Welcome to the future.

Fashion’s Hive Mind: Alexander McQueen, Biomimicry & Social Media


Don’t miss the TED talk below!

In Walter Benjamin’s, The Arcades Projecthe writes that, “the most interesting thing about fashion is its extraordinary anticipations.” “Each season brings, in its newest creations, various secret signals of things to come. Whoever understands how to read these [sartorial] semaphores would know in advance not only about new currents in the arts, but also about new legal codes, wars, and revolutions.”

Reading fashion’s semaphores is where fashion trend forecasting enters the equation. For example, let’s take a look at Sarah Burton’s 2013 RTW collection for Alexander McQueen. What do her honey-combed designs say about the future? Why honeycomb? And why now?



IMHO, her collection reflects the growth of our online social behavior, the proverbial “Buzz” generated by our tweets, status updates, comments, likes, text messages, emails and ping backs. Biomimicry also comes to mind, defined by Wikipedia as, “the examination of nature, its models, systems, processes, and elements to emulate or take inspiration from in order to solve human problems.” A bee hive about to swarm, for example, looks like a “hive possessed. […] It’s an election hall of idiots, for idiots, and by idiots, and it works marvelously […] At the close of the curtain, by the choice of the citizens, the swarm takes the queen and thunders off in the direction indicated by the mob vote.”

While I wouldn’t exactly use the term “idiots” to described humans en masse, I can’t help but see parallels between this method of bee social networking and our recent forays into crowdsourcing and viral youtube campaigns. The power of collective intelligence is fascinating when you think about it. And Burton’s collection is a stunning homage to the principles of insect sociology and the practices of biomimicry.

What do you think she’ll do next? And what will it say about the future?

Make sure to check out the TED talk below by Janine Benyus to learn more about biomimicry and “hive intelligence”.


Photos courtesy of Style.com. All rights included.