Trend House Update
by Nicki Gondell
What's In Store for Holiday Giftwrap and Ribbon Trends
Key trends for holiday giftwrap and ribbon designs range from the very contemporary
to the exotic look of the casbah. The key design stories that we see dominating
the holiday scene can be titled colorful living, wild thing, celestial season,
swept away, and the casbah.
This trend captures the fresh and colorful spirit that typified '50s optimism
at the dawning of the post-WWII consumer culture. Art, architecture, fashion
and interior design reflected a forward-looking, style: confident, life-affirming
and optimistic. There were so many new materials and concepts coming to the
market, and so many choices that many dubbed the situation a "delightful confusion".
One of the fundamental principles of Contemporary design is to create interesting
color contrasts rather than coordinates. The psychology of color plays an
important role in design and color that was said to make one feel years younger.
The color palette includes comforting earth tones, calming mid-tones and enlivening
Practical and Playful
Practical and playful biomorphic shapes were a key inspiration for designers:
ants, swans, butterflies and eggs provided classic references.
Fun and Flirty
Preceding the '60s youthquake, pretty city wardrobes were unabashedly feminine,
and ladylike dressing was a status symbol.
Today we apply these principles to product design to give a fresh twist to
Flat pre-pop floral porcelain patterns are key with an emphasis on overlapping
circles, spheres and orbs.
Polka dots and stripes are randomly mixed and playfully colored in unexpected
Linoleum and Formica patterns provide a wealth of inspiration.
Curvilinear shapes and colors are inspired by Venetian glass and decorative
New geometrics in vivid color contrasts create visual impact.
Cut-outs and saw tooth patterns result in beautiful tension with empty space.
Boldly painted earthenware in a variety of silhouettes give stripes a new
landscape and add an artisinal note to any environment.
The pulse of the jungle is the backdrop for the power and imagination of primitive
rituals and celebrations, channeled for modern life.
Hot brights and neons give nature's palette an exciting jolt of energy.
Signs and Symbols
Masks, totems and amulets tell stories of ancient worlds and peoples.
Tribal markings and ornamentation are their own secret language.
Super saturated colors, intricate patterns and exotic beadwork create frenzy.
Ancient languages are revived with new technologies.
Petals and Pods
Prints and patterns are influenced by jungle vegetation; organic shapes, veiny
leaves and striated stems.
Raffia and Jute
Lush vegetation turns into beautiful, weaveable materials; raffia, jute and
sisal are dried, dyed and woven into beautiful patterns.
Tropical birds, flora and fauna are the inspiration for wild and colorful
A beautiful and magical white-on-white winterscape; a peaceful landscape blanketed
in snow, where frosty surfaces are gently illuminated by starry winter skies
and holiday lights.
Icy and Magical
The color palette is cool and ethereal with an emphasis on frozen and fractured
blues and purples, worked back with black ice and diamonds.
Sleek and Wet
Surfaces are sleek and wet, glistening with melted snow and winter rain.
Frosted and Illuminated
Frosty, crackled finishes gleam to create translucent aurora borealis effects.
Ice crystals shimmer and shine with a lunar glow.
Transparent and opaque techniques create tone-on-tone effects like intricate
patterns on etched glass or hand-drawn designs on frosty windowpanes.
Snowy drifts create mountains of softness.
Simple cut-outs and perforations use positive/negative space to create interesting
Jeweled baubles like beaded snowflakes, glass barrel beads, crystal prisms
and mirrored balls reflect and refract light to create a festive environment
on any scale.
Ice princesses and drama queens hold court in a frozen kingdom.
Ethereal angels bedecked in snowy feathers bring a message of peace and goodwill
A romantic tale of love on a secluded island; shipwrecked, star-crossed lovers
frolic in the sand against a backdrop of blue water and open skies.
A sun-bleached desert island color palette based around soft mineral tones
of coral and turquoise, worked back with sandy neutrals and bleached seashell
Washed ashore onto a beautiful and unspoiled island paradise; fending for
oneself in nature, appreciating salvaged items, rope and rigging.
Materials are weathered and tangled, and put together in an artfully disheveled
Treasures from the sea are strung together in salty tonalities for highly
Shells and Sand
Opalescent crushed shells, abalone and sea glass create a glittering montage.
