Material Directions AW 2023/24: Heartbreaker

The principles informing Heartbreaker have a long history; the line of beauty, the sinuous serpentine form in the curve of a swan’s neck, or the female back in classical paintings.

In times of uncertainty, using established design principles to take the guesswork out of creating objects of desire is appealing. There are other themes also in play here, notably post-pandemic exhaustion, and the desire for a slower and steady pace of production, traditionally connected with thought and often labelled contemplation. The focus on skill, craftsmanship and time as well as a rejection of transient trends, fits like a handmade glove.

In materials, there is a conscious, effortless luxury. While many of the references are traditional, others look to more technical solutions with laser cutting and sculptural engineering. Patterns applaud natural beauty in intricate detail with linear motifs and flower studies. Colour is a careful balance of graphic harmonies, duo tones and colour scales, and finishes are lacquered or embroidered.  

Heartbreaker was first published in MIX Magazine issue 67, and the following material, colour and finish directions explored in more detail in our AW 2023/24 CMF Directions.



Blue Scale


Transitioning seamlessly from, purple-cast Rainwater through a tonal duo of red-cast blues, Lavender Quartz and Iolite Blue, and anchored with Jet, this colour combination exemplifies the objective beauty of Heartbreaker. Gradient colour is a natural application for fashion as seen in Amit Aggarwal’s High Breed collection.



Atelier Embroidery



In a tribute to couture and the skill of the atelier, finishes achieve a conscious luxury through intricate embroidery; Sebastian Brajkovic’s sculptural Mobius seating is finished in embroidered cashmere upholstery, while Joséphine Lawrence explores digital embroidery, goldwork and stumpwork in her Ephemeral collection.



A clear avenue for fashion, archival floral embroidery is reinterpreted by couturiers in sweaters, jackets, collars and sleeves for Dior’s AW 2022/23 menswear collection.



Cut Crystal



Highlighting classic design and the rejection of transient trends, cut crystal is revisited. Simone Klenell experiments with traditional crystal cutting in the blown and cut glass Renässans series.



Contemporary iterations are also explored in Diya Wang’s Hybrid clothing collection incorporating oversized crystal jewellery.



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 Part One of our insight for 2025 is out now.


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Image credits from top:

Amit Aggarwal | High Breed | Model Rahul Munda @imrahulmunda | Photo Ankit Chawla @iwishiwerelight; © Colour Hive; Sebastian Brajkovic | Mobius | White patinated bronze, embroidered cashmere upholstery | Photo courtesy of David Gill Gallery; Joséphine Lawrence | Mizmu | Ephemeral | Digital embroidery, goldwork, stumpwork; Dior | Men Ready to Wear Winter 2022/23 | © Dior; Simon Klenell | Renässans | Blown and cut glass | Photo Gustav Almestål; Diya Wang | Hybrid Garment Glam Hoodie; Stuart Haygarth | ICICLE | Vintage crystal glassware, bespoke LED light shaft | Photo George Baggaley