, irons will not exist. Not even the old pair of hair straighteners you occasionally use as an iron. This will be partly because we have developed more fabrics that don’t crease, but also because we will simply learn to embrace creases as a natural part of clothes-wearing, in much the same way we are learning to embrace wrinkles as a natural part of ageing. ‘Yes, I’m creased. And what?’ the coolest fashionistas will say with their eyes, and gradually, thanks to some pro-crease activism, the new attitude will trickle down through society until we can all happily wear cotton dresses to a picnic without so much as flinching.
In the future, any boob-specific garments (by which I mean anything needing to fit around the chest, rather than just hanging loosely off it like a valance sheet on a cliff) will come in a variety of different cup sizes, so that breasty shoppers need never again suffer the indignity of shoving ourselves, sleeping bag-style, into a dress that fits fine everywhere else but produces a line of cleavage that runs up past our forehead.
In the future, ‘nude’ shoes and underwear will be sold in a whole rainbow of possible skintones, rather than assuming everyone’s bare body is a uniform shade of peachy beige.
In the future, any item labelled ‘one size fits all’ will be required to do exactly that, contracting and expanding magically to accommodate the wearer like Harry Potter’s room of requirement. If not, they just won’t be allowed to put it on the label.
In the future, changing rooms will all come with individual thermostats to allow shoppers to adjust the climate according to their personal comfort. This means we could take down Topshop Oxford Circus from ‘Satan’s sauna’ to ‘pleasantly cool, like a fresh spring morning’ and we would all buy a lot more clothes.
In the future, stylish people will come with QR codes, allowing you to scan them and find out where they bought everything from – thus avoiding the embarrassing daily ritual where I run up to art students, say “HELLO is that Zara please?” and they witheringly tell me they made it themselves on a loom.
In the future, if anyone refers to your outfit as ‘cheerful’ or ‘fun’, it will be perfectly legal to push them in a pond or river*.
*This may be legal now. I haven’t checked.
Image: Pierre Cardin, 1967