DEINDE: Costumes

(Post by August Schulenburg. Photo by Isaiah Tanenbaum. Pictured: Ken Glickfeld, Rachael Hip-Flores, Nitya Vidyasagar, Isaiah Tanenbaum, Davin Ian Lee)

Rule One: Don’t make the future look like The Future.

After all, DEINDE is set less than 40 years in the future, so the clothes we’re wearing now should feel then like the clothes of the 1970s (yipes). But we’re not talking about the Far Future, where everyone wears one-piece jumpsuits, even some of the Klingons.

I was also worried about labcoats for our QuamBi scientists. For one thing, they felt old fashioned. For another, with the rise of intelligent robotics, a great deal (if not almost all) of the physical labor of science will increasingly fall to machines that can learn and adapt their own experiements, and humans will primarily be interpreting and guiding. But then I saw this image from the Sunday new York Times:

There is something powerful about the uniform quality of labcoats, and research has shown that putting on clothing that we associate with a specific task can increase our effectiveness. So we ran with labcoats as a shorthand for the press photos, including the cool shot you see above (notice the judiciously applied QuamBi logo? Aw yeah, world-building!)

Some other thoughts that myself, director Heather Cohn, dramaturg Ingrid Nordstrom and Costume Designer Stephanie Levin were playing around with:

  • Increasingly, there is less formality in dress at major tech companies, a trend which may accelerate.
  • By 2051, traditional borders of race, culture and gender may be more fluid, with a more a la carte approach to identity.
  • Most people will live in cities, so the the values and styles of city life are likely to become more dominant.
  • There is move towards eco-consciousness and comfortable, sustainably-made fabrics that may manifest more strongly in fashion.
  • With China’s rise, an Asian influence in style will become dominant.
  • QuamBi is a heavily locked down facility in a time of fear and anxiety. Repression and self-protection may be present in the style in subtle ways.
  • How differently do the QuamBi scientists dress compared with the outsiders Dara, Bobby and Mindy?

Below are some images that Heather and Stephanie pulled inspired by some of the ideas and questions above – anything catch your eye?

And what do you think you’ll be wearing in 2051?

1 Comment on "DEINDE: Costumes"

  1. Marta · March 13, 2012 at 4:26 pm · Reply

    I noticed that, unlike his colleagues, the front guy left in the NYTimes photo doesn’t normally wear a labcoat (crease wrinkles evident from package). Does he know something the others don’t?

    Middleaged scientists want garments to camouflage their mid-section, unless great gains are made in weightloss.

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