Monday, 15 September 2014

Apple Watch / The Fashionable Evolution Of Time

I don't really tend to blog about news and what people are obsessing over, especially when it comes to new technology based crazes. However, with the recent news that Apple is releasing a range of watches, it was news that actually interested and intrigued me. On a lazy, tired Sunday after a big party with friends and a late night fuelled with food, I had some time on my hands to think and do something that I rarely (but increasingly) do and read a newspaper. Amongst all the news articles it was the Apple watch that sparked my interest. However, do not fear that this blog post will be all about the new Apple watch, its features and me selling you the latest Apple product, because believe me, this blog post is the furthest thing from that. In fact, although I'll touch upon the new creation of the Apple watch, this post is merely food for thought (if you want it to be, anyway). 
I first heard about the Apple watch through Twitter and my initial reaction was one of extreme confusion. Starting with a mantlepiece clock, the retail sector of watches originally branched out to the classic pocket watch which then developed into the wrist watches. The purpose of a watch (in case you have been otherwise informed) 'back in the day', was to give you a friendly reminder of the time. Occasionally, your watch might keep your nerves at bay as you listened to its rhythmic tick of the hands as seconds, minutes and hours go by. My first thought when it was announced that the Apple Watch was to be released in early 2015, was what did the future hold for the basic watch? With the increase of girls posting Instagram photos of their new 'Michael Kors' or 'Marc Jacobs' watches gifted to them by their boyfriends or families, was there a new wave of watch selfies to be showcased to the world featuring the Apple watch? But it wasn't just the possibility of an upcoming popular trend for new 'apple watch' Instagram posts that really got my thought process going... 



A watch, an object whose concept was once so seemingly basic, was suddenly transformed and disguised into something so tragically modern. In a similar way, books underwent a makeover with the creation of Kindles. No longer do you see a holiday poolside littered with books, their crinkled pages given character by the sun and pool water - instead, electronic screens stare blankly at the users. As the world of technology is constantly evolving, what was once characteristic and classy is now being morphed into a digital time bomb. A few weeks ago I brought my first ever watch. Costing under £20 I saw it as a bargain and didn't give the purchase much thought - I had a wrist, I needed to know the time and the two things combined convinced me that this watch would be a useful tool for my dreadful time keeping. In a world where iPhones rarely leave our hands, buying a watch is no longer that useful; with one click of a button and tap of a screen the time can be digitally presented to us in a matter of seconds. But, it seems that although we can choose many different devices to discover the time, the traditional watch is preferred by the masses? Why? Because it is undoubtedly the most popular wrist accessory of all time. 
The world of fashion has supported watches since their creation. They are classy, add a touch of elegance and sophistication and ensure that no one misses their daytime engagements if they can help it. A watch adds an element of reassurance and will lend a helping 'hand' in keeping you on track and organised. A watch can also become a statement piece - take a Michael Kors or a Marc Jacobs watch for example, an enviable piece of jewellery worthy of many Instagram posts just to show it off. But, with the Apple watch release date creeping closer and closer, do our watches have a time limit until they become just as outdated as tape recorders? Will our beloved watches become a symbol of the past, a device with one purpose rather than the multiple functions the Apple watch promises? Not only will this destine our current watches to become 'vintage' stock and statement pieces, but the new modern watch will also change the appearance of our outfits. Not only does this change the technology world but with the production of the new Apple watch, the world of fashion is evolving and changing as a result too. 
Apple is a brand that is so aware of how to sell and convince an entire world to buy their product - hence their level of insane success and soaring profit. So, naturally, with the new addition of fashionable watches, Apple has hauled in some of Fashion's most influential forces to help promote and sell their watches - making them a booming and fashionable success. The Apple team includes the former CEO of Burberry and Yves Saint Laurent, both hugely successful and fashion forward. In addition to this influence, Apple has an Industrial Designer, Marc Newson, on its team of fashion experts. With leading fashion experts and technology geniuses teaming together, the worlds of fashion and technology are poised for a transformation and possibly world changing collaboration. There have already been rumblings and talk about the development of 'smart clothing' that will contain sensors that will monitor the users health. Is the Apple watch the beginning of a life changing development in technology and fashion? 
Fashion has already been embracing technology for a while now - exclusive catwalk shows are now streamed live over the internet; designers are selling their catwalk collections exclusively online; some designers have even swapped their catwalk shows for digital shows. Not to mention fashion's journalistic transformation where magazines are transferring their attention to the online world, swapping their paper pages for digital projections. I can't help wondering, in this world where technology has become the ruling factor of our lives, what will remain safe and uncontaminated by technology? We live in a fast-paced world where things are constantly evolving and developing and in some ways that's great, but in another way it provides a sense of insecurity and uncertainty. When I think of fashion I think of clothes - tailored and produced to provide security and essentially built for the purpose of clothing us, creating our outer shells. There's nothing I love more than to walk into a store and touch the new clothes, caressing the fabrics and smelling the new fibres. With talk of clothes that will be implanted and incorporated with technology and the development of new technologies, I begin to question whether the traditional form of fabric making and development will soon become a dying art. I'm not saying that clothes will cease to exist, of course clothes will be made of fabric and material, but will they lose their originality and sense of security once they're invaded with these devices?  
I promise that I'm not a complete bore and one of these modern, 21st century teenagers who oppose technology because believe me, my iPhone and my Mac are probably the first things that I'd save in a fire (aside from family, friends, dogs etc.). I'm just curious about what the future has to hold and with the recent production of Apple Watches it seems like another huge step and milestone will be made in the history of technology. Although I find the prospect somewhat scary, I also find it exciting. I think the Apple watch is remarkable and the fact that there are human beings out there with the level of intelligence to produce something so complex is truly inspiring. The watch is a representation of the power that humans have when they unite their ideas. Rewinding to a hundred years ago when my great grandparents were just small children, they would never have guessed that the watches that surrounded them would be so different from the watches that we place on our wrists today. A device that was designed to tell the time now had the power to do things that weren't even possible back then; listening to music outside of the family home, sending messages without having to attach a stamp and practise your handwriting first...I'd still much rather be the old fashioned soul that strutted around with the basic watch than showcase the capability of technology on my wrist and I have good reasons for that. Apart from the fact that I love my new £20 watch, I fear that by buying a device as smart as the Apple Watch to attach to my body, I will become even more addicted to a virtual world and less engaged with the real one. There's a fine line between the virtual and the real world as it is nowadays - with relationships developing and being sustained virtually, conversations being held digitally and opinions being forecasted online, I don't think I'm alone when I begin to question what's real and what's virtual. I want my watch to remain a fashion statement, a reliable accessory and an accessory of traditional purpose. When I check my watch for the time, I want to hear the ticking as the two hands dance across the face of my oversized watch and not be tempted to text my friends, listen to music or quickly browse the web (all possibilities with the new watch) - I'm already late as it is!

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