Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Interiors Inform Fashion?

[PLEASE NOTE: This blog entry starts where the last entry left off, with the emergence of a new trend in interior paint color.]

So why now, out of the blue (or perhaps I should say “black”), are we advised to start painting everything ebony—and worse, with a matte finish? My question was answered in a recent WGSN trend seminar I attended forecasting upcoming trends for 2011/2012. Though the primary focus of the seminar was, of course, fashion, so inextricably linked are design trends these days that my observation over the past year (working as a rep. in the fashion and textile industry) has been the simultaneous and mutual influence of fashion and interior design on each other. And what is becoming even more common is that interiors are now informing, influencing, and yes, even leading fashion trends at times.

In fact, nearly every “Macro Trend” presented by WGSN began with inspirational images taken from the natural world, the industrial world, and of course, the interior design world. In light of my darkening confusion (pun intended) over matte black making a splash, the macro trend that caught my attention was “faux real” movement. This direction delights in making the real look fake. It challenges our assumptions by bringing unexpected proportion and color to the forefront. It pushes traditional boundaries, and one element of this macro trend is “unnatural or enhanced color.” This encompasses matte finishes, especially for black, and primers and undercoats. The inspirational image for this trend was that of a black primered Rolls Royce. (Enter matte black paint.)

Based on the forecast, matte will become the new finish of choice. And like the futuristic, arid-looking Rolls Royce, luxury will cease to be defined by perfect polish, waxy finishes, and high-gloss sheen, and will be redefined by a more dusty, earthy and urban veneer. High class and style will take on a new meaning—moving from the polished to the unrefined. So, whether it’s the finish on your vehicle, or the paint on your walls, tomorrow’s luxury topcoat is predicted to be the unrefined, or “unfinished,” finish.

That being said, my best advice for black paint comes from my high school art teacher. “Never use all-black paint,” she used to say. “It comes across as ‘dead.’ Always add a little color.” So my suggestion for dabbling in the dark side is to use aubergine, midnight, deep hunter and dark chocolate hues to bring black back to life. And as far as matte finish is concerned, I leave you with the words of a true master. Billy Baldwin once said: “Be faithful to your own taste, because nothing you really like is ever out of style…An honest room is always up to date.”

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