Future Narrative

Vogue Australia: Come and See the Real Thing

Petah Marian, futurist and founder of trend forecasting agency Future Narrative, thinks the itch for a more nuanced style has to do with style homogenisation. “Fast fashion and social media have really meant that every look is available to people at an affordable pricepoint. Trends move around the world at the speed of a social media post, which means that everything is accessible everywhere.”
That availability means that there’s no need to be creative,” she says. “Increasingly, self-esteem is attached to the number of likes we get on social media, and it’s easier to get that positive social reinforcement by wearing clothes that align with the trends. As people re-evaluate their relationship with social media, there’s a renewed interest in dressing for ourselves rather than for the likes.”
During lockdown, these reappraisals of our core values also extended to issues like sustainability. “We’re really at an inflection point at the moment, people are starting to really consider the environmental impact of our purchases,” says Marian, pointing to the very personal relationships we have with our wardrobes. “The things we wear connect us not just to trends, but to the stories we tell about ourselves and the experiences we have in them.”
It’s no surprise that conversation has begun around the bursting of the influencer bubble. That said, rather than it popping altogether, Marian thinks we’ll instead see the rise of people who dress well, and are championing something while doing it. “The kinds of messages that are resonating are changing.” She references the rise of ‘genuinfluencers’ employed by governments in Finland and the UK to spread helpful health messages during the pandemic.