There’s logic behind the idea that there is a crossover between the clothes we live in and the space we inhabit. When it comes to fashion we each have a personal aesthetic that we like to present to the world, rooted in a few guiding principles – grey suits most, we like the texture of cashmere, we find gentle pattern appealing – but this aesthetic is ever-evolving. The same is true of our homes. Our overall taste may not change drastically, but every now and then we introduce new and exciting elements to keep things fresh. Take millennial pink, for instance – the it colour that moved smoothly from catwalk to kitchen.
The extent to which one world influences the other is difficult to determine, but it is fair to say that fashion’s reach is greater. It may be a simplistic way to look at it, but in today’s world hashtags count for a lot; to that end there are 475,193,993 Instagram posts that use the tag #fashion, whilst #interiors garners 10,641,620 comparatively. In this race fashion is the hare and interiors are the tortoise. The sheer speed at which fashion shows come about is astonishing, and their volume is overwhelming.
But that’s okay, interior design schemes require staying power given that it is (generally speaking) more affordable and practical to update our wardrobes than our kitchens. Even those blessed with the healthiest of bank balances tend to avoid redecorating more than is necessary. Fashion is faddish, homewares tend to be more permanent. Will we still be wearing Christopher Kane’s jewel encrusted Crocs in ten years’ time? Probably not. Will we still be using our marble decorated bathrooms? We’ll have to, they’re much harder to flog on eBay.
For fashion designers who have developed homeware collections, creating a link between their fashion and interiors makes good business sense. Even humble kitchen appliances, like the coffee machine, have been given the designer touch with Dolce & Gabbana’s recent collaboration with Smeg, inspired by their Sicilian roots.
Occasionally, however, the seed of a trend is planted by tastemakers in the interior design world. A collaboration between our friends at Eporta and WGSN, the world-leading trend service, revealed that the key theme of interior buying trends in 2016 was ‘biomimicry’, the definition of which is, ‘the design and production of materials, structures, and systems that are modelled on biological entities and processes’. There then followed an announcement in December 2016 by the colour matching and consultancy giant Pantone that its colour of the year for 2017 was ‘Greenery’. It wasn’t until May of 2017 that British Vogue cottoned on and pronounced the colour we’ll all be wearing in Spring 2018 is green. And were they right? Absolutely. Look in any shop window, and you’ll find 50 shades of green.
The craze for green stems (pardon the pun) from a wider preoccupation with authentic materials and a desire to absorb eco-friendly practices into every aspect of our life. This can largely be attributed to the cultural and political climate whereby natural objects provide an antidote to our over-connected, technology-driven existence. If further evidence were needed that green is all systems go, you just have to look at Instagram to see that the mania for plant porn is growing, with accounts such as The Jungalow, Urban Jungle Blog, Haarkon and Plants On Pink proving eternally popular.
The fashion world’s most beloved natural material of late, straw, shows no signs of dwindling in popularity as evidenced in recent trend reports from Harper’s Bazaar, Refinery29, and British Vogue. Straw bags have been hard to miss, hanging off the arms of influencers such as Veronika Heilbrunner (see below), Lucy Williams and Alexa Chung. Other woven natural fibres like jute, raffia, and seagrass have also taken shape in espadrilles, hats and baskets. Interiors have not been immune to this influx of Old MacDonald’s humble by-product, and this has been reflected in a surge in popularity for decorative items such as plant baskets, storage boxes and lampshades. In fact, the line between hand bag and plant basket has run so thin it’s become undetectable.
Behind all this, a blend of mathematics, colour psychology and sensory perception come together to ensure that some trends will always be in vogue: monochrome gives a sense of order, orange makes us feel warm, blue stops it feeling too hot, prints engage us, wool projects softness, and raw materials connect us to living things. Ultimately, that which continues to dictate and surpass all fashion and interior trends is the beauty of the natural world that we live in.