Forecasting the future of fashion in general, but also the next big trend may be quite difficult, considering the extremely fast pace the fashion industry moves at.
Yet this is not the main point of a major exhibition that will be launched this Autumn at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam.
"The Future of Fashion Is Now" will indeed look at the innovations brought into fashion in the last few years and at creations that can't be pigeonholed in one discipline or category, but that somehow merge art, architecture, sculpture, engineering, science, biology, technology and fashion all together.
Including over fifty fashion designers, the event will feature iconic garments by established names such as Comme des Garçons, Hussein Chalayan, Viktor & Rolf and Martin Margiela, and emerging talents like Mason Jung, Rejina Pyo, Little Shilpa, Ana Rajcevic and Lara Torres.
This new generation of young designers is actually looking at ways to redefine and recreate fashion and is also approaching in a critical way the demands of our consumer society.
Some of the young designers inolved in this event tackle through their more conceptual pieces identity (Pyuupiru's hand-knitted monster-like creations), sustainability and environmentally friendly materials (Wang Lei's traditional Chinese costumes from woven toilet paper and Carole Collet's experiments with lace grown from the roots of strawberry plants), and the impact of technological research on fashion (Pauline van Dongen's Wearable Solar Project jacket can recharge a mobile phone; Ying Gao's clothes inspired by the idea of uncertainty are activated by sounds).
The event will focus not just on clothing and accessories, but will also offer a rich program of activities and lectures.
Besides, there will be the opportunity to watch videos and contemplate installations like the Zen garden setting for Viktor & Rolf's Autumn/Winter 2013 collection, or look at striking images such as the ones taken by Hassan Hajjaj.
A jury including Viktor & Rolf, editor-in-chief of Dutch Vogue Karin Swerink and curator and fashion expert José Teunissen, awarded the Han Nefkens Fashion on the Edge Award to six designers.
Each of them will represent a country - Craig Green (UK), Digest Design (China), Ricarda Bigolin & Nella Themelios's D&K (Australia), Iris van Herpen (The Netherlands), Lucia Cuba (Peru) and Olek (Poland) - and develop new pieces commissioned for this exhibition.
To make the event more dynamic and interactive, the organisers have launched a discussion board: everybody can choose a theme among the ones available on the "Topics" page and join the conversation.
Issues go from public consumption, identity, body mutations and fast fashion to analysing materials and technologies or pondering on design processes and on the final messages that individual designers or brands are spreading through their works and collections.
We may only be able to discover tomorrow what the future of fashion will really be like, but it's good to know that we can all start collectively debating about it today.
Image credits for this post
1. The Future of Fashion Is Now, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Concept / Art Direction: Glamcult Studio. Photo: Jouke Bos.
2. Viktor & Rolf Haute Couture, Autumn/Winter 2013. Photo Peter Stigter.
3. Ana Rajcevic, Animal - The Other Side of Evolution, 2012. Photo: Woland.
4. Hussein Chalayan, Laser Dress from the Readings collection, Spring/Summer 2008. Collection Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Loan: Han Nefkens H+F Fashion on the Edge 2010. Video: Nick Night/SHOWstudio. Photo: Nick Knight. Courtesy of Hussein Chalayan.
5. Carole Collet, Basil No. 5 (Ocimum Basilicum Rosa), Biolace, 2010 - 2012. Photo: © Carole Collet, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts, Londen.
6. Rejina Pyo, exhibition ‘Structural Mode’ at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, 2012. Photo: Lotte Stekelenburg.
7. Piyuupiru, Mercury, from the series Planetaria, 2001. Photo: Masayuki Yoshinaga.
8. Pauline van Dongen, Wearable Solar-coat, 2013. Model: Julia J., Fresh Model Management. Photo: Mike Nicolaassen.
9. Julia Krantz, Shell collectie, 2009. photo: Katrin Kirojood.
10. Si Leong Chan, Hug me, 2012. Photo: Sara Pista.
11. Anrealage - Kunihiko Morinaga, Bone, presentation Spring/Summer 2013 collection. Photo: Anrealage Co., Ltd.
12. Little Shilpa - Shilpa Chavan, Grey Matters, Spring/Summer 2014. Model Erika Packard. Photo: Prasad Naik.