GET YOUR NEON ON

The future of FashTech is bright. Or rather, fluorescent!

Beyond silver: Judging by the star-studded launch party of Future Fashion exhibition Manus x Machina, the future will be going back to the 60s (at least according to Madonna and Kim Kardashian). Shiny, silver, a bit of geometrics with a tint of plastic stormtrooper got thrown in for good measure (plus Kate Hudson looking uncomfortable in a paper-like white creation). But is it really the future or just a token throwback to retro sputnik worship? Certainly most of the stars dragged to the party, including a grumpy Lady Gaga, looked like they were auditioning for a remake of Kubrick’s 2001, even if on a much smaller budget.

Let the clothes take care of you: The real future of fashion is being forged in numerous fashion labs around the world, not least in Amsterdam. Popka Studio’s recent collab with Kasia Molga created a mesmerising glimpse of future clothes that are not just made to look trendy but to take care of you. Protective fitness clothing and good-for-your-health fashion is coming. Soon, wearing a top that ‘does nothing’ for your body will be as quaint as wearing a crinoline! Kasia’s creations are not just beautiful, they makes sense, as all the large surfaces of your body are incredibly useful for sensing your mood, temperature needs, state of health and current body needs. Smart. And Beautiful.

It’s a bright future for fashion: The future of fashion is bright, at least when it comes to colours. While silver is forever stuck with the retro sci-fi crowd, the bicycle as transport of choice in the urban jungle combined with the need for safety is driving demand for fluorescent clothing. In the last couple of years, technology has been delivering – no more washed-off dye-on jackets like the mid 90s, when Sebastian Conran designed the first fluorescent courier bag crossed by a lime stripe for our Cyberia Internet Café. We were thinking right, but 20 years ago was too early for textile tech to catch up with street-smart fashion ideas.

Neon kicks are on fire: The future is not only neon-bright: it’s also totally customised. To keep the individualistic millennials (or even centennials, like my 2000 first-born daughter) excited, Nike is rolling out Sneaker Shed, where customers can let rip their imagination and make their own cheeky pair. The selection is from such a wide variety of textures and types of soles, so the fact that the colours are (guess what)… somewhat limited to all neon does not make it any less fun.

Tech so good it gives you goosebumps: Future fashion is also connected. No less than 1.65 billion people use Facebook monthly to link up with friends, and they want to be connected not just through their phone. If you hear your favourite song, or something exciting that causes goosebumps, wouldn’t it be great to share it with your friends or with a special person? Now you can, as a fab textured Sensoree jacket with a series of biosensors and GSR for excitement, breath and heartbeats can read your emotional peak and trigger inflatable 3D-printed goosebumps. No kidding. You can even send it to your significant others via sound fabric, as embroidered speakers play the correct frequency to make hair stand on their end. And the white (fluorescent of course) jacket looks good too!

For all the wearable start-ups, don’t miss out on the 20k offer from the IBM Cloud lab – any bright ideas that can revolutionise the world of retail will get you not only cash, but a distribution deal and support from the multinational tech corporation. As always, just get in touch via hello@theretailpractice.com if you need help with shaping up the pitch!