MIX Magazine issue 56 out now

New Directions for SS 2021: Factory and Reverie

While our last directions Gorge and Dome (AW 2020/21) reflected a mood of almost dystopian despair, we're looking for emerging shoots of optimism in our first stories for SS 2021. Both Factory and Reverie also adopt opposite expressions of unisex style; one being utilitarian, the other embracing a dandy-like peacock approach.



Process is an important part of design, but one that is all too often forgotten when work is predominantly focused on a screen. Factory welcomes a return to the back to basic principles of the Bauhaus movement that form follows function, recognising the vital connection between theory and practice.

This story is centred around a willingness to re-engage with process and a sense of place; this is a direction that is sensitive to elitism, referencing not craft but manufacturing as its core driver.



The cyclical nature of trends dictates that when something has all but completely disappeared, it is ripe for rediscovery. Romance, softness and abstraction are now on the agenda, ready for reinvention.



In Reverie we chart a clear evolution from our previous trend Gorge, but with a notable shift towards softness and subtlety, presenting a less antagonistic, gentler voice.



However, despite the welcome optimism, there are some uncomfortable drivers here, not least the perceived risk of fetishising blue-collar labour in the face of the slow and painful demise of industry in the West. Likewise, Reverie could be accused of passivity, drifting in a dream world rather than engaging with challenging global issues.

Often though, the strongest trends are no respecters of appropriate behaviour. In telling both stories we take care not to judge, but rather simply observe and interpret. We feel that it is important to make of these outcomes what you will.



In addition to the trend drivers that give context to our forecast, design editorial and interviews, this issue also features an industry focus on lighting. Our Colour Now section returns to its regular spot with early adopters of our SS 2020 trends Idyll and Kinship. 

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