So finally last Thursday we all handed in our Fashion Futures project. This I must say has been the most challenging Uni project to date. BUT I have definitely learnt a lot, including what fashion prediction really is, and scripting and producing websites on Adobe Flash in a rather stressful amount of time.
Fashion forecasting, is basically predicting the future, but as Li Edelkoort, the grand mother and god of prediction rightly says it's not about bing a mystic meg. If you think that the it colour everyones wearing this season just happened by coincidence, think again. There are companies such as MudPie (who came in to give us a talk on next years trends) and WGSN, who research and research and research looking at the world, politics, the streets, food, lifestyle.... and find the links to see how this will effect what we will want to be wearing. Everything influences us, the way we live and what we wear, and there are poeple who work this out and decide what will be big in seasons to come.
Although I am so glad to get this project out of the way, I found the whole fashion prediction thing interesting and pretty cool.
I went on holiday to Abu Dhabi this year and was completely amazed by the country and the culture of the UAE. This along with articles about the "Ramadam Gold Rush", my Arabic/Islamic trend started to develop. I wanted to look into whether Muslim women would ever start to experiment with colour and silhouette, whether they would dare to venture from the black cloaks, headscarves and burkas, and start to embrace the amazing design and colour of their country. I really got into my research and was surprised by a lot of the things I didn't know. I have always loved history and learning about the country and the culture was exciting.
|Me and the boyf at the Grand Mosque.|
Here is my Editorial layout.
Future Perfect Written Report
Muslim women in one of the richest countries in the world are slowly coming out from behind the veil and embracing western fashion. Their inspiration being the streamlined texture of Dubai, and the gold and glam of the lush leisure venues which attract the world’s elite.
The UAE is the second richest Arab nation and this is mostly definitely reflected in the tax-free regions lifestyle and design. With Mercedes and Ferrari’s, as well as being the home of some of the world’s most amazing architecture such as the Burj Khalifa and the Palm Islands. This is a playground for the rich and the flamboyant.
Although traditionally conservative, behind closed doors the Emiratis of the UAE are actually one of the most liberal countries in the Arab Nation. Foreign workers and expatriates make up three quarters of the UAE population, meaning the country is open and diverse when it comes to cultural influences. But, although very advanced in architecture, design and technology, the Arab women of the country are still quite restricted in the way they can dress, with the likes of their long black cloaks, headscarves and burkas. Yet Dubai is home to some of the greatest malls in the world, filled with the all the best names in couture fashion with Chanel, Dior and Mui Mui heading the list.
The Islamic traditions mean the women can only wear their expensive purchases under their cloaks, or in the privacy of their own home as religious culture dictates they reveal their beauty only to their husbands. However their Jimmy Choo heels, Vuitton handbags, perfect makeup and beautiful perfumes illustrate the underlining craving to express their style and love for fashion more openly. This desire has led to the emergence of Arabic women beginning to design and make clothes, and to even hold fashion shows, which at the moment are strictly women only affairs. And it doesn’t stop at just fashion. The media reveals more Arabic women are continuing their education, getting jobs and even being entrepreneurial with starting up their own businesses.
In just twenty short years, Dubai has turned from a vast desert, into an amazing built-up skyline. By the year 2020 this entrepreneurial and strong-minded approach will have gone through a number of evolutions, with one spin-off being the loosening of restrictions to allow Muslim women to be more expressive with their fashion sense. Muslim women living in the UK and other Western countries have already begun to experiment with colour, pattern and shape whilst still being modest. This is what will slowly begin to develop in the East especially countries such as the UAE, and in cities like Abu Dhabi and most definitely Dubai, who are already very forward thinking and liberal.
Although the Arab state of the UAE is a heavy consumer culture, the country is in advance and is already planning a more sustainable protection plan for the environment. It’s not news that the global dependence on oil has only a decade left of life, and the country is nothing if not forward thinking. The UAE is already building other revenue streams, such as tourism, investments, huge attractions and big business. The next big trend to keep it on the map could be setting Dubai’s status as a fashion capital.
Entrepreneurs and big business are using their funds to increase their passion for technology; for an idea think 3D printing, edible perfume, fabric grown from cellulose and bacteria, garment pieces created on looms rather than lay plans, fabrics and construction sourced in the UAE. Additionally, the Nuue project, which is a synthetic fibre that is pressure heated around a desired form to create a wound fibre 3D moulded garment with a flexible texture. Dubai, with its money, entrepreneurship and devotion to hedonism is an ideal place to trial new ideas in fashion and ecological technologies.
The female consumer will have a craving for style, the love of luxury, and the courage to push the boundaries of their faith. Men may also want a piece of the new technology action with similar influences and colour palette, however it will represent much greater strides for women, culturally and religiously. These women will need be strong, self-motivated and aware of what is going on in the world. They’ll respect and love their culture and religion, but want to bring it into the here and now and celebrate their traditions further. They love quality and opulence, and see luxury as a lifestyle. This indulgence in excellence and wanting the best will start to morph into women’s wear, with inspiration being taken from their innovative and awe-striking design and architecture. The Grand Mosque itself illustrating the feel of the trend, of the new and old coming together. The shapes will be simple yet intelligent, fluid yet structured.
The silhouettes from buildings will be sculptural and bold. Big shoulders, peplums and wide legged palazzo pants. Light and breathable materials such as cotton, linen, agra silk/cotton, jacquard silk and chiffon will be used to keep cool from the desert heat. Fabrics will also be of the highest quality, with the feel of luxury, gathering and layering emphasising the expense of the outfits. The Muslim religion is strong and therefore the rules of covering up flesh will still be in place, however with much more flare and modernism. The trend will be focused on the high fashion market, as the culture’s focus is mostly on the designer and excellence.
Although more muted and safer tones will still be in place such as dark navy blues, clays and rich browns, there will be an introduction of stronger more vivid tones inspired by the countries carpets, tapestries and traditional culture which will be placed tactically in order to regard their God’s wishes, but admire their ethnicity. There will be cerise pinks, gold, and bright blue, elaborating modernity on traditions. Light patterns will be printed onto the fabric inspired by the décor and lines of their construction. Embellishment will be strong from sequins and beads adorning the clothing, to lavish gold jewellery and headpieces.
This trend will be a cause of celebration of the balance between modernity and traditions, allowing Muslim women in the UAE to lift the veil on their strict religious practices and reveal their culture in its true colours.
Some of my photos from the Grand Mosque:
Some of my photos from the Grand Mosque: