By Brad Ross, Global Trend Forecasting
In last month’s post on home interiors, I highlighted the trends in natural materials and Made in America. Equally important to these two movements is what I call the fusion trend. Just as you would imagine, fusion is the cumulative effort to draw on the past, present and future. This trend uses a structure’s historical point of view as the canvas to meld current and future liberties. Together, the composition creates a one of a kind diary, reflecting our culture and lifestyle.
The specific visual representation is varied, however the components are consistent. The foundation typically begins with an older structure like an early 20th century row house, a 17th century monument style home or an industrial building. In each expression, the interior is upgraded with modern materials, which compliment, while still showcasing the building’s character. For example, raw steel, brick, stone or ship lumber floors are honored as integral parts, while new glass, electrical and cabinetry are upgraded to current looks.
Oftentimes the layouts of these spaces are repurposed with a more gallery approach (open plan) that allows for curated vintage furniture to be displayed as a personal journal of experiences. The furniture itself is key in this fusion trend as it is a collection of vintage icons borrowed from decades past. The mid-century pieces are fundamental (however, not exclusive), due to that time period’s revolutionary approach to art and design. The result is inviting, purely casual and progressively creative.
The seemingly contrasting associations of history and future provide a direct link to the harmonious divergence we witness in consumer behavior, culture and fashion. The Japanese installation artist, Chiharu Shiota, captures the essence of this connected divergence in, “Dialogue from DNA”, 2004.
In this same way, our consumer behavior is woven together in five generations, contending together in an interdependent nature of opposites. A new aesthetic and societal norm is upon us and it goes well beyond attributes of retro vintage, repurposing and demographics.
This diversity further illuminates the fusion trend and defines what we see also in fashion. Today’s apparel styles are inspirited with history and fused to modernity through new expressions of relaxed silhouettes. All too familiar is the fitted styles that were clearly an adaptation of the “Mad Men” craze, but after seasons of form-fitting shirts and skinny jeans, designers have finally deviated towards looser fits and oversized pieces; a touch of the seventies is an apparent and welcomed respite. New looks include: generously-proportioned trousers, volume tops and culottes (in women’s).
This relaxed, modern feel, whether in home or apparel, clearly points to our future while intentionally paying deference to our past. The fusion trend curates multiple generations of style, culture, thought and values, which enables the consumer to personalize his aesthetic.
In closing, it is here that you may recall some of my earlier trend posts that initiated this fusion trend. Today, home interiors are reflecting the same macro behavioral trends of Retromania, and are presented in a Curated fashion with a Purpose of new creative and habitable environments.