Watch & Learn: ‘The Future of Fashion’ by British Vogue

The point is, fashion should be allowed to be fun and all those things, but it shouldn’t be defined by those ideas, because it’s also so many other things. I found the industry to be full of very hard-working people who take their jobs very seriously, and that’s what I want to celebrate.

What is The Future of Fashion about?

Produced by British Vogue, this documentary series is an attempt to showcase and examine the business of fashion. The first season of this series culminates in a short film of about 67 minutes, discussing the world of fashion from the perspective of Alexa Chung, one of the earliest models to have successfully transitioned from a modelling career to that of a television and pop culture personality. Through a series of interviews with various stakeholders in the fashion industry, the documentary follows Alexa as she speaks to students, faculty, successful designers and fashion bloggers – individuals whose careers are profoundly influenced by fashion, and who in turn have a major impact on its inner workings.

After the success of the first season of The Future of Fashion, British Vogue produced a follow-up second season, attempting to highlight what Alexa ironically refers to as “the backend jobs” of the industry – professionals and careers that are related to the fashion business but are however not always easily associated with it. Broadly speaking, the second season really begins to explore the manner in which management, communications, journalism and law impact the fashion industry, and pose equally interesting and important professional opportunities for those interested.

What did we really enjoy about this series?

The idea of producing fashion documentaries became hugely successful in the last two decades, especially thanks to the efforts of Vogue. While the publication has spent a great deal of time celebrating its editors (The Editor’s Eye) and editorial professionalism (The September Issue), The Future of Fashion attempts an exploration of the fashion industry by actually shifting the spotlight away from the clothes and glamour, and focussing on the realities of the business instead. By incorporating audience feedback, the two seasons also do an interesting job of revealing just how deep-seated our fascination for the fashion industry is.

Why watch this series?

The Future of Fashion offers an interesting viewpoint on the fashion industry and all its players. Instead of focussing only on the editorial, styling or pictorial aspects of the industry, it attempts to clarify that fashion is ultimately a business, and that like any other business needs to be run intelligently and efficiently in order to be successful. While it provides interesting insights into the current state of the fashion business, the series does not actually do much to discuss the titular “future of fashion”, namely the diversification of fashion into different directions such as wearable technology and sustainable fashion.

Having said that, The Future of Fashion is an interesting, accessible and easily understood series, providing a neat little glimpse into the world of the fashion business.

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