Pebbles and Minerals
The natural ripples and waves of pebbles and minerals inspire curvilinear
Bikini and Sarong Prints
Sun bleached and faded bikini and sarong prints sit beautifully against dried
Rough and Refined
Sandy starfish and freshwater pearls dance along the water's edge creating
a stunning mix of texture.
Reflective, aquatic surfaces give the illusion of depth, and patterns are
wavy and distorted as if viewed underwater.
Inspiration comes from under the sea: marine life, plants, coral, algae, seaweed
What a thrill to discover the rough-cut gems and sea-hammered metal of a buried
treasure washed ashore!
A mythical journey to a beautiful and seductive land, where opulent palaces
adorned with elaborate ornamentation overflow with enticing flavors and fragrances,
and exotic bazaars are bursting with color and texture.
Two important levels of color; first the warm, rich palette inspired by the
mix of aromatic spices and intense flavors, both hot and sweet.
And also, a range of perfumed saturated brights to work alongside nature's
neutrals and in combination with the spice tones.
Haagen Dazs' new ice cream flavors reflect our desire to experiment with unexpected
taste sensations; chocolate mixes with chiles, caramel mixes with cumin.
Surfaces and textiles are rich and decorative.
Patterns are inspired by Moorish architecture: wooden screens, latticework,
moucharabieh, tile work, aubussons and tapestries.
Ancient florals and geometric patterns are revisited in rich glazed finishes.
Magnificent carpets and tapestries are gathered from exotic bazaars.
Ikats and Kilims
Intricately woven ikats and kilims are recolored in surprising combinations.
Arabesques and Filigrees
Aged and hammered surfaces form ornate and sophisticated backdrops.
Beautiful gauzy layers conceal and reveal.
Four Trends Drive Well-Dressed Revelers to Celebrate the
Holidays (November, 2003)
The well-dressed reveler will have plenty to celebrate this holiday season.
Holiday '03 is looking to be very festive indeed! Party-goers and gift-givers
alike will delight in colorful, graphic and embellished outlook thanks to
the influence of several powerful megatrends: escapism, nostalgia and multi-culturalism.
Glam. Desperately seeking shoulderpads? Given the glum economic/political
forecast and general angst in the zeitgeist, it's no wonder we're longing
for a moment of 80's style hedonism. An optimistic swirl of jewel tones, rhinestones
and batwings is heading our way. Prepare to put a little flash in your dance!
Mod. It's a mod mod mod mod world! The Carnaby cult continues with
geometric everything and lots of bold color, contrasts and cut-outs. This
retro, space-age story has a hint of humor and a distinctly English accent.
The Tough. Motorcycle chic roars into fashion with a new pack of
biker leather and heavy metal. Studs, chains, zippers and padding form a protective
Folkloric. The artistry of the past is celebrated in a collaborative
mosaic of east-meets-west, ancient-meets-modern colors, patterns and styles.
Kimono, let's go!
Post-Bubble Marketing and Design
The Cultural Clime
If we look at the current consumer climate, we note quite a bit of angst
in the zeitgeist: rampant unemployment, a collapsing middle class, extended
work weeks, a shrinking dollar, mounting debt and bankruptcies, and a swirl
of media hype, propaganda and lies. Is it any wonder we're not spending like
we used to? So what can we, retailers, manufacturers, designers and marketers
do to help? What do consumers want?
1. Truth: hype-free zones, regaining trust, good corporate citizenship 2.
Meaning: emotional intelligence, quintessential design, artistic expression
3. Health: individual (obesity, smoking), planetary (conservation, sustainability)
4. Value: "masstige" (prestige design at mass prices) 5. Design solutions:
simplicity, convenience, universal design 6. Escape: humor, whimsy, nostalgia.
The Carlin International Trend Forecast for Fall 2004/05
This season we present four key trends:
- Scenario: A sensual story of seduction and refined luxury;
- Perceptions: A graphic story of functional urban wear blended
with the retro-furturistic shapes;
- Vertigo: A colorful story of body-conscious fashion in a time
of artificial beauty and the relentless pursuit of youth;
- Coaching: A dynamic story of sport performance and rugged workwear,
mixing personal training with team spiritedness.
