Material Directions AW 2023/24: 1969

This story shares roots with Fury (SS 2023), not least the background of social change. 1969 is more optimistic, celebrating how the arts can bring people together in positive activism.

So, the accent is on physical rather than online experiences, welcoming the return of live events or any ‘happening’ that brings people together.

Broader still, is the idea of positive activism through consumerism, supporting brands that share core beliefs. There is growing interest in products that explore and support identity and culture.

Visually, the graphics and psychedelia of the late ’60s and the blurred colours and boundaries of old Polaroid photographs inform. There are also echoes of last year’s Black Lives Matter campaigns which have encouraged a 48.8 per cent increase in models of colour being represented. Likewise, there has been an enormous groundswell of interest in designers from Africa or part of the African diaspora.

The visual trumps the tactile here with the mixing of size and scale of pattern as bravery and experimentation return.

1969 was first published in MIX Magazine issue 66, and the following material, colour and finish directions explored in more detail in our AW 2023/24 CMF Directions.



Complementing the Blues


The 1969 palette is built around a strong trio of blues. Here, the building layers of Blue Sky, True Turquoise and Marine are enhanced by a complementary note of orange Persimmon.

While this is a familiar colour harmony, the intensity of the hues suggests applications in statement art objects and furniture in addition to fashion, and decorative accessories as seen in Rebecca Hult Lamberger’s Pleated Patterns.



Hand-Poured Glaze



Finishes have a thick, wet-look glazed quality as if poured by hand. In ceramics, surfaces have a viscous shine in both Casa De Folklore's hand painted and glazed bowls and Mimi Joung’s porcelain and lustre vessels.



Imitations of this finish are created using marbleised and pearlised acrylic, evident in Cult Gaia’s Eos clutch.



Wood Waves



Wood achieves a playfulness through engineering processes. Paying homage to the undulating wave motif, Sunny II Armchair is crafted from veneered poplar with accents of coloured stained oak by Uchronia.



Here, the emphasis is on smooth silhouettes in contrasting wood tones. Jan Hendzel Studio’s solid timber Bowater unit features their signature ripple façade, digitally profiled in baked ash.



Work with Material and Colour?


Building on the design directions first published in MIX Magazine, our bi-annual CMF Directions features concepts and colour and material palettes illustrated with more than 250 fully credited images.

Both publications are included in Colour Hive membership. Members can access our forecasts including Signals for 2024, CMF Directions for 2024 and Design Impressions for SS 2023. Part Two of our insight for 2024/25 is out now.


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Image credits from top:

Rebecca Hult Lamberger | Pleated Patterns | Polyester canvas, polyester black out weave, transfer print and pleating | Photo Daniela Ferro; MIX Images © Colour Hive; Mimi Joung | A Lot Of Good Nights series | Porcelain and lustre; Casa De Folklore | Lime Half-Stripe Bowl | Hand painted and glazed clay; Cult Gaia | Eos Clutch in Auburn | marbleised and pearlised acrylic; Uchronia | Sunny II | Wave collection | Poplar burl wood veneer, lilac stained oak; Jan Hendzel Studio | Bowater chest of drawers | Solid timber unit, baked ash ripple façade; Christopher Miano | CAM Design Co. | Squiggle Mirrors, Squiggle Chair | Squiggle collection |Hand sculpted walnut, red oak, silver mirror, natural bouclé | Photo Joe Kramm