SS 2020 Print: Mining the Past

A dream of home

In the current climate it is becoming ever more apparent that regardless of increasingly different political ideologies, the home, rather than the world outside is becoming for many the centre of the universe.

Mining the past

Dreams of home tend to be rooted in the past rather than the future, evoked by fabric and wallpaper rather than concrete and glass. So perhaps it is no surprise that when it comes to material and surface directions, our SS 2020 trend Idyll references a raft of historical influences, from the 18th through to the 20th century.

Design never happens in a vacuum

“Design never happens in a vacuum and is a continual revisiting of past forms and styles. I think this is driven by a very human need to acknowledge and connect with the past,” says Tim Butcher, Director and Co-founder of Fromental. Saffron Hare, Creative Director, James Hare, agrees: “As with social or political history, historical design is important as it teaches us about the designs of the future. These designs are influenced by the current state of the world; right now, people are craving cosy smaller spaces with comforting colours around them,” she says.

Feels familiar

The appeal of the familiar shouldn’t be underestimated. Archive colours and print motifs have a proven track record when it comes to successful sales. “Fabrics with a heritage bring a fresh approach to almost any interior space and this is the charm and enduring popularity of historical textile design,” says Caroline Inchyra, Inchyra Designs. Fredrik Nilsson, Managing Director, Sandberg Wallpaper, adds: “Good design lasts forever, (historical) designs at Sandberg are hugely popular today, and suit both retro and contemporary interiors yet were originally designed in the golden era of design in Sweden,” he says.

The lasting appeal of the Neo-classical motif

The order and geometry of Neo-classical motifs also offers a sharp contrast to current prevalent trends focusing on extreme naturalism, large-scale imagery and exuberant florals. Butcher of Fromental explains the appeal: “Neoclassical design references Classical Antiquity, taking inspiration from Greek and Roman architecture and motifs. Predominant was the influence on proportion and scale. These rules of proportion and scale are essential in good pattern design and this is perhaps why these patterns have such lasting appeal,” he says.

Drawing from Deco

With many of the same underlining rules on proportion and scale, Deco is a natural influence. For example, Arte has also launched a wall covering collection called Takara that makes direct references to Deco.

This early 20th century design movement has also been a major source of inspiration for 17 Patterns; its London Deco print, with its delicate framework structure, is boldly geometric yet at the same time restrained. “As the decade draws to a close, we are witnessing the resurgence of Neoclassical and Deco design, echoing an age of unbridled decadence. It’s the return of lavish ornamentation, a fresh interpretation of Roman and Greek inspired architecture and design, fused with the sleek style of Art Deco,” explains Nosca Northfield of 17 Patterns.

Inspired by Arts & Crafts

And finally, the Arts and Crafts movement is another potential source of inspiration. The simple forms focus on craftsmanship and naturalistic palettes are all perfectly in tune with our trend Idyll. It is telling that Jonathan Anderson, Creative Director at Spanish design house Loewe took elements of four original prints by Morris for a capsule collection at the end of last year. Loewe handbags featuring the classic Acanthas Leaf are selling now. Applications in print for interiors could well follow Anderson’s lead, with the potential to make an impact on the market by 2020.


Image credits from top:

Arte International | 5QM Tapeten | Sandberg | James Hare | Arthouse | Fromental | 17 Patterns | Sandberg 

This is an edit of a feature that first appeared in MIX Magazine issue 52