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What designers thought 21st century fashion would look like

22 February 2017

WORDS BY Fashion Quarterly New Zealand

1930s inline

A humorous fashion video from the 1930s shows what designers saw in fashion’s crystal ball.

In the video below, a quirky black and white news segment shows a range of outfits, created by leading designers in the 1930s when asked to predict the fashion of the future in “A.D. 2000”.

Although some designs seem a far cry from the low-rise jeans and spaghetti straps of the millennium, some designs are spot on. We have seen many iterations of the cantilever heels suggested by one designer, most notably by Alexander McQueen, and practical, zip-off clothing is well and truly part of the 21st century, for better or for worse.


WATCH: The surreal video below, ‘oh, swish!’:

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Pathetone Weekly was a news TV show in the 1930s-1940s, which covered ‘the novel, the amusing and the strange’, according to a newspaper at the time. At times it seems they were predicting a dystopian universe where attracting the opposite sex is more important than ever, with women wearing a “transparent net to catch the males” and men having a container to hold such things as “candy for cuties”. But other designs are apt reflections of our times, including the pant suit, which has gained popularity as a political statement since the American presidential elections, with actress Evan Rachel Wood vowing to only wear suits on the red carpet this year.


WATCH: Iconic Fashion Trends From The Past Century

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The designers did not shy away from forecasting technological advancements either. The electric temperature control belt reminds us of the Wristify bracelet with the same function. And although we don’t need to wear our telephones and a radio on a bulky vest, we do seem to have our smartphones on us at all times now. Airlines including Air New Zealand have even changed their safety videos to suggest stowing your mobile phone in your pocket for the flight.

Words: Jessica-Belle Greer, Simply You
Photo: @ditavonteese

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