I’ve just spent a week away in Victoria. It’s always great to get away and see something different and have time to think about something different.
First stop was Kyneton in the Macedon Ranges. We stayed at a very cute apartment above the Macedon Ranges Interiors. The apartment dates back to the 1860′s and has been fully and tastefully renovated. We loved sitting in front of the fire each evening.
Then it was on to Melbourne for the trade fair – Decor and Design along with Furnitex. The highlight for me was attending a seminar on the first day given by Victoria Redshaw who is lead futurist at Scarlet Opus and she was soooo interesting.
I remember studying styles and trends at design school and knew it was more involved than smoke and mirrors or a dart board. But I was unaware of the full extent of research and consideration that goes in to predicting future trends for colour and design. And they work so far in advance! Victoria explained that they are currently working on northern hemisphere Autumn/Winter 2016/17. That’s in 2 and half years time!
I ended up taking 9 pages of notes and will try to give you a quick overview of them here.
So, the process for predicting a trend involves Review, Establish, Research and Identify. It’s hard to predict the future without looking at the past, so the previous season’s trends (that’s the season previous to the one they are forecasting so it hasn’t actually happened yet) are reviewed. The current situation is established. That’s done by looking at the news and twitter. Something could happen today which could have long lasting effects and change the requirements of the future. Think GFC and 9/11.
When it comes to research, it’s looking at planned events for the period being predicted. This is the bit that I found interesting. They look at galleries, museums, exhibitions, catwalk events, environmental issues, architectural projects, TV and film, centennials and any other major event that may have a major impact on the world at large.
The futurists and researchers then sit down and analyse all their findings. Does it effect, drive or deepen existing trends? They visit the latest shows, keep an eye on what’s trending around the world on twitter and instagram and look for common denominators.
From our position of hindsight, it’s now easy to see that 9/11 had a major impact on the colours of the world. Prior to that event, the world was saturated in colour but we turned to browns and greys creating new neutrals for clothing and paint. These colours are now considered classics. Similarly the GFC, sent us all looking for familiar colours so we could feel safe – colours from our youth and more contented times. However, in 2011 the neons emerged to cheer us up, make us spend money and buy something colourful to feel good about ourselves. If you remember at the end of the year, Pantone released its colour for 2012 as Tangerine Tango.
So what will the future bring to colour and design? Sign up for my newsletter which will be sent out next week. I’m dedicating this month’s issue to the trends Victoria predicts.