10 Frightening Futuristic Fashion Pieces


Fashion designer Anouk Wipprecht and software developer Daniel Schatzmayr recently debuted something quite unusual indeed: a robotic spider dress, where the limbs writhe immediately at any detection of movement. While it certainly falls under the category of high fashion (as any outfit requiring a microchip should), it’s also, well, kind of terrifying. And while some designers like Alexander Wang opt for a clean-cut, prettier version of the future, looking at the post-apocalyptic/radioactive/anthropomorphic vision can be a lot more fun. Here are some of the spookiest futuristic looks we found on the web.

“Scary Beautiful” Shoes

A collaboration between Leanie van der Vyver and Dutch shoe designer René van den Berg, these shoes resemble a ballerina’s broken legs, making Black Swan seem like Sesame Street in comparison. In an interview with Yahoo! Shine, van der Vyver stated that she thinks “humans are playing God by physically and metaphorically perfecting themselves. Beauty is currently at an all time climax, allowing this project to explore what lies beyond perfection.” Uh, some nightmarish innovations in footwear, that’s for sure.

Cyberdog G2 Bionic Apocalypse

If you’re ever in London, you have to visit Cyberdog, a neon, alien-themed rave disguised as a clothing store located in the heart of the Camden market. There, you can find Fifth Element-like playsuits, dresses that look like Britney Spears’ iconic steward uniform in “Toxic,” and wirey masks, as the one pictured above. Handmade by Dominic Elvin, these freaky face accessories come in a variety of colors and styles and have no identifiable purpose, except to casually look like the dictator of the universe in the year 3000 at your friend’s end of the world party.

Transformer Fashion

This spring 2007 runway show by designer Hussein Chalayan and the tech team behind the hippogriff in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban featured something truly remarkable: robotic, self-undressing fashion. Models would walk onstage in flowy dresses, only to have them slowly and unexpectedly start to move and reconfigure themselves into a completely different outfit (one of the most memorable being the “table dress“). Who knows, maybe one day we’ll rely on this technology to make a hands-free evening gown-sweatpants switch.

Google “Project Glass” Glasses

Photo credit: Google

Oh sure, these glasses look cute and perfectly harmless, but wait until you get a load of what sheer craziness Google is up to now: virtual reality eyewear. As in, you walk down the street with these things and TEXT appears on the lenses. With voice commands, you can read emails, chat via video, and get turn-by-turn directions. If you thought walking down Broadway through Soho was stressful, just wait 20 years when every Wall Street exec and NYU student is using these to find the closest Starbucks and getting distracted by all the pop-up ads.

Insect Armor Jacket

From Dora Mojzes’ collection, Diploma, comes this exoskeleton-inspired hooded trench, along with some less extreme (but very pretty) styles. Looks like her vision of the world to come involves chemical-repellent armor and a lot of black. It’s not a bad vision at all.

Alien Disk Masks

Photo credit: COLLEZIONITV

Paco Rabanne’s Spring 2011 collection involved some models being saddled with giant, shimmery disk masks like the one pictured above, with two tiny holes for where the eyes should be. While his intended aesthetic approach was fashion-forward aliens, I could see people sporting these shiny masks in the event of a wide-spreading plague (or flu epidemic, for that matter).

Tube Dress and Armadillo Heels

Photo credit: Duy Quoc Vo/V Magazine

Model Dewi Driegen was photographed wearing Iris van Herpen’s designs from her Fall 2011 collection for V Magazine. One of the strangest creations was this octopus-y tube dress and slightly tamer take on Alexander McQueen’s famed armadillo heels. What sorts of substances are the tubes transporting? Only time will tell.

Neck Brace Connected to Actual Braces

Photo credit: Marcin Twardowski

Not Just a Label is a website devoted to helping the “black sheep” of the fashion industry, so to speak. Designer Katarzyna Konieczka’s “Nekromantik” collection definitely belongs there, as the centerpiece is a neck brace/braces contraption that looks pretty painful. This seems to follow in Scary Beautiful’s footsteps (no pun intended, yikes), as it seems to draw upon our obsessive need to both be perfect and multitask. It doesn’t get creepier than that!

Gas Masks

CRYOFLESH is an online store specializing in cyberpunk apparel, kind of like the Hot Topic of a nuclear disaster zone in the distant future (meant in the best way possible.) For $50, you can buy one of their custom-made gas masks, which come in more styles than you probably imagined. Bring it on, future global crises!

Wood Brace Dress

London-based designer CJ made a collection called Wood Be, which aimed to “explore the idea of using natural alternative material as the primary source, such as wood, which is one of the most treasure ways to communicate with the nature, and to refine the traditional techniques of wood and crafts to fit into the contemporary look.” Alas, this image of the future seems pretty optimistic, as most of these other pieces suggest that, if anything, we are long overdue for a reconnection with nature.