News - Hot Trends - Milan Design Week
From metallic copper hues, to audacious patterns, subversive plagiaristic-style techniques and light-hearted humour, YOO's Marketing Manager Yvette Costi gives her take on the hot marketing trends that hit Milan Design Week this year:
1. Block Colour
After the paired back dourness of the recession period, colour is back with a vengence. It isn’t the colour of the 80’s or even early to mid noughties, it is more restrained and bold. A statement in colour.
Its back baby, its back. Clashing, different kinds and with no rhyme or reason. The boldness of print this year was a graphic symphony of stripes, spots, geometry and texture.
3. Video / Digital
There was no better way to say it than with video. A picture paints a thousand words, a video paints a billion.
Tom Dixon’s metal of choice made its way across the board with beautiful interpretations seen by Japanese studios and young British designers. In serious and playful form copper was the metallic hue de jour.
Another legacy of the recession, handmade elements reassure us that what we are buying is special and a ‘one off’. The handmade element has been championed by Wallpaper* magazine for quite a while. Their Handmade Exhibition drew crowds from all over Milan.
6. Ethnic Chic
Young, talented African designers are opening up Western eyes to the talent and richness of inspiration they offer. Patterns, colours and themes are vibrant and earthy and this year the beating heart of Africa won over the well shod crowds of Milan.
Crafts is a movement very much about honouring handicrafts and their traditions. Marni’s beautiful woven chairs have been seducing us for the last two years and Donna Wilson’s knitted poufs for SCP are a perennial favourite, however it was the enormous tapestry works at Spazio Rosanna Orlandi that stole the show.
Always in the mix the influence of Geometry on design was favoured by maestros such as Gio Ponti and Le Courbusier back in the mid-20th Century. Whether it be the influence of the Golden Curve or Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, geometry is inherent in our makeup and the universe in numerous ways, it is no wonder it pervades our most creative outlets.
A noble gas, Neon was discovered in 1898 and since then has had an unstoppable influence on popular culture. This year we saw its resurgence into the highbrow with just a bon vivance that it cannot be ignored. Viva la neon!
Designers, manufacturers, retailers and stylists were all keen to get your buy-in by way of making you feel, connect and empathise this year. Again a remnant of the recession, where history and quality were valued for high-net purchases this idea of mythologizing design and its process has stuck around.
Perspex showed us that the fun was back in design and that more kitsch materials have a place in Avant Garde contemporary design. We saw Perspex in every colour of the rainbow, however it was Diesel Living by Moroso that used the material to best effect.
Super brands such as Molteni&C and Salvatore Ferragamo teamed up to combine their collective brand power and familial ties. It was Kartell, though, that used Heritage to best effect -or should I say 'lack' of heritage. A young brand with a very contemporary product, Kartell appropriated Haute Couture brand essence and applied them to their different designers in what could only be described as a masterstroke of marketing. Rodolfo Dordoni took on the brand guise of Rolex, while Nendo masqueraded as Kenzo and Patricia Urquiola had a go at being Dame Viv! Genius!
Something that design has been lacking during the serious period surrounding the financial crisis, designers are now finding the fun again. Marcel Wanders’ campaign for Alessi is adorably cute depicting a pig as a princess with the slogan ‘I am not a cook, I’m a chef!’ Fab’s Andy Warhol Brillo Pad poufs appeared everywhere and reminded us all interiors can be fun. This was best summed up by a sloganed bag that said ‘Smile…you’re designed to.’