Posted by Bethan Holt, Junior Fashion Editor at Large

If you're following the critical reception to AW13 so far, then you will likely have seen Cathy Horyn's withering take on the first few days of New York. She claimed it was "shocking to see the lack of energy and imagination". That is an understandably upsetting statement for the NY designers it is describing. However, it does say something about how little the clothes we wear are really changing. How often do we see the same old 70s/ 60s/ 50s trends rehashed in some way? They were so new in their time, but not so much any more. That course of action cannot go on forever. We may consider a sharply tailored coat, the best black trousers and the like as wardrobe essentials now, but will we even be wearing such items in a few years? Why will we need heavy layers when perhaps we will be able to wear a single item which regulates our body temperature by reacting to in-buit sensors? It's a baffling possibility, though perhaps already in action on some of the girls who somehow survived Storm Nemo at New York fashion week wearing heels and pencil skirts. Maybe they know something we don't? The possibilities of print were blown wide open with the advent of digital software which allowed designers to play round with images like never before. Think Mary Katrantzou. It may not be so very long before the next big technology leap changes fashion once more.

Mary Katrantzou's print wonders facilitated by technology
If you want to see something that might genuinely be a glimpse at dressing for the future, then you should look up Studio XO. Their work currently revolves around big showpieces for stars like Lady Gaga and Azealia Banks but the film they've made for Crane TV, along with a quick scour of their website, suggests that their work could change how we dress. Studio XO's newsfeed describes how, at a recent conference,  their fashion director Nancy Tilbury, "offered a view on the physical/digital landscape and proposed the opportunity for a connected wardrobe of fashion garments coupled with interactive, intuitive accessories". That suggests to me that this is not just about outlandish, wearable art to wow huge stadium crowds but could be a path to fashion which works for us, in an even more magical way than the best white shirt or miracle dress ever.


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