Fashion is fun. History is fascinating. Technology is cool. Combine them all together and you get something pretty damn captivating.
Russell Klimas, light painter and synthographer (basically meaning he uses computer software and machine learning to create digital art), recently created a short video taking folks on a visual journey of women’s fashion through the 21st century.
In only 30 seconds, we time travel from 1910 to 2010. Even if on some level we know there have been a lot of changes in how women dress and generally navigate the world, there is something profound about watching such a massive evolution happen in the blink of an eye.
The sheer volume of different looks is staggering, from long, layered Edwardian skirts and beaded flapper dresses, through form-fitting WW2 attire and bell bottoms, all the way to more contemporary casual sportswear styles that clearly show just how much more active many women have become.
There’s even a stark contrast in how each of these fictional women carry themselves at the beginning of the video versus the end, going from an upright, demure posture to something much more wide-legged and bold. It’s a great example of how as a society we have (on multiple levels) seen a huge shift in gender expression.
We also don’t see any women of color until midway through the video. While this could be the inherent bias that AI technology has towards portraying white skin, it also shines a light on how different cultures have been overlooked historically and how there has been a lot of progress in terms of how they are represented by fashion, media, etc.
If nothing else, this video reminds us that no matter what, it is humanity’s destiny to evolve and change. In what direction that change goes is dependent upon the choices we make today.