Gil is not the only person to travel to the past. As we noted, a detective leaves 2010 and goes to seventeenth century Versailles. More significantly, though, Adriana goes to La Belle Epoque, Paris in the 1890s. More significantly yet, she stays.
We cannot be certain that she stays. We know only that Degas knows of a job for a costume designer for the ballet, and she plans to apply for it. Her designs are bound to be avant-garde: she studied with Coco Chanel, one of the great clothing designers of the early twentieth century who in 1890 is entering her teens but whose impact will continue well into the future, revolutionizing women’s clothing. Adriana will have an eye for the designs of the future, and in a progressive era like La Belle Epoch, the age of French Impressionism, such an artist will be embraced and successful.
There is the risk that she is ahead of her time, that she will fail because her designs are too futuristic. Yet this is minimized precisely because she is designing for the ballet: she will be a leader, not a follower, putting fashion images on the stage and on promotional posters which will then influence society in that direction. As long as the ballet itself is successful, she is likely to be so also.
This then is likely to have three important impacts. The first is on fashion itself: introducing designs and concepts to the Impressionistic 1890s which would be progressive in the Surrealistic 1920s, particularly in fashion design leader Paris, France, will move styles in unpredictable directions. What people wear in the future will be derived in part from the contributions drawn from the future by Adriana.
That cannot help but impact Coco Chanel. She is a young teen in Paris, where Adriana’s designs are about to hit the stage quite literally. These designs are going to spark the girl’s fashion-oriented imagination. At least some of what Chanel would have created by 1920 will now have appeared in the 1890s, and she will already be building on those ideas to devise new ones. (It is unlikely that Adriana’s borrowing of Chanel’s future work will prevent a creative genius of her caliber from finding new ideas from those; she managed to remain cutting edge for decades beyond that time.) Chanel’s work is altered, as she pushes the already reshaped envelope.
That, then, creates a sawtooth snap, because Adriana got much of her training in fashion from Chanel, who now is building on the ideas Adriana presented which came out of that training. Adriana will learn something different from Coco, and her designs will in turn be altered in 1890, impacting fashion and Coco differently, impacting herself differently, and perpetually changing. It might be that this history never resolves, because with fashion design there are enough variables that it might never be the same twice, and certainly never twice in succession.
In fact, the potential is here for Adriana to do something even more dramatic, taking a young Coco Chanel under her wing as a student, who in turn will become her teacher. The feedback of such a loop is difficult to calculate.
This apparently does not happen, because Gil is able to return to a time in the 1920s after his departure, and again from there to 2010, so time is not trapped. It is difficult to guess why not. If Adriana did not get the job, she probably would not stay in the past; but if she did, she probably would have had the impact on fashion described. Perhaps she returned to her own time, too late to catch up with Gil and tell him; but then it will be written in her journal, which he has. Perhaps she stayed in the past anyway, struggling to find work or other means of support; perhaps she did not get the job as designer but was hired as an assistant, and stayed in the never-realized hope that she would one day create her own designs. Whatever happened, Adriana faded to obscurity and never changed the world as she might have.