Fashion: 1999: It's fashion, Jim, and almost as we predicted it
We are about to reach the imagined era, and fashions, of Buck Rogers, Barbarella and Flash Gordon. Trendsetters born in the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s recall for Melanie Rickey their childhood visions. And they weren't too wide of the mark
Wednesday 30 December 1998
"As a youngster in the 1950's I read a comic called The Eagle [with] Dan Dare who wore what now looks like a tracksuit. He was a spaceman, zooming around the universe saving people, and I thought his costume looked comfortable and easy. I was nine or ten then and all I wanted to do was play football. As a kid I wanted to get things on as quickly as possible and get out into the streets. Now I live in tracksuits when I'm not in the office, as I play a lot of sport."
Reflected trends: sportswear as everyday attire
Labels: Nike, Adidas
Elspeth Gibson, fashion designer
"I thought that by 1999 everyone would look the same and be dressed in all-in-one metallic outfits - very futuristic, very glamorous, and very hi-tech. What comes to mind is the scene in Barbarella when Jane Fonda floats around in a silver/white space suit."
Reflected trends: 1970s glam rock revival (in silver); cyber punk, androgyny, hi-tech fabrics
Labels: Ad Hoc, Versace, Issey Miyake, Buffalo, Prada Sport
Andrew Groves, fashion designer
"I grew up with images of white catsuits in my head - very clinical, like something out of 2001, and very hi-tech with people living on pills. I think Bladerunner got it right with... the future having no connection to the past. I imagined we'd all be a Space Family Robinson, but it's never going to happen. Similarly I always thought that, by 1999, men and women would all look the same, very unisex and blonde, for some reason. It's never going to be like that either. Clothes are an identity, not a uniform."
Reflected trends: androgyny, sportswear, hi-tech fabrics, minimalism
Labels: Courreges, Prada Sport, Jil Sander
Iain R Webb, fashion director Elle
"In my second year at the John Gaunt Grammar School in Wiltshire (circa 1970, when I was 12) there was a competition to design a school uniform for the year 2000. I designed a unisex uniform (right): all-in-one hooded zip-front outfits worn with matching platform boots. At the time I worshipped The Angels on Gerry Anderson's Captain Scarlet, and was a big fan of Space 1999. Our blazers were bottle green, so I chose two different shades of green (lime for the girls and pea for the boys). Looking back it's remarkable how skinny and sexless the drawings are - the boy has no obvious genitalia - but then I guess I was young and sex was still a Mysteron to me."
Reflected trends: androgyny, hi-tech fabrics, luxury sportswear, utility, minimalism
Labels: Prada Sport, Jil Sander, Louis Vuitton, Dirk Bikkembergs, YMC, Helmut Lang
Harriet Quick, editor, Frank
"I was convinced as a kid that 1999, if the bomb had not dropped, would see me turn 31, married with at least two children (wrong and wrong again), living in an igloo-shaped abode with Jimmy Saville do-everything chairs, eating freeze-dried food, travelling by travellator and wearing pale-coloured clothes with rainbow stripes and zips. The latter, inspired by the clones in Logan's Run, has not transpired - though I figure the new Prada Sport collection comes pretty close."
Reflected trends: sportswear as everyday attire, utility, hippy, hi-tech
Labels: Prada Sport, Helmut Lang, Jil Sander
Nicolas Ghesquiere, head designer, Balenciaga
"From about age seven or eight I have been very attached to science fiction movies. Films such as Star Wars, Barbarella, Bladerunner and Alien - and the outfits that go with them - have represented for me what I have imagined for future fashion. Important fashion elements are protection from a hostile apocalyptic world, and items inspired by the children's toy, Playmobil, in which the `clothing' is made of plastic and is removable. I also loved Princess Leia's hair in Star Wars. The mix between romance, innocence, and violence is intriguing. My favourite idea is in Barbarella, when [you can] wear anything just by clicking the fingers. Maybe one day!"
Reflected trends: none so far
Research: Susannah Conway
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