Material Directions: SS 2023



In times of uncertainty, one coping strategy is to search out meaning and protection through belief and superstition. We can track this from our story Ritual (AW 2020/21) and the comfort of ceremonies during times of chaos. In Belief, these talismans take on a form of magical thinking.

There’s a fatalistic undertone here that plays out in a theatrical and otherworldly aesthetic taking cues from the moon and sun and looking at the sky from earth. We’re also seeing a strong return of talismans and symbolic charms as motifs and a focus on the ceremonial.

Belief was first published in MIX Magazine issue 63, and the following material and surface directions are explored in more detail in our AW 2022/23 Global CMF Forecast.



Edge Effects

Organic edges capturing the traces of time inspire in surfaces framed by blackened borders. There is a haunting beauty in the way colour bleeds and disperses around a surface edge, and we note this feature across ceramics, product design and fine art.

As if damaged by fire, fox and grisaille techniques are effective when applied to mirror and glass, seen above in Slow Design's Alice Frammenti mirrors.



A similar mood is reflected in Troels Flensted’s stainless-steel mirrors where the edges are heated and the material starts to warp to expose a variation of colours.




Surpassing their use in meditation, jewellery, and as talismans, the protective and healing powers of crystals and gemstones inspire. Brazilian artist, Melissa Meier explores female empowerment using crystals in sculptural clothing.



Using discarded Alentejo sedimentary stone, Sam Baron exposes its crystal veins in the Noma Pedra candlesticks and vases.



Lukas Wegwerth grows crystal forms onto fragmented ceramics as a means of assembling, sealing, and glazing. The properties of crystals are integral to the Belief aesthetic.



Work with Material and Colour?

Building on the design directions first published in MIX Magazine, our bi-annual Global CMF Forecast 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 the Trend Influences for SS 2023, Global CMF Forecast for AW 2023/24 and Design Impressions for SS 2023. Part one of our forecast for 2024 is out now. 


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Image credits from top:

Alice Frammenti | Grisaille technique on glass mirror | Unique pieces | Roberto di Filitto & Nathalie Schneider | Slow-Design; Perception | Tempered stainless steel | Troels Flensted; Nesting bowls | Slip-cast bone china, glaze, 24K gold luster | Manos Kalamenios; Crystals – Skins Series | Melissa Meier | Model Nova Jesswein; Noma Pedra | Made from 99.6% recycled materials | Discarded Portugese Marmore sedimentary stone | Sam Baron for Noma; Crystallization 91 | Ceramic, salt crystals | Lukas Wegwerth | Available at Gallery FUMI | Photo courtesy of Gallery FUMI