Sunday, 24 July 2011

“Using a noun as an adjective is so last season.”

Death is an insurmountable force of Nature. You cannot stop it. But, you can stop people from catching you dead wearing that ridiculous outfit! No longer shall your Afterlife be marred by careless jibes about some pair of mismatched sneakers, or some oversized white tuxedo that makes you look like the underside of an orca, or that “O.G. 4 Life” dog-chain that you got from back when everyone knew what O.G. stood for, or all of these, should you happen to be a rapper.

The trick to staying one step ahead of the game is to answer one question - “Where is fashion headed?” To make accurate predictions, several heuristics have been developed. The most primitive of these involved studying the flight patterns of migratory birds. Arctic terns may travel as many as 20,000 km, moving with the flock, yet rarely bumping into each other. However, as the routes were purely deterministic, and were prewired into the bird brain, this heuristic always yielded the same result – a human being’s first notion of what a man or woman should look like.

Soon, a new model developed based on log normally-distributed stock price movement. But if every billowing white dress could be sold for $5.6 million, getting married in Vegas in a night of drunken revelry could cost more than a few teeth and a Holocaust ring. In essence, clothes, unlike stocks, are not fungible.

Eventually, the onus of predicting the future course of fashion was left to the mutual consent of 12 wise octopi. If it took 3 hours to convince 12 Angry Men to reach a consensus, imagine how long it would take for a dozen spineless, inherently cannibalistic creatures, to do so.

Currently, quantum physicists are working hard to achieve time travel. String Theory could help tie up several loose ends. In the meantime, here are some educated guesses about the future of fashion.

Colour: What is the new Black?

“Black is the new Mac” – Unconfirmed sources
What’s your favourite colour? Mine used to be black. Until I discovered, by combining coordinate geometry fundamentals with a working knowledge of antonyms, that black is not a colour.

Black is the opposite of White.                                                                                                                                         Black & White is the opposite of Colour.                                                                                                                      Opposite is the same as Orthogonal.
Hence, Black, White and Colour may be modeled as 3 mutually perpendicular vectors. It’s all highly mathematical.


Anyone who’s ever skydived through a rainbow will agree that the colours of the VIBGYOR combine to give white light. By the Associative property of addition of colours, White is most likely a colour.

The new Black must therefore be:
a)      Not a colour
b)     Capable of combining with any coloured item to make it darker
c)      The opposite of a combination of all colours

The solution, upon inspection, is crystal clear (Thus satisfying the third criterion). What is the new Black?               Water is the new Black.*
* Not to be confused with watercolour, a colourful combination of water and colour.

Fabric: Should I bother aging my denims?

“Denim is the basic fabric of life. Jeans are just a form of expression.” – Francis Crick

Or maybe it was DNA. In any case, denim was discovered nearly a century before DNA, so let’s talk about it. Denim is the roadrunner of fabrics. It has been weathered, stone-washed, sand blasted, bleached, and ripped to shreds, but it still keeps coming back for more.

But now, several new fabrics have entered the fray, from soft, summery cotton to carbon fiber, that hideous love child of strength and flexibility. Following the summer releases of X-men, Green Lantern and Thor, it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume that lycra sales have jumped somewhat.

However, the fabric of the future, like most things with fashion, is likely to be the fabric of the past. If Egyptians used to mummify pharaohs in it, you can trust that the colour won’t run after the first wash. And, with global warming becoming an increasingly palpable threat, summer linen seems the way to go. In short, unless you're famous, don’t bother aging your denims.

What is the ultimate conclusion that can be drawn from the mathematical predictions made and the examples shown?

Fashion can not be predicted. It is ever changing, like an amoeba changing shape or water changing to vapour and back. And it is difficult, if not impossible, to forecast it with any degree of accuracy. I have tried, and clearly failed, to do so. If you have any more robust model, feel free to share it here.


  1. A nice way to prove your point! :) I esp, liked the globe about black :D

  2. Hey, Pretty amazing, well written!