Trend spotting with Tick My Box

The pandemic situation has suspended a number of events worldwide in the field of fashion, sports, music or business but in many cases organizers have come up with creative solutions to deal with our chaotic emotional landscape.

The French trade fair Maison et Objet is no exception. This major exhibition is held bi-annually in Paris and is a highly anticipated event that celebrates innovation and talent for Interior Design from around the world.

Earlier last month, M&O launched in replacement to their physical event, a platform exploring virtual showrooms of worldwide brands. Additionally a series of online conversations coined « Digital Talks » were available on their site. These live interviews, exchanges or conversations were held by various experts designers, brands or trend spotters

The organizers cleverly adapted their September edition by creating a virtual online issue which was a successful but challenging feat. As I browsed through the abundant selection of products and explored the infinite virtual showrooms of exhibitors I felt as tired as I am when I explore the alleyways of the actual trade fair. Minus the sore feet ! In normal times each M&O edition welcomes on average 5.000 brands and designers under one roof at Villepinte near Paris.

So what is new in the world of decor, design and interiors you may ask. What are the trends for A/W 20 – 21 ? What influences or styles did I observe as I surfed on their platform and listened to the various podcasts ? Well, nothing revolutionary to be frank but certainly some strong, albeit subtle shifts. 

Certainly due to the current pandemic situation, a need to return to simplicity is something that clearly stands out. The imposed lockdown made us stay home and rediscover our interiors. Suddenly the focus was on reorganizing our homes (thank you Marie Kondo) and removing the « unnecessary ». A need for a clean, uncluttered environment is a notion expressed in the product design of today. 

Focusing on the quality of materials and offering a simple authentic look, brands such as Sempré  with their lovely glass collection or Pomax with their wool & cotton rugs illustrate this. Inspired by Japanese lifestyle, many brands and designers have produced products and furniture with simple lines in sensual and natural materials using a natural color palette of soft beiges, whites and light grey reminding us of eggs, flour and milk – basic necessities. Comforting colors in an uncertain outside world. Rounded shapes, stripes, fringes, pompoms express the need for purity and simplicity,  « a return to the basics » feel.

Another trend clearly expressed is the need to highlight local creativity. Products showcased for this edition of M&O were not only made from sustainable materials and of fair trade but they had a story to tell. The attention was on the origin of the product. A product made locally, coming from a region, a village, a location thus highlighting the importance of proximity. Many brands prioritize the importance of the story behind the object : who the artisan is, where it was made, how and with which materials. Once again the need for authenticity and the return to local craftsmanship is a notion that stands out clearly. Ay Illuminate a Dutch company producing a beautiful collection of pendant ceiling lamps, is one such brand that works with local Fillipino artisans and encourages the locals to create directly from their villages preventing a rural exodus. This brand promotes the storytelling which is essential to their philosophy.

In addition to simplicity and traceability, an artistic movement has also strongly influenced brands and designers in their creative production. Objects, shapes and graphics suddenly have a vibrant expressiveness. Labels and brands draw their inspiration from abstract expressionism, modernist forms of the second half of the 20th century. Free and loose forms, geometric shapes, spots, Brancusi-slyled totems, lines and brushstrokes, dripping à la Pollock and Picasso style cubist faces a large selection of cushions, rugs, paintings and accessories during this edition. Refinement and sophistication are expressed in 101 Copenhagen’s beautiful Brutus lounge armchair and table. Umasq‘s whimsical artwork takes its inspiration from Primitive Art. Shandor’s artsy cushion collection and Pols Potten’s totem shaped stools remind us of Picasso’s abstract painting & Brancusi sculptures.

Overall whether for the home or in fashion, since both industries overlap, the consumer today is looking for quality over quantity. Most influential houses focus today on sustainability and up cycling by putting their waste to use and creating new fabrics. However the return to more noble materials that are natural, durable and eco friendly is a priority such as bamboo, leather, organic cotton, linen, stone, wood, minerals. A number of new online fashion retailers are capitalizing on consumer’s desires to purchase clothing that lasts. When you think about investing, you’re paying a little more, you’re actually careful about what you select.

Buying less but with more thought. Knowing the story behind the product, its origin, the quality of materials, an appreciation of the craftsmanship are essential. Interiors have become eclectic and refined. The ordinary and the formatted is replaced with the artistic and the unique.

Simplicity, Refinement, Storytelling. These are the keywords that sum up the creative mood today. There is no denying the power of buying less by buying better.

Brands featured : marumitsu.jp, jacquemus.com, solxluna.com, ayilluminate.com, sempre.life, pomax.com, maomi.de, tg (taiwan glass), afkliving.com, bazarbizar.be, bloomingville.com, fermliving.de, umasqu.com, pierre frey.com, 101cph.com, polspotten.nl, moismont.com, artycraft.fr, Dior Haute Couture, Shandor.fr, Voltamobiles.com, Sooahmin Official, lesloversdeco.com, TRN lumière de Pani Jurek, Anne-Sophie Boulogne chez latelierdescreateurs.com.

Black boots with face @spotlighttime