Fashion & Fancy-dress in the Future (Rerestalgics)

October 17th, 2016 § 0 comments

In the future, fashion* will be able to precisely and accurately replicate the minutae of historical clothing. Thanks to decades of photo-sharing, by billions of people, living and dead, it will be possible to recreate exact copies of clothing from specific moments and places in historical-time – Rerestalgics (Retrospective Recreative Nostalgic fashion). The advent of social media from the early 2000’s will mean that the most accurate refashioning will be from that time onwards, but thanks to the desire to share nostalgic pre-social media images of childhood and family, there will be a smaller database from the dawn of photography to the end of the 20th century.

The hipsters of the day will be able to have either an exact replica of ‘factory-workers shirt from Highland Park Ford Plan, 1913‘. Or, they may wish for an averaged-out approximation of ‘fat white male shirt from Ontario between February 1973 and March 1988‘. These ‘averaged out’ creations will in themselves create a type of rerestalgic which will not previously have existed, and will also in the future be subject to rerestalgia (eg ‘rerestalgic shirt worn by females over 1.8m tall from June – August 2064‘ – this will, inevitably, lead to the same kind of ‘browning out’ that occurs when children mix too many different colours of poster paint together). ‘Browning out‘ will become slang, variously negative and positive, depending on the circumstances, and the speaker/writer/thinker.

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Some people will desire clothing from periods which did not already look to replicate previous fashions for inspiration, this is ‘AvantRere’ – not so popular among the everyday person, as even in the future, wearing something too distinctively different will draw unwanted attention for some. What these high-end AvantRere’s will fail to notice as that it is the averaged-out rerestaligic clothing which will be last truly cutting edge fashion style. Others may wish to mix and match different specifics, to create a rerecollage. This will be frowned upon by purists, but others will be excited about the possibilities, such as creating a mash up of ‘poor Turkish gastarbeiter shirt (off duty) Cologne 1973‘ with ‘Polish NHS workers mens jogging bottoms (off duty) Nottingham 2014′.

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There will be hyper-specialists who look to recreate recreations, such as ‘male checked shirt from early 1990’s, which in itself was a recreation of a shirt from 1983, which was a recreation of a shirt from 1965’. Snob’s will know the difference between time periods, even if the black and white checked shirt looks the same through each era.

Another branch of rerestaligic clothing will be created by requesting clothing to be conglomerated from another historico-cultural subset. For example, Etruscan pots from 500 – 450 BC. The risk with this kind of request is that (depending on the quality/expense of your hardware) you may end up with clothing that resembles an Etruscan pot, instead of being ‘inspired’ by the pots). However, these accidents will potentially be fashions’ only hope…

What will the difference between ‘fashion’ and ‘fancy-dress’ be? A fancy dress party will be an attempt to coral existing fashions into a more specific parameter, as current day halloween costumes do. Outfits often consist of clothing that would also be appropriate for non-halloween occasions – for example fishnet stockings, pointed hats, ripped shirts… but there still remains a general ‘halloween aesthetic’.

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A prospective party-thrower may request that revelers attend in ‘girls clothing (under 16 years of age) from northeast Fife underage ‘raves’ from Winter 1992‘. Party-goers can then access the database (or request an app do it for them) which filters photography from the period, suggesting appropriate clothing. It is this mutually agreed specificity which will draw the line between fashion and fancy. The line will constantly be blurred by the young (under 14) who choose to dress like one-another, and they will be reprimanded by their elders for ‘going about in fancy-dress’.

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Production of clothing – this will largely be done by computers digitally-knitting mixed organic and plastic fibres on demand. Depending on ones income, this bespoke service could include exact replicas of fabrics, as well as designs. Those with (digital) cash to (digitally) splash could sweat their night away in genuine April 22nd 1978 100% polyester shirt from the suburbs of Rome. If you have powerful rerestalgic replication hardware, you may even be able to access 100% natural fibres from the correct species of sheep used to hand-knit an ‘islanders knitted waistcoat from St Kilda Wednesday February 10th, 1897′. This may be dependent on highly expensive genetic knitting, if the aforementioned sheep is no longer in circulation. Those from the 0.1% will be able to hire genuine-replica sweatshop workers with Bangladeshi heritage (complete with required DNA certification) to reproduce early 21st century fashions ‘with real sweat’.

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*fashion meaning ‘everyday’ fashion. Haute couture etc will still exist, but only be accessible to the ‘0.1%’ who can afford it. The very poor will likely have to make do with the clothes other people throw away (and be subject to trends themselves, such as ‘Starving Yemeni female child wearing donated clothing from Barnardo’s charity shops (north of Hull) circa Autumn/Winter 2016‘)

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