Last week we all heard the saddening news of Steve Jobs’ demise; a man who almost single-handedly revolutionised the world of technology. Who hasn’t heard of the iPhone? Or marvelled at people on trains with iPads? I personally have never felt cooler than the first time I bought an iPod, even though I only had three very uncool Madonna tracks synced to it. Like they say, the 21st century is the age of technology and nobody proved this more so, than Steve Jobs.
At one time, the same could have been said for fashion. Post-world war two, the world exploded with never-seen-before creativity; an eruption of jaw-dropping music, fashion and style that couldn’t be censored. A phenomenon we haven’t seen on the fashion scene since. And more worryingly, there is no indication of a similar fashion revolution erupting in the near future. The proof is saturated all over the high-street – a constant rehash of reinvented styles from the 1960′s, 70s, 80s…..and back to the 60s again. It’s as though fashion has lost its mojo. And it’s been missing for quite a while.
The major downfall for fashion is that nothing original is invented anymore, nothing is risqué or eye-popping – we simply re-jig the circuit so even though it’s made to look slightly different each time, it’s still running to the same voltage and producing the same output. There hasn’t been a fashion equivalent to the Apple iPod in decades; the cool big sister of yesteryear has officially been out-done by its geeky younger sibling. It’s a sad day for fashion when a new computer is causing a greater stir than London Fashion Week.
I’m not even sure the re-re-re-invention of clothes our mothers/grandmothers would’ve worn is doing our appearance any favours either. A recent on-screen advert for one of the UK’s leading department stores looked more like a television re-run for an old 1970s sitcom than it did for an upmarket fashion retailer. Depressingly, we’re in grave danger of looking like a nation of fanatical, fancy-dress wearing lunatics – I call the line at flares, but low and behold you can still pay an extortionate amount of money to dress up like a Bee-gee.
I very much hope there is someone out there who will one day become the Steve Jobs of the fashion industry. Someone who can design an item of clothing without copying an already overly-exhausted trend, or a retailer who invents, rather than simply reproduces. At this rate, the humble iPod will be telling us what to wear years before the designers have even sketched a rough print.