Earlier this month, we had the pleasure of attending Unlocking Potential’s Future Focus: Wear it Well event at Treganna Castle, with guest speakers Ruth Marshall-Johnson from The Future Laboratory and Patrick Grant, owner and Creative Director of Norton & Sons and the force behind Community Clothing, plus special guests from the Falmouth University Alumni, Frugi Organic Cotton Clothes, Fourth Element and many more amazing businesses. We were delighted that Wildcard Silks’ founder Katy Nicholson was featured in a promotional film in the run up to the event, talking about the business and her gorgeous range of silk scarves and ties.

The rise in digital technologies such as Amazon’s Alexa has meant that mobile augmented reality will enable you to pick out styles that suit you, based on your body shape and the latest trends that week. Nike is already trialling this augmented video mapping technology, allowing customers to hold their phone over the shoe they are currently wearing to trial a variety of the brand’s own products in real time. Ruth also explained the concept of ‘data design’, where companies can use a customer’s browsing history and personal preferences to manufacture tailor-made products and send them direct to their doors. Smart homes are making it possible for people to shop from the comfort of their living rooms, projecting personalised digital storefronts onto their walls.

There were a few fascinating anecdotes that we have to mention, such as designer Nikolas Bentel conjuring a dystopian future with his colour-changing shirt that responds to high levels of pollution. Or the increasing popularity of avatar fashion influencers like @lilmiquela, who has over 1 million followers on Instagram and can cause a brand to sell out of a product just by wearing a computer generated representation of it on her account.

As suppliers of silk scarves and ties, we were particularly inspired by the notion of spider silk being used in the future. There’s lots of research still to be done, but Ruth talked about how the engineered proteins used to spin synthetic spider silk are incredibly versatile, suited for everything from biotech to so-called smart fabrics. Which gets us thinking… maybe a spider web bow tie should be the next Wildcard Silks’ design!