Nostalgia for the analog is informing future technology, as designers and artists look for ways to move away from the web, and virtual design translates into real-world design. The old (turntables, forties style radios) meets the new (streamlined, more sustainable), especially with a twist of eighties retro thrown in. A hybrid has emerged blending the best of both worlds-the online and offline. Digital breaks out into physical space in pixelated patterns, digitally warped shapes, and a ‘screen filtered’ look. The impact on art and design is felt in images and objects that have a flattened sensibility. Colors are saturated, and materials juxtaposed, like layering effects in design software. The body is manipulated in elongated and oversized shapes, but body-conscious as well, in angular and slim sculptural forms. Tech and retail giants are answering the consumers’ call for more sustainable and renewable products. They are making the pledge to switch to renewable energy such as solar power, and creating furniture and other products that can be disassembled, recycled, and reused.
The digital world a la 1980s is influencing a return to power dressing, but this time around shapes are softer and more relaxed. Armani classics are being re-worked, and Serge Luten’s power glamor photography is revisited. Strong lines and bold colors are juxtaposed with delicate florals. The softer side of punk shows up in the New Romantic genre, an edgy prettiness reminiscent of new wave bands of the eighties. Colors are bright and saturated and pop like Pop Art.
A gender neutral sensibility continues in the oversized zoot suit, caged, sculpted, and cutaway looks. A glossiness abounds, with glamor and sex appeal taking center stage in ‘wet look’ reflective, glossed, patent, and sensual finishes. Japanese-inspired magazine editorials of the eighties welcome a mix-match of subcultures. Clashing, hallucinogenic animal prints, stacked arm bangles, and cinched waists recall ‘pretty punk’ girl bands. Solid and sheer strapping brings the body in focus in sporty designs, sometimes with graphic prints. Leathers are seeing graphic metallic printed surfaces.
A street attitude in blazers and cropped, tapered trousers covered in graphic checks or an updated preppy look in artist palette brights keeps ‘young’ tailoring fun. Traditional men’s tailoring is given a lift in graphic prints and textures, or blocked panels of differing patterns. A relaxed fit is still going strong, in the classic city overcoat, and tailored track pants with contrast side seam stripes. Printed shirts, in novelty or abstract patterns inspired by the 1980’s lends a nostalgic, retro feel. Optical graphic stripes paired with an edgy urban sports-casualwear feel is a reminder of street art inspirations. A smart bohemian mood rendered in a warm, tonal palette embraces hand-crafted oversized intarsia knits, subtle textures in jacquard and chambray, and pull-on pajama shirts. Layers, such as hooded bomber jackets with detachable hoods and lining bring another dimension to design. Graphic camo all-over prints might be seen in mechanics or military style coveralls, or quilted down jackets. Artisan flair is a key component in sophisticated, textural fabrics. Casual and carefree is the attitude, while a modern fit and a nod to the past brings in double-breasted overcoats, corduroy suits, and tapered trousers.
A products’ complete life cycle from manufacture to disposal—the cradle-to-cradle concept—is becoming more important in the design industry. Renewable energy sources, implemented by big-box stores and furniture manufacturers, is helping to reduce the carbon footprint. Companies are producing biodegradable plastics for kitchen systems, strollers, and accessories. Office chairs are recyclable, compostable, and renewable and can be disassembled, reused, or recycled.
“Athleisure” living is incorporating athletic accessories like weights and bicycles into home décor, becoming a status symbol. The digital world inspires overlays of holographic and grid designs used in products and spaces. Gaming, 3D modelling software, and lighting accentuates interiors in an eighties new wave boldness. Graphic contrasts in brights and patterns pop on textiles and panels. An ombre effect, or gradation of color is seen on glass, textiles, and panels. A high shine or sheen is evident in mirrored effects on furniture and product design. Colored lights outline and contour shapes, such as around an architectural indoor or outdoor detail. Lighting, as well is saturated in color for overall effect. Blitz blue and machine red are accented by electric magenta, jellybean green, and flash orange.
The FIDM Library Style Report is by Cynthia Aaron.
Overview: Nostalgia for the analog is informing future technology, as designers and artists look for ways to move away from the web, and virtual design translates into real-world design. The...