What's Up Next?
Trend forecasters open their notebooks
Jennifer Marks -- Home Textiles Today, 5/14/2012 2:00:00 AM
NEW YORK - The winter/spring shows here and abroad offered no shortage of eye candy, with bright colors and rich textures emerging among several key trends.
More will undoubtedly be on hand when the International Contemporary Furniture Fair kicks off here May 19 at the Javits Center. Several trend forecasters who will be part of the seminar series at the Surtex show, which runs in tandem with IFCC, shared their observations with HTT.
Jennifer Castoldi, chief creative director of Trendease International, is seeing natural materials being mixed with synthetics as well as the use of existing materials such as plastic bottles and old papers to create yarns.
"Paper is being used a lot in textiles and twisted into yarns for upholstery. The look is different depending upon the weaves and the colors," she said. "I saw a Dutch designer who was creating pillows of paper yarns."
Angela Ringo, senior editor for interiors at Stylesight, give the nod to "the creation of extreme dimension through quilting and stitching techniques or intense fabric manipulation. This focus on dimensionality has emerged for upholstered seating as a way to redefine the form of the chair as well as presenting comfort in an extremely tactile way."
Trend Pulse's Jo-an Jenkins, publisher and chief creative, is intrigued by what she calls "rethought basics," everyday items redesigned so that they become must-haves.
"The strongest examples are for the kitchen, from wonderfully colored classic oven and serving ware (as seen in The Conran Shop's "Well Considered " collection) to the award winning Joseph Joseph, black + blum, Kinto, Stelton Design House & others who have rethought familiar items (chopping boards, citrus squeezers) to be at once be more useful and more exciting in design," she said. "So wonderful are these new products that they make someone like me - who has every kitchen item I need - I want to throw everything away and start again."
Dutch design forecaster Milou Ket is finding "more individuality and uniqueness, texture and imperfections, appreciation of craftsmanship." Also important are "ecology and sustainability and interest in the process of how products are made."
Castoldi also noted a big interest in process, adding: "For the consumer the whole idea of being eco-friend is taking to take hold. It's not so much manufacturers pushing it anymore. The consumer is staring to pull."
Nearly every the trend spoke of the impact of the economy on consumers' attitudes toward their lifestyles and living spaces. Trend Pulse's Jenkins said the reaction varies by demographic.
"Except at the top end of the luxury home market, people are not moving. Instead they are improving where they are," she said. "There is a continued retreat to the comfort zone of nostalgia & domesticity with an increasing number of creative and sophisticated home products focused on traditional household skills such as baking and needlework."
However, at the luxury level, she sees "a high level of interest in innovative contemporary design ranging from the work of new young designers to design classics to up-cycled vintage."
Stylesight's Ringo also noted "a more integrated lifestyle is influencing contemporary kitchen design which I saw emerging at the 2012 Eurocucina show held during Salone Internazional del Mobile. Instead of emphasizing the difference in rooms, merged living/kitchen spaces reflect people's tendency to multi-task, work while dining and entertain. Here are some examples:
In terms of color, "I expect a lot from the color yellow," said Ket. "Depending on the target group, a strong bright yellow, in combination with black and white for a young target group. All shades of yellow for a richer, more mature look, going to ochre, and gold. A golden shine and metallics are important. "
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