The 2011/2012 Heimtextil Trend Reconnect features new colors, designs and textures combined with cultural context and design information. Through four design themes, the report directions refer back to nature and roots to culture, identity and tradition, while recommitting to real values and the art of craftsmanship and to the essential, functional and everyday.
The Sobriety trend theme shows where short-lived, seasonal trends end and consistent value begins. The background to this change in consumer behaviour is that, in recent years, consumers have built on an ethical self-image, concrete quality and service demands, which they want to maintain, even in difficult financial times. Consumer behaviour may have changed but standards have not. The new consumer landscape is characterised by quality, longevity, sustainability and significance. In this context, a new generation of designers are researching forgotten skills and traditional craftsmanship is making a comeback. This goes hand in hand with a growing desire on the part of consumers to find out more about manufacturing and manufacturers.
The Serenity trend characteristic makes it clear that consumers are re-evaluating their lifestyle and are looking for products to build emotional attachment with. New School reinterprets the classic design of the 1950s, while Classic Modernity reflects a style, which symbolises honesty, quality and consistency, evoking nostalgia and authenticity. Minimal Luxury satisfies the need for pure, clean, simple designs and symbolises a charming, timeless look.
Mix Mash combines the high-tech with craftsmanship, turning something old into something new, and combining colours and patterns with abandon. Mix Mash clearly shows how tradition is being turned on its head and stylised ethnic influences from all over the world meet with novel patterns, prints and fabrics. But Mix Mash also stands for a combination of global know-how and local production techniques. The emotional strength and tradition of craftsmanship, coupled with innovation and efficient functionality, symbolise the successful juxtapositioning of high-tech and craftsmanship.
The Experimental trend facet shows how unconventional brushstrokes, expressive, artistic designs and graphics generate energy and dynamism. The chaotic aesthetic of Cultural Hybrid is decadent and poetic at the same time. It blends cultural heritage with local craftsmanship and nostalgia. Technicraft, a mixture of heritage and modernity, examines the synthesis between technology and craftsmanship, innovation and tradition. High-tech and low tech come together in the multi-layering of kitschy trash and valuables, which Treasure and Trash elucidates.
Consumer society has changed – Utility invites you use it. The global financial crisis, natural catastrophes, a surfeit of products and information are causing people to pause to think about and reflect on their current lifestyle. Nowadays, a decisive factor in purchasing decisions is the consideration about what is really important. Consumers are sick of design for design’s sake. Utility stands for simplicity, accessibility and an invitation to use. Products marketed aggressively in glossy brochures are being replaced by the untreated and fundamental. Designed for everyday use, Utility products give greater meaning to their relationship with the user and suggest a longer lifespan. The pure, modest and unadorned are celebrated.
The trend feature Makeshift shows how designers extol the mantra of simplicity by adopting a “no waste, no demand” approach. Under the title Industrial Accents, simple, honest textile techniques convey a feeling of reassuring comfort. Workwear stands for products, which indicate stable values. Authentic, timeless objects create a hint of nostalgia, a feeling for heritage and for the handcrafted. For Utility, Lux designers have taken their inspiration from standardised industry and commercial fitments to create a refined look.
Wilderness takes us back to where we came from. The world we live in is high-tech and consumption-controlled, confidence in governments, economic structure and energy supplies has been shattered. So consumers are striving for more self-reliance and want to achieve an ultra-sustainable lifestyle. In order to achieve this, some are breaking free of their normal way of life in a radical way and adopting the Wilderness lifestyle, which means being at one with nature. A new interest in crafts from the past, including milling and wicker-weaving are evolving. People are looking for distinctive individualistic features marked by imperfection, not perfection. A new organic look is being created, which nature captures in all its forms, characteristics and materials.
Primitive Raw paves the way for a new interest in simple shapes and manufacturing techniques. Nature’s Harvest describes an unbridled ecological aestheticism and wild, natural shapes, created from untreated materials. Folk Tales shows the efforts made by a new generation of designers to transfer forgotten skills and craftsmanship into the modern era, with the aim of creating a meaningful link between the local and the global. Untamed Nature makes clear how nature is treated rather than processed. Design is inspired by a revival of the craftsmanship from a bygone era.
According to the report: People today want to be amazed, carried away and overwhelmed by ideas, sentiments and philosophies. They have a strong need to concern themselves with values, live in harmony with nature and be extremely authentic. A feel for the handcrafted reflects this just as much as the need to limit consumption voluntarily.
The trend statements are developed at a two-day creative conclave of six international style agencies, one of which – this year The Future Laboratory from Great Britain – filters out four major directions from the forecasts, colour proposals and materials amassed and translates them into a trend concept.
"This edition features style and design analyses and detailed colour samples as well as the social and cultural impact of the trend. Reflecting on and evaluating our buying characteristics, which makes them even more tangible in terms of significance," said Olaf Schmidt, Messe Frankfurt’s Vice President for Textile Fairs.