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Fashion of The Future

Let's talk about fashion of the future.

What is fashion for the future? Does it involve tech and new high tech textiles? Is it purely aesthetic? What sort of color palette do you think of with “fashion of the future”? Do you think of workwear, everyday wear, or something else?

It would be very interesting to see what Ultramods could come up with for “fashion of the future” - actual constructed clothing plus design work. If you are interested in taking on this sort of challenge, consider: workwear (winter, summer), streetwear, outdoor gear, and spacewear (items you would wear on a spaceship). If you come up with a few pieces and would like to share with others, contact the website. We can set up an interview with a showcase of your work.

Where would we be without fashion? It applies to work uniforms, spacesuit design, daily wear, lounge wear, working with material engineers to develop new textiles and wearable products (like D3O), and it really helps society with a visual representation of current aesthetics, values, and cultural preferences. Fashion is artsy, but there is a major technical side to it through construction, design, textile development, and integration of new technology.

Issues to Consider

  • If we have limited space, our clothing needs to be more adaptable between work, home, etc. Can we develop a line of futuristic basic clothing, which might be regarded as “core clothing”, for people with limited space in an area with all four seasons?

  • How can we integrate new technology into our clothing?

  • Can we make specialized clothing for medical patients or mechanics or some other field that utilizes high-tech textiles and technology?

  • Can we reduce bulk while still creating warm winter items to help increase mobility?

  • While some clothing should consider both form and function, sometimes it’s great just to really focus on form and aesthetic. What sort of aesthetic-only fashion pieces should be considered?

  • Should any fabrics be avoided due to low quality?

Some Textiles to Consider

There are so many interesting textiles out there in the world. This is by no means the only items to consider, just some to get your mind going. What do you want your fabric to do? Is that option available? If not, is there a way to create it?

  1. Gore-Tex - Gore-Tex is waterproof, windproof, breathable, and lightweight. It’s often integrated in outdoor gear, outerwear, shoes, etc. It has been around for a while and it is super popular.

  2. Aerogel Insulation - Aerogel was first created in 1931. It is an ultra-light material created from a gel that is primarily made up of air. What is created is an extremely low density and extremely low thermal conductive solid. Currently aerogel is used as an insulator on spacecraft, for CamelBak sports bottles, and in some clothing items. It has also been used as sound insulation, chemical adsorber, daytime radiative cooling surface, and more.

  3. RF/EMI Shielding and Conductive Fabrics - These fabrics are usually interwoven with copper or silver. They often have other benefits such as anti-bacterial properties.

  4. Elastane - Elastane is the generic term for spandex and Lycra. There are various weights and fabric blends with elastane. The major benefit from this fabric is the high elasticity and strength. There are now high-tech variations of elastane that wicks moisture, provides cooling or thermal properties, etc. It really depends on the blend and tech.

  5. RB Fabric - This is a radiant barrier material that can be used in clothing and fabric design projects. It reflects heat/cold back towards its source and is often used in rain gear, cold weather gear, hot/cold thermal bags, drapes, etc.

  6. Dermizax - Dermizax is a lightweight textile that is waterproof, breathable, resists condensation, and has a 4-way stretch. It's a relatively new sports textile by Toray.

  7. Makspec V - This is an anti-viral textile that was designed to be used for uniforms primarily in the healthcare, laboratory, and food service industries.

  8. Pinatex - This is a leather alternative that is made from pineapple leaves.

  9. Tencel Orange Fiber - This is a lyocell textile that is made from orange and wood pulp.

  10. Cotton & Wool - Cotton and wool are both natural performance fabrics that have been used throughout time. While these don't seem like high-tech textiles, they have some incredible properties to look into.

  11. PolarTec - This is a manmade fleece that has the benefits of wool, but without the heaviness and bulk. It is also more cost efficient.

  12. Cordura - This is a nylon-based textile that is often used in outdoor gear, outdoor wear, and luggage due to it's abrasion-resistant nature.

  13. Reflective Material - Reflective material is created by applying micro-glass beads to a non-stretch textile. When light hits it, the fabric reflects. This is typically seen with silver, but there are colored reflective materials available. Reflective material is used as a safety feature on clothing or bags, on shoes, and sometimes even as the main clothing textile.

  14. D3O - D3O is a non-newtonian fluid product that can be formed into various shapes for use as impact resistance padding for protective clothing and gear. Non-newtonian fluid is a liquid and a solid all at once. To make a little homemade non-newtonian fluid, just mix some cornstarch with some water until you form a paste. It will become liquid by just sitting in your hand, but when you apply pressure it becomes a solid. The D3O company has their patented formula, which is bright orange, and it gets used in collaboration with loads of companies.

Influences on Color Palette

Color palettes are important to fashion. It helps decided seasonal looks, create uniforms, and construct some sort of overall cohesiveness to your look. If you question color palettes, ask yourself what colors you think of when you think of: 1) Barbie's wardrobe, 2) the film The Matrix, and 3) Star Trek. You should come up with something like 1) pink, purple, bright colors; 2) black, neon green, red, neutrals; and 3) primary colors, black, gold. They are all very different.

Star Trek

The Star Trek color palette primarily utilizes black, blue, red, and yellow (or later on, gold ochre) as the main color palette. White is used as a background color in all series, but some series tend to have additional background colors. Discovery tends to be more of a charcoal grey instead of white. Voyager has some colored neutrals such as slate blue and dusty mauve. The great thing about this color palette system is that divisions amongst the crew can be quickly identified, as well as crewmen vs civilians. The colors are used in standard uniforms, as well as all other Starfleet gear (space suits, cold weather gear, etc). You may also consider gold and silver as part of the color palette since they are used as communicator and rank colors.


NASA uses a basic red, white, blue, orange, black, and grey color palette. You will find most of the jumpsuits to be orange or blue, while the spacesuits used during space walks are white. Black, grey, and red are used as accents for the most part. Unlike Star Trek, there isn't a color-division system used.


This is a neon light based aesthetic. The base is usually black or a very dark color with stand-out bright shades to accent and color. If you google "vaporwave" you'll understand the concept quickly. Other aspects of this trend tend to be topographical-like patterns, SoCal elements (palm trees, mountains, sun, surf, cars), and space-as-seen-from-earth-at-night. Tron would definitely fit this aesthetic.


How do you see the future of fashion? Is it minimalistic? Is it utility-based? Perhaps you like metallics and neon lights; or Jedi robes in neutral tones. Where does your fashion fit in (particular industry, general future fashion, somewhere else)? For those who are in need of a challenge, try designing some futuristic fashion. You can post a link to your work in a comment below. For those who love a good maker's challenge, feel free to design and then create a physical mock-up of your design(s). If you do that, please email me. I would love to create a showcase post to feature designers.

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