Do you remember the 1995 cyber caper Hackers? The one about a bunch of high school hackers in mid-’90s New York who dress like characters from a post-apocalyptic steampunk alternate universe while every other character in the movie dresses like a normal person? Of course you do. Well, unfortunately, fashion designers are saying that we’ll all be dressing that way next year.
Goddammit. Why? Why?! I don’t want to dress like a mad professor who is simultaneously old-fashioned and from the distant future. Fashion world, why would you parade your models down the catwalk wearing skintight yellow fishnet shirts, red leopard-print pants, and round sunglasses with frames so small they only cover the pupils of the models’ eyes and then tell us that’s exactly what we’re all going to look like a year from now? To rub the disproportionate influence you hold over our culture in our faces? We already know whatever shit you throw on that catwalk is going to end up on our asses. You didn’t need a giant video screen behind it showing Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man telling us that we will wear whatever the fuck you want us to wear. That was a step too far.
I don’t think any of us are truly prepared to live in a world where every man is dressed like Matthew Lillard’s Cereal Killer, i.e. the pilot of a gyrocopter who took off in the year 1920 and crash-landed in 2088. So many normal, everyday folks who are in no way plugged into the fashion world are going to be so confused when everything hanging on the racks looks like a kaleidoscopic Windows 98 screensaver. Fashion designers, please, I beg you, there is still time to reverse your decision to have us all wear clothing that seems specifically designed for people who shop for their snowboarding gear while on acid. I get chills thinking about the men, women, and children who will all be wearing motorcycle jackets over wetsuit tops accessorized with knee pads.
I can’t believe you have the audacity to assume that so many of us will gladly take up rollerblading as our primary mode of transportation just because that’s how the main characters from a movie with a 32% critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes get around New York City. That alone displays a startling misunderstanding of how far things are from other things for most people.
Why the obsession with overalls? Because that one hacker from the movie wore them in that one scene? Overalls have never once been the missing element that brings a look together unless the look you’re going for is “rural hog farmer.” You should know this, but I assume you’ve been too corrupted by power to care. Nobody wants to dress like this, yet according to your so-called “experts,” denim pantsuits that are fastened at the nipples will be the only way to identify other cool people. Why would you do this to us?
Our fashion future looks grim, but no part of it is as troubling as the chain wallets coming our way. Oh, dear Gaia, the chain wallets. Chains as thick as a garden hose that dangle so low that every step comes with the risk of pantsing yourself. Just because those teenagers from 1995 wished they were zoot-suited 1920s swing dancers doesn’t mean the people of the 21st century need our cash leashed like a junkyard pit bull.
Fashion designers, if you won’t repeal next year’s styles that will assuredly leave us all dressed as techno dorks, then we all beg you to at least find inspiration from a different movie from 1995. Clueless, Goldeneye, Casino—all great options. Who are we kidding? We’ll settle for Judge Dredd at this point. Anything other than Hackers. But unless next year’s fashions include functioning gills, it’d better not be Waterworld.