Fashion, art and architecture are increasingly influencing each other.
In order to best understand emerging fashion trends, it is often helpful to
look at the influence of important movements, past and present, in art, architecture,
music and technology and why they are relevant to us today. Therefore, at
the start of each fashion trend, we will show a few of the key influences
that helped to shape each story.
And now we begin …
Our first story is an ode to seduction, inspired by “singles culture” --
research suggests that the number of single men and women worldwide will continue
to grow. The success of speed dating and internet dating is testament to the
desire to meet and connect. Seduction becomes a game for both men and women
Like an old Hollywood studio shot, we seek to “set the stage” in order to
show themselves in the best possible light. Current cinema, photography and
fashion are inspired by the poster art of the British realist Jack Vittriano,
the elegant attitudes of Henry Clarke’s models in the 1950’s, and the sophisticated
environment of the highly narrative paintings of Edward Hopper, one of the
inspirations behind Todd Haynes’ recent film, “Far From Heaven”.
This 1940’s sensibility is voluptuous, yet refined. Glamour is discreet,
and not vulgar.
Materials are sensual and calming.
Charming and glamorous femme fatales flirt with dashing ladies’ men
This next trend is about perception and perspective. We are asked to change
our perspective, look at things in a new way, from a different angle. The
trend is influenced by the art movement Expressionism, in which the intention
is not to reproduce a subject accurately, but instead to portray it in such
a way as to express the inner state of the artist. Other influences are the
emotionally-charged styles of Symbolism, Fauvism and Cubism. This influence
can now be seen in contemporary graphics, poetry and art.
Contemporary artists and designers play with new proportions and volumes,
a central theme in fashion today. For example, the huge and imposing works
of the sculptor Louise Bourgeois use wood, paper, metal, latex, cloth, marble,
and other materials to create abstract pieces.
Works by the artist Chuck Close help us to see that distance creates clarity;
close-range pixelized squares come clearly into focus once you walk away.
Early computers and retro-tech graphics inspire quirky prints and patterns.
Playing with letters and words creates new symbols. The graphics art pioneer
John Maeda explores the connection between computer programming and aesthetic
design, and the poet Apollinaire arranges words to create an image illustrating
Don’t stop at the first impression; let the picture fully develop, and appreciate
all the shades of grey as it does …
Longing for a freer time, full of creative energy and imagination, we fondly
remember the graphic expression and color explosion of the 1980’s.
The media at the time conveyed new images of powerful females at the emergence
of “body culture”.
Our current desire for the pursuit of youth and firmness has led to a boom
in cosmetic surgery. Glossy perfection straight out of the magazines is the
Contemporary artists like Matthew Barney and Jeff Koons play on the idea
of transformation and artificial reality by creating worlds of mythical and
Extreme lights, sound, images and color create vertigo.
This last story is inspired by the increasing popularity of coaches and
personal trainers in all aspects of life. Originally stemming from sport,
coaching now extends into a wide range of activities including cultural coaches
who arrange gallery tours according to consumer tastes and creative coaches
who help teams of researchers find new solutions. This trend mixes aspects
of competitive sport, authentic workwear, rustic folklore and techno updates.
The mixing of individualism and team spirit influences fashion designers
to explore the idea of hybrid creativity and cross-branding: Comme de Garcon
sells reworked Levis with double tags, and Future Labor Union unites American
designers at Klurk with Japanese designers at Lift Co.
The sense of collaboration is seen across all fields of design. We are experiencing
a time when technology and ecology come together.
The story is full of dynamic energy; and a team spirit.
New design and entertainment innovations mix elements of animation, film
and music, a perfect example is the ever more sophisticated and interactive
All About the "Alpha Betty" (August, 2003)
Can thousands of years of biological programming be turned upside down by
50 years of social change? Seems so. Age-old mating rituals dictated the desirability
of landing the Alpha Male to insure that the offspring would be strong, and
well-provided for. But more and more women are discovering and developing
their own alpha qualities, which present new options. As the playing field
levels, women become freer to celebrate their strength and their femininity.
