One of the more unexpected and interesting ways that digital media allows people to self-express is based on themes – sexual, aesthetic, ethnic, folkloric, re-inventionist. Insta-expressing, Facebook-statusing, Tweet-shouting and ViMEo’ing are pervasive and narcissistic, true, but also non-linear, fluid and freeing. Perhaps a tad too much. “Fragmentation is one of the defining traits of the historical moment we are living in,” observes the Italian fashion writer Angelo Flaccavento. “Made universally relevant by the unprecedented possibility of streaming, or sharing, one’s own little world and egotistical preferences [and] achingly personal rules,” he continues, noting that “the zing of Google search allows past and present to happen.”
However, this lack of obvious cohesion doesn’t necessarily imply (outright) chaos; rather, Flaccavento asserts that it reflects the reigning zeitgeist, which mirrors our society-wide struggles against loneliness. “While digital socializing continues to produce widespread isolation, the relationship between the single person and the environment, both physical and cultural, comes to the fore,” explains Flaccavento, pointing out something quite interesting: that we are at a unique point in our history in which dress has been transformed into a mobile habitat. “The body,” he writes, “is concealed, distorted, altered as it was purely sculptural material – erased by big volumes that create architectural alter egos, hardened by odd materials, elongated, widened and morphed.”
Rather than fashion and design being about covering the body, the body now acts as a “starting point for new adventures and new spatial explorations…Clothing has gained a new physical relevance: maybe it is a cave for hiding oneself, maybe an instrument to protect, sometime a weapon to attack. Never before, as in this moment, has fashion explored the possibility of the dress to turn into an habitat: a place to live which dialogues with the environment we live in – enclosing it, invading it, occupying it.“
– Lesley Scott
Actively embracing the future – from technology to traditional gender roles – with a desire to make it fashionable and timely is a signature of the Futurenetic Fashion Tribe. For more of my posts about this tribe, CLICK HERE. To learn more about each of fashion’s four mega-tribes that I track, START HERE.