AUTUMN/WINTER 16 IS SET TO BE A SEASON OF EXTREMES AS THE HOME AND GIFT INDUSTRY LAUNCHES ITS NEW TRENDS AT TOP DRAWER
I'm always excited to visit the trade shows in Spring and Autumn as, apart from the inspiring range of products on display, it always gives a good indication of the trends for the coming season.
At Top Drawer last week it became apparent that, this season, we're going to have to pick a side. Designs seemed to fall in to one of two camps - either dark or light. There were several trends emerging from each so let's take a look at what I found...
KEY TRENDS: Scandi, Pure, Natural, Rustic
The Scandinavians are making a big impression on us Brits at the moment and they were represented by several exhibitors, all displaying their unique blend of simple, pared back design and functionality. Danish brands Stelton and Cozy Living are leading lights for stylish homewares and Swedish label Iris Hantverk's utilitarian products are beautifully crafted by hand. We are not to be outdone though, there are a considerable amount of British designers hot on their heels. I'm already a huge fan of the work of Sue Pryke and Wild + Wood for their minimalist design and use of natural materials and once again they didn't disappoint. New discoveries include the incredibly tactile textiles from Old Homestead, which have gone straight to the top of my wishlist, and the guileless ceramics by Sue Ure.
1. COZY LIVING, 2. SUE PRYKE, 3. WILD+WOOD, 4. IRIS HANTVERK, 5. STELTON, 6. SUE URE, 7. OLD HOMESTEAD.
KEY TRENDS: Victoriana, Entomology, Botanicals, Surrealism
It's no surprise that as we head in to winter we turn our attention to creating warm and cosy interiors but this season we are being guided to something more decadent, more surreal and perhaps just a little wicked. It's Dark alright!
Historical influences are big right now - botanical prints reminiscent of old Dutch Master paintings were on show at Au Maison - but it is the Victorians' who are proving to be a big inspiration for many designers. The fascination with insects is represented in Liljebergs' exquisite photographic bug prints - not to everyone's taste but you can't deny the detail and colours are truly stunning.
When it comes to wellbeing, ensconce yourself not in a zen spa but a Victorian apothecary - the branding of Parkminster Products and the Terrible Twins' bath salts conjure up images of opium dens and gin palaces, more hedonistic than organic.
And what is life without whimsy? The slightly surreal illustrations of Lauren Dickinson Clarke are reminiscent of the work of celebrated artist Rory Dobner, but have a much more feminine appeal. The humorous side of Victorian splendour is explored in the designs of husband and wife team, Chase and Wonder. New to the range of stationery and gifts are wash-bags and purses, screen-printed by hand.
1. PARKMINSTER PRODUCTS, 2. LAUREN DICKINSON CLARKE, 3.TERRIBLE TWINS, 4. CHASE AND WONDER, 5. AU MAISON, 6. LILJEBERGS
Which side are you on? I'd love to know!