Rethinking the Fairy Tale
Today there are so many opportunities for women outside the traditional role
of wife and mother. No longer are women dependent on husbands for financial
security; men are viewed as partners, not providers.
Women have very serious choices to make. A new book by Salvia Ann Hewlett
entitled "Creating a Life: Professional Women and the Quest For Children"
asserts that many ambitious young career women are heading for disappointment
if they spend their prime child-bearing years establishing careers and hoping
to start at family at age 35 or beyond. 42% of high-achieving women in corporate
America are childless at age 40, and for women who earn more than $100,000
the figure rises to 49%. While this is a choice for many, for others it becomes
a painful, unexpected reality. But slowing down to start a family means you
may never catch up.
Having it All
Women are realizing that the dream of having it all, career, family and social
life, may be but a dream after all. Multi-tasking, pressed for time and pulled
in many directions, the answer to having "it all" or at least "most of it"
lies in efficient multi-tasking.
Making the Dough
Women are now primary breadwinners, as well as the bread bakers. Studies show
that in dual-income families where both partners work outside the home, women
are the primary household managers and primary caretakers of children.
Spending the Dough
By 2010 women are expected to control $1 trillion, or 60 percent of the country's
wealth (Gallup/Businessweek poll). According to a recent Nielsen report, women
have responsibility for 75 percent of family finances and 80 percent of purchasing
What does this all mean? Women are flexible. Women's flexible approach is
One popular design theory asserts that when there is fear, uncertainty and
doubt in the world, products get rounder. This was certainly true in the post
WWII '50s when curvilinear shapes were everywhere from furniture to fashion.
In today's volatile political climate, we are seeing a definite softening
of edges and a move towards more comforting, amorphic forms. These voluptuous
forms are reminiscent of Botero's celebration of femininity.
Softening the News
Alpha Betty's great influence on the marketplace can be seen across many products
categories previously considered "male" - beer, SUV's and technology. At the
recent CES show in Las Vegas, JVC rolled out a line of car stereos designed
for women, marketing the blue and green radios exclusively in women's magazines
and through a deal with cosmetic brand Urban Decay, which will sell nail polish
in the same green and blue.
"Never-marrieds" are one of the fastest-growing growing groups in America,
according to the US Census Bureau. Singles constitute more than 40 percent
of the adult population; 10 percent of all adults will never marry. Accordingly
the solo woman's market, defined as never-married women ages 25 to 44, will
approach $200 billion by 2006. Singles often lean on a tight-knit "family"
of friends who do everything form helping paint each other's apartments to
taking vacations together -- even raising children together.
In this time of rapid change, women will continue to seek contentment and
fulfillment - finding balance - and ultimately find the perfect balance.
Striving for a balanced life, characterized by emotional, physical, spiritual
and financial well-being. No longer are femininity and strength mutually exclusive.
Embracing the new opportunities and challenges that confront her, Alpha Betty
is finding a way to "have it all."
The feminization of design brings rounded shapes and softer colors. Materials
have surface interest and tactility to help create an emotional connection:
powdery, brushed, sueded and shimmering surfaces. New synthetic materials
like shape-memory alloys create a sense of familiarity and comfort. Lightweight
technology is important for handbag transporting. Pale diffused colors are
inspired by the continuous rebirth of nature, and used in subtle tonalities.
Ross Lovegrove's water bottle is a beautiful example of the feminization of
design with its soft, sensual organic forms that provide an emotionally seductive
Trend House (www.trendhouse.com)
was founded by Nicki Gondell in 1999 as an international marketing and design
consulting firm specializing in the forecasting of trends for the fashion,
home interiors and consumer products markets. Trend information is available
in published and custom formats. Trend House has partnerships with several
of Europe's leading trend forecasting publishers, including Carlin International
and Zes Studio, to provide color, design and merchandising direction. Trend
House clients include Avon Products, Bath and Body Works, The Coca-Cola Company,
Estee Lauder, Fisher-Price, Jockey, Kenneth Cole, Kimberley-Clark, Lancôme,
Liz Claiborne, Lowes Home Improvement Centers, MTV/Nickelodeon, Nautica, Nike,
Palm Pilot, Sony, Sears, Target, Timberland, Timex and Victoria's Secret.
Visibility Public Relations
for additional information.
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