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In 1982, Fashion Got the Future Wrong

2001 did not look like this.

In 1982, photographer and ex-model Lucille Khornak put together a book called Fashion 2001, in which 90 of the world's biggest womenswear designers predicted what ladies would be wearing in 19 years time. Turns out the majority of them thought that in 2001 women would all be sex-crazed dominatrices living in space, which would have been both extremely alluring and massively frustrating for the planet of blue-balled men they'd left behind on Earth. Sadly, the only people who seem to be living out those dreams nowadays are the Black Eyed Peas, and even if HP L had spent the 80s designing clothes, he would never have foreseen a future so terrible.


Let's take a look at what those designers imagined then and what they're doing now and have a right laugh about it.


It's funny how optimistic everyone was about the future of space travel in the 1980s. It was like they genuinely believed we'd need dresses fit for that upcoming intergalactic debutante ball, where the world's finest women would be auctioned off to Predator in exchange for humanity's continued survival. Hats off to Mugler for keeping it glamourous, though. Every sketch and painting of the future from that era always kits out its subjects in rigid, steampunk-esque garb, and while he still went for the hardy, metallic look, at least Thierry dressed his model in something she could look vaguely fuckable in, rather than the drab, robotic stuff everyone else was so keen on. I guess in one sense, at least, Mugler was right – it's 2012 now, and still no one wants to have sex with a steampunk.


Apparently Mugler thought it was worth throwing away his dreams of the future to dress people like big-bottomed Avril Lavigne fans on their way to get spanked by Grandpa.


Miyake's 'thing', for the 30-odd years that he headed his brand, was that he was always tech-driven and forward-thinking with his design, so this project should have been right up his street. Unfortunately, he decided to dump all of that visionary genius and go for a half-baked synchronised swimming outfit instead. I guess the socks and arm-warmers are a nice touch. I don't know about you, but any time I go for a swim, I scream curses to Speedo for not providing me with something to protect my poor, little forearms.


ISSEY MIYAKE, CIRCA 2001 Right-hand man Naoki Takizawa had taken the helm at Issey Miyake by 2001, but to his credit, it looks like he was keen to continue his mentor's passion for shrink-wrapping women's heads with tight fabric. Also, for all we know, the model here might have the exact same bathing suit on underneath that cloak, so, despite my previous jibe, I'm going to put an early bid in here on Miyake being the most prophetic designer of the 1980s.


Gaultier thought that, by the new millennium, clothes would have been abandoned in favour of spray-on latex apparel, which is a pretty bleak outlook for someone whose job revolves specifically around clothes. Thankfully, his prediction never came to fruition, sparing everyone the distressing outline of your genitalia.


Gaultier's usually untouchable, but 2001 was clearly a massively off year. I have no idea what the fuck he was going for here, or who he thought it would appeal to. She looks like a Ninja Turtle that just shat its pants.


I guess this is the most realistic assumption of where fashion would end up going, but there's nothing very interesting or funny about it. If we can't laugh at how deluded people were in the past, then what's the point in there even being a present, right?


It seems that stripes and sultry posing were a pretty solid staple in the Givenchy repertoire. That and women in stupid hats. (Never trust a woman in a hat.)



I don't know what you were doing in 2001, but for me it will always be the year that me and my friends spent laying on our backs holding giant golf balls in the air. And if a girl in a floaty white skirt happened to wander past, then all the better (golfballLAD).

VERSACE, CIRCA 2001 Look! Versace's SS2001 collection was all floaty and white! Nineteen years later and the designers of Versace had still not lost interest in floaty white sheets. Shame the same couldn't be said of the fashion world at large – we were already four years into Donatella's reign by 2001, so while people might have still given a shit about interesting fashion, Versace was completely off the cards. Rrreow.

Thanks to forum user fashion.fashoff for scanning and uploading some of the images from the book. Without your help, we would never have retroactively realised what we hadn't missed.