Science & Technology

Friday Fun Link: Future Fashion FAIL


Nick Gillespie's link to Ebony's 1985 prediction of how Michael Jackson's look circa 2000 A.D. (porn 'stache, baby blue blazer, and orange skinny tie? Really?) inspired this pressing Friday afternoon question: Why are predictions of future fashion always so completely off the mark? The occasional science fiction writer manages to predict, say, widespread use of the Internet, but costumers almost uniformly insist on spandex jumpsuits and silver lamé.

Since we're coasting into the weekend—and since I am the magazine's token possessor of lady parts and SF nerd— I'll pursue this vital inquiry a bit further. Check out this 1930s predictions for "Eve, A.D. 2000." Of particular interest, a hair-mounted "electric headlight, to help her to find an honest man." Menfolk will be "fitted with a telephone, a radio, and containers for coins, keys, and candy for cuties."

Actually, some of the dresses aren't half bad.

Can't say the same for this 1970s clip from a 1970s U.K. show Tomorrow Today. 

Gillespie quotes RU Sirius's  H+ eulogy of Jackson, proclaiming the Gloved One "a signpost on the road to post-humanity… the future will study him from that perspective, and in some odd way, it will learn from his many mistakes." The same sentiment goes doubly for bygone efforts at futuristic fashions.

Of course, all bets are off when women become uberfeminist cyborgs.

More on the past of the future here.