Lifestyle – forecasts for Los Angeles, CA, in 21st century

Lifestyle – forecasts for Los Angeles, CA, in 21st century – Brief Article

Glynis Costin

Picture a Barbarella-esque babe in a silver jumpsuit and boots shopping at Fred Segal’s new sky boutique, her hovercraft parked outside, Inside, she sips health cocktails and tries on designer “smart” clothes that change color, temperature and pattern according to the environment and the wearer’s mood. Afterward, she


at an underground cyber club who dances to techno beats in a tight shirt infused with vitamins that absorb through his skin.

Okay, now wake up. Those of us who fantasized about a near future living on Logan’s Run-style space stations with Farrah Fawcett specimens in white hot pants or communing with Arnold Schwarzenegger clones in biospheres are going to be in for future shock. And those of us who imagined Soylent Green, Blade Runner or Gattaca will be mighty relieved.

News Flash: Life in L.A. 25 or even 50 years from now isn’t going to be all that different from life today–at least not when it comes to style.

Sure, we’ll be able to sit at our computers and put together different ensembles on holographic images of ourselves–straight from the runways, or the J. Crew/Gap/Lands’ End (yes, one corporation might own them all) Internet catalog. And breast implants will come in adaptable sizes so we can change from D cups for our lovers to B’s for our workplace at the click of a button. But don’t expect trendies in Star Trek outfits to be parading down Vermont Avenue.

“In this decade alone, we’ve rehashed the ’80s, ’70s and ’60s,” says L.A. fashion designer David Cardona. “We’re no longer dealing with something like an Edwardian Era–it’s more like an Edwardian season. Everything is moving so fast. In 25 years, I see us continuing to revisit looks from old decades, adding new twists and putting them together in new ways. It’s not going to be a time of space-age jumpsuits and plastic dresses.”

Think about it. Twenty-five years ago it was bell-bottoms, blue jeans, peasant blouses, platforms. If some babe from your high school walked by right now–whether you graduated in 1969, 1974 or 1980, you could easily mistake her for the latest model off Gucci’s or Prada’s runway. Fifty years ago? You can walk down Melrose Avenue today and see girls in swingy cherry-print dresses, red lipstick and strappy shoes.

Life around us will, of course, be somewhat different. We might all have one ID number–a computer chip embedded in our wrists (which we’ll use for all monetary transactions)–and electric cars that can practically drive themselves from Malibu (if it hasn’t slid into the sea yet) to Hollywood, or anywhere else we tell them we want to go. The rich will no doubt live in gated communities of glass, stone and steel houses, with windows that automatically darken or lighten (eliminating the need for draperies), Zen meditation rooms, organic vegetable gardens and computer screens that take up entire walls. Beds might conform to our individual shapes and temperatures; our dinners may cook themselves.

But most fashionistas don’t think we’ll really look all that different. We’ll wear hats to protect us from the sun’s killer rays, our faces may have less wrinkles thanks to updated versions of Retin-A and laser peels, and glasses, of course, will be purely a retro fashion statement, since everyone with vision problems will have had laser eye surgery. Sag Masters–hawked by a seventy-something Suzanne Somers on her Live Long, Look Good show–may even be the rage. But style mavens agree that if there’s a unifying theme, it will be comfort.

“The day of the suit and tie is almost gone now,” reasons Cardona. “Look at Spielberg and Geffen, who wear sneakers, T-shirts and baseball caps. True power people don’t have to impress by what they wear–in the future, I think that will be even more the case.” Does that mean we’ll be showing up at, say, Spago downtown in flowing white robes? Not quite. “Look,” laughs Cardona, “people will still want to look sexy, and there will always be those who don’t care how much stilettos hurt.”

Foodwise, we may well be scarfing down green anticancer shakes and Vita-Macs at New Age McDonald’s, but we’ll still be craving mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese after long days in front of our computer terminals. And for every high-tech gadget, we’ll want a velvet pillow, a cashmere throw, a vase of flowers, a bowl of goldfish.

“People are already reacting against stark minimalism and cold modernism,” says L.A. interior designer Michael Smith, who thinks color, comfort and eccentricity are watchwords for future home decor. “Gardens and exterior spaces will be more important, since with the overbuilding, land will be at a premium.”

“We’ll be surrounding ourselves with plants, trees, driftwood and stone,” adds L.A. architect Ron Radziner, “as a contrast to all the impersonal technology we’re going to be dealing with.”

British transplant Lynne Franks, author, owner of the L.A. PR firm Global fusion and a sometime futurist, thinks that 2025 in L.A. will see the dawn of the “techno-hippie,” a time when computer nerd meets bohemian chic, gadget geek meets earth mama. (Picture the love child of, say, Bill Gates and Mia Farrow.) New Age thinking, she says, will be almost Old Age, and we will worship at the altar of both the computer and Mother Nature. “Technology will run our lives, but we will crave to be touchy-feely. Our domestic gadgets will communicate via electronic chips programmed with our genetic backgrounds, likes and dislikes, and yoga masters will teach us holographically from our home altars.”

The intense search for personal gums and spirituality will make the ’90s bestseller The Celestine Prophecy look like a kindergarten primer. Hell, Deepak Chopra might even run for president.

But for all the spiritual mumbo jumbo, some things, of course, never change. Money will still be the nectar of the Hollywood gods. We’ll still see swarms of CAA/ICM/UTA/AMG (they will merged) superagents at some Starbucks all-glass eatery atop Mulholland, checking Daily Variety on their tiny cell-phone computers to see if the Farrelly brothers’ latest flick hit more than $300 million its first weekend. And while they’ll consult their psychics and astrologers, it won’t be about world–or even inner–peace. It will be to discern whether stopping by Madonna’s 67th birthday party thrown by her new beau, Britain’s Prince Henry, 41, will have enough networking potential to make it worth their while.

COPYRIGHT 1999 Los Angeles Magazine, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group