Material Directions AW 2023/24: Soon

The world is getting hotter, and fast. Soon explores design responses against a backdrop of urgent agitation for change. Adaption is key here, looking for ways to live with and mitigate the impact of rising temperatures while harnessing science and searching for high tech solutions has never been more important. 

Designers have a crucial role both in ameliorating the effects that are already with us, and communicating the need to prevent further damage. This materials-driven story explores people's extraordinary capacity for change.

The physical effects of heat inform materials with sun-bleached, salinated and scorched effects, while the vastness of the theme is reflected in patterns inspired by sedimentary layers and fossils. Colour sees high contrast graphic combinations as well as gentler transitions through hot and dry analogous groups, and finishes are molten, cracked and dehydrated.

Soon was first published in MIX Magazine issue 66, with in-depth colour, material and finish explored in AW 2023/24 CMF Directions.





The graphic quality of sunlight and harsh shadows creates a powerful narrative and colour statement. The dramatic black of Charcoal anchors an intense combination Sun Halo and Golden Ground, this striking combination is a natural fit for fashion and home accessories.



Molten Metallics



Metallic finishes evoke molten lava. Volcanic rock and slag achieve reflective metallic centres, coated in bronze by TIPSTUDIO. The MELT chandelier by Tom Dixon features four metalised orbs protruding from steel tubes. 



With the appearance of liquid metal, metallic finishes are captured in fluid states, perfectly highlighted in metallic weaves by Kirkby Design.






The preserved impressions and traces of species from past geological ages inspire pattern directions. Graphics interpretations are explored in Fauxils by Kita Nahanni; using pyrography, fossilised creatures are scorched and imprinted into reclaimed wood.



Look closely at AINA Contemporary’s Leda sink, sculpted from Jurassic marble and the imprints of Nerineas fossils are revealed.



Work with Material and Colour?


Building on the design directions first published in MIX Magazine, our bi-annual CMF Directions feature concepts, 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 2023Part Two of our insight for 2024/25 is out now.


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Image credits from top:

Zegna | A Path Worth Taking | FW 2022; MIX Images © Colour Hive; TIPSTUDIO | Secundo Fuoco | Photo Nicoló Panzeri; Tom Dixon X FRONT | MELT Chandeliers | Injection blow-moulded, vacuum metalised plastic; Kirkby Design | Parallax in bronze and oyster | FutureBound collection | Metallic weave; Kita Nahanni | Fauxils | Pyrography, mixed media on reclaimed wood; Aina Contemporary | Jurassic Fossil Marble Leda Sink | Living collection | Photo courtesy of; Marlo Lyda | Vanishing Legacies jewellery collection | Cast bronze | Photo Femke Reijerman