Navigating the global markets and sorting through the trends is a job unto itself, and editing the most relevant visual clues is a talent that requires a strong working history and a sharp eye. Fashion and European home are the lead sources for domestic trends, and the most noteworthy shows all culminate in the first half of every year leading the way for months of creative interpretation.
Heimtex kicks off the season with vendors from around the world. Most notable are the art vendor booths where artisans from around the world sell their designs geared at both print and woven products. Studios from Italy, France, Holland and the United Kingdom line the hall with expressive collages and paintings that speak to fashion trends and current runway shows. Art trends of significance from Heimtex 2016 include metallic finishes, brush marks, stamped motifs and watercolor effects. Lace and stitched effects were repeated in enough portfolios to watch going forward.
Maison & Objet and Deco Off
Maison & Objet and Deco Off deliver strong trends for those on the decorative side of home. All facets of the home are on display from furniture to fabric to dinnerware, soft goods and even pottery. Located a train ride away from Paris, the Maison & Objet show often leaves its mark on up-and-coming color combinations and pattern play. We first saw the weathered wood finishes at this show years ago, which are now a staple in every furniture line. Concurrent with Maison & Objet is an equally exciting editor show, Deco Off, where new fabrics spill into the streets of Paris’ St. Germaine district. Inspiring window displays and vibrant color influence the highest end trends in residential. This season a mix of pattern held court as unexpected pairings brought a global influence to a new level. Parisian trends started with botanical leaves in all sizes and color often combined with bright geometric patterns. Faceted shapes rang true for both fabric and frame applications. Black and white palettes were accented with bold fashion color.
Each spring customers with exquisite taste flock to Proposte in Como, Italy, to witness the unveiling of the world’s most innovative textiles. Small, family-owned mills display their product for a select group of discerning buyers to browse and shop, and luxurious natural fibers prevail as materials used in the textiles. Innovative weave structures, finishes and after-treatments create a product that is not readily available in the United States.
Several outlying hotels offer show space for additional European vendors that spill over from the main show site at Villa Erba. With time-honored traditions being handed down from generation to generation, Proposte offers a rare glimpse into the way textiles were brought to market over time.
An overriding trend seen first in Europe that has made its way into the states is the artisan or craft movement. Do It Yourself (DIY) has become a common buzzword for today’s buyer as they tackle new activities and bring an element of personal style into everything they do. The blend of trends and cultures feed visual clues to the artisan movement as we celebrate handcrafted quality and the slight imperfections that accompany it.
Living the trend’s casual lifestyle speaks more to the need for individualism and less to commercialism, and having the right components, the right environment and the right passion go far in understanding this perspective. The smallest uneven line is heralded as unique and worthy of investment. Whether you make your own clothes, buy from a small boutique or support a village of craftspeople across the globe, you contribute to the core of this artisan movement.
Stylistically speaking, a tribal movement is pairing motifs from villages around the world with bright playful color. Kuba cloths made their mark this season, highlighting hand-drawn geometry and playful linear motifs dancing across pillows and blankets. Natural seagrass fiber complemented this trend in both lighting and wallcovering.
2016 looks to be a colorful year with strong techniques and looks derived from handcrafted items and cultures. The mix of pattern at the high end will offer continued life for global influences both in color and in design. Grab an espresso and take a look!