Trend forecasters can no longer rely on simply building the perfect colour palette; equally important is examining the constant reinvention and interpretation of overarching macro themes.
Two macro trends dominating design at the moment, sustainability and escapism inform our latest SS 2021 trends, Clarity and Alice.
In Clarity we point to a newer approach that engages with often radical ideas and calls for a total shift in the paradigm; rejecting throwaway consumerism and creating for longevity and a belief that solutions can be found.
Cool and clear, Clarity offers an alternative approach to sustainability. As unpolluted air and water become increasingly scarce, this concept asks questions about our readiness to accept environmental responsibility that cannot be met by simply recycling. More radical and creative ideas are needed now, and fast.
Ironically perhaps then that Alice, for all its bright colours and dream-like imagery better expresses the fear that solutions might not be possible. As this idea raises truly terrifying existential fears about our future, the desire for escapism and comfort grows exponentially.
This concept is a dark fairy tale, seeking an escape from reality by diving into a synthetic, hyper-real dream world inspired by the effects of opioid and hallucinogenic drugs. Disappearing down a rabbit hole, this story’s strong narrative is reflected in a dissonant but highly compelling colour palette.
Given current climate forecasts, it is highly likely that these two particular tropes will appear again and again; the trick is to recognise in what guises they will resurface.
In addition to the trend drivers that give context to our forecast, design editorial and interviews, this issue also features special focus on inclusive design. Our Colour Now section takes a look at the early adopters of our SS 2020 trends Mask and Parade.
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