Maison & Objet and New York Fashion Week Usher in a New Era of Bold Style and Even Bolder Color
The first two weeks of September keep design devotees and trend aficionados in suspense as they await updates and images out of Paris and New York. While the London and Milan fashion shows wrap up this most stylish of months, it’s the Maison & Objet show, in Paris, along with New York Fashion Week, that drives the upcoming year’s trends in design and fashion.
Trends don’t just appear out of thin air; they are crafted by designers who live, work, and travel with all their senses focused. Trends are also shaped by the constant conversation between fashion and interior designers; by a color spotted at a runway show that is woven into a sofa; by a pattern on a sham that makes its way onto a dress. After Maison & Objet and New York Fashion Week, the word that has reached us is clear: The “recession proof” style that was dominated by unadorned patterns and muted monochromatic palettes is over, and a new era of colorful and pattern-rich decadence has arrived.
This fall’s Maison & Objet was a wonderland of prints, from bold paisleys to colorful jungle motifs to elegant geometrics. Designers were having so much fun, in fact, that they mixed and matched prints on the same piece, and then juxtaposed those patterns against even more prints in the same showroom. If a print and color combination is out there and extravagant, it’s in.
One showroom specifically that made us take notice was Fancy’s Home Collection. For decades, this Belgian design firm has stood firmly against cold European minimalism, and this edition of Maison & Objet proved that designers everywhere finally agree. Fancy’s wallcovering featured images of leopards moving stealthily through the jungle, peered at by the eyes of white and gold peacock feathers. This combination of prints, both images from the Asian subcontinent, showcased India as a style touchstone. The gold of the peacock print was replicated in the bag-of-bones light fixture and in the earthy brown of the leather sofa. The the marriage of folk patterns and leopard print on the pillows tied together the entire collection to reflect the colorful and texture-rich traditions of India. The collection’s color palette was subtle, almost sunburnt, hinting at a darker brand of decadence.
New York Fashion Week showcased a similarly dazzling array of mixed-and-matched prints. The looks by design duo Tome, Australian expats who now live and work in New York, contained too many different prints to count. One ensemble featured white silk pants in an emerald-green harlequin print paired with a black-tartan blouse, all topped with a sequin-studded black and white harlequin-print jacket. Another piece featured the same black tartan along with a vest cut from a fiery-red floral kimono print. Elsewhere in the collection, the kimono print was paired with a white low-cut ruffle blouse and a metallic skirt.
The prints in both of these collections suggested a revival of more lavish and worldly styles. Asian prints stood out in the décor collections by Nicholas Haslam and Roberto Cavalli, while the patterns and palettes in Tory Burch’s ready-to-wear collection referenced numerous colorful Eastern cultures. In a nutshell, complexity is in.
Precious metals are all the rage this season, and so are bright gem tones. These bold colors and materials hark back to the decorative metals of art deco, and, again, they represent a move away from muted color palettes and rustic finishes. This season, Maison & Objet was illuminated by reflective surfaces, by mirrors and glass, and by fixtures and furniture that glowed with color.
Famed Dutch design firm Eichholtz has spent years specializing in the elegant geometries of metals and glass, but its fall entry to Maison & Objet showcased a more colorful side to its work. Like Fancy, one of the dominant colors in Eichholtz’s palette was gold, but the pieces by Eichholtz gave the impression they were made of actual gold. One room featured a gold water-lily-shaped lamp, as well as a chandelier festooned with long and decadent gold beading. The base of the matching table lamp was also gold, though the design of this lamp was more Brutalist or industrial in construction. All of these pieces suggested a futuristic boudoir, which was only heightened when featured with violet armchairs. The glass-and-mirror features throughout the entire collection confirmed that Eichholtz is one of Europe’s leaders in home décor.
As with the prints, the trend of precious metals at Maison & Objet was reflected in the gem tones that were evident on the models at New York Fashion Week. Victoria Beckham’s sporty collection of ready-to-wear dresses and separates featured a color palette reminiscent of a jewelry store: turquoise, orange fire opal, and, of course, gold. Beckham paired these bright gem tones with materials such as crushed velvet and pleated leather, creating a style that is both retro and futuristic.
We found gem tones and metallics all over Maison & Objet, from Reichenbach’s sapphire and gold wall fixture to Dome Deco’s ruffled gold-trim mirrors. In New York, we spotted gold all through Carolina Herrera’s collection. Jeremy Scott’s spring models strutted down the catwalks in metallic ruby-red bodysuits. In fact, both shows were so bright and so many surfaces were reflective, it’s no surprise most attendees pulled out the sunglasses.
This concluding trend encompasses those already mentioned, but just on a higher level—maximalist everything. The featured color at Maison & Objet this fall reflects this revolution: orange. And not just orange, but bold shades of vermilion, persimmon, and saffron. This color palette was paired with long shag textures in pillows by Jonathan Adler, as well as with the intricate upholstery print on a chair by Judeco. A bed linen collection by Dea, the luxury Italian linen company, splashed orange across a wild paisley print.
These vibrant oranges were also featured at New York Fashion Week in collections by DKNY, Christian Siriano, and Zac Posen. With maximalism in mind, this year’s fashion week also saw the return of some of the same luxury materials featured at Maison & Objet. Tom Ford’s collection featured a lot of leather , while Diane von Furstenberg’s collection featured metallic dresses and decadent furs.
If Maison & Objet and New York Fashion Week have told us anything about what’s around the corner in the worlds of home décor and fashion, it’s this: Anything that stimulates the senses—whether it’s flashy colors and prints or top-of-the-line materials and posh tones—is what’s next.