From tissue engineering to Android babies, in her second instalment, Fashion Futurist and trend forecaster Geraldine Wharry peers into the looking glass and imagines the future of human appearance
The next six decades herald the era of the android and a collective human existential crisis. Survival of the fittest will inform the beauty trends as only the strongest genes will be able to endure the tough conditions of future earth. Closing the century we see at return to the primordial. With some humans evolving into ethereal creatures and others morphing back into animals, the next century closes out with hope for the future of the planet. This is what humans will look like from the years 2058 to 2118.
2058-2068 The teen android decade
Android manufacturing has now outpaced the human birth rate. The first of their kind are now emotionally intelligent adolescents breeding a whole new generation of android to human first loves.
Because of decreased fertility rates, a crisis documented as far back as the 1960s, we bioengineer tissue that can be blended with an android. We may not be able to procreate, but we can design our perfect android child and skip the nappy changing years if we choose to.
Our arm might be growing an ear, thanks to tissue engineering successfully developed in the early 2000s, but it’s for the greater good of mankind and enhances our physical experience of sounds so, why not?
The definition of human cells and the body are redefined, leading to some strange experiments, but by now we embrace all beauty types and celebrate investigative body shapes as we strive to reproduce as a race.
2068-2078 THE NEW TRIBES DECADE
Intense hair strength is one of the great outcomes of our human experiment, with healthy afro hair becoming the choice for our next nature.
Most of the human population has gone bald from too much stress and African descendants have remained the population with the strongest genes. They define this century’s beauty standard with brightly coloured dreadlocks becoming the norm.
Large geometric shapes adorn our faces, with soundwave tattoos becoming our tribe identifier.
2078-2088 The rebel decade
There has been a backlash of sorts. With actual humans vindicating their right to un-alter their bodies.
A worship of the analogue cultivated after a backlash against the digital and a need for real experiences as foreseen in David Sax’s 2016 book, total rejection of augmented reality and android engineering takes hold of the human population struggling through an existential crisis.
The trend informs punk, collage camo makeup and graffiti skin tattoos for a human warrior fighting their way through what it means to be human in the late 2000s.
2088-2099 THE ALTERED CARBON DECADE
Inspired by the cult sci fi films of the early noughties, we start to harvest human bodies. Scientists are able to backup a soul through AI replication, a technology started 70 years earlier through with the ‘Brainternet’ developed in 2017 by engineers at Wits University and Elon Musk’s company Neuralink. This is the only concession the human rebel consortium is willing to make.
The breakthrough unlocks the deepest corners of the human genome. A new spiritual era is born which has a long-lasting impact on beauty standards for decades to come.
We realise that we can transcend the human experience and become elevated creatures with sophisticated instincts and emotions, creating our own fairy tale.
We learn to reconnect with our primordial instincts of love and acceptance. With the power to design our ideal future self, we are presented with a menu: from a floral creature to a fairy, feather hair to bright and patterned skin colours, or simply stay neutral. The choice is ours.
2098-2108 THE CHOICE DECADE
In a complex world of styles, tattoos and tribal signifiers, makeup is now classified as a language with its own dictionary.
Humans who chose to be harvested and prolong their lives have evolved into elongated fairy like creatures both ethereal and lethal. 90 years earlier a small group of Bio Tech companies and Scientifics funded by Jim Mellon had developed age reversing technologies. And the end of the second millennial allowed us to reconnect with our primordial animal instincts and that included hunting and feeding on only what we need.
We have gradually morphed into animals to save the planet from extinction.
Undulating fins, nostrils and petal like ridges adorn our faces. We no longer use hallucination inducing makeup once so popular as we are now in a state of real fantasy.
2108-2118 THE INFINITY DECADE
To enable a fully circular and renewable world finally possible after 100 years of research and development, our essential food is now infused in our skin.
What started a century ago with experiments in bio hacking has led to humans designing themselves into highly efficient and kind beings.
We preserve the last humans of early 2018 to ensure a record of the vertiginous speed at which the human body changed in one hundred years. The idea of a super human exceeded all expectations as we re-wrote and dreamt our own reality.
The roller coaster of the next 100 years and its megatrends does not change one key fact. Beauty perceptions reflect our sense of community, health and courage. The courage to express yourself through any societal, economic and cultural shift the wild card future may present.